March 25, 2019
By: Sean Fritz
It certainly wasn't the best start they've had to a game this season, but as the saying goes 'its not how you start, it's how you finish' and the Bethlehem Catholic girls basketball team finished their 2018-19 season hoisting another state championship trophy at center court of the Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday.
Saturday's victory marks the program's second state championship in the past three seasons and one that head coach Jose Medina was thrilled about as one would expect. Medina's group came out a little bit slow in the first quarter. Despite leading for much of the opening frame, they'd eventually fumble the lead away before the quarter concluded. Trailing 11-9 after one, the Golden Hawks quickly regrouped and seemed to get stronger and much more comfortable as the game went on. They led by five at the half and then by six through three quarters before putting the final nail in the coffin with an 8-0 run over the final 1:33 in the fourth quarter to seal a 60-49 victory.
I got the chance to speak with Medina following the win and he mentioned that's simply who his team is. Despite the team's offensive struggles in the first quarter, whether due to the ups and downs of a basketball season or that maybe had to do with a noon tip-off, Medina was pleased about his team's ability to defend. He mentioned what he preaches to his players that offense comes and goes but defense travels, and it certainly did throughout Saturday's game.
Becahi certainly had its hands full with a pair of Trojanettes from North Catholic, the first in the game's leading scorer Tess Myers who'd finish with 20 points to go along with 18 points from 6'2" senior forward Dani Short, a Brown University commit. Aside from the big offensive nights from Myers and Short, there wasn't much else North Catholic could do against a tenacious Golden Hawks defense.
Finally, the offense came into play for the Hawks, who finished with three players of their own in double figures, and those spurts of offensive success came at the right time. Most notably, an 8-2 run to finish the first half and then an 8-0 run to finish the game, Bethlehem Catholic continued to find ways to finish this season and after an EPC title and a District XI title, the Golden Hawks can now add a PIAA State title to a group that has players who are now two-time state champions and will have a pretty good shot to make that three-time state champions next season when they finish their high school careers.