North Penn’s dom­i­nat­ing win over­rion

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - OPINION - By Ben Reese

For Mont­gomery Me­dia

It’s good to be big in bas­ket­ball.

North Penn’s girls team proved that Satur­day af­ter­noon in the open­ing round of the District One play­offs. The Maidens took con­trol of the game early and beat Up­per Me­rion 47-28.

That sets up a sec­ond round game against Soud­er­ton, a 51-37 win­ner over Cen­tral Bucks South on Fri­day night. The game will be played Wed­nes­day night at North Penn be­gin­ning at 7 p.m.

The sixth-seeded Maidens dom­i­nated the boards and that led to a strong de­fense which lim­ited the Vik­ings to sin­gle dig­its in three of the four quar­ters.

“Our de­fen­sive re­bound­ing went really well,” said North Penn coach Mag­gie deMarteleire. “It was really good.

“They (Up­per Me­rion) were pretty much one-and­done. De­fen­sively and de­fen­sive re­bound­ing we did well.”

Lau­ren Crisler led the way for North Penn both in scor­ing and in re­bound­ing. The se­nior scored 21 points and also grabbed 13 re­bounds.

“Our of­fen­sive re­bounds, we could have had more of those,” Crisler said, “but on de­fense we boxed out really well. I think lim­it­ing them to only one or two shots really helps us and takes away the flRw RI WKHLU JDPH, WRR. 7KDW wDV GHfinLWHOy D ELJ SDUW RI our game.”

De­fen­sively, the Maidens couldn’t have been bet­ter. Up­per Me­rion made only 10 fiHOG JRDOV IRU WKH HnWLUH game and had only four play­ers score all of its points.

“I thought, af­ter the ini­tial quar­ter, we did a good job clog­ging up the lane when 5 (Kristina O’Sul­li­van) and 11 (Regie Robin­son) were driv­ing to the bas­ket,” said deMarteleire. “Over­all, I think we played pretty well de­fen­sively.”

Of­fen­sively, nei­ther deMarteleire nor Crisler were happy with the ef­fort.

“Of­fen­sively, we need to clean it up a lit­tle bit,” deMarteleire said. “I felt like we could have played bet­ter.

“They were very phys­i­cal and I thought we kind of let that af­fect us a lit­tle bit. 2IIHnVLvHOy, wH nHHG WR fix some things.”

Crisler no­ticed the prob­lem, es­pe­cially late in the game. But she put some of the blame on the phys­i­cal play of the Vik­ings.

“7KHy GHfinLWHOy SODyHG really tough de­fense on us,” she said, “but I think we worked through it and ad- justed dur­ing the game. We did what we needed to do.

“I didn’t ex­pect them to be as phys­i­cal. We watched a lot of game tape on them to pre­pare for this game and they didn’t look that phys­i­cal.

“I think we didn’t han­dle it so well to­ward the end of the game. When it came to even drib­bling up at the top of the key, we got the ball stolen a cou­ple of times, but un­der­nHDWK WKHy wHUH GHfinLWHOy very phys­i­cal.”

It was the North Penn de­fense and re­bound­ing that won the day for the Maidens. They started the game by VFRULnJ WKH fiUVW IRuU SRLnWV, gave up a bas­ket and then ran off six straight for a 10-2 lead and held a 12-5 mar­gin DIWHU WKH fiUVW HLJKW PLnuWHV.

In the sec­ond quar­ter, Up­per Me­rion put on a bit of a rally. The Vik­ings scored 10 RI WKH fiUVW 16 SRLnWV RI WKH pe­riod to draw within three points at 18-15, but that was as close as they would come for the rest of the game.

1RUWK 3Hnn VFRUHG WKH fi­nal 10 points of the sec­ond quar­ter and took a 28-15 lead into the locker room at half­time.

Up­per Me­rion couldn’t get un­tracked af­ter half­time. The Vik­ings only scored six points in the third quar­ter while North Penn was putting 10 on the board.

The fourth quar­ter was anti-cli­mac­tic. The Maidens outscored the Vik­ings 9-7 but seven of those nine points came from the foul line. The lone bas­ket was a layup by Crisler.

Also, by the fourth quar­ter, the game was just about de­cided. The Maidens’ de­fense and re­bound­ing dom­i­nance wasn’t al­low­ing Up­per Me­rion much to work with.

Crisler led the way with her 21 points for North Penn and Erin Ma­her contributed six points, nine re­bounds and seven as­sists and Jenn Hal­co­v­age chipped in with fivH UHERunGV. AnnD DDvLV topped Up­per Me­rion with 12 in­clud­ing two 3-point­ers.

deMarteleire did get some en­cour­ag­ing news be­fore the game. Ev­ery player on the team was healthy.

“,W LV UHDOOy WKH fiUVW WLPH we’ve had ev­ery­body 100 per­cent all year,” she said. “Erin got hurt at the be­gin­ning of the year and she’s finDOOy JHWWLnJ WR 100 SHUFHnW and Lau­ren hurt her an­kle the day be­fore the West game and she’s prob­a­bly not 100 per­cent but pretty close.”

But the coach also had a dis­claimer.

“We’re go­ing to have to play bet­ter Wed­nes­day against Soud­er­ton be­cause they’re play­ing very well right now,” she said.

For Mont­gomery Me­dia / MARK C. PSORAS

North Penn’s Lau­ren Crisler puts up a shot dur­ing Satur­day’s District One Class AAAA play­off game against Up­per Me­rion.

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