Sacred Heart girls advance to first ever district championship game

By ANDREW ABADIE,

LUMBERTON – The Sacred Heart's girls basketball team made history on Thursday night after defeating Richton 46-31. 

 

For the first time in the history of the program, the girls' team earned a spot in the Region 8-1A district championship game in the team's second-ever winning season. 

 

It was the third time in 10 days that Sacred Heart had to play Richton, which according to Sacred Heart head coach Matt O'Keefe played a role in his team's slow start. 

 

"Mentally, it's tough to [prepare for] especially since we beat them twice," O'Keefe said. "I thought we came out flat and didn't play real well, probably the second part of the third quarter, but we didn't play well." 

 

The two teams found themselves tied at halftime at 12-12. Notably, in the past two meetings, Sacred Heart (13-11) defeated Richton by 14 and 15 points. 

 

Sacred Heart pulled away from Richton (10-14) with a 9-0 in the third quarter to take a 26-17 lead. 

 

"The biggest thing was Gracie [Falla] did a good job of penetrating and getting the ball to Kate Gallardo," O'Keefe said. "I thought we made some better decisions offensively. They were putting a lot of pressure on Mallory our best 3-point shooter which left the middle open. I thought we did a better job of entering the ball in the middle lane against their zone defense."

 

Kate Gallardo led the Lady Crusaders with 15 points while Grace Falla posted 14 points in the win. 

 

"The biggest thing is getting a playoff spot, but it would be really wonderful turnaround [season] for them to win the division championship," O'Keefe said. "They are a young team. This team is coming back and we are going to be pretty good the next few years."

 

The Sacred Heart girls will face off against Lumberton for the Region 8-1A championship at 7 p.m. 

 

In the boys' game, Sacred Heart fell short to Salem in overtime 43-39. 

 

Both teams never found leverage as a first-half defensive battle ensued with the Crusaders trailing 17-12 at the half.

 

"We had them down for just a few seconds, but then they hit a few 3-pointers," Sacred Heart head coach Andrew Little said. "Defensively for most of the game, we did what we wanted to do. They made tough shot after tough shot and they found a way to stay back in it." 

 

Sacred Heart outscored Salem 15-6 in the third quarter to take a 27-23 lead. 

 

From there, the Crusaders struggled offensively in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats took over momentum and tied the game 31-31 to force overtime. 

 

Between the fourth quarter and overtime, Salem outscored Sacred Heart 21-9 to seal the win. 

 

Leading Sacred Heart was Luke Wiest, who scored a team-leading 14 points. 

 

"They never did quit," Little said. "I just know in that four quarter and in overtime we had unforced errors. We took it from ourselves. It was going to be down to the wire anyway. We missed an open layup to tie it up and went 1-for-5 from our last free throws between the fourth and overtime quarters." 

 

Sacred Heart will play Richton in the consolation game at 5:30 p.m.

GiRLS GAME

Sacred Heart 46, Richton 31

At Lumberton 

 

Sacred Heart (13-11, 6-2) – Mary McIntire 1 2-2 4, Mallory Gilbertson 1 2-4 5, Sarah Gallardo 0 1-2 1, Ella Mercer 1 1-2 4, Gracie Falla 5 2-5 13, Courtney Dockery 0 1-2 1, Kate Gallardo 7 3-4 17. Field Goals: 15, Free Throws: 11-17, Total Points 46

 

Richton (10-14, 4-4) – Kennedy Mills 3 0-0 9, Mckinzie Amos 5 4-7 15, Mya Robins 2 1-2 5, Chloe Shepard 1 0-0 2, Ridaja Griffin 0 2-2 2. Field Goals: 11, Free Throws: 7-11, Total Points: 31. 

 

SH        9          3          21        13        -           46

RC        7          5          11        11        -           31

 

3-Pointers – Sacred Heart 2 (Falla, Gilbertson, Richton 4 (Mills 3, Amos). Total Fouls: SH 11, RC 19. Fouled Out: Amos. 

 

 

BOYS GAME

Salem 43, Sacred Heart 39

At Lumberton 

 

Salem (9-13, 5-3) – Allax Moss 4 1-2 13, Jaden Cowart 6 1-4 13, Tyler Philips 4 1-2 10 Jaeden Mckelphin 2 0-0 6, Tykevius Harris 0 1-4 1. Field Goals: 16, Free Throws: 4-12, Total Points 43/

 

Sacred Heart (5-19, 3-5) – Luke Hicks 1 0-2 2, Judson Treganowen 2 1-2 6, John McKee 0 2-2 2, Nick Piplains 1 1-2 3, Jack Posey 1 0-0 3, Luke Wiest 4 5-10 14. Field Goals: 9, Free Throws: 9-18, Total Points: 39

 

SALEM             10        7          6          11        10        -           43

SH        8          4          15        4          5          -           39

 

3-Pointers – Salem 8 (Moss 4, Philips 2, Mckelphin 2), SH 3 (Treganowen, Posey, Wiest). Total Fouls: Salem 14, SH 14. Fouled Out: Wiest.  

