EAST ROCKHILL >> Mike Elton is trying to instill in the Pennridge girls basketball team that is has what it takes to be a factor in the Suburban One League Continental Conference.
“The biggest thing we’ve been working on is our confidence,” the Rams coach said. “We feel like we have the skills to compete in this conference but a lot of it was to do with confidence and being able to go up against these better teams.”
Friday night could be aid in Elton’s efforts to get his side to believe in itself. Visiting William Tennent charged back to pull even 38-38 in the fourth quarter, but five clutch points from Corinn Mart helped the Rams respond and hold off the Panthers 51-44 for their first Continental victory.
“It shows that we can finish games, which is something that really boosts our confidence,” Pennridge’s Rose McCormick said. “Instead of when things don’t go our way it’s good to know that know now we’re able to mentally keep in the game.”
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) January 13, 2018
McCormick collected a career-high 16 points – eight in each half – while Mart came up with a pair of big buckets in the fourth as Pennridge (5-5, 1-3 conference) snapped a 10-game losing streak in SOL Continental play.
“I thought (McCormick was) instrumental in the first half,” Elton said. “She was everything we needed in the first half. I know she worked her butt off in the second half, I know she did a nice job in the second half, I think a couple other players stepped up, too, in the second half.”
Tied at 38, Mart drove down the lane to put the Rams up 40-38.Then with Pennridge leading 43-40 she drained a 3-pointer from the corner to make it a two-possession game.
“To be honest, I wasn’t going to take it but then I was realized who open I was,” said Mart of her three. “So I just went for it. Kind of just happened.”
A Sam Muredda free throw at 54.3 seconds left made it 47-40 and William Tennent (6-5, 1-4) could only pull within five from there after having rallied from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter.
“I don’t know if we used up so much energy. We’re not a deep team so girls were playing with fouls and major minutes, so, like I said I don’t know if it kind of caught up with us,” Panthers coach Laura Whitney said. “Once we tied it up we weren’t able to get the lead. I think we had a couple of possessions where maybe kind of forced a few things, rushing a couple of shots.
“And then Pennridge, they have great athletes, they made big shots late in the game when they needed to. That kind of put the separation in.”
Tennent had just a trio of players score, but all three finished in double figures. Emma Stanfield paced the Panthers with a game-high 18 points. Haley Crossley added 16 points with Bryn Evans scoring 10 points.
“This was a good challenge for them because again we had a nice lead, they came back, they battled,” Elton said. “We got into a little bit of trouble – and I think we were probably in foul trouble, too – but I think that was a nice way to pull that out in the end.”
Pennridge pushed its advantage to 11 five times in the third, the last time at 36-25 before Tennent ended the quarter with five straight points – Stanfield driving down the court for a three-point play at 1:20 making it 36-30.
In the fourth, a Muredda basket had the Rams up 38-30 but the Panthers proceed to score the next eight points with Evans tying the contest 38-38 banking a shot in on a drive in the lane.
“We probably just tensed up,” McCormick said. “And they were pushing the ball a lot. And we just need to get our legs under us and start keeping up with them.”
GIRLS #BASKETBALL: Corrin Mart drives down the lane & scores, putting @PennridgeHS up 40-38 4Q vs. William Tennent. The Rams never lost the lead from there & earned a 51-44 victory. pic.twitter.com/dlcWB20OV6
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) January 13, 2018
Mart, however, gave Pennridge the lead for good, going down the lane for two. McCormick then got inside for a basket, putting the Rams up four.
“We decided we had to settle down cause we were rushing a lot,” Mart said. “And I think once we settled and started running our plays, it worked out a lot better.”
Two Crossley free throws had Tennent within 42-40 with 3:47 left. A Brooke Bachtle foul shot made it 43-40 at 2:50. Three seconds later after a foul in the backcourt, Panthers missed the front end of a 1-and-1.
Working patiently on offense, Pennridge extended the lead to six as a cutting Bachtle kicked a pass out to Mart in the corner, who hit nothing but net on her 3-pointer with 1:25 to go.
“I just want to try to contribute my best for the team,” Mart said. “Even if I don’t score a lot, I want it to be meaningful.”
Pennridge led 9-8 after a quarter then began the second with six straight points – Emilee Cramer’s three making it 15-8. With Tennent struggling against the Rams’ full-court pressure, Pennridge had its advantage up to 10 at 24-14 on a Gill Anderson three. Two Stanfield free throws at 32.3 seconds made it 34-16 at halftime.
“I think we were just kind of rushing things a little quick,” Whitney said. “It wasn’t really that it disrupted us that much, but I think it was just the pace of what they were playing and the pressure they were putting on just kind of made it hard for us to get into any offensive rhythm.”
In the third, a McCormick jumper in transition put the Rams up 28-17. Tennent could not get the margin below nine until Stanfield’s three point play made it 36-30 entering the fourth.
Pennridge 51, William Tennent 44
William Tennent 8 8 14 14 — 44
Pennridge 9 15 12 15 — 41
William Tennent: Emma Stanfield 6 6-8 18; Haley Crossley 6 4-6 16; Bryn Evans 5 0-0 10; Totals 17 10-14 44.
Pennridge: Rose McCormick 7 2-2 16; Sam Muredda 3 2-4 8; Gill Anderson 3 0-0 7; Brooke Bachtle 0 6-8 6; Emilee Cramer 2 0-1 5; Corinn Mart 2 0-1 5; Sophie Cweiber 1 0-0 2; Evelyn Loughery 1 0-0 2; Totals 19 10-16 51.
Three-pointers: P-Anderson, Cramer, Mart.