POTTSVILLE — Sierra Coleman turned the 3-point area into mincemeat and Lourdes imposed its will in the third period, which led to a 52-35 win versus Weatherly in the PIAA Class 1A quarterfinals, Saturday, at Martz Hall.
Coleman played stellar defense and forced whoever was in front of her to take bad shots or pass the ball. The senior guard also ran the point and found her teammates on the perimeter, but adding to her all-star performance was her deadly 3-point shooting. Coleman went 4-4 from beyond the arc and propelled OLOL to a 25-23 halftime lead.
“The key is keep shooting with confidence. Without confidence there’s no way I could keep up the skill level and that goes for me and my teammates as well,” Coleman said about her mindset when shooting from downtown.
The Lady Red Raiders went on a tear in the third quarter and buried any chance the Wreckers had at a comeback attempt.
Sophomore center Emma Shimko had six points in the first four minutes. Katie Sandri and Lilly Bickel each launched a successful 3-pointer as Lourdes went on a 15-2 run in the first five and a half minutes of the third period.
Coleman, who had a game-high 16 points in the contest, thought the aggressive Weatherly defense played into the hands of her Raider teammates.
“They would play very physical and we used that to an advantage where we’d drive in hard. They’re either going to foul or you could drive in hard, back away and make them come up through,” Coleman said about the strategy used against the Wreckers.
The Red Raiders made 40 percent of their 3-point attempts (8-20) and their head coach Michael Klembara said it was a big focus in practice, not just for this game, but for the past several games.
“That was part of our game plan. We’ve been practicing near the end of the year, maybe the last four games, so actually almost eight games ago now. So it was important for us to hit threes and open up the middle for Frances (Czeponis).”
Lourdes was relentless on defense and did not allow Weatherly to score more than eight points in three quarters.
Standout guard Emily Zoscin had a team-high 13 points for the Wreckers who shot 39 percent during the matinee matchup.
Next up, Lourdes will face Jenkintown in the state semifinals, Tuesday, at a time and place to be determined.