BC delivers in clutch

Lady Huskies hold off North Clarion

DUBOIS — Bishop Carroll’s best player came up big when she needed to.

After District 9 champion North Clarion had whittled a 23-point deficit to seven with just under 4 minutes to play, Alyssa Martinazzi hit back-to-back dagger short shots to push the lead back to 11 and allow the Lady Huskies to hold on for a 58-49 win in the PIAA Class 1A quarterfinals at DuBois Area High School Saturday.

“I expect her to take control of the game,” veteran Bishop Carroll coach Bob Gongloff said. “She made a couple of key baskets. She wanted the ball.”

For over a half, and really even through three quarters, it didn’t look like the Lady Huskies were going to need anyone to step up big.

Thanks to a 21-4 first quarter, Bishop Carroll led 33-13 at halftime and twice got the lead to 23 points early in the second half, the latest at 38-15 following a basket by Emily Kutskel 2:50 into the third quarter.

But North Clarion, behind star forward Tori Obenrader, who entered the game averaging 23.6 points and 15.8 rebounds per game, started to mount a comeback and closed within 12, 43-31, after an old-school three-point play by Cassie Wagner with just over 1 minute to go in the third quarter.

Bishop Carroll was able to push the lead back to 13, 44-31, after Adie Divido hit one of two charity shots with 28.3 to go in the quarter, and then got a basket from Martinazzi to go back up 15, 46-31, 1 minute into the fourth quarter.

Again, North Clarion didn’t go away.

A 3-pointer by Michaela Higgins followed by two free throws from Obenrader, an old-school three-point play by Obenrader, who finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds, and a 3-pointer from freshman Abby Gatesman cut the Lady Huskie’s lead to seven 49-42, with 4:25 to play.

“We got into some foul trouble,” Gongloff said. “And they made some shots, and ours didn’t fall.”

It was still a seven-point game, 51-44, after another Obenrader basket with 3:53 to go, but that’s when Martinazzi stepped up and hit two key buckets to push the lead back to double digits.

“We answered when we had to,” Gongloff said. “It’s win and advance at this time of year.”

North Clarion did cut the lead back to six, 55-49, with under 1 minute to go, but the She-Wolves couldn’t take advantage of a rare missed free throw by Martinazzi, allowing Bishop Carroll to hold on for the win.

The first quarter belonged to Bishop Carroll, as the Lady Huskies hit five 3-pointers, including two from Martinazzi, who finished with 21 points, and two from Divido, who ended with 18 tallies, to build the 21-4 lead.

“We like to take the 3,” Gongloff said. “If they are going to give it to us, we will take it.”

The Lady Huskies were able to control the first half in large part because they limited Obenrader to just two points in the opening half.

“We didn’t want her to go right,” Gongloff said. “We did a good job of limiting her going right in the first half, really in the second half as well. But she made some 3s and made her free throws in the second half.”

Bishop Carroll will now face fellow District 6 foe Juniata Valley in the semifinals Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. The Lady Huskies beat Juniata Valley in the District 6 title game.

“You want to keep it in the district if you can,” Gongloff said. “These are two quality programs, and I believe one of them will win the state title.”

NORTH CLARION (49): Higgins 2 1-3 7, Wagner 6 2-3 15, Gatesman 2 0-1 6, Obenrader 7 5-8 21, A. Carll 0 0-2 0, G. Carll 0 0-0 0, Schmader 0 0-0 0, Caldwell 0 0-0 0, Zacherl 0 0-0 0, Sherman 0 0-0 0, Manross 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 8-17 49.

BISHOP CARROLL (48): Borlie 1 0-0 3, Martinazzi 8 3-5 21, Dividio 6 1-4 18, K. Yahner 1 0-0 2, Borbroski 0 0-0 0, Rosenberger 0 0-0 0, Williams 1 1-2 3, Gittings 0 0-0 0, Blake 0 0-0 0, Haigh 2 0-1 4, Katskel 3 1-2 7. Totals — 22 6-14 58.

Score by Quarters

North Clarion 4 9 18 18 — 49

Bishop Carroll 21 12 11 4 — 58

3-point field goals: North Clarion 7 (Higgins 2, Obenrader 2, Gatesman 2, Wagner); Bishop Carroll 8 (Divido 5, Martinazzi 2, Borlie).