Lower seed BG beats up on CC
EBENSBURG — After losing two of its last three games of the regular season, the Bishop Guilfoyle girls basketball team slid down to the fourth and final seed in the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference playoffs.
While it may have been a tough pill to swallow at first, it was possibly just the remedy the Lady Marauders needed.
After upsetting undefeated and top-seeded Forest Hills in the semifinal round Thursday, Bishop Guilfoyle played underdog yet again Saturday in the LHAC final and swept past No. 3 Central Cambria, 54-36, to take the conference crown.
“This means everything,” Bishop Guilfoyle coach Kristi Kaack said. “We started with Forest Hills, and we believed that we could beat them, even though they were a 22-0 team. We knew it was going to be a tough job, but I think once we won that game, these girls really started to believe that they could do it. I’m so proud of them.”
For the second-straight year under the new four-team conference playoff format, it was the final seeded team that won the conference title after Bishop Carroll won as a No. 4 last year.
“This is a crazy feeling,” said BG junior Theresa Haigh, who posted 20 points in the victory. “Our team is just so close this year — we’re like a big family. We play for each other. We believed in one another. We knew that we wanted this so bad, and we worked so hard for this.”
The Lady Marauders (17-6) made it look easy against Central Cambria. The Lady Devils just scored an upset on Thursday after knocking off No. 2 Cambria Heights.
Bishop Guilfyole jumped out to an early 6-1 lead just over one minute into the game, and for much of the first half, it dominated offensively.
Leah Homan led the Marauders with 21 points.
“We had girls on the team like Sophia (Warner) setting some really insane screens today,” Haigh said. “That gets kids open for shots. Then we have Jamison (Consiglio) crashing the boards and getting rebounds. It’s really just that team effort. Everyone has a role.”
Though she only netted four points, an X-factor for BG was the senior forward Jamison Consiglio.
Standing at 5-foot-10, Consiglio crashed the boards all night long and took away any second-chance opportunities for the Red Devils.
She recorded two blocks in the fourth quarter to help close out the game.
“Everyone has worked hard for this,” Consiglio said. “It’s not just one or two girls getting it done. All five girls on the court contribute for us.”
With Consiglio playing strong inside, the Marauders kept Central Cambria in check on the outside.
The Red Devils (16-7) missed five-straight 3-pointers in the first quarter and committed eight offensive-zone turnovers (10 overall) in just the first half.
“We focus a lot on our defense. We stress that our defense makes our offense,” Haigh said. “We know that if we can get it done on the defensive floor, we can get it done on the offensive floor.”
Central Cambria’s saving grace was senior Cassidy Bezek, who was the only Lady Red Devil to record a bucket in the first half.
She scored 16 of CC’s 18 first-half points, including a buzzer-beater from well into her own backcourt.
Bezek posted a game-high 25 points in the loss, but no other Red Devil scored more than three points.
“This was a rough one. I don’t think we played our best basketball by any means,” Central Cambria coach Brittany Sedlock said. “Credit to Bishop Guilfoyle- I think they played a great four quarters. It just wasn’t our day.”
Both teams qualified for the upcoming District 6 playoffs.
Bishop Guilfoyle hosts Homer Center Wednesday in the Class AA playoffs as Central Cambria travels to United Thursday in the Class AAA round.
“We have to go into districts with the same energy,” Haigh said. “We want to get it done this year.”
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (54): Homan 8 2-4 21, Haigh 7 2-2 20, Consiglio 2 0-0 4, Kilmartin 2 0-3 4, brunner 1 1-4 3, Warner 1 0-0 2, Scipioni 0 0-0 0, Wilson 0 0-0 0, Georgiana 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 5-13 54.
CENTRAL CAMBRIA (36): Bezek 9 4-9 25, Bopp 0 3-4 3, Szpala 1 0-0 3, Walwro 1 1-1 3, Stevens 1 0-0 2, Kudlawiec 0 0-0 0, Boyles 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 7-16 36.
SCORE BY QUARTER
Bishop Guilfoyle 13 11 19 11–54
Central Cambria 5 13 9 9–36
3-point field goals: Bishop Guilfoyle 7 (Haigh 4, Homan 3); Central Cambria 4 (Bezek 3, Szpala).
Records: Bishop Guilfoyle (17-6); Central Cambria (16-7)