Big second half lifts Maidens past Wilson
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.