NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Hoping that the third time was a charm come playoff time, the Moniteau Lady Warriors pulled away in the second half for a 57-47 win over Redbank Valley in the District 9 Class 3A semifinals Wednesday night.
Losing two games to the second-seeded Lady Bulldogs by the scores of 59-56 and 54-49 during the regular season to its KSAC rivals, No. 3 seed Moniteau (14-9) flipped the result and gets a crack at unbeaten and top-seeded Punxsutawney Friday night. The Lady Chucks routed No. 4 seed Karns City, 49-17.
“I definitely think we had a chance,” Moniteau star Aslyn Pry said. “We just had to stop their main player from scoring and just play better defense. We knew we could do well on the offensive end. I think we just knew we had to play better defense.
“It feels great. This was a very big win for us. It was an upset. We weren’t expected to win. I am very proud of my team for getting here. We worked really hard. We have had a lot of younger girls step up. A lot of girls got into today and played well.”
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Moniteau’s defense played a big role limiting Redbank Valley, the 2020 D9 2A champion before moving up a classification this season, to a lowly 24 percent (18-for-74) shooting from the field, which included 1-for-12 from beyond the 3-point line.
“Our girls were resilient tonight,” Moniteau head coach Dee Arblaster said. “They were very disappointed with the last loss to Redbank. Redbank is a great team. The girls just executed everything we asked them to.”
Pry also played a big role with a huge performance for the Lady Warriors. She finished with 23 points and 20 rebounds.
Just as important as her statistics was her leadership, according to Arblaster.
“I thought Aslyn Pry took leadership in making sure that the girls knew what we needed to do,” Arblaster said. “She plays with sometimes four freshmen on the floor, and she takes a leadership role and does well.”
Two of those freshmen – Abby Jewart and Catherine Kelly – played key roles.
Jewart came off the bench to nail four 3-pointers to score 12 points and Kelly finished with 10 points, all in the second half.
“Our freshman group this year, they are a dedicated bunch,” Arblaster said. “They love the game of basketball. They work at their game hard. They are coachable. They do what it takes. I have all respect for them and I have no problem with them being on the floor in crunch time.”
Watch Arblaster’s full postgame interview
Redbank Valley (15-7) got 14 points each from Madison Foringer and Alivia Huffman.
The Lady Bulldogs led 29-28 at halftime after a first half that saw 13 lead changes. But there were only two in the second half, the second one giving Moniteau the lead for good on the first of two straight Pry baskets with 5:08 left in the third quarter.
Moniteau led 43-39 going into the fourth and extended it to 51-43 with 2:43 left in the game. Kelly scored all 10 of her points in the second half, the first basket beating the third-quarter horn.
“I think our shots on the outside started hitting,” Pry said. “We weren’t hitting as many in the beginning. I think we had a lot more inside work at the beginning of the game, but that opened it up on the outside.”
Watch Pry’s full postgame interview
Redbank Valley got it to four points at 51-47 with Caylen Rearick’s steal and layup with 2:04 left, but Moniteau closed the game with six straight points for its largest lead.
Moniteau was 21-for-52 from the field, 6-for-19 from the 3-point line with Jewart drilling four of her seven shots from downtown. Fallen added 10 rebounds to go with her two points.
MONITEAU 57, REDBANK VALLEY 47
Score By Quarters
Moniteau 9 19 15 14 – 57
Redbank Valley 12 17 10 8 – 47
MONITEAU – 57
Catherine Kelly 4 2-2 10, Abby Rottman 3 0-0 8, Camryn Fallen 0 2-4 2, Aslyn Pry 9 5-14 23, Zoey Hillwig 0 0-0 0, Victoria Pry 1 0-0 2, Abbey Jewart 4 0-1 12. Totals: 21 10-22 57.
REDBANK VALLEY – 47
Caylen Rearick 2 3-4 7, Emma Huffman 1 1-2 3, Claire Clouse 3 0-0 6, Madison Foringer 6 2-2 14, Alivia Huffman 6 1-5 14, Katie Davis 0 3-4 3, Brooklyn Edmonds 0 0-0 0, Ryleigh Smathers 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 10-17 47.
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