District One AAAA Girls' BB Wrap: Second Round

The SOL is alive and well.

Is it ever!
Five of the eight teams still standing without a loss in the District One AAAA Tournament are from the SOL. On Tuesday night, Council Rock North locked up a spot in the quarterfinals with its 38-24 win over Upper Dublin.
On Wednesday night, Cheltenham, Council Rock South, Central Bucks East and Abington all followed Rock North’s lead.
North Penn was the lone SOL team to go down to defeat.
Patriots roll to big win – Central Bucks East sprinted to an 11-3 lead in its game against Spring-Ford and never looked back, downing the Rams in convincing fashion 46-25.
“We took over early,” said coach Tom Lonergan, whose team led 11-7 at the end of one quarter. “We should have had a lot more points in the first quarter.
“We came out, and we were getting great looks, but we just couldn’t finish. We were getting the opportunities, and as a coach, that’s what you’re looking to do. You’d be concerned if you weren’t getting the looks you wanted to get. We felt we were getting the looks we wanted to get. We just needed to do a better job of relaxing and finishing.”
The Patriots did that in the second quarter, outscoring the Rams 14-5 to go into halftime with a commanding 25-12 lead.
“I thought we just did a 360 on the glass,” Lonergan said. “In the first quarter – one of the reasons they scored the last two baskets to make it 11-7 was because we didn’t play as aggressively as we could have on the glass.
“Spring-Ford had one or two posts that were around 5-11 or 6-0, and they had three small guards. Those guards were grabbing some rebounds, and we just didn’t do a great job in the first quarter. We talked about it at the end of the quarter, and from that point on, we did a tremendous job on the glass. They didn’t have many shots in the second quarter.”
Liz Martin had a big game for the Patriots, leading all scorers with 19 points, including eight in a third quarter that saw the Patriots outscore the Rams 17-11.
Courtney McManus had a big game on the perimeter, connecting on four treys and finishing with 14 points.
“We scored a lot of points in the paint, and Courtney got untracked,” Lonergan said.”It was a great team effort, but certainly those two (Martin and McManus) stood out tonight, which is fine. The others have an opportunity to prove themselves going forward.”
The Patriots, who will face Abington in a quarterfinal game on Saturday, locked up a state berth with the win.
“It’s good, but it’s not our end goal,” Lonergan said.
Ghosts humble Lower Merion – Emily Leer scored 22 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, all but singlehandedly leading Abington to a 40-28 win over Lower Merion on Wednesday night. The win avenged a mid-season 40-20 humbling at the hands of the Aces.
“We played great,” said coach Dan Marsh, whose team improved to 20-4. “We did everything we needed to do.
“We played zone for the first time all year. We had the tape of them, and it didn’t look like they played that great against zone. We told the girls we had to have a good start because if you don’t, they’re going to hold the ball.”
The Ghosts, who sprinted to a 9-0 lead,  led 11-5 at the end of one quarter and extended that lead to 18-7 by halftime.
“It was a complete team effort,” Marsh said. “Really, it was our defense again. They made a run for us in the third quarter, but we held them off.
“It was just a complete team defensive effort, and I’m so proud of them. This team whooped us, but the girls weren’t intimidated. They came out, they were ready – they really wanted to get to states this year, and they did it without having to go through that nonsense we went through last year (playing for the ninth seed). That’s brutal.”
In addition to Lear, Aiyannah Peal contributed 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Jamie Shectman had six points on a night that saw just three Ghost players get into the scoring column.
“Lower Merion is much better than an 11 seed,” Marsh said. “They’re so athletic, so good.
“We have had two tough games that I hope will help us in the long run.”
The Ghosts will face Central Bucks East in a quarterfinal game on Saturday.
Golden Hawks flying high – Council Rock South earned its first ever berth in the PIAA Tournament, thanks to its no-doubt-about-it 51-36 win over Methacton.
