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Berks Catholic falls to Eastern York in District 3 Class 4A girls basketball consolation semifinal

Feb. 26—In a win-or-go-home postseason game, Berks Catholic fell just short of qualifying for the PIAA playoffs.

The fifth-seeded Saints lost to eighth-seeded Eastern York 52-49 in a District 3 Class 4A girls basketball consolation semifinal on Monday night at Wolf Gymnasium.

"You have to give them (Eastern York) credit, they played hard," Saints coach Bob Birmingham said. "It's disappointing but as I said, we played hard and didn't hang our heads. We could've hung our heads when we were down six (points), and they didn't."

The Saints (12-13) and the Golden Knights (14-11) went into the fourth quarter tied 35-35. Both teams traded baskets before the Golden Knights went on a 9-0 run to lead 46-40 with just over four minutes remaining.

"They went to a half-court trap and we probably threw the ball away on two or three possessions," Birmingham said. "We've worked on that and knew the play, but we just didn't find the open people. We were a little rushed and that's where they got that six-point lead."

However, the Saints did not quit. Junior Madison Langdon knocked down her fourth 3-pointer of the game to get the offense rolling again.

Minutes later, junior Sydney Corado made two free throws to give Berks Catholic a 47-46 lead with under two minutes remaining.

Golden Knights senior Arianna Seitz ended the run with a layup to give Eastern York a 48-47 lead with 1:16 left. Seitz finished with a team-high 24 points.

After a Saints miss on their next possession, they were forced to intentionally foul. Alaina Neal went 1-of-2 from the free throw line for the Golden Knights to make it 49-47 with 21.3 seconds remaining.

On Berks Catholic's next possession, Langdon put up a layup and was fouled. She made both free throws to tie it 49-49.

However, the Golden Knights responded. Neal raced down the court and made a layup through contact. She converted the free throw to complete the 3-point play and make it 52-49 with 6.4 seconds left.

"We were playing good defense and somebody went to double (team) and we shouldn't have in that instance and we gave up the layup," Birmingham said.

On the Saints' final play, Langdon came off a screen and put up a deep 3-pointer from the left wing. However, the potential game-tying shot fell short.

The close finish capped a game that was tightly contested throughout. The Golden Knights hopped to an early lead in the first quarter and led 15-11 after eight minutes of play.

Berks Catholic trailed for the entire second quarter before Langdon hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Saints a 25-23 lead at the half. After a back-and-forth third quarter, the game was tied heading into the fourth.

Langdon led all scorers with 25 points and finished with four 3-pointers. Corado had 10 points, including eight in the first quarter, for the Saints in their final game of the season.

"We've always had great kids and it's sad to see them go, but on the other end you're happy because they're on to the next phase of their life," Birmingham said about his five seniors. "They've been very dedicated to this program. Not just in the gym but service hours and everything else that we do. They're all great kids."