Big Second Half Propels East

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DOYLESTOWN – The boxscore will show that Kristina Pogue scored just two points in Central Bucks East’s 66-39 romp over Pennridge.
That’s just part of the story.
When the game was over, it was the Patriots’ junior forward that East coach Tom Lonergan singled out.
“She came off the bench today, and she played really well,” the Patriots’ coach said. “She contributed and played unbelievably hard on the defensive end. 
“It’s something that might not show up in the scoreboard, but I saw it. I recognized it. We were struggling defensively in the first half, and she came in and put a plug in.”
There are few things Lonergan values more than defense, and while Pogue and company were putting the clamps on the Rams, the Patriots were scoring easy buckets, turning a 24-18 halftime lead into the lopsided win.
“I think we really started playing East ball after halftime,” Pogue said. “He (Lonergan) told us basically the game was really slowed down, and after halftime, we came out and picked it up a lot.”
‘Picked it up’ hardly covers it.
The Patriots ran circles around the Rams in the second half, scoring 42 points. Many of those points came on easy buckets in transitions. Still others came on easy shots out of the Patriots’ set offense.
“They were ready to play, and we were not,” Pennridge assistant coach Dave Martin said. “In the second half, our defense did not show up.
“Any time you give up 23 points in the third quarter – layup after layup after layup – it was ridiculous.”
Liz Martin led a balanced East attack with 16 points while Caitlin Vasey added 10 points. Madeline Ross had nine points off the bench and sharpshooter Jaime Donovan had eight.
All told, 11 East players put their names in the scoring column.
“It’s really fun to see people coming off the bench and nothing changes,” East senior Jordan Seiz said. “You can put anybody in there and know the game is going to keep going the way it was before.”
“We all support each other so well,” Pogue said. “Even if you come out, you might be upset that you’re not playing, but it doesn’t matter. You just cheer on your teammates.
“The overall outcome is for the team to win and play hard.”
Neither team got on the scoreboard in Wednesday’s game until Martin banked home a shot at the end of a drive midway through the opening quarter.
Moments later, Sarah Pullar turned a steal into a layup. Jordan Dominic, who scored a team-high 10 points, broke a five-minute Ram scoring drought with a basket on a drive. The Patriots closed out the quarter with a 5-0 run to take a 9-2 lead into the second quarter.
The Rams played their best basketball of the night in the second quarter. Freshman Brianne McGrath scored on a putback, and after an East turnover, senior Marissa Kunkle buried a pair of foul shots, pulling the Rams to within three (9-6).
“We weren’t taking care of the basketball,” said Lonergan, whose team had 12 first-half turnovers. “We were very sloppy, and that’s kind of out of character for us.”
When Donovan buried a trey at the 3:25 mark, the Patriots led 17-9, but the Rams answered with back-to-back buckets by Dominic – a trey – and Lindsey Lyons to make it a 17-14 game.
Courtney McManus connected on a trey for the Patriots, but Kunkle found Kate Franchois cutting to the hoop for an easy deuce, making it a 20-16 game. It was still a four-point game after a Kunkle basket, but Ross scored at the buzzer, sending the Patriots into the intermission with a 24-18 lead.
“I really think we came out slow,” Seiz said. “We took them a little (lightly), but at halftime we realized, ‘Wow, we have to pick it up,’ and that’s what we did.
“When we came out after halftime, we said we wanted to go with the transition passes. I thought we really picked up on that. We were getting our steals and really looking up the floor, and we were obviously finishing our layups. We pride ourselves on our defense. Our coach is all about defense.”
Martin scored in the paint on East’s opening possession of the third quarter, and moments later, Donovan buried a fast break bucket off a Ram miss. Kunkle interrupted the run with a trey, but Martin answered with a basket for East.
A Vasey basket put East on top 34-21, and after Kunkle sank one-of-two from the foul line, Vasey buried a pull-up jumper for a 36-22 East lead. When Pogue hit nothing but net on a shot from just inside the three-point arc, the Patriots led 42-25.
“It’s all about hustle and working hard,” Pogue said. “The whole team comes together as one after one person does something.”
Lyons connected on a pair of foul shots, but Pullar scored on an uncontested drive, and after a Ram miss, Ross converted a three-point play at the end of a fast break, putting the Patriots on top 47-27.
“I think wey just played more aggressively,” Lonergan said. “We came out and played very passive in the first half.
“In the second half, we were more aggressive. You could see the way we ran the floor. You could see the way we attacked the rim. I think that’s the simple solution to scoring points on our end.
“(Scoring) 42 points in the second half against a team that has been holding teams under 39 – I give my team a lot of credit for coming out the second half and playing like that.”
With the win, the Patriots improved to 8-1 while the Rams are 5-4 after dropping their fourth straight.
Pennridge (39) – Lyons 1 5-6 7, Dominic 4 1-1 10, Cooley 1 0-0 2, Franchois 1 0-0 2, McGrath 1 0-0 2, Hicks 1 0-0 2, Kunkle 2 4-6 9, Zickler 2 0-0 4, Marchunsky 0 0-0 0, Villela 0 1-4 1, Guldin 0 0-0 0, Bonacci 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 11-19 39.
Central Bucks East (66) – Donovan 3 0-0 8, Seiz 0 0-0 0, Martin 6 4-6 16, Pullar 3 0-0 6, Vasey 5 0-0 10, Ross 4 1-1 9, Lippincott 0 2-2 0, S.Martin 1 0-0 2, McManus 1 0-0 3, Pogue 1 0-0 2, Remmey 2 0-0 4, Stenderowicz 1 0-0 2, Sanfilippo 1 0-0 2, Stewart 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 7-9 66.
Pennridge           2              16           11           10-39
Central Bucks East           9              15           23           19-66
Three-point goals: Dominic, Kunkle, Donovan 2, McManus.