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Woodton pads her record in win over Interboro

SHARON HILL >> The only person stopping Mahya Woodton from obliterating the Academy Park girls basketball scoring record was herself.

The senior guard briefly pondered the possibilities. What if she hadn’t gotten injured her sophomore season?

“I would’ve had it (long ago) if I didn’t get hurt my 10th grade year,” Woodton said Tuesday after leading Academy Park, the Del Val League frontrunner, to a 68-24 rout of Interboro. “It’s a good feeling.”

Woodton became the program’s leading scorer last Saturday in a loss at West Chester Rustin. She scored her 1,182nd point to surpass Jordan Matthews on the all-time list. Entering the week, she was averaging 27.0 points per game, the No. 1 scorer in Delco.

“They’ve got to get a whole new banner,” Woodton said, pointing at the gymnasium wall. “There’s no more room on that one.”

Perhaps had she stayed healthy her entire sophomore year, she would be threatening to become the greatest scorer in Academy Park history — boys and girls. She trails only Victor Colon (1,290), Byu-deen Twyman (1,294) and Jawan Collins (1,626) on the boys side.

“Oh, I don’t know,” said Woodton with a smile. “Maybe.”

Afterward, Woodton spoke with a representative from PSU-Brandywine. She has an offer from Division I Buffalo University. She is bound to play college hoops somewhere.

“I’m still keeping my options open,” she said.

Woodton had another spectacular game and offered more evidence of her talent to college programs. There isn’t much else that Woodton has left to prove other than getting the Knights (12-4, 4-0 Del Val) to the District 1 tournament for a second year in a row. Tuesday night, she posted game highs in points (20), steals (four) and assists (four). She grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds, too, and shot 8-for-18 from the field.

Besides the obvious talent, Woodton, who excelled as a point guard, shooter and low-post presence against Interboro, is dedicated to becoming the best player she can be.

“She had a real big summer playing for Philly Pride AAU,” AP coach Ron Bright said. “When she wasn’t with her AAU team, she was here with me every day in the gym working out.”

Woodton seems to handle anything thrown her way with poise and confidence. She’ll work for her points, regardless of the defensive  matchups. Needless to say, she is every team’s top target.

“Tonight, I don’t know if that was a box-and-1 … I don’t know what that was, I just had to try and get the ball and score,” she said. “It all depends on how they play me on defense and how they play the rest of the team.”

Academy Park is enjoying its best season in a long time, certainly since Woodton and fellow seniors Shantalay Hightower (14 points, seven rebounds, four steals, two blocks) and Riley Street (nine points, three steals) were on the team.

“In the summertime I didn’t think we could be this good,” Woodton said. “As things go on and we practice more and do what we’ve got to do, we are playing well now.”

AP’s 12th win was never in question. It led by 11 points after one quarter and went into intermission with a 38-11 advantage. The Knights and Bucs struggled from the field, combining for 91 missed shots. It was the Knights’ pressure on defense, forcing 26 turnovers, that made the difference.

A disgruntled Interboro fan wondered aloud why the Knights were playing a pressure defense with their starting five in the fourth quarter when the game was well out of hand. Well, there’s a reason for that …

“To be honest with you, if we don’t play like that, we won’t play well,” Bright said. “We’re not as aggressive in a zone. Games that we come out in a 3-2 (zone), we’re flat. I do teach them to keep up the intensity. I have a saying: All gas, no brakes. We’ve got to keep our foot on the gas and I tell them, I’ll let you know when we can put on the brakes. The game plan coming in today was to go into a full-court press the first three quarters and we can sit in a 3-2 in the fourth, but I wasn’t happy with the way we played in the third quarter. I believe it was tied, 8-8, in the third quarter. That’s when I said … before we come out of this, you’ve got to show me something. And they did.”

It’s hard to argue with Bright, who has done wonders in less than two seasons for Academy Park girls basketball.

“It wasn’t about the score or the point differential or running it up against them,” Bright said, “it was about how we were playing.”

Marta Walewska scored seven points and grabbed 19 rebounds to lead Interboro. Taylor Smith had 14 points and three steals for AP.

In another Del Val game:

Chester 48, Chichester 24 >> Monique Colbert paced the Clippers (5-9, 1-3) with 16 points and 23 rebounds. Shakinah Brice added seven points and 10 steals, while Shaymoni DeShields paired five points with eight steals.

Ava Franz led Chi with seven points.



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