EAST ROCKHILL >> After getting whistled for her third foul with 5:11 left in the second quarter, Lydia Konstanzer thought maybe it was not going to be her night.
“I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’” she said. “I feel like it’s always a good game when you get in foul trouble, though. It’s like of course I’m sitting on the bench now.”
Konstanzer had already collected 11 points by then and her time on the sideline did little to hinder her scoring touch in the Rams’ season opener against Bensalem.
The senior scored the final six points of Pennridge’s 8-0 run to begin the third quarter, turning a 25-13 halftime lead into a 20-point advantage as the Rams rolled from there for a 66-46 victory over the Owls in the first game of the Pennridge Tip-Off Tournament.
“I think they came out ready to win,” Rams coach Lindsey Tennett said. “It’s always the first game you have some jitters, but the most part is getting up this year and they a great job covering. Bensalem is a very athletic team and they’re good at getting to the basket. For the most part, and I think for the most part we stopped them.”
Konstanzer, a Ursinus commit, added 15 points in the second half to finish with a game-high 26 while Devan Rimmer added 16 points for Pennridge (1-0), who takes on Christopher Dock in the tournament final 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s the first game and it’s senior year, I was like, this has to be a good year for me going on to play college basketball. I just want to make every game worth it,” Konstanzer said. “So, I’m not going to sit back and do what I did every other year.”
Trailing by 12 at the break, the Owls (0-1) tried full-court pressure, but Pennridge welcomed the up-tick in tempo and scored 25 points in the third quarter – matching its offensive output in the first 16 minutes.
“We do so much running at practice. So, we’re a fast-paced team, most definitely,” Konstanzer said. “So when we get pressed, we actually like that.”
Savannah Jordan scored 17 of her 22 points in the second half to lead Bensalem, while Lyric Lewis finished with 17 points.
The Owls struggled finding a way to get a shot to go down early and did not register a field goal in the second quarter. Bensalem takes on Pennsbury — which lost 34-30 to Christopher Dock in the tournament’s second matchup — in the consolation at 7 p.m. Saturday.
A three-point play by Jordan had the Owls within 16 at 3:25 in the third, but the Rams were back up 20 when Rimmer knocked down a three to make it 42-24. Pennridge ended the quarter on an 8-2 run – the last four points by Claire Podraza – to lead 50-26. The closest Bensalem came in the fourth was 17.
The Owls were up 7-3 in the first quarter before baskets by Konstanzer and Margot Brill and two Konstanzer free throws gave Pennridge’s its first lead at 9-7. Jordan’s three-point play put Bensalem back ahead 10-9, but Konstanzer answered with six straight points to send the Rams into the second quarter leading 15-10.
“She would have had 40 points tonight if she wasn’t in foul trouble in the first quarter,” Tennent said. “She is going to be one of our go-to girls this year. She can dribble the ball down, she can shoot from the outside, she can go inside.”
A Rimmer steal and layup had the Rams up 20-11. Destiny Rogers’ two free throws at 3:05 cut the margin to seven, but Pennridge scored the half’s final five points.