TOWAMENCIN — The Souderton girls basketball team had an impressive 7-1 stretch since the last time it saw Suburban One League Continental rival North Penn. However, the problems that hindered the Indians' success against the Maidens the first go-around reared their ugly head again Thursday night.
Big Red struggled from the foul line and was unable to counter the Maidens' attack. The 51-46 win gave North Penn its seventh conference win of the season and the Indians dropped two games back of first place.
The Indians (10-4, 5-3 SOL Continental) had a chance to be all knotted up at the top of the conference standings with the Maidens (11-3, 7-1) and Central Bucks West (11-3, 6-2), but in the first quarter the Maidens limited the opposition to six points and force five turnovers. The Indians shot 6-for-11 from the foul line and had half the field goal attempts in the first half.
"I am happy with what we did, but (Sam) Carangi killed us,' Indians coach Lynn Carroll said. "If she had an inch she made it count. She certainly does not look like a freshman. We had a lot of goals this year and at least splitting with North Penn was on the list and we did not accomplish it. But we have more goals that we still want to check off.'
It was clearly time for an adjustment in the Indians were going to find a way past the high hurdle in Lansdale they never can seem to jump over the last few seasons. The Indians elected to go right at the Maidens post players and fed junior Sarah Derstein her dose of drawn-up plays in the paint. Derstein dropped 15 points and pulled down seven rebounds in the loss.
"I have been wanting to get more shots out of Sarah forever,' Carroll said. "Tonight at one point she called for the ball. We gave it to her and she played with confidence. If this play out of Sarah continues it makes it more difficult to concentrate on our guards, who are very good basketball players.'
With the Maidens attending to Derstein down low in the second half, the Indians found a few more open looks from long range and before the Indians could blink the score sat at 26-26 with 11 minutes left in the action. Suddenly, a slow scoring night by senior Vicky Tumasz became troubling.
"Our kids made great decision at the end,' Maidens coach Maggie deMarteleire said. "It is nice when different people step up every night. Irisa (Ye) made big plays and Jess Huber had a big rebound. They keep getting better and the seniors are showing strong leadership. We are heading in the right direction.'
Tumasz registered her first points on the first set play of the fourth quarter and they never looked back. Tumasz finished with five in the win and freshman Sam Carangi led the way with 16 points. The Indians Devon Boehm brought the Indians back within a field goal with under three minutes to play , but behind senior Erin Maher's gritty double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds) the Maidens once again found a way to prevail.
"Every time we play Souderton we know it is going to be a dog fight,' Maher said. "I know our shots were not falling too well in the first half and we just tried to do the little things. Mikaela (Giuliani) had eight offensive rebounds, which is incredible and Bri (Cullen) made a nice cut and finished at the basket. The little things added up to a big win.'
North Penn 51, Souderton 46
Souderton 6 9 13 18 — 46
North Penn 11 10 14 16 — 51
Souderton (46): Derstein 6 3-6 15; Gallagher 4 3-5 12; Picard 4 0-0 9; Boehm 3 0-0 8; Noble 1 0-0 2; Totals 18 6-11 46
Norh Penn (51): Carangi 7 0-1 16; Maher 5 0-0 10; Cullen 2 4-4 9; Giuliani 3 1-2 7; Tumasz 2 0-0 5; Ye 2 0-0 4; Totals 21 5-7 51
Three-point field goals: S Boehm (2), Picard, Gallagher; NP: Carangi (2), Tumasz, Cullen
Follow staff writer Andrew Marcus on Twitter @amarcus515.