Bishop McCort Rebounding Helps Crushers End Keystone Girls’ Season

KITTANNING, Pa. (D9Sports) – In Keystone’s PIAA opening-round win over Cambridge Springs, the Lady Panthers shot lights out.

(Photo of Keystone’s Emily Lauer, who had 16 points in the loss to Bishop McCort Tuesday. Photo by Diane McMunn. See more of McMunn’s work here)

Unfortunately for Keystone, the same could not be said Tuesday night in a 73-34 loss to Bishop McCort in the second round of the PIAA Class 2A tournament at Armstrong High School.

Relisten to the game:

The Lady Panthers (17-10), the second-place team out of District 9, hit just 4 of 23 first-half shots (17.4 percent) and finished the game shooting 23.9 percent (11 of 46) while only making more than two baskets in one quarter, the third when Keystone went 5 of 10 from the field.

“Sometimes, basketball, you are playing yourself as much as much as you are playing the other team,” Keystone head coach Josh Almes said. “We were struggling to get shots. We were finding the front of the rim almost every single time there in the first half. But, hey, the girls fought hard, played until the end. I’m proud of them.”

That coupled with an inability to keep Bishop McCort (16-11), the fourth-place team out of District 6, off the offensive – the Crushers had 22 offensive rebounds while outrebounding Keystone 40-31 – led to a long night for the Lady Panthers.

“We were having trouble getting our hands on the rebounds early,” Almes, whose team was outrebounded 21-7 in the first quarter including allowing 14 offensive boards, said. “That allowed them to build that quick lead.”

Despite Keystone’s first-half shooting issues coupled with a turnover problem – the Lady Panthers gave the ball away 14 times in the opening half – it was still down just three, 7-4, following an Emily Lauer basket with 2:26 to play in the first quarter.

But Bishop McCort ended the quarter with a 10-3 spurt to take a 17-7 lead and then started the second quarter on a 13-0 run to increase the advantage to 30-7 just before the four-minute mark of the quarter.

“They have a lot of speed on the outside,” Almes said. “I give them credit, they threw a mean outlet pass. Even after our layups, they were right in our face at halfcourt. We were having trouble getting girls turned around in time. We just weren’t used to that kind of speed.”

By halftime, the Crushers lead was 40-13, and my the end of the third quarter it was 61-29.

“I love this team,” Almes said. “It’s the best team I have ever coached. We are ready to lock and reload for next year.”

Alexis Smith led Bishop McCort with a game-high 21 points with Bailey Shriver adding 15 points, including eight in the second quarter, Bella Hunt 10 points and seven rebounds and Mikalya Martin eight points. Bria Bair grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds, all before halftime, to go with four points.

Emily Lauer paced Keystone with 16 points while going 8 of 9 from the free-throw line. She scored the first seven points of the game for the Lady Panthers and also finished with six rebounds. Jozee Weaver added nine points and seven rebounds and Danae Hurrelbrink seven points. Natalie Bowser had two points and seven rebounds.

Bishop McCort will face The Ellis School, a 47-35 winner over Everett, in the quarterfinals Friday, March 13, at a site and time to be announced.


Score by Quarters

Keystone 7 6 16 5 – 34
B. McCort 17 24 20 12 – 73


Katie LaCaze 0 0-0 0, Emily Lauer 4 8-9 16, Maddie Dunlap 0 0-0 0, Alyssa Dunlap 0 0-0 0, Danae Hurrelbrink 2 2-2 7, Jozee Weaver 4 1-2 9, Natalie Bowser 1 0-0 2, Jessica Servey 0 0-0 0. Toals 11 11-13 34.


Bella Hunt 5 0-0 10, Bailey Shriver 6 0-0 15, Mikaya Martin 4 0-0 8, Hailee Janidlo 0 0-0 0, Bria Briar 1 2-4 4, Alexis Smith 9 1-4 21, Ally Diamond 3 0-0 6, Emily Ream 1 0-0 2, Lauren Selfridge 2 0-0 5,Reagan McClurkin 0 0-0 0, Allyanna Stephens 1 0-0 2, Kierstin Way 0 0-0 0. Totals 32 3-8 73.

Three-pointers: Keystone 1 (Hurrelbrink). Bishop McCort 6 (Shriver 3, A. Smith 2, Selfridge)

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