Lady Royals end BG’s season
INDIANA – With 30 seconds to play and Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic down by one point, Lady Marauder fans got to see something they’ve become very accustomed to over the past four years.
Halee Adams took the ball, shredded the defense and created an open layup for herself.
Only, this time, the ball rolled off the rim.
Vincentian Academy pulled in the rebound, made four free throws in the final 25 seconds, and eliminated Bishop Guilfoyle in the PIAA Class A semifinals, 45-40, at Indiana High School on Tuesday.
When the Lady Marauders emerged from the locker room for the final time following the game, Adams and fellow seniors Devin Stessney and Kayla Bates spread themselves over different parts of the gym to be consoled by family members. The moment was in stark contrast to the familiar post-game team hugs and group celebrations associated with BG’s senior class over the past four years.
“I spent the best four years of my life playing for BG,” Stessney said. “It ending tonight is so sad, because each of these girls are my best friends, and now we’re all going to go our separate ways.”
Bishop Guilfoyle jumped out to an 8-2 lead on 3-pointers by Brittany Boslet and Stessney, but then Vincentian took over the game.
Maia Joiner made a layup with 2:54 to play in the first quarter that began a 35-15 Lady Royal run that was capped by Kiersten Elliott’s jumper with 2:47 to play in the third quarter that gave Vincentian a 37-23 lead.
“It was the first half that did us in,” Bishop Guilfoyle coach Mark Moschella said. “It wasn’t a shot at the end of the game. It was one of those things where Vincentian did a real nice job in the first half, and we just didn’t attack.”
Adams connected on a pair of free throws to cut the Lady Marauders’ deficit to 12 heading into the fourth quarter.
It turned out to be just a prelude to a big final performance from the former all-state senior.
Adams began the fourth with a three-point play, and after Alexis Craig made a layup, Adams stole a pass for a layup of her own and drained a 3-pointer with 3:24 to play that made the score, 39-37 Vincentian.
“It was just heart,” Adams said. “We knew we were down and had to do everything we possibly could to win, and that’s what we tried to do.”
The Lady Royals came up empty on their next possession, and Alyssa McGhee, the only underclassman that played for BG, found Craig under the basket. Craig made a layup while being fouled and hit the free throw to give the Lady Marauders their first lead since the first quarter, 40-39, with 2:43 to play.
“Alexis stepped up for us big time,” Stessney said. “She played so well, and it was all you can ask for.”
After fighting back from a 14-point deficit and capping a 15-0 run to finally recapture the lead, it was gone in six seconds.
Torrieonna Cash dribbled the length of the court and hit a contested layup to give Vincentian a 41-40 lead.
“I knew they were a senior team and that they’d make a run,” Vincentian coach Ron Moncrief said. “That shot to give us the lead back was important for our confidence. We’re young, so we really needed that basket to stop the bleeding.”
Cash’s layup turned out to be the only Vincentian field goal of the fourth quarter, but it was just enough.
The Lady Marauders had several chances to reclaim the lead but couldn’t come through.
BG turned it over with 1:47 to play but got the ball back still down one. Boslet’s 3-pointer with 50 seconds left rimmed out, and Bishop Guilfoyle was forced to foul Cash.
The freshman missed her free throw, but Adams couldn’t find the bottom of the net on her final drive to the basket.
“I think about every little mistake throughout the whole game,” Bates said. “It’s not just the last play. There were little mistakes the whole game that cost us, but we played our hardest when we made that comeback, and I’m proud that we were able to do that.”
Brenna Wise, a 6-foot-1 sophomore who finished with a game-high 18 points and 16 rebounds, connected on a pair of free throws with 25 seconds to play.
Craig got a wide open look from beyond the arc with BG down three, but her shot glanced off the rim, and Abbey Bartoszewicz, who had left the game before halftime with a bloody mouth, made two free throws to ice the game.
“You have to be good, and you have to have a little luck,” Moschella said. “Look, the ball rolled around that rim a little bit tonight and just didn’t go through for us.”
As BG’s five senior starters, Adams, who finished with a team-high 16 points, Bates, Stessney, Boslet and Elyssa Ehredt walked off the court for the final time, an era ended at the school.
“I told them I wasn’t even going to talk about the basketball game,” Moschella said. “They were on the state championship floor twice in their career, won four district championships, won the Laurel Highlands conference, several tournaments and everything else. To measure it on not getting to Hershey [for the state championship] wouldn’t be fair to this group.”
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (40): H. Adams 6 3-5 16, Bates 3 0-0 7, Stessney 2 1-2 7, Ehredt 1 0-0 2, Boslet 1 0-0 3, Miller 0 0-0 0, Craig 2 1-1 5, McGhee 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 5-8 40
VINCENTIAN ACADEMY (45): Wise 5 7-10 18, Al. Bartoszewicz 1 0-0 2, Ab. Bartoszewicz 4 3-3 12, Cash 3 0-1 7, Key 0 0-0 0, Joiner 2 0-0 4, Elliott 1 0-0 2, Marusic 0 0-0 0, Galbraith 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 10-14 45
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Guilfoyle 12 5 10 13 – 40
Vincentian Academy 15 11 13 6 – 45
3-pointers: Bishop Guilfoyle 5 (Boslet, Stessney 2, Bates, H. Adams); Vincentian Academy 3 (Ab. Bartoszewicz, Cash, Wise)
Records: Bishop Guilfoyle (27-3); Vincentian Academy (29-1)
Officials: Gary Faith, Greg Posteraro, Marvin Murtel