DUBOIS, Pa. – Using a 13-0 fourth-quarter run, Otto-Eldred overcame a 10-point deficit going to the quarter and stunned WPIAL champion Bishop Canevin, 56-51, in the PIAA Class 1A second round Saturday afternoon at DuBois High School.
The D9 runner-up Lady Terrors (23-4) trailed 41-31 going to the fourth quarter before 3-pointers by Carrie Drummond, on a bank shot, and Katie Sheeler right out of the gate got Otto-Eldred within four, 41-37.
But Bishop Canevin was able to get a 3-pointer from Rachel Boehm and two free throws by Josie Bochicchio to get the lead back to nine, 46-37, with 5:47 to play.
Otto-Eldred, however, just kept coming.
A Bri Heller free throw followed by an Anna Merry 3-pointer started the 13-0 run that turned the entire complexion of the game.
By the time Sheeler had a steal and a layup, and Drummond banked home another triple the game was tied at 46 with just over 3 ½ minutes to play.
That’s when Bri Heller picked the perfect time to score her only basket of the game getting a putback to put the Lady Terrors ahead for good, 48-46, with 2:46 left.
Sheeler then capped the run with another steal and was fouled going in for the layup hitting both to make it 50-46 with 2:34 to play.
“I told him we won the third quarter,” Otto-Eldred head coach Shawn Gray, whose team was down 13 at halftime, said about what was talked about in between the third and the fourth quarters. “We just have to win the fourth quarter by more, a lot more. It was kind of funny, I told them we were going to make a couple of threes and a layup and be right back in the game. And I would be damned if Carrie Drummond doesn’t bank in a three (16 seconds into the quarter) and Katie (Sheeler) gets another three (40 seconds into the quarter).”
Ashley Lippold kept Bishop Canevin (18-10), which was the seventh seed in the WPIAL tournament before winning the title, within striking distance when she went coast-to-coast off a rebound with 1:55 to go to make it 50-48.
The game stayed that way until Sheeler hit two free throws with 29.5 to go to make it 52-48.
Amber Cross got the Crusaders back within three, 52-49, with a free throw at the 24.9-second mark, but Sheeler hit two more charity shots, part of an 8-for-8 quarter and 11 of 11 game for her from the line, with 20.1 left to make it a five-point lead, 54-49.
Lippold got a layup with 8.1 seconds left to make it 54-51, and Otto-Eldred turned the ball over on the inbounds pass throwing it out of bounds to give Bishop Canevin a chance to tie the game with 6.2 to play.
But Boehm elected to drive the baseline, and she was fouled. She missed the free throw, and the rebound came out to Sheeler, who was intentionally fouled with 0.3 of a second left sealing the win for Otto-Eldred.
“They started to believe,” Gray said. “They love one another and trust one another. Everything just kind of fell into place. I can’t wait to go back and watch it.”
Sheeler had a monster fourth quarter scoring 13 of her game-high 29 points in the quarter. She added five steals and five rebounds.
“She sees the game a little differently than most of us doing, including myself,” Gray said. “It’s not just the kids on the court (that she sees if differently than) it’s the people in the stands, the people who have been watching basketball for decades and decades. Players like that are once in a lifetime. I let her do her own thing. Her teammates love her. They go to bat for her, they support her. And she does the same thing for them. She is just a great basketball player and maybe a better person.”
Drummond, a freshman, continued her hot playoff shooting down three 3-pointers while finishing with a career-high 13 points.
“Carries in in there now for offense,” Gray said. “We have been kind of bringing her along and bringing her along, and she has earned that opportunity. When she hit that shot (at the start of the fourth quarter) it relaxed everybody.”
Merry added seven points and five rebounds.
“My kids found that belief,” Gray said. “They have believed in themselves all year long, it just took three quarters for it to happen today. It was kind of a blur. I am not going to lie.”
What wasn’t a blur was Bishop Canevin dictating the play in the first half when the Lady Crusaders (18-10), who were the seventh seed in the WPIAL playoffs before winning the title, built a 34-21 lead on the strength of eight points from Ashley Lippold and seven from Mackenzie Huet.
