Phil-Mont falls in semifinal

Posted: March 20, 2014

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - There were dropped passes and mishandled loose balls.

A couple of balls didn't bounce the way of the Phil-Mont Christian girls' basketball team, and a few hit off the hands of Falcons players.

Things didn't often go the way Phil-Mont would have wanted Tuesday night at Freedom High, and the Falcons lost, 43-31, to Old Forge in the PIAA Class A state semifinals.

But the journey the Falcons took before the loss was remarkable - one that made program history.

"Now you actually have the time to look back and say, 'Wow, what's all the stuff we just accomplished this past month?' " coach Bill DeHeer said.

"It has been so much it has been hard to keep track, but I think we've enjoyed it along the way."

A team that usually outmuscles and outrebounds opponents, Phil-Mont (26-5) saw what it looks like when the opposing side flips the switch as Old Forge (24-3) gave the Falcons trouble with a tight zone.

"The toughness factor - [Old Forge] matched us and probably exceeded us in that," DeHeer said. "When we got the ball in the middle - other teams, yes, we were able to muscle through them; these guys, not so much."

Down by 18-11 at halftime, the Falcons had a chance to make a comeback in the third quarter, when their stingy defense held the Devils to eight points.

But missed opportunities on the offensive end, squandered possessions and rebounds, hurt Phil-Mont. The Falcons just could never get into a rhythm.

"You are bound to have a game offensively where you are just not quite there," DeHeer said.

What was there for Phil-Mont was a great defensive performance, which kept the Falcons in the game for three quarters.

"Defensively, very proud of their efforts," DeHeer said.

Phil-Mont captured its first District 1 championship this season, earning a bid to the state tournament for the first time, and winning its first three state playoff games.

Phil-Mont Christian 8 3 6 14 – 31

Old Forge 10 8 8 17 – 43

PMC: Keyen Green 12, Jana Goodman 10, Tracey Goodman 5, Michelle Chen 2, Sierra Green 2.

OF: Lauren Carey 15, Taylor Nemetz 14, Rhyan Barnic 5, Tori Tansley 4, Terri Vieira 3, Natalie Bieryla 2.

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