DuBOIS — DuBois Central Catholic was unable to slow down Bradford’s three-point shooting, as it was defeated 42-40 at home Monday night.
The Lady Owls hit eight threes on the night and blocked DCC’s attempt at a game-tying basket to secure the road victory.
After a 6-0 fourth quarter run by Bradford on a pair of three-pointers by Erica Marshall and Hannah Lary gave the Lady Owls a 42-38 lead, a bucket by Shayleigh Gulvas got DCC back within two with 1:20 remaining in the game.
In the final minute, the Lady Cardinals’ high-pressure defense led to a jump ball, as the possession arrow was in favor of DCC with 36.8 seconds left to play.
DCC then had an opportunity to tie the game, but had a shot blocked on the inside as Bradford took over on offense.
Out of a timeout, DCC’s full-court press on defense led to a Lady Owls turnover near mid-court, as the Lady Cardinals attempted a long pass into the paint.
Two players both went for the ball inside, but it deflected out of bounds on the end line, as it was ruled the ball went out of bounds off of a DCC player and Bradford took over once again with 8.9 seconds remaining.
The Lady Cardinals were forced to foul on the inbounds pass, as Marshall missed the front end of a one-and-one with 7.6 seconds remaining.
After DCC called a timeout, it attempted to go the length of the court and hit a game-tying shot in 6.5 seconds.
As the Lady Cardinals made it across mid court, they drew a foul near the sideline as the Lady Owls still had a pair of fouls to give in the closing seconds.
After Ashley Wruble took in the inbounds pass and quickly drew a double team, the senior found Haley Pettenati, who had found an open spot just inside the arc.
Pettenati fired a shot just before the buzzer sounded, but Bradford’s Marshall came across and blocked the shot attempt away to secure the victory.
Turnovers hurt the Lady Cardinals throughout the night, as they turned the ball over 19 times in the loss.
“I wasn’t bother so much by the number of turnovers as I was at how many of them were unforced,” DCC head coach Jordan Hoover said. “You look back on some of those giveaway turnovers and those became problems for us.”
Neither team got off to a great start shooting the ball, as they two sides traded occasional baskets in the firs quarter.
A bucket with 12 seconds remaining by Mackenzee Maley sent the Lady Owls into the second quarter with an 8-7 lead.
Wruble scored five of DCC’s seven points in the opening quarter, including knocking down a three.
Both offenses started to get hot in the second quarter, as Wruble hit her second three of the night, but Lary responded right away with a three of her own to give Bradford a 16-11 lead.
Martina Swalligan then took over for the Lady Cardinals, scoring the team’s next four baskets during an 8-2 run to put DCC back in front 19-18 with 1:02 left in the half.
Marshall hit the Lady Owls’ third three-pointer of the quarter in the closing minute, as a bucket from Shayleigh Gulvas sent the teams into the half tied at 21.
After Wruble hit her third three of the night early in the third quarter to follow a three from Maley on the other end, a 9-2 run over the next four minutes gave Bradford a 33-26 advantage with 3:13 left in the quarter.
The Lady Cardinals responded with a 6-0 run to close out the quarter on baskets by Swalligan, Jordan Kosko and Gulvas to trim Bradford’s lead to one at 33-32 heading into the fourth quarter.
Swalligan finished the game tied with Wruble for a team and game high in points with 13, while Gulvas added eight fro the Lady Cardinals.
Bradford’s Lary also finished with 13 points on the night on a trio of three-pointers, while Marshall hit four threes and finished with 12 points for the Lady Owls.
A bucket by Wruble in the opening minute of the fourth put DCC back in front at 34-33, as later in the quarter Alyssa Bittner hit back-to-back shots to give the Lady Cardinals a 38-36 lead.
That is when Bradford hit three-pointer on back-to-back possessions to regain the lead for good, as the Lady Owls’ only converted on three shot attempts in the final quarter of play, all of which were from behind the arc.
Bradford then was able to hold off the Lady Cardinals in the closing seconds to secure the win.
The Lady Owls finished the game 8 of 16 from behind the arc, as more than half of their made shots in the win were three-pointers.
“I just think that was a ridiculous shooting performance by Bradford,” Hoover said. “Some of the shots were we gave up were good close out shots.”
“They shoot the ball well from three and we made a conscious effort to take it away, but it just seems like teams have been shooting the ball well against us.”
The Lady Cardinals were able to force Bradford into 17 turnovers on the night, many of which came when they went into a full-court press on defense.
Hoover noted that with the skill and speed of Bradford’s guards, he avoided using the press defense until it was necessary in the later portions of the fourth quarter.
“I was proud of the kids and they played with good effort, but when a team shoots the ball that well you just kinda have to give them credit,” Hoover said.
DuBois Central Catholic is back in action Wednesday on the road against Johnsonburg.