JOHNSTOWN — Led by their pinpoint free-throw shooting and junior star Patrick Haigh’s standout performance, the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School Marauders used a strong fourth quarter as the backbone to their 62-48 PIAA Class 3A second-round boys basketball victory over Chestnut Ridge Saturday at the Richland High School gymnasium.
Perhaps just as importantly, Guilfoyle passed a huge character test.
Haigh scored 14 of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter, when the Marauders converted all 15 of their free throws en route to dominating the final eight minutes, 28-15, after leading by just one point at the three-quarter pole.
The victory earns Bishop Guilfoyle (22-6) a spot in Wednesday’s 7 p.m. quarterfinals against South Allegheny at Armstrong High School in Kittanning. South Allegheny, the fourth-placer in this year’s WPIAL tournament, advanced by upending WPIAL champion Shadyside Academy, 68-59 in double overtime in their second-round matchup Saturday.
“Hitting 15 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter — that’s how to win a close game,” BG coach Chris Drenning said. “We’re confident that all five guys who we put on the floor at any one time are good free throw shooters.”
BG also overcame its share of its adversity due to the mettle of two unsung freshman heroes, Chase Kissell and Nick Foor.
Junior starter Karson Kiesewetter, the Marauders’ top rebounder, sustained an ankle injury in last Thursday’s practice and was unable to play Saturday.
His replacement, junior Austin Beauchamp, also suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter of Saturday’s game, but Kissell and Foor helped the Marauders hold the fort with their solid play in the reserve role.
It’s that type of cohesive team effort that is so important for success in the postseason.
“Dealing with those injuries is a tough situation, but we take the philosophy that it’s the next man up when somebody goes out with an injury,” Drenning said. “We’re confident that every one of our players can do the job, and Chase Kissell and Nick Foor did the job for us today.”
So did Haigh, who put the Marauders on his back with four fourth-quarter field goals, including a 3-pointer, while converting five-of-five free throws in the final period.
“We struggled through the first three quarters to score baskets, but we started moving the ball well in the fourth quarter, and we got some transition buckets that really helped us,” Haigh said.
While Haigh’s 22 led BG, the Marauders’ balanced attack also produced 14 points from senior guard Jayce Hettinger, and 12 points apiece from junior Matthew Woolridge and freshman Jude Haigh.
Jude Haigh made all six of his fourth-quarter free throws, while Woolridge made all four of his foul shots in the final quarter.
“It feels really good to win this game,” Hettinger said. “A lot of our guys stepped up in big roles today, and we played well as a team.”
A layup by Ridge sophomore Nate Whysong gave the Lions a 35-34 early in the fourth period, before BG reeled off the next nine points to take a 43-35 advantage.
Hettinger hit two free throws to start the Marauders’ surge, before Patrick Haigh followed with a 3-pointer from the top of the circle after Woolridge fought for a rebound and tapped the ball out to him.
Kissell scored on a jumper from the key, and Haigh hit a turnaround jump shot from the key to complete the rally and give BG a 43-35 edge midway through the quarter.
“Matt Woolridge tapping the ball out to Patrick was big for us, and so was Chase’s bucket,” Drenning said.
Ridge (20-8) never folded, though, battling back to as close as 45-42 on sophomore Nate Whysong’s 3-point play on a layup and free throw with 3:07 remaining.
BG pulled away from that point, however, closing the game on a 17-6 run that started with two Patrick Haigh free throws and was highlighted down the stretch by his two field goals and three more free throws.
Hettinger and Woolridge added four free throws apiece during the game-ending surge.
District 5 champion Ridge — which had lost to BG twice during the regular season in Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference play — was led by senior Matt Whysong’s 13 points.
“We had a great season,” Ridge coach Don Ellis said. “The kids responded well. They’re a terrific group of young men who came together at the end of the year.
“BG is a well-coached, very talented team that came after us in the fourth quarter and did everything right, while we just went the other way in the fourth quarter,” Ellis added.
Drenning expects a dogfight from South Allegheny Wednesday.
“They beat Shadyside, so they’re a real good basketball team,” said Drenning, who added that Kiesewetter’s status for Wednesday’s game is currentlyuncertain. “We just have to prepare well for them, so we can try to take that next step.”
CHESTNUT RIDGE (48): M. Whysong 4 5-8 13, Hinson 2 0-0 4, Kauffman 2 0-0 6, Little 3 1-2 7, N. Whysong 3 3-5 9, Little 2 0-0 4, Deremer 1 2-2 5, Ickes 0 0-0 0, Lazor 0 0-0 0, Garrett 0 0-0 0, Allison 0 0-0 0. Totals -17 11-17 48 .
BISHOP GUILFOYLE (62): P. Haigh 8 5-5 22, J. Haigh 2 7-8 12, Woolridge 3 5-8 12, Hettinger 3 6-6 14, Beauchamp 0 0-0 0, Kissell 1 0-0 2, Foor 0 0-0 0, Trevor Rehm 0 0-0 0, Ruggery 0 0-0 0, Machado 0 0-0 0. Totals -17 23-27 62,
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Chestnut Ridge 10 12 11 15–48
Bishop Guilfoyle 7 6 11 28–62
3-point goals: Chestnut Ridge 3 (Kauffman 2, Deremer): Bishop Guilfoyle 5 (Hettinger 2, P. Haigh, J. Haigh, Woolridge):
Records: Chestnut Ridge (20-8); Bishop Guilfoyle (22-6).
Officials: Bill Pfeffer, Chad Walsh, Dan Amrhein.