The Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic girls basketball team has had a striking amount of success in first-round PIAA playoffs games, winning 34 of 36 of such contests.
So an opening-round Class A matchup against the fourth-place team from District 9 that hasn't made the state playoffs in 20 years probably looked like an easy win to some.
Johnsonburg was no pushover, however. The Ramettes gave BG all it could handle for three quarters before the Lady Marauders pulled away for a 47-26 win in the middle game of a tripleheader at the AAHS Fieldhouse on Saturday.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
BG’s Elyssa Ehredt goes up against Johnsonburg’s Brittany Watts.
"This was a wakeup call for us," BG's Halee Adams said. "We need to get completely focused as a team. Nothing's going to be handed to us."
Bishop Guilfoyle advanced for a second-round matchup Wednesday against Serra Catholic at a site and time to be determined. Serra Catholic, the second-place team out of District 7, defeated District 10's second-place team, Cochranton, 67-43, Saturday.
BG and Johnsonburg both struggled to score points for most of the first three quarters. The Ramettes led 6-4 at the end of the first quarter and made it 8-4 on a Brittany Watts bucket in the opening minute of the second quarter.
The Lady Marauders surged ahead with a 10-0 run. After Adams hit a turnaround jump shot in the lane, Kayla Bates scored on the fast-break that resulted from an Adams' steal at midcourt.
Bates and Adams followed with back-to-back 3-pointers that put BG ahead, 14-8.
Chelsea Benson's 3-pointer from the corner late in the half pulled Johnsonburg to within four points, and Kassa Kocjancic drained another 3 in the opening seconds of the second half to make it a one-point game, 17-16.
Guilfoyle's offensive struggles were a combination of Johnsonburg's defense and missed shots, BG coach Mark Moschella said.
"It was a little bit of both. If we could have made some perimeter shots, it might have loosened things up. They played a very active zone that plugged everything up," Moschella said.
Johnsonburg (17-9) scored just two points the rest of the third quarter and only 10 in the entire second half as BG slowly pulled away.
"We had some turnovers at bad times and went through a couple scoring droughts," Johnsonburg coach Mike Zilkofski said. "I told the team 'I've never been prouder of you. You accomplished a lot and not to hang your heads low.' This team did something that hasn't been done in 20 years. It's been a wonderful season."
The Lady Marauders outscored Johnsonburg 10-2 over the final seven minutes of the third quarter for a 27-18 lead.
The Ramettes cut the Guifoyle lead to six points early in the fourth quarter on a Rhianon Fowler trey before BG reeled off nine straight points for a 37-22 lead.
"Alyssa McGhee came off the bench and did a good job pressuring their point guard. That really sparked us in the fourth quarter," Moschella said. "We did a real good job on defense and rebounding the basketball, but our transition offense was too slow getting down the court, which let them set up in their zone."
Elyssa Ehredt finished with 10 rebounds, Brittany Boslet grabbed six, and Adams added five.
Watts was the only Ramette to score in double digits with 10 points. She also had nine rebounds.
JOHNSONBURG (26): Fowler 2 0-0 5, Benson 2 2-2 7, Kocjancic 1 1-2 4, Watts 3 4-6 10, Polaski 0 0-0 0, Imbrogno 0 0-0 0, Hefright 0 0-0 0, McAlee 0 0-0 0, Rowles 0 0-0 0. Totals - 8 7-10 26.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (47): Ehredt 2 1-2 5, Bates 4 1-2 10, Boslet 0 0-0 0, Stessney 2 0-0 4, Adams 8 4-4 21, Miller 1 1-4 3, Craig 1 0-0 2, McGhee 1 0-0 2, Luciano 1 0-0 2. Totals - 19 7-12 47.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Johnsonburg6 7 5 8 - 26
Bishop Guilfoyle4 13 10 20 - 47
3-point goals: Johnsonburg 3 (Fowler, Benson, Kocjancic); Bishop Guifoyle 2 (Bates, Adams).
Records: Johnsonburg (17-9); Bishop Guilfoyle (25-2).