Dist. 3 girls: Berks Catholic rolls by G-A
HERSHEY - There weren't any secrets heading into Wednesday's District 3 Class AAA girls basketball semifinal at Giant Center.
Berks Catholic clearly knew what to expect from Greencastle-Antrim's sharpshooters, and the Blue Devils knew they'd have their hands full with the Saints' height and dominance inside.
Berks Catholic didn't disappoint. The Saints emulsified their two big girls into a seamless unit, which burned G-A for a combined 37 points, and Greencastle suffered a 48-31 defeat.
"Let's face it, we needed a special night," Devils' coach Mike Rhine said. "Basketball, in general, is about matchups, and we don't match up well with them. I don't know who would. We had our hands full and needed an exceptional night, and we just didn't get it."
With the win, Berks Catholic (21-5) will play in its first-ever girls basketball district championship, while the Blue Devils (22-3) fall to the third-place game. Greencastle will take on Conrad Weiser, which it beat in the final last year, on Friday at Central Dauphin East at 6 p.m.
Devon Merritt was the catalyst for Berks early on. She scored 14 points in the first half alone, and all but one of her field goals came in the paint. In the second half, it was Dejah Terrell's turn to take over. She kept Catholic's lead in double figures late by scoring 10 points in the final period.
"We just know how to use our height to our advantage and know how to get the ball around with all our players on the court," Terrell said. "(Devon and I) use each other most of all. If she has something going, I back off, but if I have something, she tells me to take it."
Both finished with double-doubles. Merritt had 20 points and 13 rebounds; Terrell contributed 17 points and 12 boards.
"Dejah is real strong on that weak side, especially when they have to double-team Devon," Berks Catholic coach Bob Birmingham said. "You're not going to guard Devon one-on-one; it's just not gonna happen. Dejah is only a sophomore, and she is learning where to be and how to get open."
Presence in the paint wasn't the only thing that hurt Greencastle. The Blue Devils were 11-for-41 (26.8%) from the field and didn't help themselves from the charity stripe, where they went 6 of 14.
When G-A did finally get some defensive pressure going - it forced six Saints turnovers in the third quarter - it simply couldn't capitalize on the offensive end. The Blue Devils held Berks to a game-low nine points in the third frame, but had only six points of their own to show for it.
"It was frustrating for the kids because they were giving everything they had," Rhine said. "We just could not finish and do what we've done all season, which is make shots and get the energy going.
"It just wasn't our game tonight. But ultimately, the credit goes to them because we didn't have a lack of effort. They're just good. They're big, and hard to play against."
Notes: Greencastle's offense was led by Hannah Crist, who finished with 13 points ... Jenay Faulkner had a season-low seven points, four rebounds, three steals and a block ... The Saints out-rebounded G-A, 33-15; the Blue Devils had just four boards in the second half.
Berks Catholic 48, Greencastle 31
Jenay Faulkner 2 2-4 7, Morgan Wagaman 1 0-0 3, Hannah Crist 5 3-5 13, Meghan Hirneisen 1 0-3 3, Madison Sweitzer 0 0-0 0, Ashley True 0 0-0 0, Lydia Crist 2 1-2 5, Hannah Haley 0 0-0 0. Totals — 11 6-14 31.
Berks Catholic (48)
Taylor Dimmerling 0 0-0 0, Abigail Gaffney 1 0-0 2, Taylor Keys 3 2-2 8, Dejah Terrell 8 1-2 17, Devon Merritt 7 5-7 20, Olivia Zdradzinski 0 0-0 0, Geminii Cabrera 0 0-0 0, Anee Baney 0 0-1 0, Meghan Leininger 0 0-0 0, Lexus Lockhard 0 1-2 1, Erin Doyle 0 0-0 0. Totals — 19 9-14 48.
Greencastle _ 11 _ 6 _ 6 _ 8 _ — _ 31
Berks Catholic _ 14 _ 12 _ 9 _ 13 _ — _ 48
3-point goals — GA 3 (Faulkner, Wagaman, Hirneisen).