Two of the true heavyweights of girls high school basketball teams in the Mirror coverage area, regardless of size, in Bellwood-Antis and Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic squared off Tuesday night.
Bellwood-Antis, a District 6 Class AA squad, entered the game with a perfect 9-0 record, and had not even been tested in any of its games, cruising to a 21.75 scoring differential.
The Lady Marauders, a Class A school, saw their only loss come at the hands of the Hollidaysburg Tigers, a Class AAA team, in the season's opening weekend.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic’s Kayla Bates cleanly blocks a shot by Bellwood-Antis’ Bailey Swogger on Tuesday night at the Pleasant Valley gymnasium.
For the most part, the game lived up to the hype, but the Lady Marauders defeated the Blue Devils, 68-56, before a packed house at the Pleasant Valley gym.
"You can see why Bellwood was undefeated coming in," Bishop Guilfoyle coach Mark Moschella said. "It was a great high school game. Bellwood has a great starting lineup and a great bench."
The Blue Devils took a 14-10 lead after one quarter of play, when Lindsey Mercer drained a buzzer-beating trey to end the first quarter. The Lady Marauders outplayed the Blue Devils in the second quarter, outscoring them by a 23-13 margin. Bishop Guilfoyle tied the game for the first time when Kayla Bates made a traditional three-point play with 3:30 remaining in the quarter. Then Lady Marauder Halee Adams' layup less than a minute later gave her team its first lead, at 24-22.
Bellwood-Antis out-shot the Lady Marauders the whole game from long-range, making nine to just two for Bishop Guilfoyle. The Blue Devils made three of their 3s in that quarter alone, with point guard Ellen Crook, Bailey Swogger and Kelly Leamer all connecting on treys. If it were not for the Blue Devils heating up from beyond the arc, it could have been a much more sizable deficit for the Blue Devils than it was at the half (33-27).
It appeared the Lady Marauders were determined to knock out the Blue Devils right after the third quarter began, with 5-foot-9 senior Devin Stessney starting it out with a trey and scoring on a pair of layups within less than a two-minute span, taking the Lady Marauders to a 40-27 lead.
But the Blue Devils finished the quarter by going on an 8-2 run that was highlighted by Crook's second 3-pointer of the game. Twice the Blue Devils cut their deficit to just three points in the quarter, the first coming when Katy Leamer made a 3-pointer with 2:51 left and the second occurring on a trey by Leamer with 2:11 remaining.
The only problem was the immediacy in which the Lady Marauders answered back and in the way they did so. After the first Leamer trey, Adams responded with a traditional three-point play, while Elyssa Ehredt answered with a traditional three-point play of her own. The Lady Marauders were gold from the charity stripe to seal it. Moschella was proud of the way his team responded down the stretch.
"We had some more patience in those last five minutes of the game," Moschella said. "It allowed us to get some of the baskets in the paint that we got."
Bishop Guilfoyle was led in scoring by Adams, who finished the game with a game-high 23 points, but was joined in double-digit scoring by Ehredt (11), Kayla Bates (13) and Stessney (15).
Katy Leamer paced the Lady Devils with 22 points, including the team-high in 3-pointers. She has been a productive player so far this season for Bellwood.
"I've been telling anyone who will listen that Katy has turned into a complete player," Blue Devils coach Jim Swaney said.
BELLWOOD-ANTIS (56): Crook 2 0-0 6, Hollen 2 0-0 4, Ka. Leamer 9 2-4 22, Swogger 5 0-0 11, Damiano 1 1-2 3, Ke. Leamer 1 0-0 3, Mercer 2 0-0 5, Finn 1 0-0 2, Showalter 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 3-6 56.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE(68): Ehredt 4 3-3 11, Bates 4 5-5 13, Boslet 1 0-0 2, Stessney 5 3-3 15, H. Adams 10 3-5 23, Craig 0 0-0 0, Miller 2 0-0 4. Totals 26 14-16 68.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bellwood-Antis14 13 16 13 - 56
Bishop Guilfoyle10 23 15 20 - 68
3-point field goals: Bellwood-Antis 7 (Crook 2, Ka. Leamer 2, Swogger, Ke. Leamer, Mercer). Bishop Guilfoyle 2 (Stessney 2).
Records: Bellwood-Antis (9-1); Bishop Guilfoyle (8-1).
JV: Bishop Guilfoyle, 49-25. High scorers-E. Adams, BG, 16.