STEUBENVILLE - Points were at a premium Monday night.
The Steubenville Catholic girls' basketball team held St. John Central without a field goal for about 16 minutes, but the Crusaders only led the Irish by three with less than 15 seconds in the game. In the end, the Irish missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer, and the Crusaders converted three foul shots in the final 12.6 seconds to hold on for a 34-28 victory.
"We found a way to win," Steubenville Catholic (4-8) coach Tommy Winland said. "We have been preaching to the girls that we are going to have to scrap and fight. They did that.
"They are a well-coached team. Bubba (Kapral) is a great coach. I am proud of them. I am proud of the girls."
St. John made just two field goals in the second half.
"We played without two starters," St. John's (3-7) Kapral said. "We scored two points in the third quarter. We aren't very good.
"Give credit to them. They were gritty enough. They played bad in the first half. We did not play through a bad second half. We didn't execute on offense. Give them credit for that."
Both teams had just one player reach double digits in scoring in the game.
Miranda Parkinson led the way for Catholic Central with a game-high 18 points. Parkinson netted all three of the Crusaders' three 3-pointers.
Marissa Rose scored a team-high 12 points to lead the way for the Irish. Rose scored seven of her team's nine points in the second half. Her basket with 43 seconds left in the game was St. John's first field goal of the second half.
Also for the Blue-and-Gold, Gabby Capaldi tallied seven points, Micca Mirabella collected four points and Hannah Ondos scored three points. Finally, Shayna Mirabella added two points.
For the Green-and-White, Lindsey Froehlich finished with seven points, Emily LeMasters scored four points and Taylor Lowe tallied three points. Finally, Rachel Porter produced two points.
"We did a great job on defense," Winland said. "Defensively, we did a great job on Rose and Froehlich.
"They sagged on us. Offensively, we had to be patient and move. Their sagging worked to our advantage. We were patient. When teams sag, it is hard to be patient. They want you to shoot the ball. You have to know when to shoot the ball."
The teams not only struggled from the field, but both teams also from the free-throw line, where they combined to shoot 42 percent (16 of 38). Steubenville Catholic was 7 of 20, while St. John's netted 9 of 18 attempts.
Catholic Central led by as many as nine points, while St. John's largest lead was five.
The victors scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to take 30-21 advantage. At that point, the Crusaders outscored the Irish, 17-2, in the second half.
Rose scored to pull the Irish to within 30-23, and Kapral called a timeout with 42.5 seconds showing on the clock. Later, Rose nailed a 3-pointer making the score 31-26, and then following a turnover she made two foul shots making the score 31-28 with 28.5 seconds left to play.
After Catholic Central missed two foul shots, St. John's had a chance to tie, but Rose's 3-pointer bounced off the rim and the Crusaders were able to control the rebound. Capaldi made two from the line with 12.6 seconds left to seal the deal.
"Give credit to them," Kapral said.