By Tom Robinson, NEPABasketball.com
CARBONDALE – Kathleen Rose kept Scranton Prep close in in the first half.
Rachael Rose made sure Nanticoke was not in the second half.
With Rachael Rose scoring 23 of her 26 points, Scranton Prep shot better than 73 percent in the second half, overcoming a two-point halftime deficit on the way to a 50-31 romp in a District 2 Class 4A girls basketball semifinal Friday night at the Peter Turonis Memorial Gymnasium.
“In the second half, I thought we got Rachael loose and she showed what a great player she is,” Scranton Prep coach Bob Beviglia said. “She really took over there.”
The game turned quickly when the second half started.
Rachael Rose hit a 3-pointer on Scranton Prep’s first possession for a 20-19 lead.
In the first 4:06 of the third quarter, she went 4-for-4 with three 3-pointers to account for all the scoring in a game-altering, 11-2 run.
Elisa Penetar quietly set her up.
Penetar’s defensive rebound ended Nanticoke’s chance to add to the lead to open the half. Her deflection led to Rachael Rose coming up with the ball and taking it the length of the floor for the next basket. Penetar’s box out drew an over-the-back foul and gave possession to Scranton Prep for the last of Rose’s four straight baskets.
“Elisa Penetar and Kathleen did a good job inside with their post people,” Beviglia said. “Obviously, we’re undersized, so we really have to battle inside.”
At times in the first half, Scranton Prep battled to get anything going offensively.
After taking leads of 6-0 and 10-2, the Classics went through a stretch of more than eight minutes without a field goal.
Kathleen Rose led all scorers in the first half with seven points. She hit an 18-footer for a 12-5 lead with 1:22 left in the first quarter, then ended the drought on a 3-pointer with 51 seconds left in the half for a 17-17 tie.
In between, Emily Hauer came off the Nanticoke bench to hit two 3-pointers in a 12-2 run to a 17-14 lead.
Hauer came up with an offensive rebound and bounced a pass through the lane to Jilann Baron for the last basket of the quarter and Nanticoke’s 19-17 halftime lead.
“Kathleen kept us in it in the first half,” Beviglia said.
Once Rachael Rose got going, the second half looked much different.
“In the second half, we finally got the zone offense we were trying to run,” Beviglia said. “We were a little bit disorganized trying to run it in the first half.”
Cecelia Collins penetrated and kicked the ball out to Rachael Rose for her third basket of the second half. Collins wound up with all four of her assists in the second half.
Scranton Prep shot 73.3 percent (11-for-15) from the floor in the last two quarters.
Kathleen Rose finished with 14 points. Rachael Rose also had four assists and three steals.
Penetar had a team-high five rebounds to keep Scranton Prep competitive on the boards where Nanticoke had a 26-20 advantage.
Alyssa Lewis led Nanticoke with nine points. Baron had seven rebounds while Lauren Casey and Bella Czeck had six each.
Scranton Prep (23-1) advances to play Lake-Lehman for the district championship. The Lackawanna League Division 1 champions are going for their third straight title Thursday at 6 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Nanticoke has a third-place game against Berwick Tuesday to try to land the district’s third and final state tournament berth. The Lackawanna League Division 1 champions are seeking their third straight title.