William Tennent hangs on for win over Springfield-Montco

WARMINSTER >> It took Springfield-Montco some time, almost three full quarters, to snap out of funk it was in for most of Tuesday night’s Suburban One League non-conference contest with William Tennent.

Trailing by double digits most of the game, a 12-0 run by Springfield spanning the end of the third quarter and early into the fourth helped cut into the Tennent lead, reducing it two points.

Ultimately the early hole was too much for the Spartans to climb out of as Tennent hit some free throws down the stretch to escape with a 47-42 home court victory.

“The way they fought in the second half, if they would have fought like that in the first half it would have been a different outcome I think,” Springfield coach Bill Krewson said.

Springfield took the floor with only two players having logged significant varsity minutes prior to this season and it showed. The Spartans hurt themselves with turnovers, tentative play and defensive breakdowns that gave the Panthers easy looks at the basket.

Fortunately for Springfield, Tennent’s offense was not operating at maximum efficiency either. The Panthers failed to convert on more of the turnover opportunities that were presented in the first half of the game.

“I like the fact we were able to generate some turnovers, we were not able to convert them into any offensive points for us though so that something we’re going to have to work on,” Tennent coach Paul Veltre said.

Molly Dugan is one of the aforementioned two returning Spartan players that have a wealth of varsity experience. Dugan started to emerge a year ago as a go-to scorer and good jump shooter. In the second half , Dugan got loose, scoring 16 of her game-high 22 points after halftime including 10 of the 12 points in the 12-0 run that helped the Spartans claw back into the game.

“We did not do a very good job on Dugan,” Veltre said. “We failed defensively to take care of the girl we were trying to zero in on. All credit to her because she did a great job.”

With Springfield charging and Tennent leaking gas trying to get to the finish line, the Panthers tried taking the air out the ball, just holding the ball as long as possible in the offensive zone.

With some clutch free throw shooting, including a 3-for-4 effort from Kyla Gibson, who netted a team-high 19 points for the Panthers, Tennent manage to find a way to get to the finish line and earn the win.

“It backfired. I think they got a little bit timid in the end instead being strong with the ball,” Veltre said. “All credit to Springfield that matched or exceeded our aggressiveness there and it brought them back in the game. It all came down to us making free throws at the end otherwise we’d be going home with a loss right now.”

The Tennent players will enjoy an off day tomorrow before gearing up to take on a tough SOL National Conference schedule that begins later this week.

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