“They were playing a little faster and a little more confident than we were,” Gray said. “They weren’t scared of the momement. They weren’t afraid of the moment, and we were afraid to lose for a while. We missed a lot of shots around the rim and played half of the first half without Bri Heller because of foul trouble. We also had a lot of unforced turnovers. It kind of reminded me of last Saturday (when O-E lost to Elk County Catholic in the D9 title game). I asked them what they were afraid of and told them not to fear failure. We kind of got a little deep at halftime and talked about other things in the world. We told them they have it easy compared to other kids in the world.”
Brooke Close, who finished with four points and five rebounds, and Sheeler each scored four points in the third quarter to help the Lady Terrors get the game to a more manageable 10 points going to the fourth quarter.
We came out, especially in that fourth quarter, ready to roll,” Gray said. “Once we got it going, it was all downhill from there. We were good to go.”
Lippold led Bishop Canevin with 12 points with Boehm adding 11 and Huet and Bochicchio 10 each.
Otto-Eldred will take on District 10 champion Kennedy Catholic, a 55-29 winner over District 5 champion Shanksville-Stonycreek, in the quarterfinals Wednesday at a site and time to be announced.
“What it means to me and my kids right now is we get to play another game,” Gray said. “I am super, super happy about that. I can’t say enough about how great of people I get to coach. I am the luckiest dude at least in McKean County. I get to coach a bunch of young ladies who are fun to be around but who know when it is time to go to work, it’s time to go to work. They never stop.
“I know our community is super proud of us, and maybe we get another one. I don’t know.”
NOTES: Otto-Eldred became the third District 9 team to end a Bishop Canevin team’s season this year joining the Clarion volleyball team (which has beaten BC in the semifinals the last two seasons on its way to PIAA 1A titles) and the Redbank Valley football team (which beat BC in the semifinals) … An interesting note, though, is the basketball team didn’t have one player on it who lost to Clarion in the volleyball semifinals … Going into the PIAA playoffs this year, Otto-Eldred had won exactly one PIAA playoff game in school history … This marks the fourth time in the six years since the PIAA expanded to six classifications in basketball that a D9 team has reached the quarterfinals. Coudersport went straight to the quarterfinals last year in a champions-only tournament because of COVID-19, Coudersport and North Clarion were both in the quarterfinals in 2020 when COVID shut down the season, and North Clarion advanced to the quarterfinals in 2017.
OTTO-ELDRED 56, BISHOP CANEVIN 51
Score by Quarters
Otto-Eldred 12 9 10 25 – 56
Bishop Canevin 16 18 7 10 – 51
OTTO-ELDRED – 56
Anna Merry 3 0-0 7, Brooke CLose 2 0-0 4, Katie Sheeler 8 11-11 29, Carrie Drummond 5 0-0 13, Kate Rhinehart 0 0-0 0, Hannah Gordon 0 0-0 0, Bri Heller 1 1-2 3. Totals 19 12-13 56,
BISHOP CANEVIN – 51
Rachel Boehm 4 2-4 11, Maura Pechin 0 0-0 0, Natalie Kirsch 0 0-0 0, Mackenzie Huet 4 2-4 10, Ashley Lippold 4 4-5 12, Josie Bochicchio 2 5-6 10, Erin Jameson 1 0-0 3, Amber Cross 1 1-2 5. Totals 15 14-21 51.
Three-pointers: Otto-Eldred 6 (Drummond 3, Sheeler 2, Merry). Bishop Canevin 3 (Boehm, Bochicchio, Jameson).
UNION (NEW CASTLE) 38, ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC 35
CLARION, Pa. – Down 18 at halftime, Elk County Catholic watched a 30-foot 3-pointer from Lucy Klawuhn hit off the front of the rim in a gut-wrenching 38-35 loss to Union (New Castle) in the PIAA Class 1A girls basketball playoffs Saturday afternoon at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym.
