BG girls fall victim to cold spell

JOHNSTOWN – It was a cold night in Johnstown.

Not outside. It actually was a mild evening for mid-January in central Pennsylvania.

In the Bishop McCort Catholic High School, however, the Bishop Guilfoyle girls basketball team was enduring the polar vortex of perimeter shooting.

The Lady Marauders shot just 17.1 percent from 3-point range – 6-for-35 – and couldn’t get enough offense in other areas or deal with McCort’s inside strength and length and dropped a 54-39 Laurel Highlands Conference intersectional road game on Monday.

“We got open shots, 3-pointers. We just couldn’t knock them down tonight,” BG sophomore guard Macy Adams said.

Adams was the only Lady Marauder to reach double figures, scoring 13. Guilfoyle lost for just the second time in 13 starts.

Bishop Guilfoyle only took 18 shots from inside the arc, finishing 13-for-53 from the field against a McCort diamond-and-one designed to slow down Lady Marauder all-state sophomore guard Lili Benzel.

“You can’t win too many basketball games shooting 20 percent from the floor,” Guilfoyle coach Mark Moschella said. “If we hit probably two of three of those shots, I looked up at the board, we probably would have been within three points. Then they’ve got to change and do something different. Nobody ever stepped up. Somebody’s got to step up and make shots to make them make an adjustment.

“We didn’t to anything to make Bishop McCort adjust what their game plan was.”

Sophomore guard Haley Thomas led all scorers with 22 points for McCort, while Morgan Instone added 15 for the Lady Crushers, which outrebounded Guilfoyle by 13 in the first half and finished with a 42-30 advantage on the boards.

With Monday’s win, McCort raised its record to 10-2. The Lady Crushers have defeated two of the favorites to play for the District 6 Class A championship in seven days, having turned away Blairsville, 58-52, last week.

“It gave us a lot of confidence, because we had just beaten a big team. It helped a lot,” Thomas said. “The key was definitely our defense. Our three guards (that took turns guarding) Lili Benzel helped a lot, and we got out and covered the other girls that could have shot.”

After giving up the first four points of the game, McCort went on an 8-0 run and led the rest of the way. Guilfoyle closed to within 15-13 on an Adams’ trey in the first minute of the second quarter, but the Lady Crushers bolted to a 10-point lead over the next couple of minutes and took an 11-point lead into the half when Thomas finished on the break as the first-half clock expired.

“I told the girls we’d been a quiet 9-2,” McCort coach John Hahn said. “We did a great job on the Benzel girl. We’d worked on that for two days.”

Benzel was held to six points. She came out of the game limping noticeably after being fouled on a drive by Instone with 6:28 to play and never returned, but Moschella didn’t think it was too serious.

“She’s been playing with a bruised knee for a couple of weeks,” Moschella said. “She went down, and I thought it wasn’t worth the risk.”

Guilfoyle also played much of the game without forward Anna Audley, who picked up three first-half fouls and got her fourth in the first minute of the third quarter.

“It didn’t help us,” Moschella said. “She’s a powerful player. She gets a lot of offensive rebounds for us. The rebounding stats at halftime were heavy in favor of Bishop McCort. A lot of that has to do with Anna being on the bench.”

While admitting his team shot more 3s than usual, Moschella felt they were good open shots taken within the offense. There’s a chance the Lady Marauders and Lady Crushers could meet again in the LHAC championship game.

“We usually knock down the 3s most of the time,” Adams said. “I think it’s just something we have to focus on in practice, shoot more and just knock them down next time.”

Game notes: Guilfoyle coasted in the JV game, winning 58-14. Ryley Lewis led the Lady Marauders with 12 points, followed by Kierra Miller with 11 and Tessa Crider with 10. … Guilfoyle is at home for its next three games, hosting Johnstown on Thursday, Bellwood-Antis on Saturday and Cambria Heights next Monday. McCort is at Bishop Carroll on Thursday.

BISHOP GUILFOYLE (39): Adams 5 1-2 13, Benzel 2 0-0 6, Taddei 0 0-0 0, Audley 2 3-4 7, B. Lewis 1 3-4 5, Scipioni 0 0-0 0, R. Lewis 2 0-2 5, Crider 1 0-0 3. Totals – 13 7-12 39.

BISHOP MCCORT (54): Gibbons 1 0-0 2, Thomas 9 3-5 22, Miller 1 0-0 2, Instone 6 3-3 15, Wilson 3 1-2 7, McIntosh 1 0-0 2, Hajjar 1 0-0 2, Yingling 0 0-0 0, McGrath 1 0-0 2, Rhine 0 0-0 0. Totals – 23 7-10 54.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Bishop Guilfoyle13 6 8 12 – 39

Bishop McCort15 15 12 12 – 54

3-point goals: Bishop Guilfoyle 6 (Adams 2, Benzel 2, R. Lewis, Crider); Bishop McCort 1 (Thomas).

Records: Bishop Guilfoyle (11-2); Bishop McCort (10-2).

Officials: George Figura, Vicki Markiewicz, Don Moss.

JV: Bishop Guilfoyle, 58-14. High scorers-Ryley Lewis, BG, 12; Kelly Ingram, BM, 5.