Morrisville falls to Jenkintown in District 1 opener

JENKINTOWN — While Jenkintown senior Emma Dorshimer tallied 25 points in the Drakes’ District 1 playoff opening win Friday night (Feb. 20) over visiting Morrisville, she says it was defense that got her team started.

“Coach really stresses defense,’ said Dorshimer. “That’s where our main focus is at practice.

“He always says ‘ if you can play defense, you can play anytime on my team.”

“Our defense is really where it all starts.’

In a game that started slow for both sides, Jenkintown scored just seven points in the first quarter. Unfortunately for the sixth-seeded Morrisville, the Lady Bulldogs scored just seven points in the entire first half and Dorshimer outpaced the entire team 15-5 in the second period to put the third-seeded Drakes on top, 24-7 at the half.

“She’s a really skilled player and she dominates the BAL,’ said Morrisville senior Delila Mena. “It was a challenge to shut her down so (that’s) something we have to work on.’

Jenkintown went on to a 44-25 triumph, one that puts them in a District 1 Class A semifinal matchup with No. 2 Faith Christian Academy. The sides square off 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24 at Cheltenham. Top seed Phil-Mont Christian, which defeated the Drakes in last year’s D-1 title bout, takes on No. 5 DelCo Christian at 7:30 in the other semifinal.

It was a tough career ending for seniors Carlee McClease, De’shira Jones and Mena, who was a key role player on the 2011-12 Bulldogs team that made states.

“It’s been a long ride but it’s been a great one,’ said Mena. “This is my family and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to play with.’

Mena was upset with the loss however as were her teammates.

“You play basketball to win championships, just like you play any sport,’ said junior Denise Sacco. “No team wants to lose in the first round.

“Last game of the season — it’s going to hurt, especially for our seniors who are key players on the team.’

Try as it might, Morrisville just could not get its offense going in the first half. For the game, the Bulldogs shot just 33 percent from the field. They played better after the intermission but by then, a 17-point hole was just too much for them to crawl out of.

“Offense is a struggle that we need to work on,’ said Sacco. “We tried to give it our all tonight but at the end of the day, we just have to ask ourselves if we did give it our all.’

Morrisville registered just two field goals in the first half. When they got to the foul line in the second period, the Bulldogs made just 3-of-8 free throws. Meanwhile, Dorshimer went on a scoring binge, hitting five field goals including a pair of 3-pointers in the second period. She also shot 3-of-4 from the foul line before the intermission.

After the break, things looked a little more promising for Morrisville, which opened the third period with an 8-2 scoring run on back-to-back putback baskets by freshman Tiara McClease and sophomore Gabby Fogg. A bank shot by McClease and a shot off the glass by Sacco cut the ‘ Dawgs deficit to under a dozen points midway through the third period.

“We came out flat but at halftime, we talked about it and we said ‘ we can’t go out without a fight,” said Mena. “We played better in the second half.’

However, when Morrisville’s defense put the clamps down on Dorshimer, that opened things up for freshman Ashley Kremp, who hit seven of her nine points in the period. Dorshimer capped the third frame off with a block of a shot by Fogg and an end-to-end scoring run that had the Drakes on top 33-17 at the end of three.

The Bulldogs hit nine field goals in the second half but by then, it was too late. While Fogg scored twice in the fourth quarter, Jenkintown kept her off the scoreboard in the first half.

“We know who their good players are and we know we play really good defense so we try to seal them off,’ said Dorshimer.

“We know we have to play hard defense on Denise Sacco because she can shoot 3-pointers. That’s Nina’s (Lindenbaum-Grosbard) job; she really loves getting up on Denise.

“We really just close off the gaps — that’s what we focus on.’

The senior captain on the team, Dorshimer and the Drakes have come full circle since her career started in Jenkintown. Her freshman year when Morrisville made states, the Drakes went 14-2 in the BAL Constitution Division, their only two league losses sustained at the hands of the Bulldogs. Now, the Drakes (19-8) have won eight straight vs. Morrisville and are trying to get back to the PIAA tournament like they did last year when they made the deepest state playoff run of any team in Jenkintown history.

“We always get pumped up to play (Morrisville) because we remember what it was like freshman year when they had a really good team,’ said Dorshimer.

Emma believes the Drakes can get back to states even though they are without the services of since-graduated guards Ruby Westkaemper and Madison Kremp. She says the twins — Ashley and Jen Kremp — along with freshman Amelia Mulvaney have stepped up in place of the departed players.


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