Bethlehem Press

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BC girls beat Pates

Thursday, February 1, 2018 by Katie McDonald kmcdonald@tnonline.com in Sports

Bethlehem Catholic’s girls’ basketball team changed things up in their rematch against Freedom last week, using a zone defense instead of man-to-man, making shots when the Patriots gained some momentum, and coming up with a 54-43 victory last Tuesday night at Becahi.

“The main difference was our defense. We kept them out from driving because that was a big thing last time. All their points were in the paint, and this time we tried to make them shoot outside shots. It changed the game,” said Becahi senior Morgan Orloski.

The Becahi defense held Freedom to two points in the first quarter, which were the first two points of the game scored by Kyra Jefferson. After that, Natalie Rhine had back-to-back layups, plus a jumper, and Hope Brown hit a three setting the Hawks well on their way.

Jennifer Kokolus scored all of the Patriots’ points in the second quarter, but the Hawks led at halftime 23-10.

“We communicated on defense better, and we knew where our shooters were, and we knew where our penetrators were so we closed the gaps,” said Becahi guard Jaleesa Lanier, who had a three pointer in the third quarter after coming up with a turnover a play or two earlier.

“It was exciting. It was one of my first threes of my varsity career and I missed two before, but I had to have confidence and let the last one fly,” Lanier said. “It was a great pass from Taliyah Medina.”

Medina, who had 15 points, also had the assist on Morgan Orloski’s three after Freedom’s Hailey Silfies scored six straight points, also in the third quarter.

“Once we realized they started gaining on us, Taliyah had a beautiful drive and kicked it to me, so once they started gaining up, our intensity rose,” said Orloski.

One thing missing in the third quarter for the Patriots was Jefferson, who was on the bench with three fouls. At one point, Jefferson had the ball, a foul was called, and Jefferson went to the foul line. Seconds later, the foul call was switched to a foul on Jefferson.

Jefferson returned in the fourth quarter and combined with Silfies and Kokolus to bring the Patriots to within eight points, but Becahi guard Natalie Rhine hit a three, Orloski added two more, and foul shots closed out the rest of the game despite two three pointers scored by Freedom’s Rachel Sanchez.

“It feels good because, you know, we wanted revenge,” Lanier said. “The first time, it was hard, but we really wanted to give it back to them.”