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BG looks strong early on

Bishop Carroll Catholic, the defending District 6 Class 1A girls basketball champion, has four starters back from last season and plenty of talent.

That is what made Thursday’s 76-37 loss to Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic at Pleasant Valley Gymnasium even more eye opening.

The Lady Marauders, who won the District 6 Class 2A title last season and made it to the PIAA quarterfinals before the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the tournament, have dropped down to Class 1A this season and established themselves as one of the biggest threats to Carroll’s crown Thursday.

“I give credit to my teammates. We push each other every day,” Bishop Guilfoyle junior Leah Homan said. “Our coaches push us, and we expect to see perfection. We know you can never really reach that, but it’s what we strive for. It’s honestly just been all the teammates pushing each other.”

Bishop Carroll started the game with a full-court press, and it bothered the Lady Marauders early as they committed five turnovers. Halfway through the quarter however, BG calmed down and went on an 18-1 run that put the game away.

“We want to press, and we want to push the tempo. That’s our mentality,” Bishop Carroll coach Chris DeGol said. “We want to get shots up, and we want to run. It worked early, but they started to break it. They are a veteran group of very talented and very skilled shooters.”

Homan scored 12 of her game-high 24 points in the first quarter.

“That’s the beauty of having experience with a veteran team,” Homan said. “We know when we make mistakes, we can calm down and settle back in and know it’s part of the game. Experience helps us out there.”

Though Homan, Teresa Haigh, Sophia Warner and Aurielle Brunner are all returning starters this season, all four players appear to have gotten stronger physically.

“We started a program two years ago, and I don’t think we saw a lot of growth necessarily last season, but this season we’re really seeing it,” Bishop Guilfoyle coach Kristi Kaack said. “We just have kids that have definitely put a lot more commitment into the weight room. You can see that for sure.”

Homan and Haigh, who scored 19 points, both had three 3-pointers.

The Lady Marauders also got nice contributions from their bench, led by Reagan McClurkin’s eight points.

“It’s funny to say, because we have the majority of our starting five back this year, but we’re such a different team than last year,” Kaack said. “The kids we lost last year filled roles that were so important to us, so we’re trying to find that and create depth too. We were really happy with what we got from the bench last night and with the starters and the way they played.”

Bishop Guilfoyle hosts Central Cambria tonight before traveling to Sidman on Monday for a big Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference showdown with fellow PIAA quarterfinalist (4A) from last year, Forest Hills.

Madison Ostinowsky led Bishop Carroll with 13 points, and Savannah Smorto added 12 points. Nine of BC’s 13 field goals were 3-pointers.

“(BG) has a ton of leadership, and they have been here before,” DeGol said. “They are one of the toughest teams in this conference. It was our first game, and it was just tough.”

BISHOP CARROLL (37): Krumenacker 0 0-0 0, Smorto 4 0-0 12, Becquet 1 0-2 2, Buynack 2 1-3 5, Ostinowsky 4 1-2 13, M. Koscho 1 0-0 2, Laughard 0 0-0 0, Heinrich 1 0-0 3, Long 0 0-0 0. Totals — 13 2-7 37.

BISHOP GUILFOYLE (76): Brunner 3 2-2 8, Warner 3 0-0 7, Homan 10 1-1 24, Haigh 7 2-3 19, Scipioni 1 0-0 2, Bagley 1 2-2 4, McClurkin 4 0-0 8, Quinn 0 0-0 0, Adams 0 0-0 0, Farabaugh 2 0-0 4, Cammarata 0 0-0 0. Totals — 31 7-8 76.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Bishop Carroll 7 10 15 5 — 37

Bishop Guilfoyle 28 14 22 12 — 76

3-point goals: Bishop Carroll 9 (Smorto 4, Ostinowsky 4, Heinrich); Bishop Guilfoyle 7 (Homan 3, Haigh 3, Warner).

Records: Bishop Carroll (0-1, 0-1 in LHAC); Bishop Guilfoyle (2-0, 1-0 in LHAC).

JV: Bishop Carroll, 34-31. High scorers–Allie Heinrich/Lauren Long, BC, 10 each; Lainey Farabaugh, BG, 13.

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