Christopher Dock has little trouble with MaST Charter in BAL 1st round

TOWAMENCIN — It would be easy to overlook a team you’ve already beaten twice this year by an average margin of victory of 35.5 points but the Christopher Dock Pioneers showed up with their “A’ game and trounced visiting MaST Charter in the first round of the BAL playoffs by a score of 50-10.

The game had a similar feel to their previous two matchups as the Pioneers were able to control the ball both offensively and defensively and dominated for almost the entire four quarters.

“We just wanted to play under control and not run recklessly,’ said Dock head coach Al Grenfell. “We beat them by probably the same score the last two times and I told them to just try and run the plays to try and get ready for tomorrow.’

Early in the game MaST was able to get a few buckets off backdoor cuts behind Dock’s zone, a defensive strategy Grenfell said he was trying to test out in preparation for their matchup against Faith Christian in the second round of the playoffs.

Dock surrendered 5 early points to MaST and found themselves down 5-3 halfway through the first, but some sharpshooting from sophomore Lanae Hunsberger managed to give her team the 12-5 lead at the end of the quarter, and that’s when coach decided to make a change.

“I tried to get them to play zone and just sag (early on) because that’s what we’re going to be playing tomorrow but it’s a hard game to play for the girls, hard game to coach, hard game to ref so I just came out (after the first quarter) and told them to play man to man and they came out more aggressive. I may even start that tomorrow now because it looks like they get a little more motivated in that.’

That change in defense was key for Dock. They only allowed five points for the remainder of the game and only two MaST Charter players managed to score throughout all four quarters.

Hunsberger finished with a game high 12 points, which included shooting 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and controlling the offense while she was in the game. Her sharp play on offense coupled with the teams stingy defense allowed the Pioneers to get their bench some quality minutes, something that is important if they want to make a deep playoff run.

“Last week we had five games in fiv days,’ Grenfell said. “It’s important (to get the bench some quality minutes). Starting tomorrow I’ll probably only go 7-8 deep. First quarter I put two girls in with the other three starters which is something I’ll look to do tomorrow to get them to play with the regular people.’

As they prepare for their matchup with tomorrow, the team looks to learn from their performance earlier in the year when they played Faith in their notoriously small gym and lost by just 4 points in a closely contested game.

“We probably played terrible. I think the first 10 possessions we had seven turnovers. It was the beginning of the year in that little gym and we were just throwing the ball away a lot. I want to control the ball and take open shots.’

The size of Faith’s gym is known to be a huge home court advantage for them. They use the court to make ball handlers feel trapped and apply pressure that most teams aren’t used to.

Fortunately for Dock, the Pioneers have played there once already this year and have been preparing for the task.

“We go and practice in our little gym,’ Grenfell said when discussing ways to prepare for Faith. “We were in there a little yesterday and hopefully I can get them in there a little bit before the buses because it’s only 15 minutes away tomorrow, and just work on our ball movement.’

The familiarity between the two BAL teams should make for a great game tomorrow night as the Pioneers try and pull off the upset against Faith.

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