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BG gets upset ‘W’ in semis over Hills

SIDMAN — Bishop Guilfoyle got off to a blistering start, and held off a late charge to stun previously unbeaten Forest Hills and earn a berth in the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference girls’ basketball championship game, thanks to a 57-48 semifinal upset victory over the Rangers on Thursday night.

The fourth-seeded Marauders (16-6) bolted out to a 15-point first-quarter lead as the top-seeded Rangers (22-1) hit just 1 of 13 field goal attempts in the opening period. Bishop Guilfoyle maintained that double-digit advantage until Forest Hills scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter to pull within 45-40.

However, timely buckets and key defensive stops by the Marauders thwarted the Rangers’ rally, and Bishop Guilfoyle subsequently held Forest Hills scoreless for the final 2:15 of the contest. That helped secure the win and advance to Saturday night’s conference title game at Bishop Carroll High School against Central Cambria.

“We dug deep on the defensive end to finish,” Marauders coach Kristi Kaack said. “We haven’t had a complete 32-minute game this year, but this was as close as we’re going to get. We were fantastic on defense and made them work for every single shot.”

Teresa Haigh had a game-high 18 points for Bishop Guilfoyle, while Leah Homan scored 15 and Sophia Warner added 10. Jamison Consiglio also contributed 10 rebounds.

“Their defense and their desire came out at the start and we couldn’t get anything going,” Forest Hills coach Carol Cecere said. “We battled back but couldn’t get over the hump.”

Maddy Cecere paced the Rangers with 14 points, with teammate Taylor Burda contributing 13.

The Marauders took command of the game in the last half of the first quarter. Bishop Guilfoyle put together a 14-0 run over the last 4:40 of the period, keyed by seven points from Homan and a Haigh 3-pointer to open up a 21-6 advantage.

Cecere hit three three-pointers in the second quarter to help the Rangers chip away at the deficit, and Lexi Koeck’s triple pulled Forest Hills within 26-17 at the 3:52 mark. However, the Marauders’ Blaise Kilmartin answered with a corner three to spark seven straight Bishop Guilfoyle points.

The teams went to the break with the Marauders up by 11, and the third quarter saw both squads trade baskets before Bishop Guilfoyle built a 45-33 edge heading into the final quarter.

The Rangers then scored seven straight in less than a minute, as Cecere’s layup was followed by a Burda three-pointer and Remi Smith’s steal and layup to close the gap to five.

Bishop Guilfoyle answered with a huge 3-pointer from Homan and a three-point play by Haigh to regain a 51-40 lead at the 5:40 mark. “Leah Homan is a sophomore but she’s not afraid to take big shots,” Kaack said.

Haley Croyle’s 3-pointer pulled the Rangers within six with 4:43 to play, but Homan again came up with a clutch bucket on the ensuing possession. Burda’s 3-pointer made it 54-48 with 2:15 left, but that proved to be the final Ranger points of the night, and the Marauders survived some difficulty at the free throw line down the stretch.

Both squads will advance to the District 6 playoffs next week. The Marauders host Homer-Center in a Class AA contest on Wednesday, while Forest Hills hosts Bedford in the Class AAAA opening round on Tuesday.

BISHOP GUILFOYLE (57): Homan 6 1-2 15, Brunner 2 2-7 6, Warner 4 2-5 10, Consiglio 2 1-4 5, Haigh 5 6-7 18, Kilmartin 1 0-2 3, Scipioni 0 0-0 0. Totals–20 11-27 57.

FOREST HILLS (48): R. Smith 2 0-1 4, Burda 4 2-3 13, J. Smith 2 0-0 5, Croyle 2 2-3 7, Cecere 5 0-2 14, Zajdel 1 0-0 2, Koeck 1 0-0 3. Totals–17 4-9 48.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Bishop Guilfoyle 21 12 12 12–57

Forest Hills 6 16 11 15–48

3-point goals: Bishop Guilfoyle 5 (Haigh 2, Homan 2, Kilmartin); Forest Hills 10 (Cecere 4, Burda 3, J. Smith, Croyle, Koeck).

Records: Bishop Guilfoyle (16-6); Forest Hills (22-1)

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