Southern Fulton meets Jenkintown in Sweet 16
The Southern Fulton girls basketball team has seemingly seen it all in the last two weeks of the postseason.
The players have learned the heartbreak of a semifinal loss, the satisfaction of a 25-point win in district consolations, and for the first time in four years, the Indians move on to the Sweet 16 after a statement win over Halifax in the PIAA Class 1A first round.
Now, Southern Fulton (18-8) looks at another postseason accolade with a berth into the PIAA elite eight.
Standing in its way is Jenkintown (23-5), the champion out of District 1.
But the first hurdle in Southern Fulton's way was winter storm Stella, which pushed the game from Wednesday to Thursday this week. The Indians will face Jenkintown on Thursday at Milton Hershey at 6 p.m.
"It's hard to track down info on a team you've never heard of before," Southern Fulton coach Meagan Mellott said. "But they look like a good team, they seem to rely on outside shooting and they rebound offensively really well. They don't have one standout scorer, and it seems like everyone across the board on any given night can score double digits. We just have to respect everyone as scorers."
The Drakes have two players averaging in double figures, led by Jennifer Kremp (11.2 ppg), while Mia Kolb is the team's second-leading scorer, averaging 10 per game.
Mellott said the the team expects Jenkintown to throw a man defense at them, but like they learned against Halifax, anything can happen in the postseason.
"I've learned late in postseason, you can never rely on what you see on film," Mellott said. "We can expect man-to-man and plan and prep, but it can be totally opposite. So we are fixing the little things in our man offense, but we are also practicing the zone. And we shot well against the zone last week, so hopefully we can keep that up."
Southern Fulton's Olivia Mottern made her first start in five games in the first round, and looks to be back to her old tricks. She had 21 points against Halifax and averages 18.8 for the season, but other starters have become a scoring threat in the postseason.
Drew Gordon (8.0 ppg), Emily Bradshaw (9.4), Lindsey Hollenshead (4.7) and Drew Hann (7.6) have all had big performances in Mottern's absence.
"The past few wins have been total team efforts," Mellott said. "Anyone who steps up can become a threat, making teams unsure of who to guard. They can all score and do something to help the team win."
Indians-Drakes at a glance
Game data: Southern Fulton Indians vs. Jenkintown Drakes ... Thursday, 6 p.m. at Milton Hershey ... PIAA Class 1A second-round game.
Media: Follow @liziarbogast and @LindseySquints on Twitter for live updates.
Teams: Southern Fulton (18-8) is fresh off a first-round win over Halifax, 45-42 ... Jenkintown (23-5) is the champion out of District 1 and punched its ticket to the second round with a 46-28 win over Greenwood.
P.O. pick: Southern Fulton by 5.