Watch the final shot
“We were going to screen and rescreen for Lucy,” ECC head coach Ken Pistner said. “We were going to screen for Syd (Alexander) first and rescreen and get Lucy hopefully on a little back screen. That girl fought over the screen pretty hard. We were hoping to get it right about the 3-point line.”
D9 champion ECC (25-4) trailed 28-10 at halftime after shooting 4 of 18 in the opening 16 minutes with 10 turnovers.
WPIAL third-place finisher Union-New Castle (22-2), meanwhile, shot 12 of 23 in the opening half with just one turnover and used a pair of 9-0 runs (one at the start of the game and another at the start of the second quarter) to build a 26-5 lead with 3:30 to play in the first half.
“Offensively, they hit a few shots right off the bat,” Pistner said. “And we had a hard time staying with them a little bit earlier. The same thing happened against Monessen (in the PIAA first round). We had a hard time adjusting early to their quickness, and they have some really good shooters out there. We left them open.
“Offensively, we came down and had unforced turnovers early. We dug us a hole, and we started to worry a little bit.”
But the second half belonged to the Lady Crusaders.
They ended the third quarter on a 10-2 run led by five Tori Newsome points to get within 10, 33-23, going to the final eight minutes.
“I knew we were going to make a run,” Pistner said. “Our goal was to get it to 10 at the end of three. Well, look, at the end of three, it’s 10 points. Now we have some momentum.”
Then still down 11, 36-25, Klawuhn and Syd Alexander hit 3-pointers to make it a five-point game, 36-31, following Alexander’s triple with 1:46 to play.
Sami Straub then hit two free throws to make it 36-33 before Kelly Cleaver hit two for Union with 19 seconds left to make it 38-33.
Newton, however, grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it back in with just over seven seconds to play to make it 38-35, and the Scotties turned the ball over in front of the ECC bench with 2.8 to go setting up Klawuhn’s last-second shot at sending the game to overtime.
“We made some changes (in the second half),” Pistner said. “We changed some defenses a little bit. We made a few adjustments offensively. But they just went out and executed in the second half. But, wow. Who would have thought we were down 18 at the half and have a shot to tie it go off the front of the rim. That’s a heck of an effort.”
ECC, which never substituted, got 12 points from Klawuhn on four 3-pointers. Straub and Alexander each added eight points and Newton had seven points and 12 rebounds.
Kylie Fruehstoffer and Zoe Lepri each had nine points for Union-New Castle but 14 of those 18 came before halftime including all nine for Zepri, who scored seven in the first quarter alone.
Cleaver chipped in with eight points.
Union-New Castle will take on District 6 champion Portage, a 53-35 winner over District 5 runner-up Berlin Brothersvalley, in the quarterfinals Wednesday at a site and time to be announced.
For ECC, the future looks bright as all five starters Saturday were sophomores.
“This game will go a long way towards next year,” Pistner said. “There’s a lot of tears in there. The more you have invested, the harder it is to end. This team has a lot invested. I know this will drive them, motivate them, for next year.”
UNION (NEW CASTLE) 38, ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC 35
Score by Quarters
Elk CC 5 5 13 12 – 35
Union 17 11 5 5 – 38
ELK COUNTY CATHOLIC – 35
Lucy Klawuhn 4 0-0 12, Sami Straub 2 4-4 8, Syd Alexander 3 0-0 8, Tori Newton 3 1-6 7, Emily Mourer 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 5-10 35.
UNION (NEW CASTLE) – 38
Kayla Fruehstoffer 2 0-0 6, Kylie Fruehstoffer 3 1-3 9, Kelly Cleaver 3 2-2 8, Zoe Lepri 4 1-2 9, Kendall Preuhs 1 0-0 2, Bella Cameron 0 0-0 0, Mia Preuhs 2 0-0 4. Totals 15 4-7 38.
Three-pointers: ECC 6 (Klawuhn 4, Alexander 2). Union 4 (Kayla Fruehstoffer 2, Kylie Fruehstoffer 2).