The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Sports

March 15, 2014

Vincentian ousts KC for 3rd straight year

- — BUTLER — Legend has it, when Coach Eddie McCluskey, at season’s end saw his players weeping — despite the disappointment of defeat — he took it as a good sign because they’d given their all and had nothing more to give.

For the 3rd consecutive season Kennedy Catholic High girls basketball program had its season short-circuited by perennial power Vincentian Academy, on Saturday by a 56-29 count.

At Butler High, Vincentian (25-3) vanquished the Lady Golden Eagles, coercing 21 turnovers and 9-for-40 shooting. The Lady Royals’ size and length were too much for a team with a lone senior in Taylor Hood, while post presence April Bocian missed he majority of the 1st half with 2 personal fouls less than 5 full minute into the game.

Yet Kennedy Catholic was competitive during the game’s initial 16 minutes. Bekah Kish — courtesy of Hood’s pass — connected from the wing for a 3-point fielder, knotting the count at 12 with 6 minutes to intermission. From that juncture, however, the Lady Royals erupted for a 16-2 spree, augmented by 8 free throws and 11 Lady Golden Eagles’ miscues.

Bocian was whistled for her 2nd personal foul with 2:17 remaining in the 1st frame and did not return until the 3:31 mark of the 2nd stanza, by which time Vincentian had vaulted to an 18-12 lead.

“You know what?” 1st-year KC Head Coach Chris Mele rhetorically asked. “They’re the number one team for a reason — they’re very good, and I tip my hat to them. Brenna Wise, is, obviously, a major, Division I prospect.

“With that said, though, with us missing our shots, I think it got in our head a little bit,” Mele mused. “You know, they’re young girls. — fourteen-, fifteen-, sixteen-years-old — and you can’t help but get down on yourself a little bit and start to doubt yourself.

“(The Lady Royals) went into a zone and that affected us a little bit, we couldn’t get our ‘looks.’ They’re big and they were in the (passing lanes),” Mele assessed.

For 3-time WPIAL titlist Vincentian Academy, Wise went for a game-high 15-point, 15-rebound double-double, Torrieonna Cash contributed a 12-point, 5-rebound, 4-assist line, and Kayla Key connected for 10 tallies and 4 assists.

Twice during the 2nd stanza when the Lady Royals roared away, Key twice jumped passes on the perimeter and converted the subsequent layup, as Vincentian vaulted to a 28-14 margin at intermission.

The Lady Royals recorded pedestrian 17-for-47 (36.1 percent) shooting from the field, 19-for-33 (57.5) from the line and committed 13 miscues, but just had too much quality depth.

“I thought, comin’ in, that we had the deeper bench, that we could get more kids in early in the game, and I thought we would wear (the Lady Golden Eagles) down in the second half,” assessed Vincentian Head Coach Ron Moncrief. “We were in foul trouble playing man=to-man, so we switched over to our zone and it kind’ve slowed them down, and we held ’em in check from then.”

Hood handed out a handful of assists and scored 8 points, Kish connected for a trio of treys, Bocian boarded 15 times and Tatum Kress collected 12 caroms. Kennedy Catholic (23-3), keyed by numerous underclassmen, would appear to be a team on the rise, given its deep run this season to the state semifinals.

“We fell short, but a lot of people didn’t expect us to be here,” Mele mused, admitting when asked if this season’s Lady Golden Eagles’ edition overachieved,

“I definitely do. We have a lot of girls who want to fight, a lot of girls who are very upset at losing, and that says a lot,” Mele said. “I think that’s a great sign

“We’re gonna miss Taylor Hood,” Mele admitted. “She’s our senior leader. No one feels worse for her than her team. We really wanted to send her out on a positive note, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort. It just wasn’t our day.”

———

PIAA CLASS A

QUARTERFINALS

KENNEDY    9    5    7    8    29

VINCENTIAN    12    16    10    18    56


KENNEDY CATHOLIC — Hood 2-4-9-8, Kress 0-1-3-1, Bocian 1-1-3-5, Kish 3-0-0-9, O’Brien 0-0-0-0, Zacherl 0-0-0-0, Shannonhouse 1-0-2-2, Fusco 1-1-1-3, Burns 0-0-0-0, Moroco 0-0-0-0, Volkay 1-1-2-3. 3-pt. goals: Kish 3. Totals: 9-8-22-29.

VINCENTIAN ACADEMY — Cash 3-5-8-12, Bartoszewski 1-5-8-7, Wise 4-6-11-15, Key 4-2-4-10, Joiner 3-0-0-6, Elliott 2-1-2-6, Gabraith, Marusic, Bici, Muth 0-0-0-0, Snell 0-0-0-0. 3-pt. goals: Cash 1, Wise 1, Elliott 1. Totals: 17-19-33-56.

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