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