Maidens bat­tle past Po­cono Moun­tain West

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

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.

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