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Kennedy Catholic’s bid for State Title Comes up Just Short at the Hands of Garvin, Northumberland Christian

Kennedy Catholic' freshman Layke FIelds goes up for two of her team-high 21 points. Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick's work here



HERSHEY, Pa. – A golden season for the Kennedy Catholic girls basketball ended in silver on Thursday.

The Golden Eagles led by as many as eight in the first half, but wound up on the short end of a 66-54 score against Northumberland Christian in the PIAA Class 1A championship game thanks in large part to a 35-point effort by senior guard Emily Garvin.

“She single-handedly hurt us the entire game,” noted Kennedy Catholic head coach Justin Magestro.


Garvin made a living at the foul line, going 16-of-23 for the game and as a team, the Warriors were 22-of-33 compared with 12-of-15 for Kennedy.

Garvin did all of this despite battling foul trouble herself, getting whistled for three fouls in the first half.

“We ran into some foul trouble and had to make some substitutions,” noted Magestro. “All year long our subs have done a great job and I thought we had a really good chance coming out of halftime, but we just started off too slow. They went on a run and it just seemed like we could never get back in the game.”

That key run Magestro was referring to was an 18-4 spurt by the Warriors that turned a 36-31 Kennedy advantage at halftime into a 49-40 Northumberland advantage with 2:28 to go in the third quarter.

During that span, Garvin scored 10 points and the Warriors got a three courtesy of Emma Ulmer.

Freshman Layke Fields kept Kennedy, which was seeking its first state championship since 2001, in the game, scoring all eight of their points in the frame.

A layup by senior Bellah DiNardo to start the fourth quarter got Kennedy within three, 49-46, but a three from Anna Ulmer spearheaded a 7-0 run that got the lead back to 10 with 4:47 to play.

“We didn’t shoot it that great from three-point land and they shot it well,” noted Magestro. “So you know, we try to hang our hat on our defense, but I just think they played very well. They hit big shots and Garvin was very good.”

The PIAA Class 1A runner-up Kennedy Catholic Golden Eagles.

A triple from Monique Vincent got the game back into single digits, 61-54 with 1:25 to play, but Kennedy wasn’t able to get any closer.

“You’ve got to play 32 minutes to win a state championship,” Magestro said. “But this will motivate us to get back here and I promise we’re going to be even hungrier to get back here next year.”

Northumberland (27-3) actually led early, 15-8 after a layup by Garvin with 2:44 to play in the first quarter, but Kennedy responded with a 10-3 run to close the quarter to tie the game at 18 apiece. It was part of a larger 28-16 run to end the half.

Vincent knocked down a pair of threes in the first quarter and Fields also had six points in the opening eight minutes, and it was DiNardo that went to work in the second.

DiNardo scored eight of her 14 points in the period, which also included a big three from junior guard Paris Gilmore.

The Golden Eagles took their biggest lead of the game, 32-24 on a pair of free throws by Fields with 2:11 to go before halftime. It was a big day for the freshman on the game’s brightest stage, as she had a team-high 21 points to go along with 12 rebounds (7 offensive).

“I’m very proud of our girls, very proud of the community, and very proud of Kennedy Catholic,” Magestro said.

DiNardo, playing in her final game in a Golden Eagle uniform, had six rebounds, five assists, and a block to go along with her 14 points, while Gilmore finished with 10 points and four assists and Vincent nine points.

Both Gilmore and Vincent fouled out in the fourth quarter, as Kennedy was whistled for 21 fouls and Northumberland 15.

Garvin had a tremendous all-around game, nearly finishing with a triple-double in one of the most memorable performances in a PIAA championship game in recent memory. She had 12 rebounds, eight assists, and six steals to go along with her 35 points, while Anna Ulmer had 17 points and nine rebounds.

For the game, Kennedy shot 34.5% from the field (4-of-17 from three) and Northumberland was 40.4% (6-of-12 from three). Northumberland also held a 41-32 edge on the glass.

“It’s a big game, a big atmosphere, and it’s not the result that we wanted, but at the end of the day, I think they’ll be ready for this stage next year because they’ve had a taste of it,” Magestro said. “The feet are wet now and they’ll know what to expect. We’re going to use it as a coaching opportunity and a learning lesson and work our butts off all offseason to get back down here.”


By Quarters

Northumberland Christian 18  13  18  17 – 66
Kennedy Catholic                 18  18   8   10 – 54


Eden Treas 1-1-2-4, Emily Garvin 9-16-23-35, Emily McCahan 1-0-0-2, Anna Ulmer 6-3-4-17, Jenika Krum 1-0-0-3, Kendra Schoeppner 0-0-0-0, Aubrie Hostetter 0-0-0-0, Allison Miller 0-0-0-0, Kara Wilhelm 0-0-0-0, Caryssa Ressler 0-0-00, Totals 19-22-33-66.


Bellah DiNardo 5-4-4-14, Hayden Keith 0-0-0-0, Paris Gilmore 2-5-6-10, Alayjah Jones 0-0-0-0, Layke Fields 9-3-5-21, Monique Vincent 3-0-0-9, Isabella Bianco 0-0-0-0, Sophia Lombardi 0-0-0-0, Alaina Suhar 0-0-0-0, Totals 19-12-15-54.

Three-pointers: Northumberland Christian 6 (A. Ulmer 2, Treas, Garvin, E. Ulmer, Krum); Kennedy Catholic 4 (Vincent 3, Gilmore).

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