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Becahi girls win league title

Bethlehem Catholic’s girls’ basketball team became four-time East Penn Conference champions after defeating Nazareth, 34-28, last Thursday at the PPL Center in Allentown.

“When you get pushed to the brink, champions respond,” said Becahi coach Jose Medina. “They came out with a great game plan, but our girls showed that resolve.”

The Blue Eagles held the Hawks to just three points in the second quarter while scoring 12 points of their own. After Nazareth guard Kelly Leszcynski hit two threes and then scored another two points, Becahi called a timeout, but afterwards the Hawks’ shots still wouldn’t fall.

“We walked into the locker room and we all knew we definitely had to get it together,” said Becahi sophomore Stephanie Donato. “Ball movement, one more pass to get the team involved, unselfishness, we definitely had to keep the ball moving.”

Trailing 19-11, Coach Medina had a few things to say to his Hawks.

“I said we’ve got to amplify the defense, get some deflections, get some steals, and we’ve got to get the game starting to move. Our bench did a great job of subbing in and hammering their assignments and little by little we chipped away, and then when we got the lead we said let’s protect this thing now,” he said.

The comeback in the third quarter, led by Becahi guard Taliyah Medina, began around the 5:00 mark when she hit a three pointer.

“We didn’t let the fact that they were up get to us. We were letting them speed us up and turn the ball over,” Taliyah Medina said. “Being able to win it four years in a row really shows a lot about a team and all the hard work we put in at practice. We knew they were going to give their all. You can’t take any team lightly.”

Medina scored five more points to give the Hawks a 23-21 lead, and Donato topped it off with three more points to end the quarter.

“Basically, we were trying to get the ball around and keep the movement going and I was open,” said Donato. “It feels great. I love the excitement when I go in the game, when I get taken out, I love it all. I love it.”

Leszcynski tied the game at 26-26 with a three pointer with 4:59 remaining in the game.

Becahi called a timeout and Kourtney Wilson returned to immediately score five points for the Hawks.

Now with 1:36 remaining, the Hawks missed free throws twice, and the Blue Eagles rebounded only to have lost the ball each time.

Becahi center Abby Brown sank two free throws and Emily Sekerak made one to end the game.

“We’re not four-time EPC champions for nothing. This group, they’re a resilient group, they’re a tough group,” said Coach Medina. “This time of year you get a lot of these games, and we’re glad we got one today, and we’ll use it to our benefit and we’ll be better for it.”

Press photos by Rob MerchantThe girls pose after winning their fourth EPC girls title last weekend at the PPL Center in Allentown. Copyright - Digital_Media_Magic_LLC_Nazareth_PA