BG girls showing prowess
In rolling to a pair of home-court mercy-rule victories on the past two consecutive nights, the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic Lady Marauders have enjoyed the best of two basketball worlds.
BG bolted out to quick leads in both games, which permitted head coach Kristi Kaack to substitute liberally.
The Lady Marauders went 11 players deep Friday night after bolting to a 15-0 lead out of the gates en route to a 65-19 Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference rout of Central Cambria at the Pleasant Valley gymnasium.
After rolling to a 76-37 conference victory over Bishop Carroll Catholic Thursday night, BG (3-0 overall, 2-0 conference) enjoyed another breather Friday while tuning up for a big conference showdown at unbeaten Forest Hills Monday night.
Junior guard Leah Homan scored a game-high 27 points for BG in Friday’s game, including 14 in the first quarter as the Lady Marauders enjoyed a 22-7 lead after one period.
“We know that the starters we’re bringing back this year have a lot of experience, but we’re also trying to get the kids who didn’t play a lot last year some experience,” Kaack said. “I was able to get 11 players into the game tonight, and it’s really been nice for the starters to rest their legs, and for some of the younger players to get their feet wet.”
BG got into the driver’s seat right off the bat Friday, as senior guard Sophia Warner opened the scoring with a 3-point shot from the left side, Homan followed with a 3-pointer from the right corner and a pullup jump shot from the key, and Warner cashed in a fast-break layup off a steal by senior guard Aurielle Brunner for a 10-0 Lady Marauders lead.
Warner’s 3-pointer from the left side, followed by another field goal by Homan, staked BG to the 15-0 advantage before Central Cambria (0-2 overall and in the conference) could get on the scoreboard.
“I was really happy with the start that we got, and our defense played great,” Kaack said. “We pressured the ball up top, and made it hard for them to see anything inside.”
Senior forward Teresa Haigh scored nine points and Brunner added seven in the second quarter, which BG carried, 22-10, to take a 44-17 halftime lead.
“Honestly, the quick start motivated us,” said Homan, whose 27 points Friday were just one shy of her single-game career high of 28 that she managed as a freshman two years ago in a game against Huntingdon. “We’re focused on being ready to go every game.
“We know what the standard is for our program, and we’re learning to match it every night.”
Haigh scored 12 points and Brunner 11 for BG, which converted 27 of 54 floor shots (50 percent) and held Central Cambria to a total of just two points in the entire second half.
“Bishop Guilfoyle is a good basketball team with a lot of good individual athletes who have a lot of experience,” Central Cambria coach Brittany Sedlock said. “But I’m proud of my girls. We showed a lot of fight, and a lot of energy, and we never quit playing over the entire 32 minutes.”
Senior guard Megan Stevens led Central Cambria with 12 points. Central Cambria made 7 of 29 floor shots (24 percent).
Kaack knows that the sledding will get much tougher Monday at Forest Hills, which is 2-0 this season and earned a trip to the PIAA Class 4A quarterfinals last March before the COVID-19 pandemic shut the tournament down.
“They’re going to be very good again,” Kaack said of Forest Hills. “Forest Hills is always a well-coached, well-disciplined team that plays together. It will be a tough matchup, for sure.”
Game notes: BG had a 23-20 edge in rebounds, despite the fact that junior Abby Walwro collected a game-high seven rebounds for Central Cambria … Central Cambria also plays next on Monday, hosting Somerset in a conference game.
CENTRAL CAMBRIA (19): Walwro 2 0-2 5, Moss 0 2-4 2, Ray 0 0-0 0, Woods 0 0-0 0, Stevens 5 0-0 12, Soyka 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Markovich 0 0-0 0, Pablic 0 0-0 0, Kudlawiec 0 0-0 0, Lockard 0 0-0 0. Totals – 7 2-6 19.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (65): Homan 11 2-2 27, Haigh 5 0-0 12, Brunner 4 3-5 11, Warner 3 0-1 7, Scipioni 1 0-0 2, Bagley 1 0-0 2, McClurkin 2 0-0 4, Quinn 0 0-0 0, Adams 0 0-0 0, Farabaugh 0 0-0 0, Cammarata 0 0-0 0. Totals – 27 5-8 65.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Central Cambria 7 10 2 0–19
Bishop Guilfoyle 22 22 13 8–65
3-point goals: Central Cambria 3 (Stevens 2, Walwro); Bishop Guilfoyle 6 (Homan 3, Haigh 2, Warner).
JV: Bishop Guilfoyle, 45-31. High scorers–Corrine Markovich, CC, 8; Bella Adams, BG, 11.
Officials: Bill Pfeffer, Joe Bilka, Craig Andros.