Turnovers, decisions costly for Lady Marauders
By Rick Weaver
For The Mirror
CLYMER — Bishop Guilfoyle coach Mark Moschella has coached enough girls’ basketball to have seen this coming.
A young developing team came away from Bishop McCort with a hard-earned victory Friday night, only to take a bus trip the following afternoon for a non-conference game against one of the top teams in the Heritage Conference.
Turnovers and what Moschella admitted were bad decisions proved to be costly in the Lady Marauders’ 45-40 loss to the Penns Manor Lady Comets at Penns Manor High School.
The loss ended Bishop Guilfoyle’s winning streak at three. The Lady Marauders had won six of their previous seven games.
“I don’t know if we were a half a step slow from coming off last night’s game or not,” Moschella said, “but at times it seemed like we were half a step away from them.”
Penns Manor, which entered the day a half-game behind conference-leading Blairsville, forced 15 turnovers in a quick-paced game. Moschella expects his team, which has learned on the fly, to learn something more from its matchup against one the top teams in District 6.
“You learn that you’ve got to take care of the basketball (and) trust your teammates,” Moschella said. “We’ve got a group of kids that have great attitudes. They’ll learn from the game that we won last night, and they’ll learn tonight from the game that we lost.”
The calendar might still show Jan. 21, but Penns Manor coach Jason Miloser was not bashful in agreeing that this was a signature win for the Lady Comets. He is also sure both teams will be in district title contention come playoff time.
“Any time you beat a team with the caliber of Bishop Guilfoyle, it is a great win,” he said. “We told the girls it’s a great win, we’re going to enjoy it. But we know there is still a lot of work ahead for us. And we’ve got to keep taking it one game at a time.
“They’re a great team. If we’re going to reach our goals, we’ll probably see them again. So, we’ve got to keep working hard and keep getting better because they definitely will.”
Bishop Guilfoyle jumped out to a 10-4 lead midway through the opening period as a subdued crowd settled in during a bright Saturday afternoon. That was the Lady Marauders’ largest lead of the day.
Miloser would have preferred to see his team start out in a more robust fashion, especially against a proven program.
“Against a great team like what Bishop Guilfoyle is, you can’t afford to start slow,” he said.
A 3-point field goal and a free throw by Autumn Fennell preceded a lay in by Abby Tomayko that tied the score. Fennell then hit a jump hook before the buzzer to put the Lady Comets ahead, 12-10.
The game seesawed through the second quarter. Penns Manor senior Maddie Weaver hit three of four 3-point field goal attempts in the period to prevent Bishop Guilfoyle from pulling away. The first half ended in a 26-all tie.
Turnovers proved to be the Lady Marauders’ biggest problem, to be sure.
“We made some decisions here that needed to be better,” Moschella said. “We (also) had some great looks at the end, two or three open shots that we just didn’t get to fall.”
Penns Manor, meanwhile, worked the ball around the perimeter before finding entry passes inside against Bishop Guilfoyle’s physical man-to-man defense.
“When you play a physical team that plays great man defense,” Miloser said, “they’re going to put a lot of pressure on you. So, you’ve got to apply the same pressure back and look to make drives to the hoop.”
It is small wonder that Bishop Guilfoyle was called for 14 total fouls to the Lady Comets’ eight. Aliyah Labriola took all three free throw attempts for the Lady Marauders, who were never in the bonus. Labriola led the visitors from the Laurel Highlands Conference with 12 points.
Bishop Guilfoyle never led in the second half. A nifty feed from Kyra Kelly to Labriola helped the Lady Marauders tie the score at 30-30 with 5:03 to play in the third quarter. A 3-point field goal by Lauren Dumm and two made free throws by Fennell put Penns Manor back in front, 35-30.
“We traded blows all game long. It was a great game where both teams went back and forth,” Miloser said. “Both teams made runs. And we were fortunate that we were able to make the plays down the stretch to get the win.”
Sophia Warner’s 3-pointer with 2:58 left drew Bishop Guilfoyle within one, 41-40. It also proved to be the last points the Lady Marauders would score.
“We had our chances and we just didn’t make the quality shots we need to make in the fourth quarter,” Moschella said.
The Lady Comets made seven of 16 free throws and failed on the front end of three one-and-one opportunities. Two more made free throws by Fennell with 38.2 seconds remaining, however, made the game a two-possession affair.
Weaver led Penns Manor with 11 points, followed by Fennell (10).
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (40): Kelly 3 0-0 7, Labriola 5 2-3 12, Crider 3 0-0 8, Warner 1 0-0 2, Haigh 2 0-0 6, Consiglio 2 0-0 5, Kiesswetter 0 0-0 0, Brunner 0 0-0 0. Totals — 16 2-3 40.
PENNS MANOR (45): Dumm 2 0-2 6, Smith 2 2-3 6, Tomayko 2 0-1 4, Bagley 4 0-0 8, Fennell 2 5-7 10, Weaver 4 0-0 11. Totals — 16 7-13 45.
SCORE BY QUARTERS:
Bishop Guilfoyle 10 16 9 5 — 40
Penns Manor 12 14 11 8 — 45
3-point field goals: Bishop Guilfoyle 6 (Crider 2, Haigh 2, Kelly, Consiglio), Penns Manor 6 (Weaver 3, Dumm 2, Fennell).
Officials: Paul Tatarko, Robert Mervis, Jim Emminger.
Team records: Bishop Guilfoyle (9-5), Penns Manor (13-2).
JV score: Bishop Guilfoyle, 28-27.