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Becahi girls knock off PHS

Bethlehem Catholic’s girls basketball team handed Parkland its second loss within the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, taking down the Trojans, 35-34, on Jan. 17 at Bethlehem Catholic.

“It’s a big win for us. It’s our third in a row. It aligns with what we talk about, trying to get hot at the right time,” said Becahi coach Jose Medina. “Super proud of the way we defended today. It’s gonna keep us in games because offensively, it can be a struggle for us at times. It was a long night, but the defense kept us in the game.”

In the second quarter, both teams were scoreless until Becahi forward Kendra Rigo connected on a 3-pointer at the 4:55 mark.

The Hawks’ upbeat tempo began to catch up with the Trojans on two consecutive unforced turnovers, and Becahi forward Yarian Fernandez hit a 3 to give the Hawks a 16-11 lead at halftime.

“We wanted to keep running the floor, doing fast breaks, keep them moving,” Rigo said.

Midway through the third quarter, however, Becahi turned the ball over, leading to eight straight Parkland points from Talia Zurinskas and Delaney Chilcote.

“We’ve got to do a better job of our execution, especially when you play games this time of year,” Medina said. “We have this hashtag that everything matters, and so we can’t afford to give anything away. We’ve got to clean it up, especially coming down the stretch.”

Becahi guard Cici Hernandez made up for the costly turnover with two 3-pointers within 20 seconds.

“She’s a big-time talent, and big-time talents make big-time plays, and Cici bailed us out tonight, making some big shots,” said Medina. “It seemed like the shots she hit were really important in terms of the juncture of the game, and that’s why the ball’s in her hands. She hit just enough shots to help us out tonight.”

The Hawks were ahead, 29-24, to start the fourth quarter when Zurinskas drained back-to-back 3s, and with the Trojans stealing the lead, 34-33, it would take more than three minutes for another point to be scored.

Both teams forced a turnover, Zurinskas missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Becahi forward Akasha Santos grabbed the rebound. Parkland’s Aneri McGalla was fouled but also missed the front end of her one-and-one, and Hernandez got the rebound.

Hernandez’s 3-pointer missed, but Rigo rebounded, was fouled on the shot, and sank both free throws at the :34 mark.

On the next possession, Parkland mishandled the ball, Becahi got possession, and the Hawks called a timeout.

Then, with :18 remaining, the Hawks turned the ball over when they couldn’t inbound in time.

Chilcote was fouled but missed the front end of her one-and-one, and Becahi rebounded the ball to end the game.

“Basically, we had to stay levelheaded, and I feel like that’s what we did at the end,” said Hernandez. “In the past, we would have lost this game by five, but we’re moving forward and actually finishing these games, so I’m really proud.”

Akasha Santos and the Hawks, shown here in a game earlier this season, defeated Parkland.