And, dominate she did.
Roman scorched Halifax for 24 points — including 12 in the third quarter — as the Indians declawed the Wildcats 73-34 in the second round of the Class A PIAA state tournament.
“We knew we had an advantage (in the post),” Bard said. “Ashley had one heck of a game. I told her in practice that she can dominate if she wanted to. I guess she wanted to.”
With the victory, Southern Fulton advances to the quarterfinals against Lourdes Regional on Saturday at a time and place yet to be determined.
Roman easily found an open slot to work in for the majority of the game with the help of Macey Hollenshead’s point play. Hollenshead turned the court into a canvas, using the ball to paint the Wildcats’ defense into a corner with her perimeter passing and ability of feed Roman for easy baskets.
The duo connected almost at will to allow the Indians blow open a 31-point lead by the end of the third quarter.
“(We) have been together forever and I can just read on the court and understand when she’s going to pass it to me and when she’s not,” Roman said.
The Roman-Hollenshead connection produced 24 third-quarter points for the Indians to erase a troubling start for the the 25-3 squad.
“We started a little bit slower than what we wanted to,” Bard said. “But they grounded it out and, in the second half, they kept pushing the issue.”
The slow start helped the Wildcats break out of the gate for a 5-2 lead. It didn’t last.
Southern Fulton upped the ante defensively, using a 1-3-1 defense to force errant passes and poor shot selections. It started the Indians on a 12-4 run, leading to ah 26-13 halftime lead.
“Defensive intensity was just… nuts. It was crazy.” Bard said. “I preached to them that it’s going to take a total team effort defensively to win and that’s exactly what they did.”
The defensive influence continued in the second half. Roman and Kayla Chilcote dominated the interior and helped facilitate a 22-4 run in the third quarter. They took advantage of their size to combine for 19 points in the quarter.
Chilcote finished the game with 13 points.
Halifax tried to keep pace with the Indians, but a four-point second quarter and a six-point third period helped create the 29-point defeat.
Brianna Custer and Morgan Cox led the Wildcats with eight points each, whild Rylee Gonsar contributed seven points off the bench.
Hollenshead and Taelor Morton finished the game with 12 points for Southern Fulton. Morton scored all her points by connecting on four of the Indians’ six 3-pointers.
Southern Fulton 73, Halifax 34
Brianna Custer 8, Cox 8, Gonsar 7, Bingaman 6, Brittany Custer 2, Sorichetti 2, Kieffer 1. Totals 14 3-7 34.
SOUTHERN FULTON (25-3)
Roman 24, Chilcote 13, Hollenshead 12, Morton 12, Wertz 5, Mellott 3, Smartt 2, Merchant 2. Totals 30 7-12 73.
Halifax 9 4 6 15 — 34
Southern Fulton 14 12 24 23 — 73
3-point goals — Halifax 3 (Bingaman 2, Gonsar); Southern Fulton 6 (Morton 4, Hollenshead, Wertz).