Upper Dublin impressive in win over Central

PHILADELPHIA — Swinging the ball around the perimeter and finding Julie Cross underneath, the Upper Dublin offense ran smoothly past Central High Friday night and into the second round of states.

The Cardinals opened the PIAA Class AAAA Tournament play with a thorough 42-24 victory over District 12 runner-up Central, as Upper Dublin led from start to finish in a dominant performance at South Philadelphia High School.

Cross scored a game-high 20 points, grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds and also blocked four shots to ensure that Upper Dublin would have a game to play on Tuesday.

“Going into it, I knew this could be my last game, so I thought I’d go all out,’ the 6-foot-2 senior said. “Without Allison Chernow (illness), one of our starters and a huge contributor, we all knew that we had to step up, and all of our energy is what got us through this game.’

After Cross’ six points helped power Upper Dublin to a 9-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Cardinals broke the game open early in the second.

Back-to-back threes by Nancy Decamara and Josie Barrett stretched the Cardinal advantage to 19-4, and then moments later, Decamara found Cross cutting to the basket for an easy layup and a 21-4 Upper Dublin lead.

Another basket by Cross widened the margin to 25-7. Shanique Mattis and Diamond Talley scored to bring the Lancers closer, but the Cardinals would soon take a 14-point lead into the break.

“I thought we really set the tone in the first quarter with our defense,’ Cardinals coach Morgan Funsten said. “We had a goal of giving up 10 points each quarter, and we definitely accomplished that. And Julie, she’s been playing like that all year.’

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