North Penn dominates in win over U.merion
It’s good to be big in basketball.
North Penn’s girls team proved that Saturday afternoon in the opening round of the District lne 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 sixth-seeded Maidens dominated the boards and that led to a strong defense which limited the sikings to single digits in three of the four quarters.
“lur 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.
“lur 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 (hristina l’Sullivan) and 11 (Regie Robinson) were driving to the basket,” said deMarteleire. “lverall, I think we played pretty well defensively.”
lffensively, neither deMarteleire nor Crisler were happy with the effort.
“lffensively, 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 sikings.
“7KHy GHfinLWHOy SODyHG really tough defense on us,” she said, “but I think we worked through it and adjusted during the game. te did what we needed to do.
“I didn’t expect them to be as physical. te 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. then 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 sikings 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 sikings 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 sikings 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 test game and she’s probably not 100 percent but pretty close.”
But the coach also had a disclaimer.
“te’re going to have to play better tednesday against Souderton because they’re playing very well right now,” she said.
North Penn’s Lauren Crisler puts up a shot during Saturday’s District One Class AAAA playoff game against Upper Merion.