INDIANA - The freshman and sophomores carry the equipment for a lot of high school basketball teams, but apparently that's not the case with the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic girls.
Before the Lady Marauders' PIAA Class A second round playoff game, Halee Adams and Kayla Bates waited at the door of the Indiana Area High School gym with water bottles stacked up to their faces.
Maybe it was just to get the BG all-state duo ready, because, whenever the Lady Marauders needed it on Wednesday night, Adams and Bates were right there to pick the team up, too.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
The BG girls exit the court at Indiana High School following their second-round win over Serra Catholic in the Class A playoffs.
With the playoffs in gear, both players scored well above their season average. Adams fired in a game-high 21 points, while Bates chipped in with 18 as the Lady Marauders moved back into the state quarterfinals after a one-year absence by beating District 7 runner-up Serra Catholic, 62-50.
BG, which took control of the game with a 21-0 first-half run and held off a couple of Lady Eagle charges over the last two quarters, next will play District 9 champion Clarion, a 61-59 winner against Conemaugh Township in the first game of the doubleheader at Indiana, on Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
"In the regular season, I want to get everyone involved, get them their shots as much as possible and play kind of laid back. But, when I have to step up, I have an idea when to do it. Everyone says I wait until the end of the game, but I don't know," said Adams, who was averaging 16.1 points coming in but surpassed the 20-point mark for the third straight game.
Adams didn't wait until the end in helping propel BG to its 25th win in 27 starts but her timing was impeccable. When Guilfoyle went almost the first three minutes without scoring, it was Adams making a long pass to Devin Stessney for a layup and the first two of her 12 points. During the big run that put Guilfoyle ahead by 19, Adams scored 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
After not even attempting a shot in the first 4:25 of the third quarter as Serra cut the difference down to six, Adams went on an 82-second tear in which she scored four points, made a steal and forced a Serra airball in getting the Lady Marauders back up by double digits.
She finished with nine rebounds, five assists and three steals and also came from behind to emphatically block a shot out of bounds in the fourth quarter after Katie Sieg had picked her pocket at midcourt.
"What a great player," Serra coach Bill Cleary said of Adams. "We made two nice runs at them, but she made a shot every time that just stopped our run."
Bates scored 15 in the second half. She came into the game scoring at a 10.0 clip, down almost three points from last year when she was all-state and the Mirror player of the year. But she, like Adams, knew that sometimes being completely unselfish at this point in the season can be counter-productive.
"Getting into the playoffs, I do need to step up and help my team. Halee's a huge part of our offensive game, but, between the two of us, I think it's a lot better," Bates said.
Adams was first-team all-state and the Mirror player of the year two years ago.
"You can't play a defense where you are favoring both. Both of them have to be at the top of their game, and today was a great example of seeing both of them at the top of their game," Bishop Guilfoyle coach Mark Moschella said.
Bates had three blocks in the first half, as well.
"I always think defense creates offense, and that's a huge part for me. And I love blocking shots," Bates said with a giggle. "It's awesome."
Serra (24-4) scored the game's first four points and led 6-4 before Guilfoyle went on its spurt that started at 3:36 of the first quarter and ended at the 4:54 mark of the second.
"We weren't getting back on defense. They hit shot after shot after shot," Serra coach Bill Cleary said. "We didn't knock down any shots during that run, either. We were stuck on six for an awful long time."
Danielle Dindak's 14 points off the bench topped Serra, while Sieg scored 12 and 6-foot Nicole Pero had 10 points and four blocks.
Moschella took Adams, who appeared to be slightly favoring the leg on which she had surgery last year, in the final minute.
"I'm fine," Adams said. "I'm playing a lot. I'm sore a little bit, but I'm used to it now."
SERRA CATHOLIC (50): Manfredi 1 0-0 3, K. Sieg 5 2-2 12, M. Sieg 3 1-3 7, Hoye 0 0-0 0, Pero 4 2-4 10, Czerwien 1 0-0 2, Muschar 1 0-0 2, Dindak 5 0-0 14, Webster 0 0-0 0. Totals - 20 5-9 50,
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (62): Bates 5 8-10 18, Boslt 2 0-0 4, H. Adams 8 4-4 21, Stessney 5 1-2 12, Ehredt 2 0-0 4, Craig 0 1-2 1, Miller 0 0-0 0, McGhee 1 0-0 2. Totals - 23 14-18 62.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Serra Catholic 6 9 18 16-50
Bishop Guilfoyle17 10 16 19-62
3-point goals: Serra Catholic 5 (Manfredi, Dindak 4); Bishop Guilfoyle 2 (Adams, Stessney).
Officials: Greg Garzel, Robet Boyer, Kenneth Knepp.
Team records: Serra Catholic (24-4); Bishop Guilfoyle (26-2).