AMBLER – For two weeks, the Sacred Heart players and coaches did what they could to stay sharp as they awaited the first round of the PIAA Class 2A girls basketball tournament.
For openers in state play, the District 1 champion Lions turned in a solid performance at Wissahickon High Friday night, rolling to a 55-35 victory over Paul Robeson High of the Philadelphia Public League, District 12’s third-place squad, Friday night.
Senior Kyra Quigley filled up the stats sheets for the winners, scoring 29 points, grabbing 15 rebounds, blocking three shots and adding an assist and a steal before sitting and watching her teammates for a good part of the fourth period.
Caitlin Hughes was Heart’s other double-figure scorer with 10 points and also contributed five rebounds, two assists, and one steal, while Kayleigh Doyle was kept off the scoreboard but got six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Junior Carina Fichera, making her first start, had nine points and nine rebounds, and Dani Santora played well defensively.
“We’ve had a couple of people banged up and Dani’s been sick,” Sacred Heart Academy head coach Zach Shuler said. “She’s someone who played about two minutes in our first game of the season, but today she’s starting in a state tournament game.
“Kyra Quigley had a big game, and Carina was making her first start and played well. These girls understand their roles and play a team game. Our senior group has been awesome to work with, this year and all the way through.”
Sacred Heart (16-8) scored the first seven points, and by the end of the opening period Quigley had 13 points and her team had a 12-point lead. Hughes dropped in eight points in the second period, and by halftime, Heart’s margin was 17 points against the game Huskies, who had only six of the eight players on their roster in uniform.
“We knew who their scorers were,” Hughes said. “So we put our fastest defenders on them.”
Senior Phillis Fugah paced Paul Robeson (14-7) with 22 points, eight rebounds, and six steals.
“Being off for two weeks, we had to work hard and do a lot of drills at practice, get in a scrimmage or two, and put in some new plays,” Hughes, who is deciding on a college at which she can study bio-chemistry, said.
Quigley had a couple of college recruiters watching her every move Friday night.
“I know the season can be long,” Quigley, who is participating in the state playoffs for the third time in four years, said. “Districts was fun, but we all knew the biggest challenge would come in states.
“Today we talked about playing our own game, being disciplined, and playing good defense. We’ll have things to do in practice to get ready for our next game (Tuesday).”
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