Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hawks were ready for Gwynned-Mercy in semis

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 by Katie McDonald kmcdonald@tnonline.com in Sports

Instead of waiting all day last Sunday to find out whom they would face in the PIAA State Class 4A girls’ basketball semifinal, some of the Bethlehem Catholic Golden Hawks went to see for themselves.

“We got to see what [Gwynned-Mercy] had,” said Becahi forward Tessa Zamolyi, regarding the Monarchs’ 43-42 quarterfinal win over Northern Lebanon at Santander Arena in Reading. “We knew them as a quick team.”

The Monarchs tried something different against the Hawks, however, a stalling tactic that clearly failed as Becahi secured its place in the state final after defeating Gwynned-Mercy 34-15 last Tuesday at Spring-Ford High School in Royersford.

After stalling for close to three minutes in the first quarter and Becahi leading 9-3, Gwynned-Mercy was called for a three-second violation, and Zamolyi proceeded to hit a three-point shot sending Becahi fans into thundering cheers with 1:03 remaining, followed by a turnover and lay up, also by Zamolyi, to end the period.

“When they were stalling, no one was expecting that, but my arms got to loosen up, and when I hit the three, I think it was a pacesetter,” she said.

Becahi forwards Taliyah Medina and Hope Brown also hit threes throughout the game.

“It was kind of like a relief off my shoulders because we were struggling at first to score,” said Brown, who had the first points for the Hawks at 5:06.

Brown also had a keen eye for teammate Neila Luma throughout the game, making quick passes to Luma underneath.

“Neila and I really connect and have such a great chemistry. I can see where she is at all times,” Brown said. “If I can’t score, I want to help in another way.”

Luma hit a jump shot to start the third quarter after the Hawks held the Monarchs scoreless in the second. After another three by Medina, Gwynned-Mercy called a timeout, but it wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Monarchs played with the quickness and offense the Hawks expected.

Danielle Senour hit a three for the Monarchs who, as a team scored nine of their 15 points in the fourth.

Speaking to the nerves of a state semifinal game, Zamolyi said it was all she could think about on Tuesday.

“I thought about getting further, and all the years past, playing on this team,” she said.

Brown’s thoughts were consumed by belief in what came in the semifinal on Tuesday and what is to come at the PIAA State Class 4A girls’ basketball final on Thursday in Hershey.

“Surprisingly, I was not that nervous because I’m so confident in this team,” Brown said. “I can’t wait.”