Loss doesn’t hinder growth of Lady Huskies

EBENSBURG – Bishop Carroll girls basketball coach Bob Gongloff used Friday’s key Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference Section 1 matchup against Forest Hills as a midseason test.

After a sluggish start, the Huskies rebounded in the second half with a valiant comeback.

However, Forest Hills rebounded from its first loss of the season by making a few key plays late to secure a 46-41 victory.

“We’re upset about the loss, but it was a learning experience,” Gongloff said. “I thought the girls learned a lot about themselves tonight. We were one possession away. If we could have gotten that last shot, who knows what would have happened. Everything was going the way we hoped, but it just didn’t fall our way at the end, that’s all.”

Forest Hills led throughout the contest and possessed a 29-14 advantage with 5:19 left in the third quarter. That was when the Lady Huskies found their shooting touch. Lea Sammarco made two free throws and a 3-pointer to pull within 29-19. Alyssa Martinazzi and Jourdan Williams followed with a trey and layup, respectively, to trail just 34-24 going into the fourth.

Sophomore standout Courtney Cecere, who scored a game-high 20 points, made a 3-pointer midway through the fourth to give FH a 40-28 lead. Bishop Carroll responded with a 9-0 run to trail by just three with 1:50 to go. Three-pointers by Britt Krug and Courtney Link as well as a Sammarco layup gave the Huskies life. Four treys in the second half helped BC scratch and claw their way back into the game.

“It was just a matter of getting the open shots,” Gongloff said. “We work on our 3-point shooting all the time. We’ll take whatever they want to give us.”

Forest Hills appeared to be content playing keep away. But Jill Scott was left open, and the Saint Francis commit buried a long jumper to lead 42-37 with 1:04 left.

Martinazzi made a pair of free throws to make it a one possession game. With 25 ticks left, she had open space, but her trey fell just short.

Cecere knocked down both free throws to expand the lead to five with 21 seconds left. Sammarco followed with a coast-to-coast layup, and BC fouled to send FH’s Calli Smith to the line. Smith missed both free throws with 11.7 seconds left, but Alyssa Peretin came down with a crucial rebound. Peretin calmly made both free throws to seal a victory for the Rangers.

“We called it the ‘Bishop Week’ because we had Bishop Guilfoyle and Bishop Carroll,” Forest Hills coach Carol Cecere said. “We had to get one of the Bishops. We knew it was going to be a battle. We came out and played great that first half. They battled back and then they just put up 3s and they went in.”

Early on, it was Forest Hills’ defensive intensity combined with BC’s nerves that gave FH a 23-14 halftime lead. The hosts almost had as many turnovers (13) as points in the first 16 minutes.

“We just needed to take care of the ball better,” Gongloff said. “I think they were a little nervous going into the game. They proved a point today that we’re as good as anybody in our conference.”

Link led the Huskies with 10 points.

FOREST HILLS (46): C. Smith 2 0-2 4, Peretin 1 2-5 4, Scott 3 1-2 7, Cecere 5 7-9 20, Gregorich 3 1-2 7, Stigers 1 0-0 2, Walls 1 0-0 2, Rok 0 0-0 0, Delusa 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 11-20 46.

BISHOP CARROLL (41): Krug 3 0-0 8, Martinazzi 1 4-4 7, Link 4 0-0 10, Sammarco 3 2-2 9, Williams 3 1-3 7, Divido 0 0-2 0, Kutskel 0 0-2 0, Borlie 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 7-13 41.


Forest Hills11 12 11 12 – 46

Bishop Carroll7 7 10 17 – 41

3-point field goals: Forest Hills 3 (Cecere 3); Bishop Carroll 6 (Krug 2, Link 2, Martinazzi, Sammarco).

Records: Forest Hills (10-1, 2-1 LHAC Sect. 1); Bishop Carroll (11-2, 3-1 LHAC Sect. 1).

Officials: Bill Peffer, Rich Gergley, Mike Andrews.

JV: Forest Hills 30-26, High scorers-Rok, FH, 8; Borlie, Kutskel, Simmons, Springer, BC, 5 each.