STEUBENVILLE Points were at a premium Monday night.
The Catholic Central girls' basketball team held St. John Central without a field goal for about 16 minutes, but the Crusaders only led the Irish by three points with less than 15 seconds in the game. In the end, the visitors from Bellaire missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer, and the girls from Jefferson County converted three foul shots in the final 12.6 seconds to hold on for a 34-28 victory at Catholic Central.
"We found a way to win," Catholic Central (4-8) head coach Tommy Winland said. "We have been preaching to the girls that we are going to have to scrap and fight. They did that tonight.
"They are a well-coached team. Bubba is a great coach.
"I am proud of them. I am proud of the girls."
The Irish made just two field goals in the second half.
"We played without two starters," St. John's (3-7) head coach Bubba Kapral said. "We scored two points in the third quarter. We aren't very good.
"Give credit to them. They were gritty enough. They played bad in the first half. We did not play through a bad second half. We didn't execute on offense. Give them credit for that."
Both teams had just one player reach double digits in scoring in the game.
Miranda Parkinson led the way for Catholic Central with a game-high 18 points. Parkinson netted all three of the Crusaders' three 3-pointers.
Marissa Rose scored a team-high 12 points to lead the way for the Irish. Rose scored seven of her team's nine points in the second half. Her basket with 43 seconds left in the game was St. John's first field goal of the second half.
Also for the Blue-and-Gold, Gabby Capaldi tallied seven points, Micca Mirabella collected four points and Hannah Ondos scored three points. Finally, Shayna Mirabella added two points.
For the Green-and-White, Lindsey Froehlich finished with seven points, Emily LeMasters scored four points and Taylor Lowe tallied three points. Finally, Rachel Porter produced two points.
The teams not only struggled from the field, but both teams also struggled from the free-throw line. The teams combined to shoot just 42 percent (16 of 38) from the foul line. Catholic Central converted just 7 of 20 shots from the charity stripe, while St. John's netted just 9 of 18 attempts from the foul line.
Catholic Central led by as many as nine points in the game, while St. John's led by as many as five points.
Both teams scored in double digits in just one quarter. The Irish reached that plateau in the first quarter, while the Crusaders reached double figures in the fourth. Catholic Central's 14-point fourth quarter was the most either team scored in a stanza in the game.
The victors scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to take 30-21 advantage. At that point, the Crusaders outscored the Irish, 17-2, in the second half.
Rose scored to pull the Irish to within 30-23, and Kapral called a timeout with 42.5 seconds showing on the clock. Later, Rose nailed a 3-pointer making the score 31-26, and then following a turnover she made two foul shots making the score 31-28 with 28.5 seconds left to play.
After Catholic Central missed two foul shots, St. John's had a chance to tie, but Rose's 3-pointer bounced off the rim and the Crusaders were able to control the rebound. Capaldi made two from the line with 12.6 seconds left to seal the deal.
"Give credit to them," Kapral said.
The Irish led 11-7 after the first quarter, and they extended their advantage to 19-14 at halftime. Though, the visitors were held without a field goal in the third quarter, St. John's was still able to take a 21-20 lead into the fourth quarter.
St. John Central is scheduled to return to the court at 5:30 p.m. Friday at home against Paden City as part of a girls' and boys' doubleheader. Catholic Central is slated to return to the court Monday at home against Bridgeport.
Catholic Central 34,
St. John Central 28
ST. JOHN CENTRAL (3-7): Froehlich 1 5-9 7, Porter 1 0-0 2, Lowe 1 1-1 3, Rose 4 3-7 12, Santinoceto 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, LeMasters 2 0-1 4. Totals: 9 9-18 28. 3-Pointers: Rose.
CATHOLIC CENTRAL (4-8): Stevens 0 0-0 0, Torrance 0 0-0 0, S. Mirabella 1 0-0 2, Bertoia 0 0-0 0, Virtue 0 0-0 0, Parkinson 6 3-7 18, Simmons 0 0-2 0, M. Mirabella 2 0-0 4, McComb 0 0-0 0, Capaldi 2 3-8 7, Ondos 1 1-3 3. Totals: 12 7-20 34. 3-Pointers: Parkinson 3.