Connect with us


Tough Schedule Played Key Role in Kennedy Catholic Title powered by Erme’s Distributing

Photo by Paul Burdick

HERSHEY, Pa. – There was a method to the madness. A method to the ultra-competitive non-region schedule put together by Kennedy Catholic head coach Justin Magestro.

A method that played a large role in Kennedy Catholic overcoming a seven-point second-half deficit on its way to its second straight PIAA Class 2A girls’ basketball title thanks to a 42-40 win over Marion Center.

A method that was in play when Layke Fields hit the game-winning shot off an offensive rebound of her own miss with 5.1 seconds left and her team down a point.

“They were everything,” Magestro said about a schedule that included fellow PIAA finalist Blackhawk (Class 4A), West Virginia Class 4A champion Wheeling Park, West Virginia Class 4A runner-up Morgantown, and PIAA quarterfinalists Norwin (Class 6A) and North Catholic (Class 4A) among others. “I mean (our players) were in this position before. They’ve been here. It wasn’t like the first time they were in the ocean and maybe they were going to drown. They knew they had a life preserver on their back. That’s why we schedule those games, those non-league games. These kids say ‘Hey coach, we want to play the best.’ The record means nothing if we don’t get down here to Hershey, right? So, we try to play the best teams we can play who are going to push us the most.”


Sophomore guard Bella Magestro, the head coach’s daughter, acknowledged that those games helped Kennedy Catholic, especially when the Golden Eagles fell behind in the second half.

“It really helped us,” Bella Magestro said. “It prepared us for this moment. We were really prepared for this game.”

Fields said those games against high-quality opponents prepared Kennedy Catholic.

“It helped us a lot,” Fields said. “It prepared us in the beginning of the season when we were still developing as a team. To play the hard games first so when we get to the hardest game it is just like a regular game for us.”


More in Basketball