In a rematch of last year’s District 4 Class A girls’ final, the Lady Red Raiders of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional in Coal Township hoped to contain the back-to-back champions from Northumberland Christian going into the March 3 finals at Shamokin Area High School.
Northumberland’s Warriors had rolled over Lourdes in last year’s championship and in a non-conference meeting in January, soundly winning both match ups.
Going into this year’s district finals, head coach Mike Klembara’s game plan for his Lourdes team was for a strong offensive start to convert into a full-court press of the Warriors. But Lourdes came up empty at the outset, trailing 16-4 in the first quarter and shooting just 2 for 22.
The defending and now three-peat district champion Warriors – bustling with size, speed and physicality – were too much for Lourdes, toppling the Raiders 53-24 in the shadow of their home court on a brisk Thursday night.
Lourdes never saw a lead in the game, out-rebounded and outpaced by 6-foot-2 senior Anna Ulmer’s 20 points, and 17 tallies from senior Emily Garvin, who notched her 2,000th career point during the game. The senior-laden Warriors have a 94-14 record over their four seasons.
“We came in really just wanting to lock-down on them, especially [Garvin] and make sure she didn’t get on the board as much as she did,” Lourdes sophomore forward Leah Kosmer said after the game. “It’s really hard to keep her contained.”
Kosmer led Lourdes with 10 points and seven rebounds.
“We tried our best. We just wanted to leave everything we had out on the court. I’m pretty proud of our team. Second place feels pretty good right now,” said Kosmer, gripping her silver medal in front of a supportive crowd of Lourdes students, parents and fans.
Now 15-10 on the season, Lourdes will return its full roster next season, and awaits their first-round match up in the PIAA state tournament on March 9.
“We really are all best friends, and we just want the best for each other,” Kosmer said of the team. “Even when we’re down, we just want to keep the momentum going and give it everything we have on the court.”
(Photos by Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness.)
By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness