Girls' Basketball Notebook: Vol. 9

Visit the Girls’ Basketball home page for a look at all the SOL teams that have received bids to the District One Tournament.

The SOL regular season took more than a few interesting twists and turns this season, and not surprisingly, the final week of the season had its share of memorable moments as well.
Turning it around – North Penn staggered out of the gate to a 3-7 mark. In their final 12 games of the regular season, the Maidens were 10-2. They closed out the year with an 11-3 mark in SOL action (13-9 overall) – a marked improvement over last year’s 10-14 season.
“I just think the kids are really starting to believe in themselves, and they’re playing smarter basketball,” coach Maggie deMarteleire said. “I felt like at the beginning of the year we really were not playing with a purpose.
“The effort was there, but there wasn’t a purpose. We knew if we weren’t going to turn things around, we wouldn’t make the playoffs. I think the kids were finally like, ‘Okay, enough.’”
Basketball IQ tests became a regular part of practices, and the team also benefited from a sit-down with the coaches at the midway point of the season.
“I think when the kids started looking at things a little bit differently, we started to play better,” deMarteleire said.
Monumental battles – Central Bucks East and Central Bucks South have locked horns in some classic battles this season. In the initial meeting between the two schools, East eked out a 58-57 win as South came up short on three shots in the closing seconds. In last week’s rematch, East escaped with a 56-55 win. The Titans saw a trey go in and out at the buzzer.
“We have probably played two of our best games against their team, and we have come up short by one point,” Mattern said. “But in the same respect, it also gives us a lot of confidence moving forward. Here’s the seventh seed in the district tournament, undefeated in the league, and we have shown we can play with them.”
Adding to the motivation on South’s side is the fact that Mattern was an assistant under coach Tom Longergan.
“I think there’s no question it’s cross-town rivalry,” Lonergan said. “Certainly ourselves and South have been very competitive teams. When they have opportunities to face each other, I think that competitiveness comes out in both teams.
“The girls know each other, some might be friends with each other, and that all comes out, and that makes for the games being pretty exciting. Neither team took any kind of lead in either game. I think the biggest lead was five points. It’s two evenly-matched teams, and that’s what made them exciting.
“We’re just lucky and fortunate that we were able to come out on the winning side of both. We’ll take it.”
A neighborhood rivalry – Neshaminy and Pennsbury found themselves locked in a classic battle in last Friday’s regular season finale. The Redskins – who escaped with a 44-42 win - opened up a 25-12 halftime lead only to watch the Falcons rally to make things interesting with a 30-19 second half.
Neshaminy’s Senior Night game was also for the benefit of Coaches vs. Cancer.
“When you have the emotion of those things and playing against Pennsbury, which is our rival, you had a lot of things going on,” Neshaminy coach Joanne McVey said. “We came out pretty well but for some reason we had a really big letdown in the third quarter, but give Pennsbury credit.
“They played hard. Those kids didn’t have a lot to play for other than they were playing Pennsbury. Give them a lot of credit and to Donna (Nicholson) as well that she has them playing that hard at that point in the season.”
Nicholson was pleased with her young team’s performance.
“They played with a lot of emotion in the second half,” the Falcons’ coach said. “They came out and showed a lot of heart.
“We actually had a lead with a minute-and-a-half to go, but then our inexperience shown through again. We had two sophomores, a freshman, a junior and a senior on the floor. They fought back with everything they had. They all stepped up their games.
“We had some good defensive stops in the third quarter. We just played well as a unit.”
Falcon senior Kelsey Balascsak scored all 11 of her points in the second half.
“It was her last game as a senior, and she wanted to end it on a good note,” Nicholson said. “She showed that in her play the way she came out the second half.”
Kelly Rebert, the team’s lone junior, had all 10 of her points in the second half as well.
“She just played real good defense, and she hit two big three-pointers for us,” Nicholson said. “Molly Phillips played her heart out, hustling up the floor on offense and setting picks and defensively did a great job too.
“Our freshman – Lauren Pisauro – kept us in the game in the first half with six points. Kersten Formento did a great job defensively. We were just playing well, seeing each other and working together. The future looks bright.”
Avery Wunder (12 points) and Kelsey Ryan (10 points) led the Redskins. Ryan was a perfect eight-for-eight from the foul line.
A welcome addition – Coach Tom Schurtz had a pleasant surprise at freshman orientation in the summer of ‘07 when Jessica Moore walked up to the basketball team’s table and introduced herself.
“She said, ‘Hi, I’m Jessica. I’m from Tennessee,’” the Vikings’ coach recalled. “She immediately said, ‘I want to play basketball.’”
It wasn’t long before Moore was working out with the team.
“She’s our lucky transfer,” senior Lisa Ridgeway said. “She fit in right away. It wasn’t like she was the new kid.”
While it’s never easy to change schools, the move was made easier by Moore’s involvement in basketball.
 “It was really hard,” she said. “But I had girls like Lisa who made the transition much better.
“The team is so great. I love the girls.”
This year, the senior guard, who is also a standout softball player, is averaging 8.9 points a game.
“She didn’t learn to fit into our system until late last year she started to put it together, but we weren’t playing well enough to make the playoffs,” Schurtz said. “She’s a tremendous athlete.
“You love getting a transfer who can contribute. She’s a really nice kid.”
