East Xtra: Slow start costly for Oakland Catholic

March 8, 2012 12:01 am
  • Oakland Catholic's Bobbi Baker gets off a shot gainst Mt. Lebanon in the WPIAL Class AAAA championship at the Palumbo Center Friday.
    Oakland Catholic's Bobbi Baker gets off a shot gainst Mt. Lebanon in the WPIAL Class AAAA championship at the Palumbo Center Friday.
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"She really motivated us, told us that we were way better than we were playing. I didn't think twice about it personally. I knew we weren't going to give up and that we were going to come back."

Baker, a Baldwin resident, led the Oakland charge. She scored a game-high 25 points, including 16 points in the final 16 minutes of the game.

What hurt Oakland the most was the free-throw line and outside shooting. It went 5 of 18 from beyond the arc and only made it to the free-throw line nine times as opposed to 31 trips by Mt. Lebanon.

"I definitely think they showed a lot of heart," Boyle said. "It would have been easy for them to get down on themselves. We always talk, basketball gives us four quarters for a reason. We need to make the most of every single minute. I was really glad to see them feed into that and know the game wasn't over."

The team also knows the season is not over. Oakland now enters the PIAA playoffs where it will face District 6 champion Altoona on Friday at 6 p.m. at Hollidaysburg Area High School.

When Boyle was playing, Oakland reached the 2000 PIAA final where it lost to District 1 champion Cheltenham by two points.

"Sometimes your losses teach you more about yourself than a win ever could," Boyle said. "I think they are going to bounce back, we still have goals and every day is an opportunity."

The PIAA playoffs represent one last opportunity for the Oakland seniors Jess Mrdjenovich, Corey Taglianetti, Audra Phibbs, Chrissy Berenato, Rachel Vigliotti, Iffie Uwazie and Baker.

"I had been looking forward to playing in a WPIAL championship game since my freshman year," Baker said. "I knew we would probably make it my senior year.

"I think we will be fine in states now. I am personally really proud of how our team did at that game. We showed a lot of heart coming back and I don't think we are going to take it as a negative. We are going to turn it around as a positive."

First Published 2012-03-07 23:43:55

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