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Strong second half propels Great Valley to win over Norristown

 

WEST NORRITON >> It was a case of one team showing up and playing hard in the second half Tuesday night, and that team was Great Valley’s girls basketball team.

The Patriots pulled away from a one-point halftime lead and spanked Norristown, 35-26, in a non-league contest at Norristown.

Sadie Bozan scored a game-high 14  points and Great Valley outscored Norristown by eight points in the second half to clinch the victory.

“Our girls took care of the ball,” praised Patriots head coach Alex Venarchik. “In the second quarter we stopped attacking the basket, and in the third quarter we got back to doing that.”

The Patriots used eight points by Bozan to streak to an 11-4 first-half lead, but the Eagles bounced back and five points off the bench by Ashley Schools helped the home team to tie the game at 15 before a Katie Peduto free throw pushed the visitors to a 16-15 lead at the break.

In the second half, the Patriots came out with the same aggressiveness they showed in the first quarter, and soon the Eagles were chasing a double-digit deficit.

“We didn’t come in the second half with any urgency,” said Eagles head coach Rich Fisher. “Mentally, we faded.

“A couple of our girls have to go to another level mentally.”

Up six with just one second left in the third quarter, Patriot Mia DeRobertis hit a 3-point shot at the buzzer to extend the visitors lead to nine, and the Eagles were out of comebacks.

The two teams combined for just one field goal in the fourth quarter as the Patriots clung to their lead as tightly as a drowning man clinging to a life raft.

“We kept up our intensity for most of the rest of the game,” Venarchik said. “We’re a  lot like Norristown in that we’re very young. We only have one returning starter from last year, and that’s (Bozan).

“So we’re still trying to put things together and find ourselves as a team.”

As for the Eagles, Fisher said a few of his younger players are going to have to step up if Norristown is to be successful this season.

“We’ll continue to work hard in practice,” Fisher said, “and try to develop some good work habits. Some of our players have to figure out how to get to the next level without being prompted by the coach.”

NOTES: Bozan was unavailable for postgame comments as she was being attended to by the school doctor. Venarchik said she was having difficulty breathing.

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