Neshaminy girls just flat outgunning opponents
The action in Fred derst gym at Neshaminy High School on Dec. 18 proved energizing as Redskin roundballers on both the varsity and junior varsity level battled Bensalem in a spirited quadruple-header.
The marquee matchup for Neshaminy fans was the first varsity game featuring coach Joe Lally’s red hot Lady Redskins and coach Don Bogan’s high-flying lwls. doing into the game, Neshaminy sported an undefeated 2-0 record. They took a close 58-53 win over Central Bucks West in the season opener. Sarah lliveira led the Redskin’s scoring with 16 points. Lori Paulits took scoring honors in game two when she poured in thirty points as the ‘Skins dismantled Harry Truman 59-3T.
Neshaminy knew that their early successes would not guarantee a victory over the lwls. According to Sarah lliveira, junior forward, the Redskins aimed to play an up-tempo, aggressive game. “We knew that one of their best players Tyra Roberts was going to be out. That just encouraged our guards to drive in the lane because she was big. Also we wanted to shut down Ashida Cooper.”
The strategy certainly fit the ‘Skins’ team profile. With only one six footer listed on their roster, Neshaminy needs to compensate for a lack of size with very aggressive play. In Sarah’s estimation, “ln defense, we work on traps. The offense tries to convert the turnovers and find gaps in the other team’s defense.”
The strategy worked against Bensalem as Neshaminy took a 10-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. Though ahead, the Redskins were not content. “When we were only up by four, we realized we needed to push harder and apply the pressure, and overall, play better defense. Also, we needed to look for the open shots when they were there.”
The press and run scheme resulted in a 25-6 halftime lead. Megan Schafer keyed the attack, stealing the ball several times and feeding off to open teammates. Sarah and senior teammate Lori Paulits, who counted for a good deal of the scoring, appreciated Schafer’s role.
“Megan is awesome to have as a point guard. vou couldn’t have a better one. vou know when you’re open on offense you always know to put your hands up because Megan will get you the ball.”
Though seemingly in control, Neshaminy knew not to let up. “lur coach told us we were doing well and keep it up. He reminded us that we needed to play the full 32 minutes.”
The ‘Skins heeded
the coach’s warning. They improved their lead to 45-10 by the end of the third quarter and then cruised to a 5514 victory, a win that certainly proved a confidence booster. “We felt good because last year, we only beat them by three points. To make such a leap from last year was so helpful for every girl on the team.”
Neshaminy had certainly met one of its preseason goals. “We wanted to stay united through everything, wins or losses. We want to stick together and get better and get back to the gym to work on our game. We never have a lot of time to be happy. vou can be happy right after the game but the next morning in the gym you work just as hard.”
The whole effort certainly creates team unity, a quality evident in the Redskins’ early games. Sarah feels, “We’re such a family now with our new coach. We are
even though we push each other in practice. We work hard and try to make each other better. I am so proud of us. We’ve come such a long way from last year. I love our team.”
The boys varsity team did not fare as well in the day’s finale. Facing a high pressure Bensalem squad, coach Jerry Devine’s charges were outgunned in the first quarter. The lwls’ fast-paced offensive attack, spearheaded by Leo sincent, raced out to a 20-4 lead after the first quarter. They never looked back as they captured their second big SlL victory by a 6T-48 score.
Regardless of the outcome, Neshaminy fans had definitely been treated to an invigorating early holiday gift.
Morgan Goldenbaum drives the baseline for the lady Redskins.
Megan Schafer drives the lane for the Neshaminy girls team.