Maidens top­ple Boy­er­town

North Penn Life - - Sports - By Ben Reese For Mont­gomery Me­dia

Early in the girls bas­ket­ball sea­son, it was all Erin Ma­her could do to get on the court.

Later in the sea­son, it was all the North Penn ju­nior could do to stay on the court.

In­juries had a way of block­ing her from play­ing. She missed one game with a knee in­jury and then, later on, missed seven more with foot and an­kle prob­lems.

If Wed­nes­day night is any in­di­ca­tion, Erin Ma­her is back. And in a big way.

She scored 18 points, hit­ting four 3-point­ers, to lead the Maidens to a 53-45 vic­tory over Boy­er­town in the District lne Class AAAA play­off play­back round. North Penn faces Cen­tral Bucks West — a 65-35 win­ner over Penns­bury — Satur­day af­ter­noon at North 3Hnn HLJK 6FKRRO IRU fiIWK place in District lne.

Ma­her was a big part of the Maidens’ team that UHDFKHd WKH DLVWULFW 2nH fi­nal last year. She was one of the three starters re­turn­ing from that team.

But it was rare early in the sea­son to see her on the court and not on crutches. Now she is where she wants to be.

“I’m 100 per­cent,” she said, “feel awe­some, feel great.”

That has to be won­der­ful news for North Penn coach Mag­gie deMarteleire. And if Ma­her is play­ing at 100 per­cent, it adds so much to the Maidens’ game plan.

“Erin Ma­her prob­a­bly played her best game of the year,” deMarteleire said. “She really, really stepped up when we needed her to.”

And how about those 3-point­ers?

“She can shoot the 3,” said deMarteleire, “but I don’t think she’s had four all year (un­til tonight).”

It ap­pears that Ma­her is round­ing into form at just the right time. When Lau­ren CULVOHU KDd D dLI­fiFuOW WLPH scor­ing against Boy­er­town, Ma­her picked up the slack.

“Knock on wood, I hope so,” Ma­her said when asked if her shoot­ing eye was back. “If I’m open, coach has been telling me to shoot more. That’s what I did tonight.”

But she isn’t just a scorer. In fact, she en­joys do­ing oth-

ers things on the court as well.

“Any­thing I can do to con­trib­ute to the team,” she said. “Some­times it might be shoot­ing or re­bounds or as­sists. Tonight it was shoot­ing, so what­ever works.

“Scor­ing is great, but I love to do dif­fer­ent things. I love as­sists; I like blocks; any­thing to help the team.”

With­out Ma­her in the fiUVW TuDUWeU, 1RUWK 3enn would have been score­less. She made a 3-pointer and D ODyuS IRU DOO five 0DLGens points in the open­ing stanza.

Mean­while Boy­er­town was putting up 13 points in WKe fiUVW SeULRG. 7Ke BeDUV UDn RII WKe finDO nLne SRLnWV to take a 13-5 lead into the sec­ond pe­riod.

1RUWK 3enn JRW VRme RIIenVe JRLnJ WR VWDUW WKe TuDUter. The Maidens took over the lead at 15-13 by run­ning off 10 straight points.

But the Bears roared back again. They got eight VWUDLJKW DnG 10 RI WKe finDO 12 SRLnWV Ln WKe TuDUWeU IRU D 23-17 half­time lead.

By 1RUWK 3enn’V uVuDO VWDnGDUGV, WKe fiUVW KDOI wDVn’W JRRG. AnG Ge0DUWeOeire knew it.

“I saw on some tape that they could get out and run,” she said. “They must have scored 10 points in tran­si­tion Rn uV Ln WKe fiUVW KDOI.

“And turnovers. When they started to trap us, we weUe UeDOOy KDvLnJ GLI­fiFuOWy with that. Those two things I WKLnk we fixeG Ln WKe VeFRnG half which made it a lot bet­ter.”

Ma­her saw way.

“,n WKe fiUVW KDOI, we weUe just turn­ing the ball over and not get­ting back on de­fense,” she said. “I thought we did a JUeDW MRE RI fixLnJ WKDW Ln WKe

it the same sec­ond half.”

Things cer­tainly were dif­fer­ent in the sec­ond half.

7Ke 1RUWK 3enn RIIenVe looked to be back on track and the de­fense was step­ping up. The Maidens outscored Boy­er­town 19-11 in WKe WKLUG TuDUWeU wKen WKey finDOOy WRRk FKDUJe RI WKe game.

A bas­ket by Jackie Bilotti and a triple by sicky TumDVz JRW 1RUWK 3enn wLWKLn one point of the Bears at the VWDUW RI WKe TuDUWeU. HRw­eveU, early in the pe­riod, it seemed that ev­ery time the Maidens got close, the Bears would re­tal­i­ate.

1RUWK 3enn finDOOy JRW the lead at 30-28 af­ter a Ma­her 3-pointer and a re­bound bucket by Mikaela di­u­liani. Boy­er­town again took the lead on a true three-point play (a bas­ket and a foul shot) at 31-30 EuW LW wDV WKe BeDUV’ finDO lead of the game.

Tu­masz hit a layup and Crisler canned a pair of free throws to grab a 34-31 lead. Crisler had an­other pair from the line to put the Maidens up 36-34 af­ter WKUee TuDUWeUV.

,n WKe IRuUWK, 1RUWK 3enn just con­tin­ued to add on to its lead. A Crisler layup gave the Maidens a two­point mar­gin and a Jenn HDOFRvDJe WUey mDGe WKe lead three and it just went up from there. They added 17 points to their to­tal in the fourth pe­riod, al­low­ing the Bears only 11.

Both deMarteleire and Ma­her had praise for the de­fen­sive work of fresh­man di­u­liani. She was paired against Kait­lyn Eisen­hard, Boy­erWRwn’V OeDGLnJ VFRUeU. She held Eisen­hard, who has scored over 1,300 points in her ca­reer, to 12 points.

“I thought Mikaela di­u­liani did a really good job de­fend­ing Eisen­hard,” Ge0DUWeOeLUe VDLG. “, GRn’W think she (Eisen­hard) had Dny 3V. 6Ke KDG D OLWWOe GLI­fi­culty on the boards with her EuW VKe’V ((LVenKDUG) ELJJeU than her (di­u­liani).”

Ma­her was ef­fu­sive in her praise.

“The way she con­trib­utes as a fresh­man is un­be­liev­able,” Ma­her said. “We FRuOGn’W KDve DVkeG for more from her tonight.

“6Ke’V D KDUG wRUkeU DW prac­tice and she comes out in games and per­forms awe­some. She can go from JuDUGLnJ VRmeRne OLke 1Lcole Munger of CB West (5-foot-7) to guard­ing some­one like Eisen­hard (61) tonight and do an awe­some job.”

The coach also had some good words for se­nior Te­hya Daneker.

“She did a great job,” said deMarteleire. “She just played within her­self.

“6Ke finLVKeG WKDW VKRW when we broke the press and she got two or three of­fen­sive re­bounds. That helped us run time off the clock (to­ward the end of the game).”

Ac­cord­ing to Ma­her, it was some­thing new that turned things around for the Maidens.

“We tried to come into this game with a new at­ti­tude, even with a new team,” VKe VDLG. “7KDW’V wKDW we VWUeVVeG. We’Ue D wKROe new team, a new year.”

And still cel­e­brat­ing.

For Mont­gomery Me­dia / MARK C. PSORAS

North Penn’s Erin Ma­her con­trols the ball dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s District One Class AAAA play­off game against Boy­er­town.

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