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Fast start helps Lansdale Catholic top Bermudian Springs in PIAA-4A first round

WARMINSTER >> Despite the frantic pace, a quick glance at the scoreboard showed the Lansdale Catholic girls basketball team had things mostly in hand against Bermudian Springs Saturday afternoon.

“It felt like it was a lot closer than it was,” Crusaders senior Riley DeVitis said. “But I enjoyed it.”

District 12 champ LC got out to a quick 10-1 lead and with solid defense along with transition offense kept the Eagles at an arm’s length throughout their PIAA Class 4A first-round contest to earn a 63-48 victory at Archbishop Wood.

“I felt like there was a couple times where I felt like if I looked up they had cut it to four and they never did,” Lansdale Catholic coach Eric Gidney said. “And I’d look up and it was 16 and I’m going, ‘How?’ So to their credit, they played hard, they played physical and I feel like we’ve been a team that no matter the other team’s style of play we’ve been able to short of mirror what we’ve need to do.”

Timaya Lewis-Eutsey posted 11 of her game-high 18 points in the first half as four Crusaders scored in double figures as LC advanced to the state second round for a second straight season. The Crusaders face District 2 runner-up Dallas – which topped District 4 No. 3 Shamokin 58-32 – Wednesday at a site and time to be announced.

“I think it just says a lot about the girls and a lot about the program and how much we want it,” DeVitis said. “We’re not done yet.”

DeVitis added 17 points – going 9-of-12 from the foul line. Gabby Casey collected 15 points while Lauren Edwards finished with 10 points for LC (23-3).

Bailey Oehmig scored 16 points to pace Bermudian Springs (20-7), the fifth-place finisher from District 3. Leah Bealmear and Hannah Chenault each chipped in nine points for the Eagles, who lost in the PIAA first round for the second consecutive year.

Bermudian never let the Crusaders get comfortable but LC never relinquished the lead after scoring the game’s first eight points – half of those by DeVitis – while a Lewis-Eutsey jumper gave the Crusaders an early 10-1 advantage.

“We knew from experience, too, from last year that we kind of went down seven, eight-nothing, 10-2, 10-4 in the first round of states,” Gidney said. “Maybe it’s the long bus ride, maybe it’s the states and you’re in an unfamiliar gym or whatever. So we wanted to make sure that we were on the other end and jumped out but that we didn’t fall victim to what our opponent last year (Jim Thorpe) did which was let us back in the game.”

The Crusaders’ 2-3 matchup zone defense frustrated Bermudian Springs as the Eagles could not consistent shoot over it – hitting four threes but two came in the fourth with game firmly in LC’s hands.

“We’ve been running the 2-3 match off and on all year and we looked at their personnel and that they really kind of wanted to shoot outside,” Gidney said. “We wanted to show that it was a zone but we wanted to kind of limit their movement and kind of just stick with just one or two passes and limit player movement. We thought we did that.”

A 7-0 run in the second quarter capped by Lewis-Eutsey’s three-point play with 53.4 seconds left gave LC its biggest lead of the half at 30-15. Chenault ripped off five straight points late to make it 30-20 at the break.

A Chenault basket pulled the Eagles within 32-24 in the third but the Crusaders answered with a six-point burst – four from Lewis-Eutsey for a 38-24 lead at 5:31 – and from there never had its lead dip into the single digits.

“I just think we really wanted it,” DeVitis said. “Obviously they were a really good opponent and they kept us on our toes but I just we wanted it. And we want to move on. Especially me being a senior and the other three seniors we don’t want our senior to end yet.”

Baskets from Oehmig and Lillian Peters cut the Eagles deficit to 38-28 but an Edwards jumper and a Casey three-point play off a drive at 2:29 had LC up 43-28.

A Casey basket had a lead at 15 again at 45-30 before a Bealmear triple made it 45-33 going to the fourth.

A three-point play from Casey made it 52-35 Crusaders 5 58 seconds into the final quarter. A DeVitis free throw with 2:35 left gave LC its biggest lead of the afternoon at 59-39.

Lansdale Catholic 63, Bermudian Springs 48

Bermudian Springs 6 14 13 15 – 48

Lansdale Catholic 13 17 15 18 – 63

Bermudian Springs: Bailey Oehmig 5 5-6 16; Hannah Chenault 4 0-0 9; Leah Bealmear 3 0-0 9; Skyler West 2 2-3 7; Lillian Peters 2 1-3 5; Emily Shearer 1 0-2 2; Totals 17 8-14 48.

Lansdale Catholic: Timaya Lewis-Eutsey 8 2-4 18; Riley DeVitis 4 9-12 17; Gabby Casey 5 2-5 13; Lauren Edwards 4 4-8 12; Mia Rosenberger 1 0-0 3; Alana Ciccocelli 0 0-2 0; Totals 22 18-31 63.

Three-pointers: B-Bealmear 3, Chenault, Oehmig, West; LC-Rosenberger.

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