Not in the Cards.
Finding a lid on the Meadville High School gymnasium rim in the second half, the Cochranton girls’ basketball team’s aspirations of matching the boys’ feat of winning the PIAA District 10 championship faded away as Kennedy Catholic repeated as the Class A champion with a 49-38 win on Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Eagles (20-2) overcame a 22-16 halftime deficit.
After a near-perfect first half, Cochranton (19-5) lost its shooting touch in the second half and Kennedy Catholic capitalized. Hitting only one-of-11 shots in the third quarter, the Cardinals’ lead went away as the Golden Eagles went into the fourth quarter with a 27-25 advantage.
“We were getting some open looks ... we just couldn’t put the ball in the hoop,” said a dejected Cochranton coach Gary Egli.
KC went for the jugular in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter and succeeded as sopohomore April Bocian scored in the low block and Tatum Kress followed with a 3-pointer to increase the Golden Eagles’ lead to 34-27 with 6:39 remaining in the game.
Cochranton then started showing signs of pressing — committing four turnovers in a two-minute stretch as Kennedy Catholic built its lead to 40-30 with 1:57 showing on the clock.
Egli was confused.
“I honestly don’t know what happened in the second half ... maybe the pressure got to us,” he said. “After watching the boys win, I knew it was going to be a blessing or a curse for us. I think we wanted it too much.”
Back to the positive side of the game: the first half.
Down 6-4, the Cardinals’ seniors Kendell Dickson scored on two cuts and Madison Bernarding pumped in a 15-footer to give CHS a 10-6 lead with 1:12 remaining in the opening quarter.
Cochranton fell behind 12-10 in the opening minutes of the second stanza, but responded with an 8-0 run to take an 18-12 lead with 4:09 remaining on the clock. The scoring was spread out as Bernarding, Kendall Dickson, Kassidy Dickson and Morghan Egli each scored two points.
“I thought we excecuted really well in the first half,” said Egli. “We were focused and we were taking good shots. We were ahead of the battle.”
The Lady Cardinals lost the battle in the second half.
However, Egli & Co. are still moving on as they will compete in the PIAA Class A interdistrict playoffs.
“Hopefully, we will have a rematch with Kennedy Catholic down the road,” said Egli. “There is still a lot of basketball left to be played by us.”
Game notes: Bernarding led Cochranton with a game-high 21 points. ... Bocian and Kress were Kennedy Catholic’s top scorers with 18 and 14 points, respectively. ... Kassidy Dickson was the Lady Cardinals’ top rebounder with 13 caroms. ... The Cochranton boys’ squad — which claimed the D-10 Class championship with a 69-54 win over Erie First on Friday night — strolled in the front of the Cochranton crowd before the game and received a standing ovation. ... The Lady Cardinals will open interdistrict competition on Saturday against the WPIAL runner-up Serra Catholic at a site and time to be determined. ... Villa Maria will also be in action on Saturday against WPIAL No. 4 seed California at a site and time to be determined.
Not in the Cards.
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