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Lansdale Catholic routs St. Hubert, advances to PCL quarterfinals

LANSDALE >> Riley DeVitis knew two previous wins over St. Hubert this season would not ensure a third for the Lansdale Catholic girls basketball team.

“Just because we beat them before doesn’t mean it’s a guaranteed win,” the LC senior said. “No game’s a guaranteed win.”

The Crusaders, however, made sure they did not depart from their prior performances against the Bambies.

Ninth-seeded St. Hubert stayed close in the opening eight minutes but host No. 8 Lansdale Catholic blew things open in the second quarter of Tuesday night’s Philadelphia Catholic League first-round contest, outscoring the Bambies 19-4 to take a 20-point lead into halftime and LC went on to cruise to a 62-30 victory.

“One of the things we talked about pregame was we can’t get outworked,” Lansdale Catholic coach Eric Gidney said. “We might have more talent, right, but we cannot get outworked. The quote that I read today was hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard and we just needed to make sure that we worked hard tonight and we did.”

Timaya Lewis-Eutsey scored 13 of her game-high 21 points in the first half, DeVitis collected 12 of her 16 points before the break and Lauren Edwards added 15 points as the Crusaders (21-2) won their 13th straight to advance to visit top-seeded Archbishop Wood in the PCL quarterfinals Thursday.

“We’re the underdogs obviously,” DeVitis said. “But I just think if we go into that game and we’re just kind of relentless on the boards and I think we play as a team, we do have a chance at winning.”

Lansdale Catholic and Archbishop Wood’s last PCL playoff matchup came in the 2018 quarters with the Vikings topping the Crusaders 63-33.

“We got to be ready and I think we have the talent to compete and I guess we’ll see,” Gidney said. “We put in a lot of hard work to get to this point, now we just need to own it.”

Cassidy Ruk’s 10 points paced St. Hubert (14-8), which was looking for its first PCL tournament win since 2016.

DeVitis opened Tuesday’s scoring by chasing down a loose ball poked away by Edwards for a breakaway layup as she provided an early offensive spark, scoring 10 of LC’s first 20 points.

“If I got any finishes it was cause of my teammates,” DeVitis said. “Whatever we did on the defensive end it converted onto the offensive end. We really played great defensively I think. As we got into the game we had a ton of steals and we kept passing the ball up the floor and I think that just really helped us.”

Lansdale Catholic beat St. Hubert by double digits in both of their regular-season meetings, including a 70-39 home win last Tuesday. A week later, the Bambies kept things tight in the first quarter – four straight points from Ruk cutting LC’s lead to 14-11 before a Lewis-Eutsey basket made it 16-11 at the end of the period.

“It’s tough to beat a team three times in a season,” Gidney said. “But I think that our talent and the work that we put in and some of our schemes, like we changed defense around a lot tonight. We really wanted to keep them on their toes and it didn’t seem they really adjusted to it much.

“And we had a feeling they were going to focus on Timaya so we knew that again like last time Riley and Lauren had to step up a little bit, good contributions from Gabby (Casey), lots of pressure, lots of steals. So, good, all-around team win for us tonight.”

DeVitis hit two free throws 12 seconds into the second quarter then scored off a drive, putting Lansdale Catholic up 20-11. A Ruk basket had Hubert within seven but LC’s defense stiffened and the Crusaders took command by going on a 15-0 run– nine points coming from Lewis-Eutsey.

“We needed to expand our zone a little bit,” Gidney said. “We were a little bit too compact and so we were able to kind of take some of their shooters away, cause look, if they can’t get their shots off then Ruk’s not in a position to get offensive rebounds, right?  So a lot of times teams will scheme and go, ‘Hey we got to box out, we got to box out.’ Well, here’s a better idea, just don’t let them get a shot up, right, and let’s get turnovers.”

After two Edwards foul shots made it 26-13 at 4:31, Lewis-Eutsey recorded the next seven points – driving for two, converting a three-point play on a putback at 1:54 then scoring on another putback for a 33-13 lead.

A DeVitis steal and layup gave LC a 22-point advantage before Payton Pugh’s basket had the halftime margin at 35-15.

“We don’t come into games cocky – we come into games with confidence in ourselves,” DeVitis said. “We just said that in the locker room after the game so if we just come into every game with confidence no matter if we win or lose I think that’s a big part of our game and how we play.”

The Crusaders outscored St. Hubert 19-4 again in the third with the help of a 13-0 run.

After an Edwards three-point play at 5:08 had the Crusaders up 44-17, Lewis-Eutsey followed with consecutive baskets while two DeVitis free throws at 2:13 made it 50-17 lead. DeVitis’ final two points gave LC a 54-19 lead entering the fourth.

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