LUMBERTON – The Sacred Heart's girls basketball team made history on Thursday night after defeating Richton 46-31.

For the second time in the history of the program, the girls' team earned a spot in the Region 8-1A district championship game in the team's second-ever winning season.

It was the third time in 10 days that Sacred Heart had to play Richton, which according to Sacred Heart head coach Matt O'Keefe played a role in his team's slow start.

"Mentally, it's tough to [prepare for] especially since we beat them twice," O'Keefe said. "I thought we came out flat and didn't play real well, probably the second part of the third quarter, but we didn't play well."

The two teams found themselves tied at halftime at 12-12. Notably, in the past two meetings, Sacred Heart (13-11) defeated Richton by 14 and 15 points.

Sacred Heart pulled away from Richton (10-14) with a 9-0 in the third quarter to take a 26-17 lead.

"The biggest thing was Gracie [Falla] did a good job of penetrating and getting the ball to Kate Gallardo," O'Keefe said. "I thought we made some better decisions offensively. They were putting a lot of pressure on Mallory our best 3-point shooter which left the middle open. I thought we did a better job of entering the ball in the middle lane against their zone defense."

Kate Gallardo led the Lady Crusaders with 15 points while Grace Falla posted 14 points in the win.

"The biggest thing is getting a playoff spot, but it would be really wonderful turnaround [season] for them to win the division championship," O'Keefe said. "They are a young team. This team is coming back and we are going to be pretty good the next few years."

The Sacred Heart girls will face off against Lumberton for the Region 8-1A championship at 7 p.m.

In the boys' game, Sacred Heart fell short to Salem in overtime 43-39.

Both teams never found leverage as a first-half defensive battle ensued with the Crusaders trailing 17-12 at the half.

"We had them down for just a few seconds, but then they hit a few 3-pointers," Sacred Heart head coach Andrew Little said. "Defensively for most of the game, we did what we wanted to do. They made tough shot after tough shot and they found a way to stay back in it."

Sacred Heart outscored Salem 15-6 in the third quarter to take a 27-23 lead.

From there, the Crusaders struggled offensively in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats took over momentum and tied the game 31-31 to force overtime.

Between the fourth quarter and overtime, Salem outscored Sacred Heart 21-9 to seal the win.

Leading Sacred Heart was Luke Wiest, who scored a team-leading 14 points.

"They never did quit," Little said. "I just know in that four quarter and in overtime we had unforced errors. We took it from ourselves. It was going to be down to the wire anyway. We missed an open layup to tie it up and went 1-for-5 from our last free throws between the fourth and overtime quarters."

Sacred Heart will play Richton in the consolation game at 5:30 p.m.

 

GiRLS GAME

Sacred Heart 46, Richton 31

At Lumberton

Sacred Heart (13-11, 6-2) – Mary McIntire 1 2-2 4, Mallory Gilbertson 1 2-4 5, Sarah Gallardo 0 1-2 1, Ella Mercer 1 1-2 4, Gracie Falla 5 2-5 13, Courtney Dockery 0 1-2 1, Kate Gallardo 7 3-4 17. Field Goals: 15, Free Throws: 11-17, Total Points 46

Richton (10-14, 4-4) – Kennedy Mills 3 0-0 9, Mckinzie Amos 5 4-7 15, Mya Robins 2 1-2 5, Chloe Shepard 1 0-0 2, Ridaja Griffin 0 2-2 2. Field Goals: 11, Free Throws: 7-11, Total Points: 31.

SH  9 3 21 13  - 46

RC 7 5 11 11 - 31

3-Pointers – Sacred Heart 2 (Falla, Gilbertson, Richton 4 (Mills 3, Amos). Total Fouls: SH 11, RC 19. Fouled Out: Amos.

 

BOYS GAME

Salem 43, Sacred Heart 39

At Lumberton

Salem (9-13, 5-3) – Allax Moss 4 1-2 13, Jaden Cowart 6 1-4 13, Tyler Philips 4 1-2 10 Jaeden Mckelphin 2 0-0 6, Tykevius Harris 0 1-4 1. Field Goals: 16, Free Throws: 4-12, Total Points 43/

Sacred Heart (5-19, 3-5) – Luke Hicks 1 0-2 2, Judson Treganowen 2 1-2 6, John McKee 0 2-2 2, Nick Piplains 1 1-2 3, Jack Posey 1 0-0 3, Luke Wiest 4 5-10 14. Field Goals: 9, Free Throws: 9-18, Total Points: 39

SALEM  10 7 6 11 10 - 43

SH  8 4 15 4 5 - 39

3-Pointers – Salem 8 (Moss 4, Philips 2, Mckelphin 2), SH 3 (Treganowen, Posey, Wiest). Total Fouls: Salem 14, SH 14. Fouled Out: Wiest.

 

Updated on 2-15-20:  Sacred Heart made its second appearance in the tournament not its first.