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Catherine Kelly Scores Career-High 38 Points to Lead Moniteau to Big Comeback Win at North Clarion

FRILLS CORNERS, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Catherine Kelly was not immune to the rash of knee injuries that have plagued the Moniteau girls basketball team.

Senior forward Davina Pry tore her ACL before the season even started. Senior forward Kendall Sankey suffered her ACL tear a month ago.

Two weeks ago, Kelly crashed to the floor and felt her right knee cap painfully dislocate. She feared the worst.

“We have not had good luck with knees this season,” Kelly said.

Luckily, the injury wasn’t as severe as first thought and Kelly gutted it out. She didn’t miss a game.

(Pictured above, Moniteau’s Catherine Kelly, left, battles for a rebound with North Clarion’s Brooke Steinman/photo by Dave Cyphert of ProPoint Media Photography)

On Thursday night, the senior guard showed just how resilient she and her Warrior teammates are.

Kelly scored 17 of her career-high 38 points in the fourth quarter to help rally Moniteau from 17 points down on the road to North Clarion to force overtime. She continued her dominance in the extra frame, scoring six more in helping the Warriors to a huge come-from-behind win over the Wolves, 65-61.

“What got us going was we started pressing them and we were getting steals and getting deflections and that brought our tempo up,” Kelly said. “We started out really slow; we were playing kind of scared, but we started driving the lane and just really attacking them.”

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Kelly became aggressive in particular, slashing to the rim and showing no ill effects of that dislocated knee.

Although she admitted she is still feeling it.

“I’ve kind of been soldiering on,” she said, chuckling. “It give me some pain when I’m playing, but it’s definitely a lot better than it was a week ago.”

Moniteau’s fortunes are also looking a lot better.

The Warriors (16-5, 6-3) have won four straight after struggling through a 1-4 stretch.

It’s been a trying season because of injuries, and have been forced to play several inexperienced players out of position.

Kelly said it has brought the team even closer.

It’s them against the world, they feel.

“Being the underdogs has always kind of been our thing,” Kelly said. “We’ve always played better when it’s like that because we can go out there and leave it all out there. We really don’t have much to lose right now.”

Things certainly did not start out well for Moniteau on Thursday.

North Clarion led 31-21 at the half and went up by 17 in the third quarter.

Trailing by 13 entering the fourth, the Warriors needed a spark. They got it.

“Catherine stepped up big time,” said Moniteau coach Dee Arblaster. “She hit a big 3 to put us into OT. With two starters out of the game due to fouling out, she took control of the game. We told her to drive and take it at them. She was laser-focused tonight. Catherine and Abbey (Jewart) did a great job of being poised and keeping the other girls focused.”

Cheyenne Curl scored six points and Jewart, Allie Pry and Sophia Fleeger each added five.

Allie Pry and Fleeger each fouled out.

The loss spoiled another big game by North Clarion senior Lily Homan, who poured in 32 points. Ainsley Hartle chipped in 19.

North Clarion (16-5, 7-2) will still play in the KSAC tournament next week. Moniteau will miss out, but this win will certainly give the Warriors confidence for the upcoming District 9 Class 2A tournament.

“I think this shows everyone that we’re gonna fight and give 100% no matter what happens,” Kelly said. “We go out and give 100% every day in practice. We’re not real tall and we’re not real deep because of injuries, but I think this shows we can still be a threat.”

Arblaster is certainly a believer in her team.

“Our bench did exactly what they needed to do,” she said. “I am so very proud of these girls. They played their tails off.”