KITTANNING, Pa. – Kennedy Catholic went on a 20-0 run against Shanksville-Stonycreek and never looked back in a 55-29 victory to advance to the PIAA Class 1A quarterfinals.
The Vikings (18-7), the District 5 champions, got within 11-10 on Josie Snyder’s three-point play with 6:18 to go in the second quarter.
The District 10 champion Golden Eagles responded in a big way, scoring the final 16 points of the first half and the first four of the second half.
In fact, they held the Vikings without a point for nearly 11 minutes of game action until Snyder’s traditional three with 3:35 to go in the third quarter made it 31-13.
“We emphasize defense every day in practice,” said Kennedy Catholic senior Bellah DiNardo. “That’s really the main thing that we focus on. We have anyone who can score but our defense is really what gets us to where we want to be.”
See DiNardo’s full interview here:
DiNardo led Kennedy Catholic (23-2) with 15 points in what was another balanced effort that saw them beat the Vikings for the third-consecutive season in the state playoffs.
Hayden Keith began the run with a three-pointer, with Monique Vincent also connecting from deep and DiNardo closing out the first half with a bucket.
A Layke Fields layup made the score 31-10 before Snyder’s three stopped the bleeding for Shanksville-Stonycreek.
Also scoring in double figures for Kennedy Catholic were Paris Gilmore with 11 points and Fields and Vincent with 10 each.
“We’ve played them (Shanksville) the last two years, but we never take them lightly,” DiNardo said. “They’re a pretty good team, our defense just overpowered today.
With the win, the Golden Eagles advance to play District 9 runner-up Otto-Eldred on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined. The Terrors rallied from a 13-point deficit to stun WPIAL champion Bishop Canevin, 56-51.
KENNEDY CATHOLIC 55, SHANKSVILLE-STONYCREEK 29
Kennedy Catholic 11 16 11 17 – 55
Shanksville-Stoneycreek 5 5 4 15 – 29
KENNEDY CATHOLIC – 55
Bellah DiNardo 7-1-2-15, Hayden Keith 1-0-0-3, Paris Gilmore 4-3-4-11, Alayjah Jones 1-0-0-2, Layke Fields 3-4-7-10, Monique Vincent 1-7-8-10, Isabella Bianco 1-0-0-2, Sophia Lombardi 0-0-0-0, Alaina Suhar 0-0-2-0, Cassandra Dancak 1-0-0-2, Totals 19-15-23-55
SHANKSVILLE-STONYCREEK – 29
Kendall Stutzman 1-0-0-3, Lis Salsgiver 1-0-0-3, Rylee Snyder 1-3-7-5, Sam Creamer 2-1-2-6, Josie Snyder 3-5-5-12, Lauren Mostoller 0-0-0-0, Lindsey Frazick 0-0-0-0, Florence Hufford 0-0-0-0, Totals 8-9-14-29
Three-pointers: Kennedy Catholic 2 (Vincent, Keith); Shanksville-Stonycreek 4 (Salsgiver, Stutzman, Creamer, J. Snyder).
VILLA MARIA 59, BEDFORD 29
KITTANNING, Pa. – Villa Maria and Carissa Dunham came out firing on all cylinders in Saturday’s PIAA Class 4A second-round game against Bedford, scoring 25 first-quarter points on their way to a 59-29 victory.
Dunham was largely responsible for that, drilling five threes in the first 4:30 of the game, scoring 17 of her game-high 20 points in the first quarter.
“It’s fun to watch,” said Villa coach Doug Chuzie. “Watching her teammates find her when she’s open, watching Carissa read the screens and her footwork. As a coach, we work hard on those things, and to see it come to fruition during a game makes you really happy to see.”
Bedford (22-6), the Class 5A champion, hung with the D10 champion Victors early thanks to the play of Natalie Lippincott, who had 10 points of her own in the first quarter, including a pair of threes.
The Victors still led by 12, however, and ratcheted up the defensive intensity, surrendering just 16 points over the final three quarters.
“Bedford came out and ran some nice offensive sets and might have caught us off guard a little bit,” Chuzie said. “We started communicating better in the second quarter and we were able to string together some stops.”
While Dunham had the hot hand in the first quarter, it was Jayden McBride’s turn in the second, as she drilled a pair of triples and had eight points in the stanza, with the lead swelling to 39-19 at halftime after a pair of Lena Walz free throws.
Here McBride talk about the win afterward:
Walz, who finished with 17 points, drilled a three to start the third quarter, and Villa (23-2) put the running clock into effect after three, building a 30-point lead.
McBride was also in double figures for the Victors with 14 points, while Daniela Shaugnessy, who spent much of the first half in foul trouble, tallied eight.
Lippincott led Bedford with 15 points.
With the win, Villa advances to play WPIAL champion Blackhawk (26-0), a 72-52 second-round winner over Southmoreland (WPIAL No. 4) in the quarterfinals on Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.
“We’re going to give it our best shot on Wednesday,” Chuzie said. “They’re phenomenal. They have great guard play and can also score inside with Quinn (Borroni). Coach (Steve) Lodovico, as far as I’m concerned, is one of the best coaches in the state.”
VILLA MARIA 59, BEDFORD 29
Bedford 13 6 4 6 – 29
Villa Maria 25 14 14 6 – 59
BEDFORD – 29
Sydney Taracatac 4-1-4-9, Josie Shuke 1-0-0-2, Natalie Lippincott 4-4-6-15, Riley Ruffley 0-1-2-1, Lizzy Martz 1-0-0-2, Kaitlyn Richardson 0-0-0-0, Rachel Weber 0-0-0-0, Autumn Becker 0-0-0-0, Taylor Koontz 0-0-0-0, Avery Weaverly 0-0-0-0, Totals 10-6-12-29
VILLA MARIA – 59
Lena Walz 5-4-4-17, Tori Mayes 0-0-0-0, Carissa Dunham 7-0-0-0-20, Daniela Shaughnessy 4-0-0-8, Jayden McBride 6-0-0-14, McKenna Valone 0-0-0-0, Addie Biel 0-0-0-0, Ava Lucarotti 0-0-0-0, Aliece Taylor 0-0-0-0, Alexis Cruz 0-0-0-0, Diana Cook 0-0-0-0, Abby Corsale 0-0-0-0, Totals 22-4-4-59
Three-pointers: Bedford 3 (Lippincott 3); Villa Maria 11 (Dunham 6, Walz 3, McBride 2).