Souderton edges Gwynedd Mercy in 2 overtimes
For Montgomery Media
Allison Gallagher wasn’t named the Most Valuable Player of the Wissahickon Holiday Basketball Classic.
But she was the most valuable player in the championship game, sinking a foul shot with 10.8 seconds left in the second overtime to lead Souderton to a 43-42 win over Gwynedd Mercy Academy. The win evens the Indians’ record at 3-3 and drops the Monarchs to 4-T.
However, it wasn’t just the free throw that she made to win the game which made her valuable to Souderton. It was the four 3-pointers including one with 15.9 secRnGV rHPDLnLnJ Ln WKH firVW overtime and the game-high 1T points she scored.
Strangely enough, Souderton coach Lynn Carroll said that Gallagher hasn’t been shooting as well as she would like.
“She has really not been shooting well all season,” Carroll said. “At least not consistently. Our foul shooting was pretty horrible, but she made the one that mattered.”
Gallagher felt that she PLJKW KDvH fiJurHG WKLnJV out in the shoot-around before the game.
“I was just getting myself set more,” she said. “(I was) focusing a little bit better and just not letting them get in my head.”
Whatever the reason, it must have helped because her offense kept the Indians in the game when their offense was going south.
Sarah Derstein’s rebound basket and subsequent free throw were the only points 6RuGHrWRn VFRrHG Ln WKH firVW period. They trailed T-3 after WKH firVW HLJKW PLnuWHV.
Gallagher got going in the second quarter. She hit a layuS, D 3-SRLnWHr DnG finDOOy D basket with 1.5 seconds left in the half to cut the Monarchs’ lead to 19-14.
The Indians got back into the game in the third quarter, outscoring Gwynedd Mercy 15-10. Those 15 points included two more 3-pointers for Gallagher.
It looked like Souderton was going to sew up the win Ln WKH finDO VWDnzD. 7KH ,nGLDnV VFRrHG WKH firVW VLx SRLnWV RI the period to take a 35-29 lead and maintained that margin after trading buckets with the 0RnDrFKV wLWK fivH PLnuWHV remaining in regulation.
But Gwynedd Mercy ran off two three-point plays, one with 3:36 left and one with 51.2 seconds remaining to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Bianca Picard put Souderton up with a driving layup Ln WKH firVW RvHrWLPH, buW Christa Giordano got the Monarchs tied again with a pair of foul shots.
Then, with 15.9 seconds left, Gallagher hit her fourth trey for a 42-39 lead. However, Gwynedd Mercy wasn’t done as Jenna RaVFKLDWRrH firHG Ln D WKrHH from the right side with 6.T seconds left to tie it again.
Finally, with time running out in the second OT, Gallagher hit one of two free throws to seal the deal. The Monarchs couldn’t get a shot to drop.
For Carroll, it was a combination of her team’s offensive struggle early in the game and the sticky defense of Gwynedd Mercy.
“We really only struggled offensively for the entire firVW TuDrWHr DnG WKH firVW IHw minutes of the second quarter,” Carroll said. “I think in WKH firVW TuDrWHr DORnH wH OHIW 10 points on the rim, layups WKDW wH MuVW wHrHn’W finLVKing. That alone makes it a much different game.
“Gwynedd Mercy, they make you earn everything on both ends of the court. While there were a ton of things that we did poorly, they deserve credit because they made us work and we may have had some more talented players on our side, but they (Gwynedd Mercy) didn’t play that way. They played really hard.”
GMA coach Tim Kowalski was happy with his team even in defeat.
“I’m really proud,” he said. “I thought our effort was really good.
“Maybe not the best offensive game for some of our top players. I give a lot of credit to Souderton.
“I thought we did a great job on Picard, who’s a fantastic player. She had nine points, but she can just as easily score 20 so I thought we did a great job there.”
The win was again a big one for Souderton.
“It’s a big turning point for us,” Gallagher said. “Having been 1-3 and winning these two and getting back to .500. It will be good to start the year with a not-losing record.”
Gallagher was the lone IndiDn Ln GRubOH fiJurHV. GLRrGDnR topped Gwynedd with 13 and Raschiatore added 12.