The win avenged a 33-32 loss to the Warriors in the title game of Methacton’s season-opening tournament.
This is a vastly improved Rock South team since that early-season loss. It also is a vastly improved squad from the five-win team that Monica Young inherited when she took over the helm last year.
“I told them when I took the job – ‘I believe in you guys.  I see there’s a lot of potential. You’re good players. We just need to work hard,’” the Golden Hawks’ coach said. “They believed in the coaching staff, they worked hard, and this is what they deserve.
“I’m really excited for the girls, especially the seniors. They’ve come such a long way.”
Sophomore Alex Wheatley turned in a stellar 22-point, 12-rebound effort. Chelsea Allen had 10 points and 12 rebounds. Emily Nowicke chipped in with 10 points and freshman point guard Alexis Hofstaedter added seven.
“We definitely controlled the tempo tonight,” Young said. “Our first game against Methacton was only the second game of her (Hofstaedter’s) high school career, and we really weren’t pushing the ball up the court to our full potential yet.”
The Golden Hawks opened up a 14-7 first-quarter lead and took a 30-18 lead into halftime. The Warriors never threatened.
Young lauded the defensive efforts of Nowicke and Jackie Weber on Methacton point guard Lauren Ruhl, who was held to 12 points.
“I told the girls to enjoy this now, but we have work to do,” Young said. “We’re not finished yet.”
The Golden Hawks have earned a rematch with Cheltenham, which downed Rock South 66-41 earlier this season.
Cougars down Maidens – One bad quarter.
That’s all it took to spell defeat for the North Penn Maidens in Wednesday night’s game against Downingtown East. The Cougars took a 6-5 lead into the second quarter but then went on a 15-5 tear to go into halftime on top 21-10 on their way to a 36-23 win.
“We had a really bad second quarter,” coach Maggie deMarteleire said. “We couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn door. We needed somebody to make an outside shot, and no one did.
“The more shots we missed, the tighter we got, and we also turned the ball over a lot.”
Steph Knauer led the Maidens with 12 points.
Vikings go out in style – In District One AAA action, Upper Merion didn’t pull off the big upset of sixth seeded Villa Maria Academy on Tuesday night, but the Vikings managed to turn their road game into something that felt a whole lot more like a home game, and they had the Hurricanes hanging on for dear life before falling 50-42.
“It was one of those game – if you were a girls’ basketball fan, you had a great time,” coach Tom Schurtz said. “We had over 100 students there tonight. We made Villa a home game.
“Our fans travel better than any girls’ basketball team in this entire district. No one travels the way we travel. We filled Villa.”
The secret?
“We are just fun to watch,” Schurtz said. “We play really hard, and our student body loves that about our girls. Our girls are fairly popular in the building, and my entire staff teaches in the building, which helps.
“It’s become like ‘the thing.’ Between girls’ volleyball and basketball, it’s a happening.”
The two teams were deadlocked 9-9 at the end of one quarter, and take away a stretch early in the second quarter, and the Vikings were right with the Hurricanes.
“They shot 100 percent for the first six minutes and 30 seconds of the second quarter,” Schurtz said. “They made four three’s to bury us, and that was that.
“We got it to five with 2:30 to go, but then we had to foul. We could never make that really big shot to put us over the top. It was a great game to watch, it was a lot of fun to coach, and it was a lot of fun to play in, I’m sure.”
Paoli Tinari returned to the lineup after being sidelined four weeks with a broken ankle.
“She had one practice and came out of the boot on Thursday and played 30 minutes tonight after four weeks in the boot,” Schurtz said. “She hasn’t been able to walk or run, and she played 30 minutes.
“We played six players – they played 12.”
Schurtz lauded the efforts of seniors Tinari, Alex Galdi (11 points, 14 rebounds) and Briana Alvarez (12 points, 10 rebounds).
“What else do you want from your seniors?” Schurtz asked.
Cassidy Koenig added seven points.