TOWAMENCIN — North Penn's 47-33 victory over Gwynedd Mercy Academy in the Third Annual Lady Knights Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament Final was made possible by a game-high 15 points by Vicky Tumasz, a seven-rebound effort by Mikaela Giuliani, and a solid game at both ends by versatile Erin Maher.
It was typical North Penn basketball, with three intriguing additions. Freshmen Sam Carangi, Irisa Ye and Jess Huber all made key contributions in another season-opening tourney win for the Maidens.
"It's definitely a new experience,' Tumasz said. "I remember when I was a freshman, I always had Steph Knauer, Brenda McDermott, Meg Gallagher — they were there to help us out. Sam has the same intensity level and talent level and so does Irisa and Jess, but it's just a matter of getting everyone together as a team and putting it on the court. We all have a bunch of talent, we just have to put it to use.'
Tumasz helped the Maidens (2-0) get going. Her nine points in the first quarter, including a three just before the buzzer, pushed North Penn's lead to 13-7 in the non-league battle.
As the Maidens tightened up defensively and got into a better flow, Huber hit two shots on the offensive end to stretch the lead to double digits, 19-9, midway through the second.
"That was definitely a spark for us,' North Penn coach Maggie deMarteleire said.
Carangi was a force from the outside, nailing a pair of threes in the second half to keep the Maidens comfortably ahead. Ye played an aggressive game, consistently going to the basket and adding four points. As the Maidens work to improve their shooting — they shot a dismal 17-for-65 on Friday night and hit 20-of-48 on Saturday, they're still getting offense from several different sources.
NP's also benefitting from the relentless inside play of senior guard Bri Cullen.
"We're a smaller team, so I have to fill in spots where we're lacking this year,' she said. "I know how to play the post spot, use my body, so I think it's helping me become more of an all-around player.'
North Penn needed to keep battling to stay in front of the Monarchs (1-1), who were tough defensively and on the boards, and showed an ability to drive around their defenders.
Brigit Coleman led GMA with 11 points, as the Monarchs kept it close but could never cut the deficit to seven or less.
"With the style that we're playing, if you don't come with that energy, bad things can happen,' said coach Tom Lonergan, the former CB East coach who is in his first season with the Monarchs. "You compound that by playing a very good team that did a tremendous job of spacing on the floor against us. They have a lot of people that can handle the ball, a lot of people that can get up the floor, and there aren't that many teams in the area that are in that position...We still feel confident we can do well against these kinds of teams.'
The Monarchs made it tougher on themselves by not making their free throws - they shot 26-for-28 from the line in the semifinal win over Perk Valley but just 4-for-12 against North Penn.
The Maidens missed some easy shots too - something they hope to fix prior to Tuesday's clash with Downingtown West, but they like the players they have on the court.
"We have a nice mesh of seniors and Mikaela, taking the freshmen under their wing,' deMarteleire said. "I pretty much told them, the quicker (the freshmen) come along, the better off we're gonna be.'
In the first game on Saturday, Pennsbury was able to hold on and defeat Perk Valley 52-43 for third place.
North Penn 47, Gwynedd Mercy Academy 33
Gwynedd Mercy 7 6 14 6 — 33
North Penn 13 11 17 6 — 47
GMA: Christa Giordano 3 0-0 6, Erica DeCandido 2 0-4 5, Brigit Coleman 3 3-3 11, Dia Veneziano 3 0-2 6, Jess Campbell 1 1-2 3, Maggie Cameron 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 4-11 33.
North Penn: Erin Maher 3 0-0 6, Mikaela Giuliani 1 0-0 2, Bri Cullen 3 2-2 8, Vicky Tumasz 6 0-0 15, Sam Carangi 2 0-0 6, Irisa Ye 2 0-2 4, Jess Huber 3 0-0 6. Totals 20 2-4 47.
3-pointers: DeCandido, Coleman 2, Tumasz 3, Carangi 2.
Follow Kev Hunter on Twitter @khunter10.