Another night, another victory for the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School boys basketball team.
This time their opponent, or should one say victim, was the Richland Rams, and the Marauders extended their win streak to seven games after defeating their Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference foe, 54-45, in the Pleasant Valley Gymnasium Wednesday night.
The Rams held a 9-8 lead after one quarter, but junior C.J. Fulare had a strong second quarter for the Marauders, making a pair of treys within a two-minute span, the first coming with 5:48 left and tied the game at 13-13. On the following two possessions, the senior connection of Brandon Drenning and Zach Patterson made a jumper and a layup, respectively.
After the Rams' junior guard Kyle Flick ended the 7-0 run with a layup, Fulare connected from long distance again - making the Bishop Guilfoyle lead 20-15. Flick's trey cut the Rams deficit to just 2, but Drenning took over for the rest of the quarter, draining a pair of threes in a 90-second time-frame, allowing the Marauders to take a 30-20 lead into the locker room.
Richland's defense came out in the third quarter looking much stronger after its poor performance in the second, holding the Marauders to just five points.
Bishop Guilfoyle's lone field goal - a layup by 6-foot-1 senior Tyler Koehle - came with 5:45 left in the frame. After that, Flick scored three straight baskets and Aaron Miller scored back-to-back treys, and all of a sudden, the ballgame was tied at 34-34. The Rams outscored the Marauders 4-1 for the remainder of the third and took a 38-35 lead going into the fourth.
"We were very flat tonight," Bishop Guilfoyle coach Chris Drenning said. "And that's not usually us. But give Richland credit for that."
After Sam McCloskey began the fourth with a field goal and Patterson made both of his attempts from the charity stripe, Damon Rickens followed with a 3-ball that gave the Marauders a 42-38 lead.
Following a bucket by Patterson, McCloskey made his only trey of the game, giving his team a 47-41 advantage. Once again, foul shooting was a problem for the Marauders, making 14-of-21 on the game, but made them down the stretch when needed.
Following an intentional foul call on Richland and the ensuring technical foul on a Ram player who argued the call, Patterson and Drenning both made 1-of-2, the Marauders made all four of their foul shots they attempted to seal the deal.
"Sam McCloskey came off the bench tonight and gave us a lot of energy," Drenning said. "We made just enough shots tonight to win."
Flick finished with a game-high 17 points, and his coach, Greg Burke, talked glowingly about him.
"He usually is our leading scorer," Burke said of the junior guard. "He's just an exceptional player."
The Rams fell to 7-6 on the season and will host Bishop Carroll Friday.
RICHLAND (45): Flick 8 0-1 17, Shertzer 3 0-0 7, Miller 4 0-0 11, Shaffer 1 2-4 4, Civis 1 2-2 4, Niel 0 0-2 0, Joy 1 0-0 2, Solarczyk 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 4-9 45.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (54): Drenning 4 1-2 11, Irwin 2 6-9 10, Rickens 1 0-0 3, Patterson 3 5-6 11, McCloskey 3 0-2 7, Koehle 2 2-2 6, Fulare 2 0-0 6, Nardelli 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 14-21 54.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Richland9 11 18 7 - 45
Bishop Guilfoyle8 22 5 19 - 54
3-point field goals: Richland 5 (Flick, Shertzer, Miller 3). Bishop Guilfoyle 6 (Drenning 2, Fulare 2, McCloskey, Rickens).
Records: Richland (7-6); Bishop Guilfoyle (12-2).
JV: Bishop Guilfoyle, 60-33. High scorers Kutchman, R, 18; Gormely, BG, 11.