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Fast start leads Quigley Catholic girls past St. Joseph

| Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 6:54 p.m.

St. Joseph has the ability to leave tough losses on the court.

The look of determination on St. Joseph's players' faces told that story Saturday after a 60-31 loss to No. 4 Quigley Catholic in a WPIAL Class A quarterfinal game at Northgate.

“We've been to this juncture (the quarterfinals) in the playoff picture for the past three years,” St. Joseph coach Dan Slain said. “I was hoping we'd kick the door down and get in to the semis, but we're going to work hard in the offseason and kick it down next year.”

No. 12 St. Joseph (11-13) backed itself away from that door early, falling into a 19-7 deficit early in the second quarter. Quigley (18-5) was scored the first 13 points before junior Mallory Heinle hit a shot at the 4:57 mark of the first quarter.

Heinle finished with a team-high 14 points.

“I think we played well tonight, but I still don't think we've played our ‘A' game yet,” Quigley coach Bill DelTondo said. “Hopefully, that's still to come.”

Helping push Quigley to the next round was junior guard Kristin Jackson, who had 14 of her game-high 22 points in the second half.

“We don't have that one girl that scores 30 points, but we don't want it that way. We want everybody scoring,” DelTondo said. “If we do end up with a game where one girl scores most of our points, we're fine with it. We just want to make sure we have more points that the other team at the end of the game.”

Quigley plays top-seeded Vincentian in the semifinals Wednesday at a site and time to be determined.

Quigley did well to keep breathing room in the second, not allowing St. Joseph to crawl back within seven points at any time.

“(Quigley is) talented. They're deep. They're tall,” Slain said. “Our kids fought hard trying to get rebounds. I'll take tough over tall. That's what my kids are.”

Nikki Mielecki scored nine points, Julie Hetu scored six, and Amanda Klawinski had two for a junior-heavy St. Joseph squad.

“From an effort standpoint, the scoreboard says differently, but I think the kids gave a winning effort,” Slain said. “That's all I can ask from them. Give me 32 minutes. Give me all you got.”

Dave Yohe is a freelance writer.

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