Scoring runs went SF's way
ENOLA - Basketball is a game of spurts. Teams play out of sight for a few minutes, then usually give way a little as the opponent does the same.
But on Saturday, in the PIAA Class A girls quarterfinal game between Lourdes Regional and Southern Fulton, the two biggest runs both belonged to the Indians.
End of season for the Red Raiders.
Lourdes, giving away height, came out and played its game in the first quarter. Sarah Getchey made some sharp passes, and Nikki Komara and Rachel Schultz made some shots. Schultz's last shot gave the Red Raiders a 12-10 lead with less than 20 seconds to play in the quarter.
But Southern Fulton's Kayla Wertz banged in a 3-pointer from the right side as the buzzer sounded to end the quarter, giving the Indians a 13-12 lead and igniting bigger things in them. By the time Lourdes scored again, about five minutes later, Southern Fulton had scored 14 straight points and taken a 24-12 lead.
Marcy Hollenshead, the quick, junior point guard, had the most to do with that run. She had two assists and made two foul shots during the stretch, and had tied the game at 10-10 earlier with a drive to the basket. She connected twice with 6-1 center Ashley Roman during the run.
Lourdes finally stopped the pain when Caity Funk put back a rebound with 3:22 left in the half.
Later, with Lourdes trailing 30-19 and desperately trying to make a comeback early in the third quarter, the Indians rattled off 13 straight points, turning a reasonable deficit into a 24-point prayer at 43-19. Roman scored five points and Kayla Chilcote four during that run, the latter's both off assists from Hollenshead.
Again, it was Funk who stopped the bleeding, with another putback to start the fourth quarter.
If the final score of 47-29 makes it sound like Lourdes was outclassed, it wasn't quite that way. But the Red Raiders were intimidated by the inside presence of Roman, and they picked a bad day to be off offensively. The sharp passes they flicked to each other in their win over Girard College on Wednesday became lobbed airballs Saturday, helping to result in 21 turnovers, most of which came in the first half when they were still in the game. Reluctant to drive the lane against Roman, the Red Raiders were content to shoot from outside, and just weren't on. Getchey made their only 3-pointer, and that was in the fourth quarter. A well-timed trey or two earlier may have brought Southern Fulton out of its zone defense and put Lourdes more in its comfort zone offensively.
"Actually, defensively we did a lot of the things we wanted to do," Lourdes coach Mike Klembara said. "But offensively, we don't have a legitimate (big) post player and we haven't been a team that likes to penetrate all season, and it was evident we couldn't get anything inside."
Lourdes cut the lead to 43-27 with an eight-point run of its own and had possession and a chance to slice the lead again with more than four minutes to play, but Hollenshead had a steal and feed to Chilcote to effectively close any threat.
Southern Fulton's zone defense was something else, too. The Indians went from a 1-3-1, to a 2-3, to a 3-2 or 3-1-1 as situation demanded, and had the Red Raiders frustrated.
"They move very well in that zone," Lourdes Coach Mike Klembara said. "We saw that on video. They were also maybe the first team all year that's been able to run against us. Those are both a credit to their coaching."