Kranick, Goetz Help Holy Cross Upend Riverside
DUNMORE — After Kayla Rose hit two free throws and Alese Karpinski polished off a three-point play on its next possession, Riverside looked to have Holy Cross right where it wanted. Especially since senior post player Haley Bestrycki was forced to the bench after her fourth foul put Rose at the free-throw line with 1:39 left in the third quarter. The eighth-ranked Lady Crusaders got a boost from unexpected sources, however. Senior guard Caroline Kranick buried a key 3-pointer and freshman Julia Goetz made key contributions down the stretch as Holy Cross scored 11 straight, then held on for a 60-57 win over No. 5 Riverside in Thursday’s Lackawanna League Division III game. “Obviously, we have some big scorers on our team with Abby Sempa and Kaci Kranson, so I try to help them out so it’s not all on their shoulders,” said Kranick, whose 3 was just her fifth of the season and gave Holy Cross a 49-48 lead with 7:11 remaining. “That sort of ignited the rest of that quarter for us and got the energy up so we could go through the end of the game.” Energy was the word of the night for Holy Cross, as the bench was awarded the game ball after the win. “It was a total team effort,” Holy Cross coach Barry Fitzgerald said. Rose, who scored 12 and was one of four Riverside players in double figures, gave the Lady Vikes their final lead off one of seven assists from Emily Taylor, who also scored 10. But Abbey Lentowski drilled a 3-pointer at the other end for the 14th and final lead change in the game. “That run was the difference in the game and it actually stared right at the end of the third quarter,” Riverside coach Jack Mekilo said. “We give up a basket right at the end of the third quarter and all the momentum swings over to them. Next thing you know, we’re struggling offensively.” Abby Sempa provided that basket, part of her 18-point effort on 7-of-11 shooting. As she did multiple times in the game, she wriggled through traffic and flicked a left-handed shot off the glass that finally curled through the net to tie the game at 46 through three quarters. “We just needed points at that point,” Sempa said. “I saw the opening and I just took it. I think it gave us a spark.” So did Goetz, who, pressed into service after Bestrycki’s fourth foul, hit a bucket, grabbed a rebound and had a steal and an assist on Sempa’s layup in the heart of the decisive run. “Julia coming off the bench as a freshman, helping us out big like that, that’s something we need,” Sempa said. “Caroline having a big scoring game, a big defensive game, everything like that helps.” Added Fitzgerald: “They gave us the quality handful of minutes that we needed.” But the 59-50 lead nearly evaporated. Riverside sophomore point guard Bella McKeefery capped a career-best 16-point game with a jumper, Taylor drilled a 3-pointer and Rose took a lob from Taylor to make it a three-point game with 10 seconds left. Riverside fouled and Holy Cross missed twice, but the final shot at the buzzer from the Lady Vikes was both off the mark and came from inside the 3-point line. “I thought our last two minutes bordered on brilliant, from nine down to having a shot to tie,” Mekilo said. “It’s unfortunate we were in that position.” Holy Cross had its most-balanced effort of the season, with Bestrycki scoring 12, Lentowski adding 11 to go with 10 rebounds and six assists, Kranson scoring nine and Kranick adding eight. “It’s probably the best half-court game we’ve played,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re also trying to get back to our transition. That was big in the first half as well. “We had some nice passes off penetrations. It’s the way it should look.” Karpinski was the fourth Lady Vikes player in double figures with 14 to go with her team-high 12 boards. Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9125; @mmyersTT on Twitter Riverside (17-3, 7-3) — B. McKeefery 6-13 2-2 16, A. Karpinski 5-14 2-3 14, K. Rose 5-11 2-2 12, E. Taylor 4-12 0-2 10, J. Antoniacci 2-7 0-0 5, M. Antoniacci 0-0 0-0 0, P. Olanovich 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-57 6-9 57. Holy Cross (12-7, 6-3) — A. Sempa 7-11 3-3 18, H. Bestrycki 4-8 3-4 12, A. Lentowski 4-10 0-0 11, K. Kranson 4-13 1-14 9, C. Kranick 2-7 3-6 8, J. Goetz 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 22-52 10-27 58. Riverside 14 18 14 11 — 57 Holy Cross 12 15 19 14 — 60 3-point shooting: RIV 7-16 (Karpinski 2-3, McKeefery 2-3, Taylor 2-5, J. Antoniacci 1-5), HC 6-13 (Lentowski 3-5, Kranick 1-2, Bestrycki 1-3, Sempa 1-3. Rebounds: RIV 34 (Karpinski 12), HC 38 (Kranson 10, Lentowski 10). Assists: RIV 13 (Taylor 7), HC 16 (Lentowski 6). Steals: RIV 8 (J. Antoniacci 3), HC 11 (Lentowski 3). Turnovers: RIV 17, HC 13. Blocks: RIV 6 (Rose 3). Fouled out: Taylor. JV: Riverside, 45-20 (RIV: Olanovich 15, Slaboda 11, M. Antoniacci 10; HC: Ferguson 9).