Monday may have only been Ellie Holzman’s second career playoff game at Mount Carmel, but the freshman nearly posted a triple-double to help lead the No. 2-seeded Cubs to a dominating 50-29 win over No. 15 Zachary at home in the second round of the Class 5A girls basketball playoffs.
MCA (26-6) has won 16 of its last 17 games and only allowed one opponent to score more than 45 points over that stretch.
“It’s incredible and more than I could’ve ever imagined,” said Holzman, who finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocks. “It was definitely exciting. We pulled together as a team and came through.”
The Cubs advanced to the quarterfinals for the third consecutive season and will play District 9-5A foe and No. 10-seed John Curtis, which beat No. 7 West Monroe on Monday.
MCA swept the Lady Patriots in the two regular season matchups, but the Cubs know they have a daunting challenge awaiting them in the next round.
“We’re comfortable with what they do, but we know it’s hard to beat a team three times in one year,” MCA coach Jamie Thomatis said.
MCA didn’t make a 3-pointer in the first half, but Loyola signee Paige Franckiewicz drained four second-half 3-pointers to help MCA grow its lead to 43-21 midway through the fourth quarter.
The Broncos (24-10) made things tough on the Cubs defensively but were unable to find the necessary scoring to get back into the game.
“I always work on my shooting, so it’s all a mental thing for me,” said Franckiewicz, who finished with a game-high 16 points. “We know if we keep moving the ball, they’ll eventually go in.”
Bryanna Langford led Zachary with 10 points and three steals.
Zachary coach Michael Stephens said that the Broncos have a bright future despite the way their season ended. With only two seniors on the roster, he’s hopeful the experience from this year’s run in the playoffs will help them going forward.
“Our seniors played a lot, but we have a lot of young girls that can step in,” Stephens said. “I think we’ll definitely be back next year.”