SPRINGFIELD — Kerrigan Guerin already had some familiarity with Meadville prior to this week’s Class 1 Final Four.
The Chadwick sophomore point guard shared the same backcourt a handful of years ago with Meadville freshman point guard Madison Carvajal while playing summer ball with the Missouri Dukes.
“She was a very good point guard and (now) she’s a very talented freshman,” Guerin said.
Guerin leaned more about Meadville and specifically Korrie Holcer on Friday in Chadwick’s 39-28 loss to the Lady Eagles with the Class 1 State championship on the line.
With Holcer hounding her, Guerin was held to four points on 2-of-11 shooting. Normally a 12.8 points-per-game scorer, Guerin didn’t net her first bucket until the 3:30 mark of the third quarter.
“She did a very good job of keeping me from going to the rim,” Guerin said of Holcer. “That’s usually my go-to. I got it last night (while scoring 11 points in a semifinal versus Platte Valley), but couldn't get it tonight.”
"Going in, I knew she was pretty shifty," Holcer said of Guerin. "I knew she was good. I played off of her a little bit because she didn't shoot 3s that much. I made sure she didn't go around me and I had geat help from teammates."
MSHSAA’S State Basketball Championships don’t recognize an All-Tournament Team or a Tournament MVP. But it’s safe to single out Holcer as the Class 1 Final Four MVP, unofficially of course.
In addition to her defense on Guerin, Holcer scored a game-high 17 points. Turns out the job she did on Guerin added to a long line of stalwart defensive performances she has posted.
“Korry held (an opponent’s) leading scorer to four points or less six games in a row,” said Meadville coach Steve Carvajal, a former Clever superintendent.
Raeleigh Little, at 14.1 points a game, is actually Chadwick's leading scorer. But while playing the point, Guerin usually makes the Lady Cards go.
“I couldn't make a shot,” Guerin said. “It was the wrong day to not be able to make a shot. I needed those to go in for us to win. It was a bad night.”
She had plenty of company on both sides. For much of the fourth quarter, it looked as if neither team was going to break out offensively. Over the first six-plus minutes of the fourth quarter, Meadville and Chadwick combined for five points and 12 turnovers.
Chadwick (25-6) started the game by making 6-of-8 field-goal tries. The Lady Cardinals proceeded to miss 25-of-30 shots the rest of the way.
Guerin made a layup midway through the fourth quarter for Chadwick’s only points of the final quarter.
Going back to the third quarter, it was the Lady Cardinals’ lone field goal over the final 11 minutes. Their only other points during that stretch came on two free throws by Ella Herd.
“When it counted, I think we held them eight or nine straight possessions without a bucket,” Steve Carvajal said.
“Man, it seemed like someone put a lid on that thing. We couldn't get a shot to fall,” Chadwick coach Shawn Guerin said.
“Buckets were hard to come by,” Steve Carvajal said. “It wasn't pretty on offense. But it's a big stage to be on, obviously. You can throw a lot of things out the window when you get in a situation like that.”
Meadville (31-0) made 5-of-11 3-point attempts in the second half, after going 4-of-18 beyond the arc in the first half. Holcer and Paige Carvajal both had 4 3s.
“We talked (at halftime) that the one thing we were going to do was live and die with the 3,” Steve Carvajal said.
The tempo of the game played out as Shawn Guerin hoped it would. He wanted a low-scoring, half-court affair.
With Raeleigh Little scoring nine of her 11 points in the first quarter, the Lady Cardinals were on top 14-7 at the end of opening quarter. They went on to lead 18-8.
“We told our girls, 'If this game is in the 40s, I think you win,’” Shawn Guerin said. “I thought if we could keep this one in the 40-range, we would have a chance.”
He added the win was there for the taking for Chadwick, if the Lady Cardinals could have converted on opportunities late.
“We make a few layups and we may be talking about a different trophy,” Shawn Guerin said.
Meadville 39, Chadwick 28
CHADWICK (28) — Nalley 1-2 0-0 3, C. Burkhart 2-4 2-2 6, Michael 0-2 0-0 0, Guerin 2-11 0-2 4, Little 5-14 1-2 11, Herd 0-0 2-2 2, M. Burkhart 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 11-38 5-8 28.
MEADVILLE (39) — Holcer 5-15 4-5 17, M. Carvajal 1-7 4-6 7, P. Carvajal 4-11 0-0 12, Dennis 1-3 0-0 2, Meyers 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 11-37 8-13 39.
Chadwick 14 4 8 2 - 28
Meadville 7 10 12 10 - 39
3-point goals — Meadville 8-13 (Holcer 4-13, P. Carvajal 4-11, M. Carvajal 1-3, Dennis 0-2), Chadwick 1-6 (Little 1-2, Nalley 1-2, Guerin 0-3, Michael 0-1). Rebounding — Meadville 31 (Dennis 8), Chadwick 24 (Little and C. Burkhart 7). Assists — Meadville 8 (M. Carvajal 3), Chadwick 5 (Guerin 3). Steals — Meadville 11 (M. Carvajal 5), Chadwick 11 (Little 5).