Rochester rally comes up short in semifinal loss to Bishop Guilfoyle
Tuesday, March 23, 2021 | 9:08 PM
Early hot shooting enabled Bishop Guilfoyle to build a solid lead over three quarters.
The Marauders needed that cushion as Bishop Guilfoyle turned back a furious Rochester rally to defeat the Rams, 55-50, in a PIAA Class A semifinal Tuesday night.
Senior Teresa Haigh scored 28 points, including six 3-pointers in the first half. Junior Leah Homan had 17 points and nine rebounds to lead the Marauders.
Bishop Guilfoyle (16-4) will seek the school’s seventh state title at noon Friday at Hershey’s Giant Center against Jenkintown (18-1).
Three-time WPIAL champion Rochester (16-4), in the first semifinal appearance in school history, was led by Alexis Robison’s 24 points. Corynne Hauser chipped in with 16.
Down 48-35 as the fourth quarter began, Robson and Hauser heated up, combining for all 15 Rams points in the final period.
Four consecutive free throws by Hauser cut the Guilfoyle lead to 51-48 with 1 minute, 33 seconds to go. Haigh was fouled by Makenzie Robison with 35.3 seconds left but missed both shots. Alysha Martin of Rochester gathered her 11th rebound of the game but was quickly tied up. The Rams got the ball on the alternate possession.
Hauser missed a 3-point try and Robison grabbed the rebound. Rochester called timeout and set up a play with 13.2 left, but Hauser misfired with 6.4 seconds to go. Haigh got the rebound and sank a pair of free throws to ice the game.
“I think it was a little too late for us to make that big push,” Rams coach C.J. Iannini said. “The girls had an unbelievable effort in the fourth quarter to bring this thing back to three. We had a good look at the end, but it just didn’t fall for us.”
Iannini said the call was to set a high ball screen for Hauser and the choice was either for her or one of the Robison sisters.
“I think in the fourth quarter, we were a little timid and we were looking for the right shot, then we stopped shooting,” said Marauders coach Kristi Little Kaack, the former Duquesne University standout.
For the game, Bishop Guilfoyle had 10 3-point field goals and eight 2-pointers.
“We came out calm and collected,” Haigh said of her first-half shooting. “We knew we were facing a super-talented team and we had to trust our offense. If I had the look, I was going to take them.”
The Marauders had a 34-29 halftime lead. Homan and Sophia Warner had 3-pointers in the third period as Bishop Guilfoyle went ahead by 13 twice.
“It was nice the way we shot in the first half,” Kaack said. “Credit to them, they ramped up their defense in the fourth quarter, and they were scoring in transition.”
“(Haigh) killed us in the first quarter. She has four threes,” Iannini said. “That was on me. We wanted a little man-for-man to start out, and I had the wrong matchup, but we slowly adjusted.”
Rochester missed shots on six of seven possessions in the middle of the fourth period, hampering its comeback.
Bishop Guilfoyle didn’t commit a turnover until the 2:39 mark of the first half when a shot hit the ductwork above the basket.
Rochester is now 0-3 against Bishop Guilfoyle in the PIAA tournament, losing games in 2010 and 2001.
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