Even though his team is the No. 1 seed in the District 1 Class 2A girls basketball tournament, Sacred Heart coach Zach Shuler was a little concerned heading into Friday’s playoff opener against Delco Christian Friday night.
The Lions had not played since beating Stuart Country Day School Feb. 7 and Shuler was afraid his team may be a little rusty. On top of that, a big crowd was on hand to see the game and Shuler was not sure how his team would respond to playing in such an environment.
Although Scared Heart did get off to a slow start, Shuler’s fears turned out to be unfounded as the Lions rolled to a 50-17 victory over the Knights.
The win sends Sacred Heart (14-9) into next Saturday’s district final against second-seeded Bristol, which defeated third-seeded Calvary Christian Academy, 58-41. That game will be at Council Rock South High School. The starting time has not been determined.
It will be the second meeting between the Lions and the Warriors. Sacred Heart beat Bristol at home Jan. 27, 51-32. The Lions are going for their first district title since 2009.
“It took us a little while to get going,” Shuler said. “You could see the girls were a little nervous. They haven’t played in front of a big crowd like that. It was. It took a while. Could see was a little nervous. Haven’t played in front of a big crowd like that. But all week long we stressed that defense and rebounding would be the key and we played well in both of those areas.”
Sacred Heart held DC to six points in the first quarter and shut the Knights out to in the second period to take a 29-6 lead into the locker room at halftime. Eileen Piombino and Kyra Quigley set the tone offensively. Piombino scored nine of her 11 points in the first quarter. She also handed out six assists. Quigley tallied seven of her 11 points in the first half. She also grabbed 10 rebounds.
Defensively, Sacred Heart forced DC into an 0-for-11 effort from the field in the second quarter, Shuler said. Taylor Mingle led DC (6-16) with seven points.
“Our man-to-man defense was very strong and we shut down their inside players. Even though we were smaller we were able to swarm them.”