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Fast start propels Lady Bills into Class D final four

The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager Johnstown's Caroline Krempa (15) and Catholic Central's Allison Field (5) chase down a loose ball during Tuesday's Section II Class D quarterfinal game at Knox Field in Johnstown.

JOHNSTOWN — Having waited more than two years to begin their Class D title defense, the Johnstown girls lacrosse team wasted little time putting the outcome of Tuesday’s quarterfinal game to rest.

The fourth-seeded Lady Bills scored four times in the first minute on their way to a 24-5 victory over fifth-seeded Catholic Central at Knox Field.

“It was a good start,” Johnstown coach Denise Benton. “Getting four goals so quickly helped us settle in.”

The Lady Bills won the 2019 Class D crown and never got the chance to defend its title last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first three Johnstown goals came from senior Taryn Ringer, who finished with 12 goals and an assist.

The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager JohnstownÕs Roslyn Chapin (14) is defended by Catholic CentralÕs Brenna Graber (33) during TuesdayÕs Section II Class D quarterfinal game at Knox Field in Johnstown.

Molly Memrick had six goals for the Lady Bills, Jena Barker recorded three goals and an assist, and Reegan Wilcox scored twice.

Emily Fleming posted a goal and two assists for Johnstown, Kalena Eaton had two assists and Nicole Simon added an assist.

“I thought we played great,” Benton said. “Taryn, Molly and Jena all had monster games for us today.”

Carol Casale and Hope Wilk each scored twice for Catholic Central, while Brenna Graber had a goal and an assist. Allison Field added an assist for the Crusaders.

Ringer opened the scoring just 16 seconds into the game before scoring twice more in the next 22 seconds to make it 3-0 with 24:22 left in the first half. Memrick caped the opening flurry with a goal with 24:07 remaining to make it 4-0.

Johnstown's Taryn Ringer, right, battles with Catholic Central's Ellerie Hunt for a loose ball during Tuesday's Section II Class D quarterfinal game at Knox Field in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)

Casale got Catholic Central on the board with 23:15 remaining on an assist from Field to make it 4-1 before the Lady Bills went on to dominate the remainder of the half.

When the dust settled, Johnstown led 17-2 after 25 minutes of play, with the Lady Bills outshooting the Crusaders by a 25-6 margin.

“It was good to be able to control so much of the possession,” Benton said.

Ringer finished the first half with nine goals for the Lady Bills, while Memrick netted four first-half goals. Barker scored three goals for Johnstown and Wilcox added one.

Wilk scored the second goal of the first half for the Crusaders.

With the game firmly in hand, the Lady Bills eased off the gas pedal in the second half, outscoring Catholic Central by a 7-3 margin.

Ringer scored three rimes in the second half for Johnstown, while Memrick scored twice. Fleming and Wilcox also had second-half goals for the Lady Bills.

Casale, Wilk and Graber had second-half goals for Catholic Central, which was outshot by a 41-12 margin.

Lindsay Lamori and Nicole Wendolski combined to make six saves for Johnstown.

Isabella Barcher made eight saves for Catholic Central.

Johnstown is scheduled to travel to top-seeded Holy Names on Friday for a 4:15 p.m. semifinal contest.

“We just keep getting better and better as the season goes on,” Benton said. “I think we have as good a shot as anyone. I just wanted to get past the next round. If we can, I think we’ll be alright.”

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