Lady Marauders cruise in playoff opener
EBENSBURG – When youth battles experience, experience usually wins.
Even on off nights.
The Bishop Guilfoyle girls basketball team has plenty of experience, and even though the top-seeded Lady Marauders didn’t shoot particularly well Thursday night, they still did enough to earn a lopsided 53-27 victory over eighth-seeded United in the District 6 Class A quarterfinals at Central Cambria High School.
“I feel that we were flat tonight,” Bishop Guilfoyle coach Mark Moschella said. “I felt that we had energy early in the game, and I just felt that we just weren’t running things and executing things as well as we hoped.
“We didn’t shoot the basketball very well tonight. When you don’t shoot the ball well, it doesn’t make the offense look too good.”
The Lady Marauders (22-2) were just 17-of-44 (39 percent) from the floor, but their defense frustrated a very young Lady Lions offense.
United (12-12) – which has a roster of 10 players, five of which are freshmen – had only seven field goals on 43 attempts (16 percent).
The Lady Lions were 12-of-14 (86 percent) from the free-throw line.
The big difference in the game, though, was a second quarter that was completely dominated by Bishop Guilfoyle.
The Lady Marauders blew the game wide-open with a 14-2 run to end the first half and then opened the third quarter with a 6-0 spurt.
United didn’t reach double-digits until Eden Bloom hit the first of her two free throws at the 5:06 mark of the third quarter.
“We wanted to take it quarter-by-quarter,” United coach Lee Ann Ault said. “We just got emotional. When you play with that young group, that happens. It happened with us all year, and today was no exception. But I expect that with young kids.”
Kayla Bates led the Lady Marauders with 14 points despite fighting an illness, and Devin Stessney was 5-for-8 from the charity stripe on her way to 12 points.
Brittany Boslet and Halee Adams – who is still not back to 100 percent from her knee injury earlier this season – added eight points a piece.
“Definitely not the outcome we wanted, but Guilfoyle is a good team and you can’t take anything away from them,” Ault said. “We gave them everything we had tonight.
“We had a gameplan. We didn’t stick to it very well. It is what it is. We’ve come further that I think most thought we would.”
Bloom led all scorers with 19 points, scoring 17 of her team’s 18 second-half points.
And even though Bishop Guilfoyle cruised and was never threatened Thursday night, Moschella felt his team didn’t play as well as it could have in the second half.
“I felt we had good energy in the first half,” Moschella said. “I thought our defense set up a lot of good things for the offense. And then in the second half, it just seemed like we were pretty lethargic. This is the kind of game where you’ve got to have focus. I thought the focus was there in the first half. I feel that I have a disciplined basketball team.
“They’re going to have to step up and play four good quarters the rest of the way out because things get tougher as you go through the brackets.”
Bishop Guilfoyle will play fifth-seeded Penns Manor in Monday’s semifinals. The Lady Comets (16-7) upended fourth-seeded Conemaugh Valley, 63-48, on Thursday night.
“There are a lot of good teams left,” Moschella said. “I know that there’s a good team waiting for us [in the semifinals]. Hopefully we’ll come out and have the energy to go four good quarters.”
UNITED (27): Bloom 5-12 8-8 19, Mack 0-9 2-2 2, Walsh 1-14 1-2 3, Surike 1-1 0-0 2, Brilhart 0-7 1-2 1, Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 7-43 12-14 27.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (53): Ehredt 3-6 0-0 6, Bates 4-12 5-5 14, Boslet 3-7 0-0 8, Stessney 3-6 5-8 12, Adams 3-8 2-4 8, Miller 1-2 1-1 3, Craig 0-2 1-2 1, McGhee 0-0 1-2 1, Luciano 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 17-44 15-22 53.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
United2 7 8 10 – 27
Bishop Guilfoyle8 23 10 12 – 53
3-point goals-United 1-9 (Bloom), Bishop Guilfoyle 4-11 (Boslet 2, Bates, Stessney).
Records: United (12-12), Bishop Guilfoyle (22-2).