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Lansdale Catholic cruises past St. Hubert for 10th straight win

LANSDALE >> Lauren Edwards kept cutting to the basket and good things keep happening for the Lansdale Catholic sophomore.

“I think a lot of that was me finding a way to play off of players, especially Timaya (Lewis-Eutsey) and Gabby Casey,” Edwards said. “We play the best when we’re connecting with each other and we’re playing together, passing. That’s what really got me the points.”

Edwards’ teammates consistently found her slicing through the St. Hubert defense in the second quarter as she posted 10 of her 13 first-half points in the period to help the host Crusaders go into halftime up 20 in the PCL Blue Division girls basketball contest. Edwards went on to finish with a game-high 23 points as LC rolled to its 10th straight win, besting the Bambies 70-39 Tuesday night.

“Offensively, everything we were doing was through our cuts to the basket. And through the game we weren’t hitting a lot of jump shots,” Edwards said. “In the second half we knew our opportunity to get the win at the end of the day was getting to the basket and getting those points from fouls.”

Lewis-Eutsey, who missed the Crusaders’ previous game due to an ankle injury, collected 22 points –12 coming from the foul line as Lansdale Catholic (18-2, 10-0 PCL Blue) took advantage of getting in the bonus early in each half – 1:21 in the first quarter, 1:47 in the third – to shoot 40 free throws, making 29.

“We always take what the defense gives us and they were obviously being chippy down on the blocks,” Lewis-Eutsey said. “That tells us to go down there and be aggressive and get the fouls so you can get easy points.”

Riley DeVitis posted 13 of her 19 points in the first half as the Crusaders took control by scoring the last 11 points of the first quarter for a 20-5 lead. LC extended the margin to as large as 24 in the first half before leading 41-21 at the break.

St. Hubert cut it to 19 on a free throw at 6:57 in the third but the lead never dipped below 20 again after a DeVitis steal and layup made it 43-22.

“What I really liked about tonight is that we learned about ourselves that no matter how an opponent wants to play us, we can match that style,” LC coach Eric Gidney said. “They want to be physical then we can be physical and aggressive, too. We can go to the line 40 times to their nine, right? If they want to play finesse and they want to get the ball up-and-down the floor, we’re quick enough to do that.

“If they want to play a half-court game, which is something that a lot of teams have done against us and they want to slow it down, we can do that as well. So it was just another game where a team kind of rolled in with a strategy and we met that challenge head on and came out on the top end of the score.”

Cassidy Ruk scored 10 of her team-high 18 points in the first half as the Bambies (13-7, 7-2) dropped their second straight.

Lansdale Catholic can cement first place outright in the PCL Blue with a win in either of their final two regular-season contests – at Little Flower 5 p.m. Wednesday then home against Bishop McDevitt 7 p.m. Friday.

 The Crusaders have so far cruised through its division schedule with its closest contest a 14-point win (72-58) over St. Hubert in the teams’ first meeting Jan. 10. LC, however, beefed up its nonleague slate and has picked up wins over Pennridge, Gwynedd Mercy, Abington and Neshaminy.

“That was sort of the intent all along, like OK, this is the one thing we can’t control, you want to create these two divisions at least on a one-year basis, that’s fine,” Gidney said. “Then let’s roll into a tougher nonleague schedule and that’s what we did.”

“And I think that’ll keep us ready where if we would’ve done this, if we would of played some of the nonleague opponents that we played last year that maybe weren’t as much as a challenge, I don’t know if we’d be ready for basketball in late February into hopefully mid-March.”

A Payton Pugh basket had St. Hubert within 11-5 in the first quarter before the Crusaders recorded the quarter’s final 11 points. Lewis-Eutsey’s jumper made it 13-5 before LC scored its next seven points from the line – going up 18-5 on two DeVitis free throws at 1:21.

A DeVitis steal and breakaway layup had the Crusaders leading 20-5 entering the second quarter.

Sarah Spaeth’s 3-pointer cut the margin to 20-8 but LC ripped off five straight to lead 24-8 after Casey hit two foul shots at 6:55. Casey grabbed an offensive rebound then connected with a cutting Edwards to make it 28-10 while DeVitis scored the next four. Edwards then got a layup in transition off a Casey assist for a 34-10 lead.

“Instinctively, she was fantastic tonight,” said Gidney of Edwards. “And that’s back-to-back games for her. She had 20 on Friday night (against Little Flower) and then to come back, it was just 20 was a different game, that 20 on Friday she was 10-for-12 from the field. Tonight, it was more slashes to the basket, backdoor cuts, things of that nature.”

A Lewis-Eutsey basket had LC up 24 again at 36-12 before the Bambies put together a 9-2 run, chopping the deficit down to 38-21 after bucket from Ruk. Casey proceeded to find Edwards going down the lane for a layup with a Lewis-Eutsey free throw with 10 seconds left making it 41-21 at halftime.

LC pushed its advantage to 48-22 with a 7-0 burst early in the third – two from DeVitis off a steal, a Lewis-Eutsey three-point play on a putback then a DeVitis pair at the line at 5:13. The Crusaders were up 26 twice more in the quarter before finishing the third up 55-34.



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