North Catholic falls to Bethlehem Catholic in PIAA Class 4A championship

Saturday, March 23, 2019 | 1:57 PM

HERSHEY — North Catholic fell in the PIAA Class 4A girls basketball finals to Bethlehem Catholic, 60-49, Saturday afternoon at Giant Center.

The Trojanettes (26-4) faced a 52-42 deficit with 2 minutes, 22 seconds remaining, but made things interesting with a quick 7-0 run.

Tess Myers scored on a putback and made a free throw to start the rally. After a steal, Kylee Lewandowsi made a jumper to get North Catholic within 52-47. After a defensive stop, Dani Short hit a layup to make it 52-49 with 1:35 to go.

However, the Hawks (28-4) ended the game on an 8-0 run, thanks in part to strong offensive rebounding.

Jaleesa Lanier made one free throw with 1:23 to go to put Bethlehem Catholic back up by four points, but more importantly, Abigail Brown pulled in an offensive board. She was fouled by Myers, who fouled out with 20 points. Brown made another free throw for a 54-49 lead, and the Trojanettes never had an opportunity to tie the game.

“We had momentum, but you have to have those rebounds,” North Catholic coach Molly Rottmann said.

North Catholic led 11-9 after the first quarter, shooting 4 for 8 from the floor while Bethlehem Catholic shot 4 for 17. However, there were early signs of problems for the Trojanettes, as they were outrebounded 12-7 and were on the wrong side of a 4-2 turnover battle.

By the game’s end, Bethlehem Catholic outrebounded North Catholic, 37-32, and also won the turnover contest 17-10. That allowed the Hawks to have both more opportunities to shoot and, ultimately, better looks. Bethlehem Catholic was 23 for 54 from the floor (42.4 percent) while North Catholic was 17 for 44 (38.6 percent).

Two free throws by Short early in the second quarter increased the Trojanettes’ lead to 13-9, but the Hawks went on an 8-1 run to go ahead 17-14. North Catholic briefly retook the lead 18-17 on a jumper by Myers, but a 3-pointer by Brown put Bethlehem Catholic ahead for good.

That basket started an 8-0 run for the Hawks, which included two of North Catholic’s six second-quarter turnovers. Both those giveaways led to Bethlehem Catholic scores.

A layup by Short ended the run and got the Trojanettes within 25-20 at intermission.

Turnovers came up again in the third quarter. A 3-point basket by Lewandowski pulled North Catholic within 27-25. The Trojanettes made two straight defensive stops, but both times turned the ball back over to the Hawks. The second of those turnovers led to a layup by Keyara Walters for a four-point Hawks lead.

Short scored 18 points and led all players with 11 rebounds.

“You have to be really proud to get here and play hard,” Rottmann said. “We didn’t have our best game, and your’e not always going to have that magical comeback.”

Lanier led Bethlehem Catholic with 16 points. Brown and Kourtney Wilson had 13 points each. Brown and Briana Barnard had 10 rebounds apiece.


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