HERSHEY, Pa. — After making it to the state quarterfinals last season, the West Catholic girls' basketball team was on the doorstep of its first championship.
The Burrs came close to a breakthrough but fell short against District 6's Bellwood-Antis because of cold shooting and an inability to slow up-and coming sophomore Ali Campbell.
Campbell poured in 24 of her 34 points in the second half Monday to lead the Blue Devils to a 45-42 victory in an afternoon PIAA Class 2A final at the Giant Center.
"We tried to put an extra player on her whenever we could," West Catholic's Jaelyn Durrett said. "But there were too many times when we didn't get to her fast enough."
The Burrs (16-13) looked as if they were destined to capture gold after they survived District 11's Mahanoy Area, 50-49, in the quarterfinals and escaped District 6's Penn Manor, 50-48, in overtime in the semifinals.
West Catholic paid a heavy toll for its poor marksmanship against Bellwood-Antis. Beulah Osueke's squad shot 18 for 56 from the field, including 4 for 16 from beyond the arc, and 2 for 5 from the line.
Durrett, the team's only senior, understandably took the setback especially hard. "I could have contributed more scoring and provided more energy," she said.
Durrett managed only two points in 18 minutes. Her cousin, Kenny Durrett, starred at Pittsburgh's now-closed Schenley High and La Salle University.
"I was a little nervous before the game, but the biggest issue for me was overthinking things," Durrett said. "I wanted to get this win so badly for myself, my teammates, and the school."
Campbell shot 10 for 17 from the field (4 for 7 from three-point land) and 10 for 11 from the line. She added six rebounds and two blocks.
The 6-foot standout, who has several Division I scholarship offers, accounted for all 14 of her team's third-quarter points. She drained back-to-back treys to give the Blue Devils (28-3) a 34-32 edge entering the final stanza.
Sophomore Tamiah Robinson's trey and freshman Destiney McPhaul's follow gave the Burrs a 39-37 lead with a little over three minutes to play. But Campbell's shot from downtown started an 8-0 run that sealed matters.
Robinson registered 12 points, five steals, and five assists; McPhaul posted 12 points and eight boards, with five on offense; and junior Kyliah Singletary notched 10 boards (four on offense) and seven points.
"I hold myself and my team to a high standard," Osueke said. "I don't want to come here again and lose."
Bellwood-Antis 12 8 14 11-45
West Catholic 7 10 15 10-42
BA: Riley D'Angelo 3, Emilie Leidig 4, Alli Campbell 34, Sakeria Haralson 4.