ENOLA >> The third quarter of Thursday's game felt a bit too familiar for Delone Catholic.
An easy layup rolled off the rim on one possession. A questionable foul call went against the Squirettes on another. A missed Trinity free throw landed back in the arms of the Shamrocks after that call. Then another foul call left Delone Catholic coach Gerry Eckenrode and his players screaming at the referees.
Suddenly, a 26-23 Squirettes lead early in the third quarter turned into a 39-26 deficit early in the fourth quarter. They never recovered as Trinity went on to win the District 3 Class AA third-place game, 48-44, to earn a spot in the state tournament.
Delone Catholic's season ends, meaning the Squirettes will miss the state tournament for the first time since the 2007-08 season — Delone's final season as a Class AAA school.
That third-quarter tailspin, particularly the foul calls that went against Delone Catholic, re-opened fresh wounds of Monday's double-overtime semifinal loss to Camp Hill in which foul trouble doomed the Squirettes.
Senior Maddie Comly, who scored 25 points in the loss, admitted after the game that she didn't think her team ever really got past the loss to Camp Hill.
"When a few calls (went against us), I could see (my teammates') faces just drop," Comly said. "They kind of looked the same way that they did Monday and I knew we weren't gonna be able to fight back."
Up until that point, though, Delone Catholic appeared to have put Monday's loss behind them. The Squirettes smiled and chatted as they warmed up, and they battled the Shamrocks to a 21-21 tie by halftime in a back-and-forth 16 minutes in which neither team led by more three points.
"I thought our kids approached the game really well," Eckenrode said. "I was happy with how we competed. I can't put my finger on what happened in the third quarter as far as our offense goes. I don't know.
"I thought in the first half we gave up a few offensive rebounds....That's been our problem."
Even when they trailed by 13 early in the fourth, Delone Catholic got back into the game. Comly scored 15 points in the final quarter, including knocking down two 3-pointers in the final minute to pull the Squirettes within four points, but it proved to be too little too late.
"She just needed a little more help," Eckenrode said. "That's been our situation all year long, we need to have other kids step up and help her out. It just didn't happen, I don't know why not but it just didn't."
Trinity 48, Delone Catholic 44
Sydney Kockler 8 5-9 19, Nixon 1 5-8 7, Sandri 2 3-9 7, White 1 0-0 2, Gregoire 2 0-0 6, Abel 1 3-4 5, Dean 0 2-2 2.
Totals — 14 18-32 48.
DELONE CATHOLIC (44)
Maddie Comly 9 5-6 25, Eser 1 0-0 2, Apgar 1 0-0 2, Coleman 1 0-1 3, Novak 2 1-1 5, Laughman 1 0-1 2, Shipley 1 0-0 2, Knobloch 1 1-2 3.
Totals — 17 7-11 44.
3 point field goals — T 2 (Gregoire 2), DC 3 (Coleman, Comly 2).