GIRLS HOOPS: Lady Eagles bounced from playoffs by Farrell

By JON SITLER

jsitler@timesobserver.com

OIL CITY-The Lady Eagles didn’t carry themselves like a group that had lost eight straight games to end the regular season.

Youngsville went down fighting on Saturday in a rough-and-tumble 43-32 District 10 Class A playoff quarterfinal loss to Farrell at Oil City High School.

The Eagles lost senior point guard Katie Chuzie for the game in the second quarter due to a head injury trying to take a charge. Karissa Cratty took over the ball handling until leaving for the rest of the half with a shoulder injury after contact.

It was a physical game, with Farrell shooting 13-of-32 at the free-throw line to Youngsville’s 7-of-12 at the line. Youngsville head coach David Becker didn’t like the discrepancy.

“If they are allowed to ride you the whole length of the floor, this is what’s going to happen,” said Becker, making it a point to say Farrell was only playing the game that was presenting itself.

“Players were shoved around both ways,” he said. “I was proud of the fact that despite losing our point guard in the second quarter for the game, and then Karissa (Cratty) dislocates her shoulder again, and people in all kinds of foul trouble, everybody stepped up and did things.”

Farrell opened on a 6-0 run before a Kennedy Cratty free throw, Chuzie bucket off a steal and Karissa Cratty bucket on a drive cut the lead to 6-5 early in the second quarter.

Trading baskets, Kennedy Cratty rebounded her own miss and put it in to cut the lead to 11-9 Farrell with 5:36 remaining in the half. That’s when the Lady Steelers, who never trailed, went on a 12-0 run to push the lead to 23-9.

Aubree Hendrickson’s 3-pointer with three seconds left in the half cut the lead to 23-12, but Farrell had a comfortable halftime lead.

Senior guard Bria Gambill had seven of her game-high 13 points in a 17-9 second quarter for Farrell. She was 4-of-4 at the free-throw line and added a 3-pointer in the quarter.

It took Youngsville 2-1/2 minutes to get a shot in the third quarter, but the Lady Eagles cut the lead to eight points with a 10-7 quarter. Karissa Cratty had four points in the quarter, and Youngsville senior teammates Judi Lewis and Jess Jameson hit jumpers to cut into the lead.

After Farrell opened the fourth quarter 1-of-2 at the line, Youngsville’s Hendrickson cut the lead back to seven with a bucket before Farrell put the game away. The game would have resulted in a greater deficit had Farrell hit more free throws in the fourth quarter.

Gambill had six points n a 13-10 fourth quarter for Farrell, which has won three District 10 Class A titles since 2007. It was Youngsville’s first time in the playoffs since 2003 and, despite finishing 7-16 with nine straight losses, Becker things the team has enough to get back.

“There’s depth coming up,” he said, adding that it will be tough to replace seniors Chuzie, Jameson and Lewis. He said Chuzie was “capable of being the best point guard in the region… but Karissa, I thought, did a very nice job taking over (when Chuzie got hurt).”

He said Jameson “always did everything I asked her to do,” and Lewis improved immensely over the season.

The Crattys, Youngsville’s leading scorers, are juniors.

Karissa Cratty finished with 11 points to lead Youngsville. Kennedy Cratty and Lewis fouled out.

Farrell (8-15) advances to the D10 Class A semifinals against Kennedy Catholic (19-2) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at West Middlesex High School. Cochranton (18-4) plays Rocky Grove (13-9) in the other semifinal at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Meadville High School.

YOUNGSVILLE (32): Hendrickson 3 1-2 8, Ishman 1 0-0 2, Harrington 0 0-0 0, Ka. Cratty 4 3-6 11, Flinn 0 0-0 0, Chuzie 1 0-0 2, Jameson 1 0-0 2, Lewis 1 0-0 2, Ke. Cratty 1 3-4 5, Bulard 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12 7-12 32.

FARRELL (43): Smith 3 0-4 6, Oatis 1 0-3 2, Avery 3 2-4 8, Gambill 3 5-8 13, Page 1 1-4 3, Sharper 1 2-2 4, Murray 2 3-7 7, Evans 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 13-32 43.

Youngsville 3 9 10 10 – 32

Farrell 6 17 7 13 – 43

3-pointers: Y-Hendrickson; F-Gambill 2.