BC tops GM but sees run end
Bethlehem Catholic’s girls basketball team shut out Gwynned Mercy, 14-0, in the first quarter of their PIAA Class 5A second-round state playoff game and ultimately posted a 34-24 victory over the Monarchs on March 15 at Pottstown High School.
“We predicate ourselves on defense, and this time of year, defense travels, and our schedule does a great job of getting us ready,” said Becahi coach Jose Medina. “We get a chance to see some high-level basketball, and we really hammer that down in practice, so the girls did a great job the past few days.”
Becahi guard Ella Bincarosky drained a 3-pointer after teammate Yarian Fernandez forced a turnover, and forward Kendra Rigo (16 points) hit a 3 to end the quarter.
Despite seven second-quarter points by Gwynedd Mercy senior guard Hannah Griffin, Becahi’s depth allowed Medina to substitute four non-starters into the game.
“Our girls did a good job early on, controlling the boards and rebounding the basketball,” Medina said. “For me, when we get up that high, I like to get younger kids on the floor for meaningful minutes. Here we are in a state sweet 16, and that’s getting kids ready for the future, and as they get older, they do a great job of contributing.”
The teams went even in the third quarter putting up seven points apiece.
“[At halftime] we talked about keeping the pace, so Coach talked about keeping the intensity and not letting them get those easy, wide-open shots, especially on the perimeter,” said Fernandez. “They came back a little bit, so that was a little stumble for us there.”
Becahi’s Mekhlya Britt opened the fourth quarter with a putback, but Gwynedd Mercy’s 8-0 run pulled the Monarch’s within six points with 2:40 remaining in the contest.
“When we called a timeout, Coach was talking to us, figuring things out because it shouldn’t have happened that way,” said Fernandez. “We should have kept the intensity from the beginning, but things happen. There’s gonna be ups and downs. We’ve just got to adjust to what’s going on and then get back to it.”
The Monarchs failed to inbound the ball at the 1:38 mark, and the five-second call put possession back in the hands of the Hawks.
Two free throws by Becahi guard Cici Hernandez and one free throw by Rigo put the game away for the Hawks.
“Kendra did a good job shooting the basketball today. She can really square up and today she was knocking them down. Credit to her, and credit to her team for finding her, and she’d be the first one to say my teammates set me up with good looks,” Medina said. “Hey, they got some open looks and we had to tidy that up, but the second half, our girls hung on and that’s what this time of year is all about.”
Becahi advanced to a state quarterfinal against West Chester Rustin from District 1, but lost, 47-40, on March 18 at Schuylkill Valley High School in Leesport.