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Saint Basil shuts down Notre Dame-Green Pond, advances to District 1/11-3A final

JENKINTOWN >> After the first eight minutes Tuesday night, the Saint Basil girls basketball team was in possession of an 18-3 lead.

The 15-point advantage was a bit surprising to junior Casey Remolde, but not why it happened. The Panthers had done their homework on Notre Dame-Green Pond.

“I think it was because we did our scout report well,” Remolde said. “Our coaches did a really good job. I feel like we all knew exactly what to do offensively and defensively. And getting a big lead that early in the game, it felt good cause I was coming into this game expecting it to be pretty close-scoring game.”

With a aggressive, trapping defense that had the third-seeded Crusaders flustered from the start of their District 1/11 Class 3A semifinal, No. 2 Saint Basil paired a strong opening in the first half with another in the third quarter to cruise to a 55-24 victory at Jenkintown.

“The one advantage that we knew we had on them was our quickness and I think that was the one thing we had to exploit them with,” Saint Basil coach Terry Mancini said. “They had great size, kind of like a Villa Maria in our league, so again, that prepares us for this type of atmosphere. Our guys answered the bell and followed our scouting report to a T.”

Danae Carter led all scorers with 17 points while Remolde collected nine of her 14 points before halftime as the Panthers (21-5) earn a chance to defend their regional crown Saturday against top-seeded North Schuylkill — a 58-31 winner over No. 4 Pine Grove — 8 p.m. Saturday at Martz Hall in Pottsville.

Saint Basil is in a district final for the sixth straight season, the first four in District 1-2A, the last two in 1/11-3A, with the Panthers winning in four of their previous five title game appearances.

“I feel like it’s really important to me, especially we just won our league and that was awesome but I really want our team to be going even further and accomplish even more this season,” Remolde said. “I feel like we really have the opportunity to do that so I feel like with our team this year, we could really go far.”

The victory was the 11th straight for Saint Basil and the fourth in the past six games in which the Panthers have won by at least 31 points. Defensively, Saint Basil has not allowed an opponent to score more than 35 points in its last 16 games and has gone 15-1 during that stretch.

“That has been the one consistent for us all year. We’ve struggled offensively some games but our defense has kept us in games and it’s helped us, especially in this format,” Mancini said.

Saint Basil pushed its lead to as high as 18 in the first half before going into the break up 28-12. The Panthers began the third with a 7-0 run and proceeded to outscore Notre Dame 18-6 in the quarter to go up 46-18. Baskets from Remolde and Carter to start the fourth gave Saint Basil its largest lead at 50-18.

“We’ve had games where we were up and just went downhill but recently we’ve been learning how to keep our game at our pace and learn how to continuing doing what we do,” Carter said. “Coming out strong in the third quarter (was) really important to us cause we believe it’s all about the first three minutes. So playing strong the first three minutes can set the example for the game.”

Brianna Maslonka hit three 3-pointers in finishing with 10 points to pace Notre Dame-Green Pond (17-8), which faces Pine Grove in the third-place game Friday. All four semifinalists qualify for the PIAA Tournament.

For Mancini, a big key against the Crusaders was slowing down Cassie Murphy and the Panthers ended up holding the six-foot sophomore scoreless.

“I was very happy with Jules Gura just defensively shutting that girl down because I don’t know what that girl averaged, but I know it was in the teens so to hold her without a point is just outstanding,” he said.

Saint Basil pressed Notre Dame all over the floor while Panthers’ traps in the half court forced the Crusaders into errant passes, helping Basil collect the game’s first 11 points.

Carter hit a 3-pointer then converted a 3-point play at 4:33 to make it 9-0. After a Remolde jumper, Maslonka got Notre Dame on the scoreboard with a three but the Panthers posted the quarter’s last seven points. Casey Remolde started the second by banking in a three for a 21-3 lead.

“I feel like everything starts on defense. I feel like our team this year has been playing real well on defense and that’s one of our strong points,” Remolde said. “And I think when we build off of our defensive play it helps us offensively and we get more looks that way. So I think it really builds up our confidence a lot more going down to the other end of the floor.”

After the Panthers went up 18 again at 23-5 on a Remolde jumper, Notre Dame pulled within 14 twice — the second time at 26-12 on an Olivia Brandt 3-pointer — but a Carter free throw with 9.2 seconds had Saint Basil up 28-12 at halftime.

Remolde began the second half with a three with four straight points from Carter extended the advantage to 35-12 and from there Notre Dame could only cut the margin down to 22.

“We told them at halftime to stay aggressive,” Mancini said. “We’ve had struggles sometimes in third quarters, so it good to see that the girls came out and we always tell them the first three minutes of the third quarter are very important and we did a great job tonight.”

Saint Basil 55, Notre Dame-Green Pond 24
Notre Dame-Green Pond             3   9   6 6 — 24
Saint Basil            18 10 18 9 — 55
Notre Dame-Green Pond: Brianna Maslonka 3 1-3 10; Olivia Brandt 2 1-2 6; MaryKate Altmire 2 0-0 4; Grace Hezel 1 0-0 2; Grace Medei 1 0-0 2; Abby Wachter 0 0-1 0; Totals 9 2-6 24.
Saint Basil: Denae Carter 6 4-9 17; Casey Remolde 6 0-0 14; Shannon Remolde 3 0-0 8; Cheryl Remolde 2 0-0 6; Jules Gura 1 2-4 4; Lizzie Deal 1 0-0 3; Lauren Ems 1 0-0 2; Savanah Whiteley 0 1-2 1; Totals 20 7-15 55.
Three-pointers: ND-Maslonka 3; Brandt; SBA-Casey Remolde 2, Cheryl Remolde 2, Shannon Remold 2,  Carter, Deal.



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