Around the SOL (week ending Feb. 7) – Erin Dixon scored 22 points to lead Upper Moreland to a 48-35 win over Harry S. Truman. Shalaya Lynch led the Tigers with nine points. One night later, Springfield edged the Golden Bears 41-38. Elise DiFilippo (13 points) and Morgan Smith (12 points) led the Spartans while Lato’sha Reves (17 points) and Dixon (10 points) paced the Golden Bears.
Central Bucks East earned a 57-27 win over Central Bucks West. Liz Martin led the Patriots with 11 points while Bia Jurema had nine for the Bucks. East held on for a 56-55 win over Central Bucks South. Martin scored 23 points while Jaime Donovan (12 points) and Caitlin Vasey (11 points) also came up big. Calla Miller (14 points) and Laura Duffy (10 points) led the Titans.
Hatboro-Horsham downed Central Bucks West 36-27. Biz Meschio led the Hatters with 10 points while Meghan Vazquez’s 12 points paced the Bucks. Coach Heather Weindorfer Glemser announced her resignation as head coach of the Bucks at the conclusion of the season.
Sparked by the 17-point effort of Shakia Robinson and the 13-point performance of Steph Knauer, North Penn edged Central Bucks South 43-41. Katelyn Schneider led the Titans with 13 points. The Maidens, who received 13 points from Knauer, edged Pennridge 38-36. Jordan Dominic (14 points) and Marissa Kunkle (12 points) led the Rams.
Council Rock North clinched the National Conference crown with a 60-38 win over Abington. Sarah Kiely (24 points) and Kelly Scull (11 points) led the Indians while Jen Kelly and Liz Layton led the Ghosts with 10 points each. Rock North wrapped up a perfect league season with a 53-37 win over archrival Council Rock South. Kiely and Scull led the Indians with 12 points each. Alex Wheatley led the Golden Hawks with 10 points.
Abington rebounded to notch an important 47-42 non-league win over Methacton, breaking the Warriors’ 27-game home winning streak. Emily Leer exploded for 22 points while Kelly added 10. Sparked by the 20-point effort of Ajanae Boone and the 13-point performance of Leer, the Ghosts downed Bensalem 59-35. Hall (11 points) and Kate Clarkson (10 points) led the Owls.
Council Rock South used 17 points from Emily Nowicke while Wheatley added 15 and Chelsea Allen 14 in its 65-48 win over William Tennent. Ashley Alden led the Panthers with 13 points. The Golden Hawks followed that with a 57-39 win over Bensalem. Nowicke had 16 points, Allen 14 and Ann Silverthorn 11 points. Sharmane Hall led the Owls with 20.
In non-league action, Perkiomen Valley edged Tennent 50-49. Liz Kovel (14 points) and Sarah Godfrey (11 points) led the Panthers.  The Panthers came back to down Truman 70-19. Hanna Sellers (15 points), Godfrey (13 points) and Megan Zimmerman (14 points) led the Panthers.
In a key Class AAA non-league war, Upper Merion downed Radnor 55-45. Lisa Ridgeway (21 points), Cassidy Koenig (13 points) and Jessica Moore (11 points) led the Vikings.  One night later, the Vikings downed Wissahickon 38-29. Paola Tinari had 10 points to lead the Vikings.
Wissahickon received double-digit efforts from Anne Bracaglia (13 points), Rachel Schaible (12 points) and Colleen Hinde (11 points) in its 53-21 win over Upper Moreland.
Sparked by the double-digit efforts of Monet Constant (15 points), Liz Taliaferro (11 points) and Shayla Felder (10 points), Cheltenham rolled to a 69-32 win over PW. Meg Piotrowicz and Angie Branigan led the Colonials with seven points each.
The Lady Panthers received 14 points from Felder, 13 from onstant and 10 from Tiffany Johnson in their 67-31 win over Springfield. The Spartans were led by the 17-point effort of Annie Crudele.
Cheltenham downed Norristown 62-38 to complete a perfect SOL season. Felder had 18 points, Constant, 14, and Jenna Peoples, 10 points. Natasha Matthews and Netta Wise led the Eagles with 11 points each.
Quakertown earned a 72-37 win over Hatboro-Horsham. Cailin Schmeer led the Hatters with 11 points. Lauren Starzecky (23 points), Colleen Gavin (18 points) and Daniella Ciccarone (16 points) paced the Panthers. The Panthers followed that with a 49-45 win over Pennridge. Gavin (19 points) and Ciccarone (12 points) led Quakertown while Kunkle (16 points) and Dominic (15 points led the Rams.
Freshman Liz Mower scored a career high 18 points while Brittany Sandone added 13 and Monica Schmidt 12 in Souderton’s 63-46 win over Quakertown. Gavin led the Panthers with 15 while Kristine Jackiewicz had 13 and Ciccarone, 10 points.
Sparked by Shannon Zickler’s 12 point-effort, Pennridge earned a 42-33 win over Souderton. Sandone led the Indians with 15 points.
Norristown earned a 66-30 non-league win over Kennedy Kenrick. Brittney Rose (16 points), Wyse (12 points), Mercedes Harris (10 points) and Devin Blake (10 points) led the Eagles. One night later, the Eagles downed Upper Dublin 48-42. Matthews (12 points), Harris (11 points) and Wyse (10 points) led the Eagles. Nikki Harchut (11 points) paced the Flying Cardinals.
Upper Dublin closed out its SOL season with a big 56-47 win over Upper Merion. Koenig (14 points) and Alex Galdi (10 points led the Vikings while Danielle Derr had a monster 26-point effort. Kristen Fuery added 12 points.