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‘SAME GOAL, DIFFERENT PATH’: Surging Moniteau Downs Coudersport Behind 31 Points From Catherine Kelly to Reach D9 Class 2A Final

BROCKWAY, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Before the season even started, the Moniteau girls basketball team was dealt a tremendous blow.

Senior forward Davina Pry was lost for the season with a knee injury.

(Pictured above, Catherine Kelly/submitted photo)

Midway through the promising campaign, the Warriors absorbed another devastating injury when senior forward Kendall Sankey was also lost for the rest of the year with her own knee injury.

Losing two key players would doom most teams.

Not Moniteau.

“Same goal,” said Warriors’ coach Dee Arblaster. “Different path.”

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That path has twisted and turned through that adversity. Winning streaks around a losing skid as the team tried to figure itself out without two of their stars.

Player stepped up. Stars, like senior guard Catherine Kelly, shined brighter.

And here the Warriors are. Destination reached — even with a few detours along the way.

With a 51-41 victory against Coudersport in the District 9 Class 2A semifinals at Brockway High School on Wednesday night, Moniteau will play for a district title against familiar nemesis Redbank Valley.

That game will be played at 6:30 p.m. at Tippin Gymnasium on the campus of PennWest Clarion on Saturday night — Super Saturday.

“Our goal hasn’t changed with all the adversity,” Arblaster said. “These girls have all taken on different roles and have all stepped up tp the challenge. I could not be prouder of the group. We are all excited.”

Moniteau took care of business against Coudersport despite a long layoff.

The Warriors showed little rust in jumping out to an 18-7 lead after the first eight minutes, with Kelly scoring 10 of her game-high 31 points in the first.

Without two of its most important inside players, Moniteau has had to find other ways to get things done, and that has been mostly on the shoulders of Kelly.

She’s been up to the challenge.

“Catherine has worked her tail off to be where she’s at,” Arblaster said. “She has been a four-year starter, has started every game in those four years. She has really been playing well. Our team feeds off of her play.”

Kelly went aggressively to the hoop. When she didn’t finish, she drew fouls and hit 11 of her 14 free throw attempts — including 6-of-6 in the fourth as Coudy attempted to chip its way back into the game after the early hole.

Kelly also had 11 rebounds.

“She is playing her best basketball right now,” Arblaster said. “She wants the ball in big moments. She also has stepped up with other stats, too. Eleven rebounds tonight was huge.”

Senior Allie Pry also came up big for Moniteau on Wednesday with nine points and four steals.

Senior Abbey Jewart has six assists.

Hallie Rigas led Coudersport with 12 points — all on 3-pointers. Sierra Meyers added 10.

But they couldn’t help Coudy catch the surging Warriors.

“This win means a lot to us,” Kelly said. “It gives us confidence going into the championship and really shows us we are willing to fight through anything.”

Sankey went down at the beginning of a stretch in which Moniteau lost four of five games.

Since a 58-33 setback to Neshannock on Jan. 18, the Warriors have won seven straight.

That late push has put Moniteau back in the D9 title game against Redbank Valley again. Last year the Warriors lost to the Bulldogs, 61-35.

“It’s amazing to get another chance at a D9 title,” Kelly said. “I think all of us really wanted another chance at this for a long time.”

Karns City and Moniteau sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Thinkdolphin Web Design.