JOHNSTOWN - With 1:50 remaining in the first half of Saturday's Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference girls championship game between Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic and Westmont Hilltop, the Lady Hilltoppers had played an even game with the Lady Marauders with the game tied, 11-11.
Westmont then missed the front end of two one-and-one opportunities and committed a turnover in its final three possessions of the half that proved to be costly as Bishop Guilfoyle went on to defeat Westmont Hilltop, 42-28, at the Richland Sports Center.
Guilfoyle's Brittany Boslet hit a baseline jumper after the first one-and-one miss, Elyssa Ehredt made two free throws off of the second miss and followed up with a layup after the final turnover as the Lady Marauders escaped with a six-point lead at the break.
"We got off to a rugged start with Kayla [Bates] picking up two fouls," Bishop Guilfoyle coach Mark Moschella said. "It knocked us back a couple steps until we could regroup."
Guilfoyle (21-2) struggled from the field in the first half, as Moschella credited the Lady Hilltoppers (19-4).
"We came in tonight to play a good team," Moschella said. "Westmont had a lot to do with us not shooting well."
The Lady Marauders were also battling some issues off of the court, with Bates and Halee Adams not at full strength.
"Kayla had a viral infection and wasn't able to practice [this week]," Moschella said. "Halee was also trying to overcome some pain she's having in her knee."
"We didn't take advantage in the first half with Bates in foul trouble," Westmont Hilltop coach Jodi Hillegass said. "Adams wasn't playing much either, and we missed some key one-and-ones."
After scoring six straight to end the first half, the Lady Marauders carried that momentum into the second half.
BG outscored Westmont in the third quarter, 15-6, with Adams starting and scoring eight of her nine points in the frame.
"We became more patient [in the third quarter]," Moschella said. "We started running our offense and endured more success with our shooting percentage."
Ehredt led Guilfoyle with 10 points, Adams finished with nine, and Devin Stessney chipped in eight.
"They don't make many mistakes," Hillegass said. "They are seasoned and play a solid consistent game with all of their seniors playing together for years."
While the Guilfoyle offense was suspect to start, its defensive effort put it in position to succeed once again.
"They play tough man-to-man defense," Hillegass said. "They took us out of our rhythm."
Westmont's bright spot was senior guard Erin Rodgers, who had a game-high 17 points, scoring 13 of the Lady Hilltoppers' 17 second-half points.
The Lady Marauder third quarter gave them a 15-point lead with a quarter to play, as they cruised to their third LHAC championship in four years, while Westmont has lost in the final the last three years.
"I feel great for the senior group," Moschella said. "I feel we can grow from this and go into the playoffs with a good head of steam."
Guilfoyle will wait to see who it will play in the District 6-A quarterfinals, as it faces the winner of Williamsburg and United, which will be played on Monday.
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (42): Craig 1 0-0 2, Boslet 1 1-3 3, Stessney 1 5-6 8, Adams 4 1-2 9, Ehredt 4 2-2 10, Miller 1 4-6 6, Bates 1 1-3 3, McGhee 0 1-2 1, Luciano 0 0-0 0. Totals - 13 14-22 42.
WESTMONT HILLTOP (28): Rodgers 6 2-2 17, Lamberson 3 0-1 7, Miller 1 0-0 2, Roper 1 0-1 2, Sheehan 0 0-2 0, Moyer 0 0-0 0, Hoover 0 0-0 0, Flick 0 0-0 0, Zolnosky 0 0-0 0. Totals - 11 2-6 28.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Guilfoyle9 8 15 10 - 42
Westmont Hilltop4 7 6 11 - 28
3-point goals: Bishop Guilfoyle 1 (Stessney); Westmont Hilltop 2 (Rodgers, Lamberson).
Records: Bishop Guilfoyle (21-2); Westmont Hilltop (19-4).