North Catholic girls take down Mifflinburg to reach PIAA championship game
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 | 9:15 PM
LORETTO — North Catholic has played the wicked step-mother to many opposing girls’ basketball teams’ Cinderella dreams over the years.
On Tuesday night, it was Mifflinburg.
It took about 28 minutes until the clock finally struck midnight, but the Trojanettes found their shooting touch over the final two quarters, and North Catholic punched its ticket into the PIAA Class 4A championship game with a 58-46 victory at Saint Francis (Pa.)’s DeGol Arena.
“I’m just so excited. I’m happy for our team. We really came together,” Trojanettes junior Tess Myers said.
Myers scored 11 of her game-high 19 points in the second half to help the Trojanettes (26-3) reach the state championship game for the second time in three years. Junior point guard Emma Pospisil netted eight points over the last 6:46, finishing with 15, as North Catholic rallied from a 46-41 deficit.
The Trojanettes will go for their ninth PIAA title Saturday afternoon when they face Bethlehem Catholic at the Giant Center in Hershey.
“We were down at halftime, and we really had to come out strong,” Pospisil said. “This feels great. It feels great.”
North Catholic trailed almost the entire game until Brown recruit Dani Short came up with back-to-back buckets in the low post in the middle of the fourth quarter to put the Trojanettes ahead, 47-46. North Catholic finished the game on a 17-0 run, holding the District 4 champions to five points in the fourth quarter.
“We tightened up on the defensive end, and we did a better job rebounding,” North Catholic coach Molly Rottmann said. “We did a better job of being patient on offense.”
Riley Griffith paced Mifflinburg with 16 points, and Mara Shuck made three 3-pointers and contributed with 11 off the bench. The Wildcats (26-5) got to this stage by ousting defending PIAA champ Lancaster Catholic, which had a 62-game winning streak entering that contest.
Mifflinburg led by as many as seven (19-12) in the first half.
“We didn’t hit our shots in the fourth quarter. We took good shots. We just missed them,” Wildcats coach Kelly Griffith said, “and they were hitting them.”
North Catholic shot 11 for 22 over the final two quarters. Mifflinburg was just 2 for 13 in the fourth.
Mifflinburg led 24-23 at halftime, getting eight first-quarter points from Riley Griffith while the Trojanettes were 9 for 35 from the floor and 4 for 17 from 3-point range. Short didn’t score until a power move from the post resulted in a conventional three-point play with 1:48 left in the second quarter.
“It took a while to get used to the college gym and the nerves,” Short said. “As the game went on, we calmed down. We hit our shots and we got some rebounds.”
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