North pulls away late from Knoch girls
JEFFERSON TWP — For three-plus quarters, Knoch remained within striking distance of North Catholic.
The Knights trailed 43-36 following a bucket from Megan Vasas with seven minutes left to play in Monday’s Section 1-4A girls basketball clash, but the Trojanettes soon put the game on ice.
Knoch made just one other basket in the game while North hit on 70 percent (seven of 10) of its shots in the period and pulled away for a 56-38 victory that keeps the Trojanettes (11-3, 6-0) unbeaten in section play.
“We knew we wouldn’t be able to play as fast against them as we normally do,” said Knoch coach Chris Andreassi. “We wanted to play good halfcourt man-to-man defense and I thought we did that for most of the game. But we got into that fourth quarter, had some breakdowns and it got up to 12 points. It’s tough to come back from that against a team like North Catholic.”
Knoch’s only leads in the game came very early. When North’s Tori Drevna drained a trey with 3:31 to go in the first quarter, the Trojanettes took a 9-7 edge and never trailed again.
But Hattie McGraw’s outside shooting helped the Knights (8-5, 4-2) hang around. They trailed 16-12 at the end of the period. They faced a 31-22 deficit late in the half before Ava Walker and Alayna Rocco scored four points in the final 30 seconds for North, who took a 35-22 lead into halftime.
Even so, North coach Molly Rottmann was not impressed with her team’s offensive effort.
“The first few possessions, we did a good job of getting the ball inside and kicking it out to the open player,” she said. “Then we got away from that.”
North’s seven turnovers in the third hindered their ability to pull away. By the end of the game, however, three Trojanettes had scored in double figures — Anna Waskiewicz (18), Rocco (17) and Drevna (13). Rocco scored her 1,000th career point in the game.
Since senior guard and major scoring threat Dacia Lewandowski went down with a foot injury in late December, a number of players have filled the scoring void.
“Anna, Tori, Sarah (Loughry) and Ava (Walker) ... we’ve spread it out,” said Rottmann. “It’s different players on different nights.
“Dacia still has the boot on, but she’s day-to-day.”
Knoch guard Nina Shaw, a considerable threat in her own right, was held to six points and none in the first half.
“Sarah (Loughry) did a great job on her,” Rottmann said.
McGraw’s 12 points paced the Knights, who saw their six-game winning streak come to an end. Naturelle Ewing added 10 points.
“There was no trickery tonight from either side,” Andreassi said. “It was two teams that know how to play basketball. Offensively, we just had too many turnovers (18).”
NORTH CATHOLIC 56
Sarah Loughry 2 0-0 4, Anna Waskiewicz 9 0-1 18, Alayna Rocco 8 0-0 17, Ava Walker 1 2-2 4, Tori Drevna 4 2-2 13, Kaitlyn Tavella 0 0-0 0, Emma Shoemaker 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 4-5 56.
CeCe Kosecki 1 2-2 5, Hattie McGraw 4 0-0 12, Naturelle Ewing 5 0-0 10, Nina Shaw 2 1-2 6, Megan Vasas 2 1-2 5, Adah Fuller 0 0-0 0, Paige Rodgers 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 4-6 38.
North Catholic 16 19 6 15 — 56
Knoch 12 10 12 4 — 38
3-point goals: North Catholic 4 (Drevna 3, Rocco); Knoch 6 (McGraw 4, Kosecki, Shaw).
Thursday: Knoch at Deer Lakes; North Catholic at Highlands