Warrington >> Facing No. 2 seed Central Bucks South in the second round of the PIAA 6A District 1 playoffs Wednesday evening was a daunting task, as Great Valley head coach Alex Venarchik chose to view the Patriots’ subsequent 44-28 loss to the Titans as a learning experience for a squad whose season is not over.
The host Titans used a 15-0 run in the second quarter to jump out to a 21-2 lead just three minutes before halftime. For the rest of the game, the 15th-seeded Patriots made adjustments to try to catch up to the talented Titans.
Central Bucks South (22-3) advances to the district quarterfinals to play No. 10 seed Neshaminy, which knocked off seventh-seeded Perkiomen Valley, 57-47, Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Patriots (15-9) drop back into the 9th-11th playback bracket, and will face Perkiomen Valley Saturday.
Great Valley took a while to get its offense started Tuesday. The Patriots had trouble penetrating the Titans’ wall of defense, and did not score until senior forward Allison West tallied a short field goal with 14 seconds left in the period.
“Central Bucks took away our wings in the first half,” said Venarchik. “We adjusted in the second half, but by then it was too late.”
Prior to Wednesday’s game, Venarchik noted that, “We have to try to slow [Central Bucks] down, particularly their point guard [junior Alexa Brodie] and No. 24 [senior guard Haley Meinel].”
Great Valley’s vaunted defense kept the game close early, and the Patriots trailed only 6-2 at the end of the first quarter.
Central Bucks South opened up the scoring in the second quarter, outscoring the Patriots 23-6 in the period, as Brodie, Meinel and senior guard Mackenzie Ehresman combined for all of the Titans’ second quarter points.
Meinel knocked down four field goals in the second period, and her final score of the quarter 26.5 seconds before halftime was her 1,000th career point.
“[Central Bucks] started to attack our zone in the second quarter, and we had to switch to a man-to-man defense,” said Venarchik. “They execute too well. All of their players handle the ball well, they all shoot well, they’re a very balanced team.”
Great Valley trailed 36-14 after three quarters, then rebounded for a brief 8-0 run. Promising freshman guard Ashley Sullivan, who scored 15 points in the Patriots’ district opener, made a couple of nice scoring plays in that run.
Patriot sophomore forward Tessa Liberatoscioli pitched in throughout the night with a variety of shots, finishing with 10 points for the night.
“We responded in the second half, and we improved in handling [the Titans’] half-court pressure,” said Venarchik. “Our players were using screens more, using their teammates to get open, and they were getting some good baseline shots.
“This game was like our other eight losses, our season’s not over and we’ll wake up tomorrow morning and start to focus on our next game. I get the feeling these girls still want to play.”
Central Bucks South 44, Great Valley 28
Great Valley 2 6 6 14 – 28
Central Bucks South 6 23 7 8 – 44
GREAT VALLEY (28): Porreca 0 0-1 0, Liberatoscioli 3 4-6 10, Flynn 0 2-2 2, Sullivan 3 0-0 6, M. DeRobertis 1 0-0 2, Buzan 1 0-0 3, Bullock 1 0-0 2, E. DeRobertis 0 0-0 0, Heins 0 0-0 0, D’Imperio 0 1-2 1, West 1 0-0 2, Valyo 0 0-0 0, Totals 10 7-11 28.
CENTRAL BUCKS SOUTH (44): Meinel 7 2-3 17, Brodie 2 6-6 12, Ehresman 6 1-5 13, Aldinger 1 0-0 2, McSorley 0 0-0 0, Scott 0 0-0 0, Burke 0 0-0 0, DiSandro 0 0-0 0, McShane 0 0-0 0, Sonnet 0 0-0 0, White 0 0-0 0, Totals 16 9-14 44.
3-point field goals: Buzan, Meinel, Brodie 2,
/ 2 weeks ago
The Pennsylvania high school athletic edifice rests tenuously on 17 words cobbled together 46...
/ 13 hours ago
Malvern >> Seven days after holding nationally-ranked McDonogh School to just two first downs...
Alex Cueva and Liitle Mo Mansaray each bagged braces as Upper Darby continued its...
/ 15 hours ago
Archbishop Carroll was in bounce back and payback mode Wednesday. The Patriots rebounded from...
Chichester coach Ryan Smith prefers to keep an open date on his team’s schedule....
As shocking as it sounds, there’s roughly a month left in the high school...