Golden Hawks edge Pleasant Valley
Pleasant Valley’s Riley Wagner tries to drive past S. Rodriguez of Bethlehem Catholic during Friday’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoff game. LINDA ROTHROCK/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
BETHLEHEM – In what appeared to be expected in Friday night’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference girls quarterfinal between Bethlehem Catholic and Pleasant Valley, the Golden Hawks stormed to an early 18-4 lead.
But what was unexpected was how underdog Pleasant Valley fought back against their top-seeded opponents
The Bears not only hung in with Bethlehem Catholic, but rallied to take the lead at one in the third quarter.
In the end, the Golden Hawks slowly pulled away for a 56-49 win.
“They played hard. They extended their defense,” Bethlehem Catholic head coach Jose Medina said of Pleasant Valley. “It gave our kids a little bit of problems. They did a good job of making the vision up top hard for our guards to see.
“Credit to them. They played hard and battled back.”
The Bears grabbed the lead for the first time in the game with 2:31 left in the third quarter when Cameron Caffrey nailed a three-pointer to give PV a 29-27 lead.
The lead switched hands two more times before Becahi got some big shots from Isabelle Rosario and Abigail Brown to ice the game. Pleasant Valley kept the Golden Hawks honest in this one, making it a close contest for most of the second half.
“I think our kids really worked hard and they didn’t give up,” Pleasant Valley head coach Nadia Gauronsky said. “Bethlehem Catholic is the No. 1seed and for us to come in as the No. 8 seed and be in the game in the fourth quarter and play as hard as we did ... I’m very proud of the work and the effort that our girls put into the game.”
Caffrey led the Bears with 18 points. Teammate Madison Rosenberg joined her in double-digits by adding 10 points.
Friday night’s version of the Bears was a far cry from the team that lost a couple nights earlier to Pocono Mountain West in a game that decided the EPC Mountain Division championship.
One person that Gauronsky thought played especially well against the Golden Hawks was Rosenberg.
“I thought Madie Rosenburg responded well,” Gauronsky said.” Wednesday in the West game, she didn’t play as well as we know her to play. She had a better basketball game tonight.”
NEXT STEP ... Bethlehem Catholic will face Freedom Wednesday night in an EPC semifinal game, while Pleasant Valley prepares for the District 11 Class 6A tournament.
BOUNCE BACK … Gauronsky talked about how the Bears changed were a different team the past few days. “We talked about our mindset,” she said. “We learned a lot from the West game. We came in and worked really, really hard at practice. We had a long talk about things, and the girls bought into the system we put in place. They worked really hard tonight.”
CALLING CARD ... “What we do is play defense. That’s our calling card,” Medina said. “Our girls did a good job of coming up big in certain spots. Our rotations were able to get some of those deflections that led to steals and easy opportunities for us.”
R. Wagner 0-0-0-0, Caffrey 6-2-3-18, O’Neil 1-0-0-3, A.Wagner 1-0-0-2, B. Clark 1-0-0-2, A. Clark 1-3-4-5, Rosenburg 5-0-2-10, Schwenck 4-1-1-9. TOTALS: 19-6-10-49.
Rosario 1-2-4-5, Lanier 3-0-0-7, Walters 0-0-0-0, Barnard 5-5-9-15, Williamson 0-0-0-0, Rodriguez 1-0-0-2, McNally 0-0-0-0, Wilson 8-2-2-19, Stanton 0-0-0-0, Donato 0-0-0-0, Scott 0- 0-0-0, Brown 3-0-1-6, Perez 0-0-0-0, Peterson 0-0-0-0, Zambo 1-0-0-2. TOTALS: 22-9-16-56.
Pleasant Vy. 4 12 17 16 - 49
Beth. Cath. 18 3 13 22 - 56
Three-pointers: Pleasant Valley Caffrey 4, O’Neil 1; Bethlehem Catholic - Rosario 1, Lanier 1, Wilson 1.