UPPER DUBLIN >> There’s no point in using euphemisms to dance around the truth — Friday night’s midseason matchup between Wissahickon and Upper Dublin was ugly.
By the end of the first quarter, the Trojans were already in the penalty, coach Rodney Cline was called for technical foul, and to put a sour cherry on top of a spoiled sundae, Wiss only netted one point, a Hilma Meiby free throw more than halfway through the frame.
Upper Dublin wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders either, given that they had only labored to eight points themselves. What wound up making the difference was that the Cards kept scoring, while Wissahickon never really started on the way to a 49-17 blowout Cardinal win.
To be clear, no coach is ever going to be displeased with a 32-point victory, but Cardinal coach Morgan Funsten made it apparent that there was still work to be done.
“We didn’t value our possessions enough,” Funsten said. “We made one-handed passes, not coming to the ball enough. Sometimes when you’re open for a layup, it’s not a great pass. Instead of selling out your teammate and going for the ball with a half-effort, we need to make sure we maintain possession.”
That’s one thing they couldn’t do on Friday. They shot 47 percent from the field — a pretty robust number, sure — but gave away 18 possessions to the Trojans.
“We needed more attention to detail,” Funsten went on. “We’re usually pretty good at that. Tonight, we struggled to take care of the ball.”
Still, the Cards still slogged through and held a double-digit lead for most of the game’s duration thanks largely to the struggles of the Wissahickon offense. A 10-point outburst in the second quarter was the only frame that the Trojans managed more than one field goal (two, to be specific), and UD kept them to just one point again in the third.
The fourth quarter saw a modest uptick — five points, on the strength of Lexi Carradorini’s three-ball and a pair from the charity stripe off the hands of Sydney Ott, but otherwise, Wissahickon was bottled up.
“Shots just weren’t going down,” said Cline, “and that changes your momentum. We couldn’t get into a flow.”
They managed just three field goals on the entire evening. They narrowly won the turnover margin — 17 to the Cards’ 18 — but were obviously hampered by their inability to hang on to the rock.
“We committed three turnovers that they scored on to start the second half,” Cline said. “That’s a six-point swing.”
Prior to that point, they were only down 11, so a comeback wasn’t necessarily out of the cards.
“That’s what hurt us,” Cline went on.
Carradorini led the Trojans with seven. Brianna Tilghman had the next-most, with four, and Ott, Julianne Griffin, and Victoria Selverian all netted two. Wissahickon’s next game is another tough matchup, this time against the Vikings of Perkiomen Valley on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the offensive struggles, Cline was still pleased with how the team played — mainly on the other side of the ball.
“Upper Dublin scored,” Cline said, “but they weren’t comfortable at all. If we could have knocked down some shots, it would have been a different game.”
“We hustled to the very end,” he went on. “We’ve just got to get better offensively. That’s what it comes down to.”
Allison Chernow led UD with 14, and Josie Barrett chipped in with nine. Demi Balasa tacked on seven for the Cards, who have now won nine in a row to run their record to 9-2. They play next on Sunday, at Philadelphia University against Wilson (West Lawn, PA) in one of the various Play-by-Play tournaments in the area.
“After a game like like this, sometimes you lose sight of the big picture,” Funsten said. “We’ve won nine in a row, and after a nine-game winning streak, you’re supposed to feel good about yourself.”
“Self-inflicted wounds like we had tonight won’t do that,” he went on. “But if you worry a lot about games that you’re winning, you need to move on.”
“If we want to be a great team this year,” Funsten said, “we’ve got to move on from a game like this, have a good practice tomorrow, and get ready for our game on Sunday.”