BG girls find boost after injury
GREENSBURG — The Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School Lady Marauders survived a character test in Thursday night’s PIAA Class 2A second-round girls basketball playoff game against District 10 champion West Middlsex at Hempfield Area High School.
And no player showed more character than freshman forward Jamison Consiglio.
Pressed into service for the second half after senior forward Anna Audley sustained a shoulder injury in the second quarter, Consiglio scored six big points off the bench and also played solid defense, to help the Lady Marauders (23-4) advance to Saturday’s quarterfinal round with a 57-49 victory.
Senior guard Lili Benzel scored a game-high 29 points while hitting seven 3-point shots for BG, which will face District 6 champion Bishop McCort on Saturday at a time and site to be determined.
“It was a tough matchup to begin with, and when Anna went out with a shoulder injury, it called for somebody to step up for us, and Jamison did one heck of a job on both ends of the floor for us,” Bishop Guilfoyle coach Mark Moschella said. “She had the assignment to guard one of their best players (junior guard Delaney Dogan), and she did well with that, and she also scored six much-needed points.”
Audley injured her right shoulder after falling to the floor in the second quarter, and returned briefly in the third quarter, but had to ice the shoulder down as she finished the game on the bench after grabbing seven rebounds.
“Anna Audley fell and pulled something in her shoulder, and we don’t know what her condition is right now,” Moschella said. “(Senior guard) Karis Taddei picked up her fourth foul in the third quarter, and we needed somebody to step up, and that somebody was Jamison.”
With BG leading, 27-22 at halftime, Consiglio hit a pair of third-quarter free throws to make it 29-22. She added a putback field goal later in the third quarter to stake the Marauders to a 31-26 lead, and her baseline jumper midway through the fourth quarter gave BG a 43-35 edge and some breathing room.
“It was a good opportunity to be playing basketball with the older girls (seniors) before they went away (graduated),” Consiglio said. “I was just trying to do my part to get the team to work together so that we could win this game.”
Benzel did more than her share as well, scoring over half of BG’s 57 points and helping the Lady Marauders keep West Middlesex (21-6) at bay in the fourth quarter.
After freshman forward Makenna White’s transition layup drew West Middlesex to within 33-32 with 1 minute left in the third quarter, Benzel hit a huge 3-pointer from the top of the circle to give BG a 36-32 lead and some much-needed momentum heading into the fourth period.
“We needed a big play like that to slow us down and give us some confidence, and I think that did it for us,” Benzel said. “I’m really proud of my teammates. We worked hard together. This is a team game.”
BG also got a solid game from senior forward Darcy Lee, who chipped in 14 points. Benzel’s 3-point bank shot put BG ahead, 39-32, early in the fourth quarter, and after West Middlesex drew to within four points, 49-45, on a bucket by White, who had a team-high 18 points, BG stepped back in front, 53-47, on Benzel’s field goal and two free throws in the final minute.
“Bishop Guilfoyle is a good team, and Benzel is amazing,” West Middlesex coach Mike Williams said. “We haven’t seen a guard like her in Mercer County.
“I don’t think we shot the ball very well,” said Williams, whose team converted 21-of-44 floor shots and got 12 points from Dogan. “Hat’s off to BG. They’re a well-coached team.”
The Lady Marauders now face diocesan rival McCort in what should be a barnburner of a quarterfinal on Saturday. McCort won a regular-season meeting between the two schools in Johnstown.
“It’s not going to be easy to play McCort,” Benzel said. “They’re a familiar team, and they’re a good team. We’re going to have to come out determined and focused.”
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (57): Taddei 0 4-4 4, Benzel 9 4-4 29, Jennings 1 2-4 4, Audley 0 0-0 0, Lee 5 3-6 14, Miller 0 0-0 0, Labriola 0 0-0 0, Consiglio 2 2-2 6. Totals — 17 15-20 57.
WEST MIDDLESEX (49): Dogan 3 5-8 12, Elsey 2 0-0 5, Murray 0 0-0 0, MacKay 4 0-0 8, Staruch 2 0-0 4, White 9 0-18, Slater 0 0-0 0, Franks 0 0-0 0, Rupert 1 0-0 2. Totals — 21 5-9 49.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Guilfoyle 15 12 9 21 — 57
West Middlesex 8 14 10 17 — 49
3-point goals: Bishop Guilfoyle 8 (Benzel 7, Lee); West Middlesex 2 (Dogan, Elsey).
Records: Bishop Guilfoyle (23-4); West Middlesex (21-6).
Officials: Katyln Tortorice, Dale Eglass, Jim Price.