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Current Lady Marauders add to program’s rich history

HERSHEY — When legendary Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic coach Mark Moschella was considering stepping down after a long career of winning state championships and more than 600 wins with the Lady Marauders, he saw something special happening in his program.

Moschella said it started with the 2020 senior class, sophomores at the time, and mentioned the names of Jamison Consiglio, Blaise Kilmartin and Giana Georgiana.

He also saw the potential in a freshman class that included Teresa Haigh, Sophia Warner, Aurielle Brunner and Daniela Scipioni and decided to coach one more season.

Friday afternoon at Hershey’s Giant Center those freshmen were all grown up, hoisting the PIAA Class 1A championship trophy after a 62-47 victory over Jenkintown, and they credited last year’s seniors for helping them get to that point.

“We stayed to help them get their feet wet,” Moschella said. “To see them cap off their careers and sit there and watch how well they played today was really heartwarming. A lot of dreams came true today.”

Moschella, who has dealt with some health issues since his retirement, did not attend Friday’s game, because he felt it was safer to watch from home, but he praised Bishop Guilfoyle’s effort, calling it “a heck of a game.”

The championship win was the seventh in Lady Marauder history and the first since 2010. Bishop Guilfoyle improved to 7-6 overall in state finals with Class 2A titles in 1984 and 1991 and Class 1A crowns in 1993, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2021.

Christine Conrad, one of Bishop Guilfoyle’s current assistant coaches under head coach Kristi Kaack, played on the 2007 championship team and experienced her first title as a coach within the program on Friday.

“I was joking around with the other coaches that I liked this position as a coach, because I’m still nervous but not as nervous,” Conrad said. “It’s an interesting experience, and it’s very special for me to see these kids get to experience what I was able to experience as a player.

“It’s absolutely a tradition and a legacy to be part of this program. It’s very special, and I’m just happy to be here and be part of it.”

While Conrad helped the team succeed this season, one of her high school teammates actually inspired Haigh, who led BG with 16 points and added 10 rebounds Friday, to pursue basketball and chase a state title.

“I remember watching Alli Williams (who went on to star at Saint Francis) and her Bishop Guilfoyle teams and thinking, ‘that’s my dream, and that’s what I want to do,'” Haigh said. “Being in those shoes now, especially with this group of seniors, is just insane.”

The allure of adding to a rich tradition of sports success is something that helps keep programs on top.

“I remember coming into (Pleasant Valley Gymnasium) and seeing all the banners as a little girl and wanting to put one up there,” Bishop Guilfoyle junior Leah Homan said. “So, it means everything to me and a lot to the other girls too to contribute to that history.”

And next season, when Homan helps hang this year’s state championship banner, there will probably be another little girl in the crowd taking notes ready to add her name to the Lady Marauder legacy.

Michael Boytim can be reached at mboytim@altoonamirror.com or (814)-946-7521. Follow him on Twitter @BoytimMichael

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