Kreisl’s late basket lifts Fillies
Moravian Academy’s Marina Falzone and Marian’s Julia Kreisl (3) battle for rebounding position during Monday’s District 11 Class 2A semifinal. For a photo gallery go to www.tnonline.com. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS
MINERSVILLE – Marian’s Emily Shaud did what all the great players do in clutch situations – she willed her team to victory.
Like a true warrior and champion, Shaud never wavered as the pressure kept mounting on Monday against a gangly, rangy Moravian Academy team in the District 11 Class 2A semifinal.
Shaud lifted her team to an early lead, then bedazzled the Lions with her ballhandling in the final minutes.
Finally, with the game tied and the clock ticking down, Shaud dribbled through the Lions’ defense and found teammate Julia Kreisl sneaking in from along the left baseline. Her precision pass led to Kreisl’s last-second game-winner in a thrilling 38-36 Marian victory.
“They played a box-and-one (on Shaud), which was smart strategy,” said Marian coach Paul Brutto. “But Emily just took control, ran some time off the clock and made a play. It’s not the first time she’s done that this year.”
As guts rolled with excitement, and the tension mounted, Shaud knew she had to make something happen. After all, she had scored 21 points and pulled down five rebounds in an effort that made it clear she wasn’t going to allow her team to suffer a season-ending loss.
“We’ve been looking at their film and knew how they played and what they would come with,” said Shaud about the late winning basket. “We focused on being poised.”
There was no secret as to who would have the ball for the Fillies after Brutto called a time out with :09 remaining.
“The play was for me, but when they had three (defenders) on me and I saw Julia open, I gave it to her,” explained Shaud about the winning basket. “We were supposed to screen for me to get a shot, but the way it developed, Julia was wide open.”
Brutto said Kreisl deserves credit as well.
“That pass at the end was dynamic, but Julia’s got to put it in,” said Brutto. “It’s a layup at the end with the game on the line. It’s not easy putting it in. It’s got to find the bottom of the hole. So it was very clutch.”
Marian controlled the game early. The Fillies raced to a 15-9 first quarter lead and were in control 21-13 at halftime.
Shaud was brutally tough, not only with her offense, but with her defense that was pestering the Lions and forcing turnovers. She poured in five straight points, two off steals, and when Emma McClafferty put back a miss at the 5:27 mark of the third quarter, Marian’s lead was 28-15.
Where things would change was the large presence of 6-4 Moravian junior center Maya Ettle. She would combine with freshman Marina Falzone to cause huge issues for the Fillies.
Ettle rallied her team, scoring six unanswered points before a triple by the Lions’ Grace Moser right before the third quarter buzzer cut the Fillie lead to 31-26.
“We kind of lost track of some kids and they made some shots,” said Brutto about the Lions’ rally.
Moravian continued to inch closer as Falzone’s three-pointer pulled her team to within 34-33. Shaud looked like a savior with a pair of foul conversions at the 2:23 mark. But Ettle used her frame to nail a shot in the paint, was fouled, and converted for a 36-36 tie with 1:43 left.
Marian then put the ball in Shaud’s hands, and she almost single-handedly ran the clock down, weaving in and out of traffic with her dribble before the Fillies called a timeout with :09 remaining to set up the game-winner.
“These kids have been resilient all year, and I’m kind of proud of the way they hung tough,” said Brutto.
RECORDS… Marian is now 20-3. The Fillies will play Mahanoy Area for the third time this season on Thursday at 7 p.m. at North Schuylkill for the district title. Both the Fillies and Golden Bears, will advance to the state tournament. Moravian finished the season 13-12.
SHOOTING IT UP AND MORE… Marian went 14--for-28 from the floor; Moravian was 15-for-40. McClafferty pulled down eight rebounds, while Isabella Schwabe added seven.
Ma. Falzone 6-1-1-13, Ettle 4-3-3-11, Moser 2-2-2-8, H. Falzone 1-0-0-2, O’Connor 1-0-0-2. Spugnardi 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 14-6-6-36.
Shaud 6-7-10-21, Schwabe 3-0-2-6, Alansky 2-1-2-5, McClafferty 2-0-1-4, Kreisl 1-0-0-2, Digris 0-0-0-0. TOTALS: 14-8-16-38.
Moravian 9 4 13 10 – 36
Marian 15 6 11 7 - 38
Three-pointers: Moravian - Moser 2. Marian - Shaud 3.