BENSALEM >> St. Basil Academy’s season came to an end Friday with a 47-29 loss to Neumann-Goretti in the PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals at Bensalem High School.
The (1-1) Panthers shot themselves in the foot quite a bit in a game where they needed to be clicking on all cylinders. They turned the ball over 18 times and shot 11-for-24 from the free-throw line.
“We knew they were going to be an up-in-your-face defense,” Basil senior Cheryl Remolde said. “We had to really work on calming ourselves down, not forcing anything or turning the ball over. At times it proved a challenge for us. That’s something I wish we could have done a little better, but I’m proud of everyone who played today.”
“The turnovers you expect against the pressure that they put on you,” Basil coach Terry Mancini said. “I didn’t think that was as big an issue as the foul shooting. In the second half they went to that zone and we were missing a lot of cutters that were open. You give them credit because they’re quick. They took a lot away – a lot of things we like to do offensively.
“You can’t practice against that type of speed and quickness.”
The (12-2) Saints took full control in the third quarter. They held the Panthers without a field goal for the eight-minute stretch and turned a one-point halftime lead into a 13-point advantage.
St. Basil Academy (24-6) was only down three, 22-19, with 3:55 left in the third, but N-G (20-7) finished the quarter on a 10-0 run to take full control. Basil went 3-for-8 from the charity stripe in the quarter.
“Not lately,” Mancini said of the team having free-throw problems. “It could be fatigue. It could be a lot of things. It’s girls basketball. Some nights you make them, some not. We missed some layups, too. We could have been up five in the beginning of the third quarter. You have to credit their speed and quickness.”
Diamond Johnson scored eight points in the third quarter for N-G.
The Panthers didn’t go away to start the fourth. They cut their deficit to nine, 32-23, in the first 90 seconds.
But that’s as close as they’d get. Neumann-Goretti’s Kiara Koger responded with her only basket of the game – a three-pointer – to extend the lead back to 12, 35-23, and the Panthers would never cut it to single digits again.
The Saints kept their foot on the gas and finished the game with a 10-2 run over the final 3:30 to win, 47-29.
Casey Remolde led Basil with nine points. Denae Carter and Julianna Gura each added seven.
Tatiana Jones led Neumann-Goretti with 18 points and Johnson had 15.
Neumann-Goretti controlled most of the first half. After falling behind 7-2, the Saints went on an 11-0 that went from the first to the second quarter and spanned 5:12.
Basil closed the first half on a 9-4 run to get within one, 17-16, at the break.
The loss ends a very successful season for the Panthers.
“Great season,” Mancini said. “You win our league two years in a row then you win a District, Region … We had to win two districts. You win them two years in a row you’re doing something right. I had three great seniors (Gura, Paulina Storck and Cheryl Remolde). It’s unfortunate for them that we didn’t move on, we lost in this round last year. The good thing for them, they all played soccer and got to experience a state final. They meant a lot to this program the last four years and I’m so proud of them. I wish it could have been a better ending for them.”
“I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to have played with,” Remolde said. “They really are my family. Each and every one of them is one of my sisters. We had a great run, lots of laughs. This isn’t going to put a downer on any of them. I’m still going to treasure every moment I had this season. It was a great senior year.”
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