CRESSON - Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic's Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference Section I matchup with Penn Cambria turned into a six-minute battle Friday night.
And, thanks in large part to the contributions of a pair of 6-foot senior forwards, Megan Wheeler and Tori Shingler, Penn Cambria prevailed down that stretch.
Wheeler scored five points, including a key three-point play, and Shingler added two big field goals, as Penn Cambria broke a 33-33 tie by carrying the final six minutes, 9-3, en route to a 42-36 victory at the Penn Cambria High School gymnasium.
Mirror photo by Patrick?Waksmunski
Penn Cambria’s Megan Wheeler, who scored 13 points, puts up a shot over BG’s Annie Dombrowski during Friday’s game.
After Shingler dumped in senior guard Kaitlyn Krug's pass to the low block to put Penn Cambria up, 35-33, Wheeler came up with the big three-point sequence following a free throw by BG senior forward Annie Dombrowski.
Wheeler scored a putback off her own shot from the paint, and was fouled on the play with 2:57 left. She converted the free throw to put Penn Cambria ahead, 38-34.
"After that, I thought we were going to win,'' said Wheeler, a four-year starter. "We hadn't beaten BG in awhile, and it feels good. Tori's a very good post player, and Kaitlyn Krug kept feeding the ball to both of us tonight.''
Wheeler converted another rebound off her own shot from down low to give Penn Cambria a 40-34 lead.
Freshman Lili Benzel, who led all scorers with 14 points, scored a field goal to make it a 40-36 game, before Shingler got free underneath for another putback as time was running down to set the final at 42-36.
Both Wheeler, who had been recovering from an ankle injury, and Shingler, who was coming back from a concussion, were playing their first full games in two weeks, and both looked as fit as a fiddle Friday.
"We went out as a team tonight, we were strong, and we were ready,'' Shingler said. "We were confident, and we came out and kept pushing. This was definitely a good win for us.''
Penn Cambria, which improved to 13-6 overall and 6-2 in the section, carried the fourth quarter, 11-4 after trailing, 32-31 at the three-quarter mark. Wheeler led Penn Cambria with 13 points, and, like Shingler, grabbed nine rebounds. Krug added 10 points, including a pair of 3-point field goals.
"We have some seniors who have played a lot of basketball together,'' Penn Cambria coach Rodger Fair said. "They were pointing to this season, and they played like they wanted this game tonight. They deserved it.''
BG, which trailed 9-5 after one quarter and 20-17 at intermission, converted only four of 11 free throws and missed several scoring opportunities underneath the basket.
"It was disappointing,'' BG coach Mark Moschella said. "Our foul shooting was just horrible tonight, and that carried over to us missing a lot of easy layups. Penn Cambria played a real nice game, and it was one of those nights where things just didn't fall for us.''
Penn Cambria's height enabled the Lady Panthers to fashion a 34-26 edge on the boards. Besides the nine rebounds collected by both Wheeler and Shingler, senior forward Allie Vincent grabbed eight.
"Our kids played really hard, and we played long tonight,'' Fair said. "Eventually, our size took over.''
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (36): McGhee 1 0-0 2, Dombrowski 2 2-4 6, M. Adams 2 0-1 4, Benzel 6 2-4 14, Taddei 0 0-0 0, Irvin 0 0-2 0, Lewis 2 0-0 4, Scipioni 2 0-0 6. Totals - 15 4-11 36.
PENN CAMBRIA (42): Krug 4 0-0 10, Shingler 2 0-0 4, Vincent 2 0-0 4, Wheeler 6 1-1 13, Strittmatter 1 0-0 3, Williams 0 0-0 0, Little 1 0-0 2, Link 3 0-0 6. Totals - 19 1-1 42.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Guilfoyle5 12 15 4 - 36
Penn Cambria9 11 11 11 - 42
3-point goals: Bishop Guilfoyle 2 (Scipioni 2); Penn Cambria 3 (Krug 2, Strittmatter).
Records: Bishop Guilfoyle (13-4 overall, 5-2 in the Laurel Highlands Conference Section I); Penn Cambria (13-6 overall, 6-2 in the Laurel Highlands Conference Section I).
JV: Bishop Guilfoyle, 42-17. High scorers-Schipioni, BG, 14; Yusko, PC, 7.
Officials: Bob Gongloff, Tom Cunningham, Gary Scott.