The Marian Fillies did so much so well last night. Their only let-up proved to be their downfall.
They held Pottsville Nativity's Nikki Farr, who has been averaging over 16 points a game, to just one field goal. They outrebounded their opponent by a 3:1 margin; 39-13. The came from behind and took a four point lead with three minutes to play.
Marian's inability to protect the basketball proved to be the deciding factor, however.
As a result, the Fillies were handed a 44-43 loss in a Division III matchup Thursday night in Hometown, Marian's only loss in nine games.
Marian Coach Paul Brutto said it was obvious to him how Nativity (7-2 overall, 4-0 league) escaped with the win.
"We were inefficient on offense," he said. "We didn't take care of the ball really well."
He gave credit to Nativity for being able to capitalize on his squad's mistakes, noting that bad passes and poor decisions were the fatal factor.
Both of the Pottsville squad's top scorers, Farr and teammate Keily Chaklos were virtually shut down scoring wise, guarded effectively by juniors Kaysi McLaughlin and Danielle Tristani.
Farr has been averaging three three-pointers and 16.3 points per game. She was allowed only one two-point basket last night.
Chaklos is averaging 16.8 points per game but had only 10 last night, including just three inside goals.
McLaughlin kept the 3-2 zone offense of Nativity honest, hitting a trio of three-pointers, all coming at very crucial times. The first came in the second period when the Fillies had been down by four. In the third period, Marian was trailing by five when she swished her long jumper. The final one happened early in the fourth quarter when her corner shot put her team ahead by four.
The game was a see-saw battle all night. Early in the third quarter, the visitors pulled ahead by nine. The Fillies fought back and with only three minutes to play, led 40-36.
A pair of Nativity buckets knotted the score at 40-40 with just 1:18 to play. The Fillies' Samantha Faust made one of two free throws to make it 41-40 with 1:03 left.
But Nativity's Brigette Holohan found herself open and calmly sank a three-pointer from about a foot beyond the top of the key with just 49 seconds remaining to give the Golden Girls a lead that they wouldn't relinquish.
Nativity coach George Forney said he felt the aggressiveness and speed of his team caught Marian off guard.
"We didn't really do much under the boards but we did a lot with stealing and turnovers," Forney said.
He laughed when he talked about how small his players were compared to the Fillies, stating, "I have a five-foot-five kid playing a post player. We're small, we're quick, and we have an awful lot of heart."
"We kept our composure the two or three times they made runs at us," he added.
Brutto said he will emphasize to his players that they have no time to feel sorry for themselves after last night's loss with three more difficult games on the horizon.
On Saturday, the Fillies play Notre Dame of Green Pond. They return to league play next week with games against Minersville and Shamokin Lourdes.
Nativity also won the jayvee game over Marian, 41-29.
FARR 1-2-4-4, HUGHES 5-2-6-12, CHAKLOS 3-4-6-10, ANDREFSKI 1-0-0-2, HOLOHAN 2-1-2-6, DITZEL 3-0-0-6, FIELD 1-0-0-2, SABOL 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 17-9-18-44.
Green 0-0-0-0, Faust 1-1-2-3, McLaughlin 3-0-0-9, Gutsie 1-0-0-3, Markiewicz 0-0-1-0, Shober 0-0-2-0, Ferko 4-4-8-12, Tristani 5-5-6-16. Totals: 14-10-19-43.
Nativity 12 12 9 11 - 44
Marian 7 12 15 9 - 43
Three-pointers: N - Holohan 1. M - McLaughlin 3, Gutsie 1, Tristani 1.