Lady Huskies set up rematch of D6 final
KITTANNING — Bishop Carroll Catholic coach Bob Gongloff has been his team’s harshest critic during the playoffs.
Despite cruising through the first two games in the PIAA Class 1A bracket, Gongloff said his team needed to show him more.
The Lady Huskies finally put a smile on their coach’s face Saturday at Armstrong High School.
Alyssa Martinazzi scored 22 points, Emily Kutskel added 10 points and 13 rebounds, and the Bishop Carroll bench filled in nicely when the starters ran into foul trouble as the Lady Huskies topped Kennedy Catholic, 58-48, in the 1A quarterfinals.
“It’s great to get to the last four,” Gongloff said. “The girls worked hard for this all year, and it paid off for them. We had a couple bad games there, but we’re back on the top of our game again, I think.”
Bishop Carroll will play Juniata Valley on Tuesday in a rematch of the District 6 1A championship for a chance to go to the state final.
“It’s good that we’re playing normal Husky basketball,” Martinazzi said. “We had a little bit of fun, but now it’s more where we want to be, which is good.”
The Lady Huskies looked well on their way to victory when Martinazzi’s layup in the second quarter put them ahead, 23-10.
Soon after, Kutskel picked up her second foul, and Kennedy Catholic got back into the game.
The Lady Eagles went on a 12-0 run fueled by eight points from Malia Magestro, who led all scorers with 23 points.
With Kennedy Catholic on the verge of tying the game on a Sophia Berardi free throw, the Lady Eagles were called for a lane violation that wiped the free throw away.
Carroll scored the last three points of the half and stretched the lead to eight by the end of the third quarter.
“It was big for us that they never caught up,” Martinazzi said. “It helped us stay calm and keep our focus and carry that through the whole game.”
Kennedy Catholic pulled within five in the fourth quarter, but Bishop Carroll shot 21-of-24 from the foul line in the second half to keep a comfortable lead.
“We beefed up our schedule this year in preparation for games like this,” Kennedy Catholic coach Justin Magestro said. “We were hoping to get to the Western Finals, but we were playing a really good team. My hat is off to Bishop Carroll. That’s a great group of young ladies that are very skilled, disciplined and very well coached. When you run into teams like that, you have to be at your best, and we didn’t get to the line enough to win.”
Anna Haigh added nine points for Bishop Carroll, including a 6-for-6 performance at the charity stripe. Kate and Mara Yahner, along with Maria McConnell, combined to provide five points off the bench and filled in admirably after Kutskel and Haigh ran into foul trouble.
“They really stepped it up,” Martinazzi said. “We really had a great team effort tonight, and we stayed poised and calm. Coach always tells us the only one who can beat us is ourselves.”
Martinazzi managed just one field goal in the second half after a defensive adjustment to try and limit her scoring, but the other Lady Huskies filled the void.
“We know we can score with other players,” Gongloff said. “If they take Alyssa away, we know other players can score. We get box and one a lot against Alyssa, but her teammates always come through.”
Though Kennedy Catholic had two 6-foot players in the paint, Kutskel out-muscled them throughout the game.
“We’re 100 percent better when Emily is playing like she did today,” Gongloff said. “She’s a dominant force in the paint, and when she goes after those rebounds like she did today and really gets after it, it’s huge. I was really proud of her.”
KENNEDY CATHOLIC (48): Magestro 8 2-2 23, McKnight 5 0-0 10, Utlak 0 0-0 0, Berardi 3 2-5 10, Figuly 2 0-0 4, Schuller 0 1-2 1, Suhar 0 0-0 0. Totals — 18 5-9 48.
BISHOP CARROLL (58): Borlie 0 2-2 2, Martinazzi 7 6-8 22, Divido 3 4-6 10, Haigh 1 6-6 9, Kutskel 3 4-4 10, K. Yahner 0 0-2 0, McConnell 1 0-0 2, M. Yahner 1 1-2 3. Totals — 16 23-30 58.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Kennedy Catholic 10 12 13 13 — 48
Bishop Carroll 13 13 17 15 — 58
3-point goals: Kennedy Catholic 7 (Magestro 5, Berardi 2); Bishop Carroll 3 (Martinazzi 2, Haigh).
Records: Kennedy Catholic (20-6); Bishop Carroll (25-2)
Officials: Rodney Brumbaugh, Don Gibson, Craig Knupp