Maidens battle past Pocono Mountain West
By Kev Hunter
Pocono Mountain West had reached the PIAA Class AAAA Tournament in large part due to its three-point shooting.
But it was North Penn’s three-point shooting that tilted control to the Maidens Friday night and put them in the lead for good against the Panthers.
Jenn Halcovage, Vicky Tumasz and Erin Maher all hit from outside as part of a 17-1 firVW-KDlI run IRr 1RrWK Penn, and the Maidens’ defense forced 20 turnovers in holding off Pocono Mountain West, 44-38, in D firVW-rRunG VWDWH SlDyRII game at Pleasant Valley High School.
North Penn now advances to face Wilson in the second round on Tuesday.
“It’s awesome to win here,” said Tumasz, who scored 11 points and was in on several key defensive plays. “We talked to each other so well (in that second quarter), we were aggressive on defense, and we were hitting our shots.”
Tumasz’s four-point play — a three plus a free throw — put North Penn up 10-8 lDWH Ln WKH firVW TuDrWHr DnG WKH Maidens never trailed again. Halcovage hit a three to put North Penn up 15-9 early in the second, Maher followed with a three moments later, and another three by Halcovage stretched the margin to 21-9.
North Pennn led by 11 at the half.
The Maidens went a bit cold from the outside in the third, as the Panthers pulled to within 33-32, but Lauren Crisler’s play inside, which included 12 points and 14 rebounds, was a stabilizing force.
“When it counted, I thought we rebounded well offensively and defensively,” said coach Maggie deMarteleire, who earned KHr firVW VWDWH wLn DV FRDFK RI the Maidens.
Tumasz scored off a rebound to give the Maidens a 35-32 lead early in the fourth and Crisler followed with a EDVNHW WR PDNH LW D fivH-SRLnW lead. Pocono Mountain West, KHlG WR VLx SRLnWV Ln WKH finDl TuDrWHr, FuW WKH GHfiFLW WR WKrHH one more time with 2W55 to go on a pair of free throws by Jackie Benitez, making it 4138. But free throws by Maher, Crisler and Tumasz cemented the win for North Penn.
The Maidens shot just 14of-26 from the line, but they made the three foul shots WKHy nHHGHG WR Ln WKH finDl minute.
“All of the missed foul shots is very uncharacteristic for us,” deMarteleire said. “I just think the kids were nervous, but survive and advance, and that’s really all that matters.”
Tumasz, who jumped into the passing lanes several times to disrupt the Panthers attack, helped North Penn shut down Pocono Mountain West in WKH firVW KDlI. 7KH 3DnWKHrV were just 4-of-17 from the flRRr Ln WKH RSHnLnJ WwR quarters of play.
Stephanie Davis eventually got going from the outside for West, leading her team with 11 points, but the Panthers were never able to catch up after North Penn’s long-range display in the opening 16 minutes.
“We’ve been working so hard in practice, we really step up together, we communicate well and we just worked well as a team tonight,” Tumasz said.