By Mike Longo Jr.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart’s "Road To Hershey" ran into a roadblock March 20, that being River Valley and a semifinal 44-38 loss that ended the season for the Lady Chargers.
Bowing out in the second round of the WPIAL Playoffs, OLSH played its way through the consolation rounds, thus earning a berth in the PIAA State playoffs. With the season extended, the Lady Chargers went on an absolute tear, marching all the way to the semifinal round. In doing so, they made history, becoming the first Lady Chargers team to make it that far in the state playoffs. Oh so close in the quest for PIAA Gold.
In round two, the Chargers exacted revenge on Avonworth. The team that trampled their quest for WPIAL Gold, bouncing the Lopes from the states with an impressive 39-23 win.
Round three saw OLSH dispatch highly talented Westmont Hilltop, with a 47-32 victory. Senior Mia Grisafi poured in a game-high 18 points in the win.
With the stage set for the historical semifinal matchup, OLSH gave River Valley all it could handle in the first three quarters. Unfortunately for the Chargers, the game consists of four quarters and the final stanza was their downfall.
This game lived up to its billing, with the contest being as close as it could possibly get until the last segment of the contest.
Knotted at 9-9 at the end of the first, both squads knew it was going to be an all-out war. That analogy didn't disappoint the packed house of team diehards. Back and forth was the norm from a scoring standpoint in a second quarter that saw numerous lead changes. In the end, after dropping in 11 points while allowing 10, OLSH clung to a one-point edge at intermission, leading 20-19.
A nip-and-tuck third quarter complete with bodies crashing to the floor chasing loose balls, fouls, and turnovers served as a fan’s delight. As the quarter closed, River Valley dumped in 14 points to the Chargers’ 12, gaining a 33-32 advantage.
The stage was set for what seemed to be a whirlwind final stanza. Unfortunately for the Chargers, they hit a roadblock.
River Valley's star Point Guard, Ava Persichetti, was on fire pouring in bucket after bucket complete with some monster three-point bombs. This spelled the end for OLSH.
Persichetti netted a game-high 23 points as the Chargers seemingly couldn't buy a basket. OLSH could manage a mere six points, as they gave up 11 to River Valley.
For the Chargers, the history-making season ended in heartbreak for this talented group of nine seniors. Trust me, each and everyone one of these young ladies left it all on the court. As difficult as this loss was to handle, there is nothing and I mean nothing this team can not be proud of.
On this night, three Chargers would account for 31 of the team’s 38-point total. Kyleigh Nagy led the way with a 12-point effort, Grisafi dropped in 11 and Kara Bridge added eight points.
Grisafi, in her final two high school games, netted 29 points, as she and the other eight seniors move on to the next chapter in their lives. Rest assured, their OLSH basketball careers along with their education will have these talented young ladies well-prepared for moving forward with their careers.
Well done ladies in your historical season.