Red Raiders outrun Fillies
COAL TOWNSHIP - Good starts don't always become good finishes, but they're nice to have anyway.
Lourdes Regional had a nice start Monday, jumping out to a 10-0 lead against Marian and holding on at the finish for a 41-38 win over the Fillies in a Schuylkill League crossover game.
The Red Raiders (14-2 overall) made six of their first seven shots, all off assists, to build a good lead, then weathered a second-half defensive surge by Marian (11-4) to beat the Fillies for the second time this season.
"Marian is leading their division (Division III) and has now lost to three other teams in the league, which is kind of unusual," said Lourdes coach Mike Klembara. "I thought we did a good job of recognizing the things they try to do and stopping them."
Still, Marian's pressure forced Lourdes into 23 turnovers and the Fillies cut the lead down to 39-36 with less than a minute to play. Marian, which had only two fouls until the final minutes in the second half, had to go into a fouling spree to get Lourdes into the one-and-one and stop the clock, but sophomore Caity Funk calmly sank two foul shots in the final seconds, even waiting out a timeout between them, to give Lourdes a five-point lead and pretty much ensure the win.
"Caity was a 46 percent foul shooter in eighth grade," Klembara said. "The kids shoot foul shots a lot in practice and I was pretty confident that our girls would make their foul shots once we got in that situation."
Rachel Schultz led the Red Raiders with 15 points but was the beneficiary of some nice passing by Nikki Komara, (six assists), Bailey Trell (four assists) and Sarah Getchey (three assists). Komara and Getchey each scored nine points. and Komara added eight rebounds and seven steals.
"We are the real epitome of a team this year," Klembara said. "I don't think you can single out any one player on our team. We usually get contributions in some form from all of the five, six, seven or eight girls who usually play. Sometimes we're very unselfish to a fault."
Klembara mentioned Funk's inside defense against Marian center Savannah Krusinsky. Although Funk had just four points and two rebounds, she held Krusinsky without a basket and to three points, and six rebounds.
"She really played great inside defense," Klembara said.
The Red Raiders had to withstand some three-point sniping by Marian's Gabby Green, who hit three treys on the way to 15 points and some furious defense by Emily Sofranko, who had eight steals and made life tough for both Komara and Getchey to bring the ball upcourt.
"Nikki's a complete player although she had some turnovers tonight, and Sarah gets down on herself, but we look for both of them for senior leadership," Klembara said. "Sarah had a big trey at the end of the (third) quarter and another big basket later."
MARIAN (38) - Green 6 0-2 15, Faust 2 2-2 6, Sufranko 3 1-2 7, Nemeth 1 0-0 3, Krusinsky 0 3-6 3. Fannick 0 0-0 0, Shaud 1 2-2 4. Totals 13 8-14 38.
LOURDES (41) - N. Komara 3 2-2 9, Getchey 4 0-0 9, Schultz 7 1-1 15, Funk 1 2-2 4, Long 1 0-0 2, Trell 1 0-1 2, Koshinskie 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 5-6 41.
3-point FGs: Marian (4) - Green 3, Nemeth; Lourdes (2) - Komara, Getchey.
JV: Marian 24 (Bray 12), Lourdes 22 (Angelique Pennypacker 8)