Big sec­ond half lifts Maidens past Wil­son

North Penn Life - - Sports - Khunter@jour­nalregis­ter.com

By Kev Hunter

A mag­i­cal third quar­ter for North Penn put the Maidens in the lead for good Tues­day night and ul­ti­mately pro­pelled them to a 56-49 vic­tory over Wil­son in a PIAA Class AAAA girls bas­ket­ball sec­ond-round game at Coatesville Area High School.

The win ad­vances North 3Hnn WR D TuDrWHrfinDO PDWFhup with Cum­ber­land Val­ley — which de­feated Man­heim Town­ship 55-39 — on Fri­day night at a site to be an­nounced.

“This is awe­some. I can’t even ex­plain the feel­ing,” said Maidens se­nior for­ward Lau­ren Crisler, whose al­laround per­for­mance in­cluded a game-high 16 points, fiYH rHERunGV DnG fiYH DV­sists. “I said to the girls when we walked into the locker room that I was so proud of ev­ery­one, so proud of our team. Just mak­ing it this far is awe­some, es­pe­cially as a se­nior. I do not want my sea­son to end.”

Af­ter shoot­ing 3-for-17 Ln WhH firVW hDOI DnG IDOOLnJ be­hind 24-14, the Maidens hit nine of 12 shots from the flRRr DnG VFRrHG 24 SRLnWV Ln a piv­otal third quar­ter, pulling ahead 38-32.

“Oh my god, that was amaz­ing. We were hit­ting ev­ery shot,” Crisler said. “That gave us so much mo­men­tum. Jackie Bilotti came out and had some great hus­tle, made some great plays.”

Bilotti, a sopho­more, hDG hHr finHVW JDPH RI WhH sea­son, scor­ing eight thirdquar­ter points as part of the big Maiden run.

“I think we came out afWHr hDOIWLPH rHDOOy firHG uS,” said Bilotti, a star pitcher on the soft­ball team who was throw­ing all strikes on Tues­day night. “Vicky (Tu­masz) hit some really big shots, Bri (Cullen) came up really big. We were just hit­ting the open per­son and got on a roll.”

Erin Ma­her’s three put North Penn in front for good, 35-32, and Ma­her’s de­fense, along with her 12 points and eight re­bounds, were key in the North Penn vic­tory.

Wil­son got within three on two oc­ca­sions in the fourth quar­ter, but strong de­fense by the Maidens, and also their abil­ity to han­dle the Bulldogs’ pres­sure at the other end, al­lowed North Penn to stay in con­trol.

“I’m so proud of them,” Maidens coach Mag­gie deMarteleire said. “It was ex­cit­ing. I thought the kids did a really nice job han­dling Wil­son’s pres­sure for the most part and we had a lot of

as­sists. They just played so hard and so to­gether.”

BLlRWWL GLVKHG RuW fiYH DV­sists and Tu­masz grabbed fiYH rHERunGV DW WKH JuDrG po­si­tion as North Penn was able to over­come an early GH­fiFLW.

Jessie Wal­lace, a tall, phys­i­cal player in­side who can also hit the three, had the Bulldogs out to an 8-0 lead in the open­ing min­utes and later a 10-point lead at the break. Her 16 points led Wil­son.

But Ma­her’s de­fense on the Bulldogs’ big scorer slowed their at­tack af­ter the break. It was only fit­ting that Ma­her stripped the ball away from Wal­lace in the fi­nal minute and was then fouled and sent to the free- throw line.

Ma­her calmly sank both shots, putting North Penn in front 52-45 to as­sure the Maidens a trip to the state quar­ters.

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