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District 1 Basketball Preview: Souderton girls face CR North for spot in 6A semis

Souderton's Alana Cardona looks for an opening against Lansdale Catholic's Kristina Finkelston on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. Souderton faces Council Rock North in the District 1-6A quarterfinals Saturday. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

Defense keyed Souderton’s 46-25 second-round victory over Haverford Wednesday night, but also showcased in the win was Big Red’s balance on offense.

It’s that kind of balance that will make the Indians a tough out moving forward.

“I think that’s what makes our team so special,” Alana Cardona said, “is that every single person that steps on the court needs to be guarded.

“The other team needs to pay attention to every person that comes on.”

Cardona had the game-high Wednesday with 17 points, Kate Connolly added a flurry of threes and had 16 points total, and Megan Bealer also notched a pair of threes and contributed 10 points. Big Red’s balanced attack and smothering defense will play host to No. 8 Council Rock North Saturday at 1:30 p.m., in a District 1-6A Quarterfinal contest.

“Council Rock North is not an eight seed in my opinion,” Indians coach Lynn Carroll said. “They’re playing real well now. They lost a couple games early which is the only reason they’re an eight seed.

“But it’s a really good team. Obviously they’re well coached. They’re balanced. They do it all. They have speed. They have size. They have shooters. They have a lot of kids who can get to the basket. They do a lot of different stuff defensively.”

The Rock North Indians are coming off a thrilling 37-34 win over Upper Dublin. Rock’s defense helped squeeze out the win and Becca Margolis and Dana Bandurick scored 10 points each for the offense.

Souderton struggled early on the offensive end and had some lulls in its second-round win, but Big Red has plenty of options to call upon.

“When you’re at this point in the season, we don’t have anybody that has to do more than what she’s capable of,” Carroll said, “because we have so many offensive weapons.

“Nobody has to carry the team. If somebody’s not playing well, other kids can step up offensively. I think that’s a huge reason for why we’ve been playing so well, because no one individual has to feel any kind of pressure. And I think we saw that again tonight.”

The winner of that contest takes on either No. 4 Garnet Valley or No. 5 Abington (Friday). Ghost senior Sam Brusha stood tall Wednesday, with a 19-point, 13-rebound performance against Central Bucks East.

Garnet Valley counters with Madi McKee, its defensive ace who played a pivotal role in the second-round win over Conestoga.

On the other side of the bracket, two local squads square off as it’s No. 3 Spring-Ford against No. 6 Plymouth Whitemarsh (Friday).

Taylor O’Brien racked up 32 points in PW’s win over Downingtown East while Abby Goodrich is feeling good, her 16 points lifting Spring-Ford over Boyertown in the second round.

In 6A playbacks (11 to states), No. 9 Upper Dublin, powered by Nicole Kaiser and Maggie Weglos, looks to stay alive when it hosts No. 16 Haverford Saturday at 1:30.

6A Boys

No. 1 Plymouth Whitemarsh is coming off a commanding 71-40 win over Bensalem, led by seven-footer Naheem McLeod. The Colonials aim to keep it going in the quarters when they host No. 8 Upper Darby and its big man, 6-foot-5 Kymir Roper.

The winner of that contest will take on the survivor of No. 4 Central Bucks West vs. No. 5 Coatesville. The balanced Bucks — four different players scored double-digit points in a win over CB East (Jack Mulhearn with 17) — will try to limit the production of splendid sophomore guard Jhamir Brickus.

On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 Abington hosts No. 7 Norristown. The Ghosts turned up the defensive intensity in a 54-25 win over Neshaminy in the second round, and they’ll need more of the same taking on an Eagles squad that had four double-digit scorers in their win over Perkiomen Valley.

The winner of that clash advances to take on either No. 3 Lower Merion or No. 6 Pennridge. The 6-5 Jack Forrest has helped lead the Aces back to states for the eighth straight year and they try to continue their surge through districts against a tough Ram squad, including its hot-shooting guard, Ryan Warner.

In playback action (10 to states), No. 22 North Penn is at No. 14 Conestoga. The Knights’ three-point shooting is key coming into this one, led by Joey Lindsay, David Robinson and Chris Coleman. Milton Robinson can penetrate for Conestoga — he’s coming off a 25-point effort.

5A Tournament

The No. 4 Wissahickon boys host No. 5 Great Valley in the quarters (seven to states) on Saturday. The Trojan defense was a turnover-forcing machine in the opening round and got 17 points from Zach Reiner. Nate Graeff is a consistent force inside for Great Valley.

In 5A girls (six to states), No. 5 Mount St. Joe’s travels to No. 4 Springfield (Delco) Friday. Grace Niekelski is coming off a 30-point game for the Magic while Springfield, the defending champ, looks to duplicate a solid defensive showing in a win over Penn Wood.

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