Press propels Pennridge to tournament final win over Christopher Dock

EAST ROCKHILL >> It was a slow start for the Pennridge girls’ basketball team Saturday night. Down 11-5 mid-way through the first quarter, the Lady Rams’ Devan Rimmer started to fire away from three.

“That was probably the key reason we started getting ahead,” Pennridge coach Lindsey Tennett said of her senior’s shooting. “Once Devan started making them it made the zone come out and contest her. That was really important for us. It kind of set the tempo for us the rest of the game.”

Three triples later and the Lady Rams had a lead they would never relinquish. Pennridge was able to use a combination of jump shots and relentless pressure to take down Christopher Dock 69-47 and take home the Pennridge Memorial Tip Off trophy Saturday night.

“Our girls, every single one of them can get up and run,” Tennett said. “That really tears apart teams. In practice we really run and run and run them so they’re in really good shape. You can see other teams just tire out. By halftime they’re all tired.

“That’s our goal. (Other teams) can hang the first quarter but then they can’t handle us the rest of the game because of (the press).

Rimmer’s threes were the catalyst, but Lydia Konstanzer was the beneficiary of the Pennridge press. The senior scored 17 points in the first half thanks to a lot of active hands and easy scores. She ended the game with 21 points.

“I think our transition is really what set us apart,” Tennett said. “(Dock) sat back in zone, which kind of took away Lydia a bit but once we got in transition we were finding her all the time.”

“I think we run the press really well because we’re a fast-paced team,” Konstanzer said. “Our defense is really strong this year, which is definitely key when you’re pressing.

The game was all but decided in the first half, due mostly to a massive run by Pennridge. The Lady Rams ended the first quarter on a 12-1 run and started the second on a 19-1 run, which saw them turn an 11-5 deficit into a 36-13 lead.

“We’re in really good shape right now,” Rimmer said. “Full-court pressing helps us a lot. It slows (opponents) down on offense and limits the transition (opportunities) they get.”

Rimmer ended with 14 points in the game, which included those three tone-setting long balls.

“I think that kind of gave us the lead that we needed,” Rimmer added. “It pushed us a little more. I was just on. It was nice.”

Pennridge won the second quarter 23-7. The halftime score was 40-19 in favor of the Lady Rams.

“She’s the key spot,” Tennett said. “On ball she gets a lot of tips and stuff, then she gets easy layups off of it. When we were running in transition she gets up the court and gets easy layups there too.”

The second half was more of the same, as Pennridge kept the press on to create easy buckets and extend the lead. The press wasn’t pulled until the 5:05 mark of the fourth quarter, proved to be productive for Dock. They outscored Pennridge 13-6 over the final five minutes of the game.

It was difficult for the Christopher Dock offense to get set up all night, but when they did the Pioneers were led by Lanae Hunsberger. She finished with 21 points, which included 8-12 from the free throw line.

This is the second year in a row Pennridge has won their own Memorial Tip Off Tournament.

“Its great to keep it at home. Our girls have been working hard since the start of the season so it’s nice, Tennett said. “When you’re at home and you host your own tournament you expect to win. And it’s a nice boost for the season. You come out the first couple of games, you win two. It’s a good start for our season.”

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