Springfield tops Upper Merion

UPPER MERION >> On a day when the cause the Upper Merion and Springfield High girls basketball teams were playing for was good, Spartans junior Molly Dugan was better.
The Springfield standout poured in 34 points Saturday afternoon to help push the Spartans past host Upper Merion, 57-54, as part the Coaches Vs. Cancer Suburban One League Challenge at Upper Merion High School.
Dugan chose not to speak after the contest, but she let her play do the talking, knocking down nine points in each of the opening two quarters, then converting crucial free throws in the fourth quarter to keep the Spartans ahead of the late-charging Vikings.
“She certainly played well, but I thought the whole team did also,” said Spartans head coach Bill Krewson. “(Upper Merion) is a little more physical than us, so we wanted to pressure them on the dribble, and I think that helped us win the game.”
The host Vikings broke out on top, building a 12-4, first-quarter lead. But, led by Dugan’s scoring, the visitors jumped back in the game, tied it by halftime and never trailed in the second half.
“I think we’re progressing,” said Vikings first-year head coach Leah Kim. “We’re a young team, and I just didn’t prepare them well enough today.
“They should have been better prepared.”
The Vikings stayed in the game behind the scoring and rebounding of Tatiana Pleasant the three-point shooting of Jesse Michael.
But Dugan, along with teammates Maura Ryan and Grace Barraclough, kept the Vikings at bay.
And Pleasant, who picked up her fourth personal foul early in the third quarter, scored only four of her 16 points in the second half and fouled out with 4:25 left in the game. Michael, who had three three-pointers in the first half, had none after halftime.
“I felt our defense was the reason we won,” Krewson said. “Offensively, we just missed too many easy shots.”
Springfield slowly pulled away in the second half, building a six-point cushion at the end of the third quarter, then pushing it out to double figures before a late Vikings rally in the fourth quarter.
“We’re young and we’re seeing our young players making progress this year,” Kim said. “Some of our young players have gotten a lot better, and they’re volunteering to stay after practice to work on their games, and that’s a good sign.”
But on this day, the Spartans had the smartest sign, and it read, “Get the ball to Dugan,” whose eight fourth-quarter points helped secure the win.
The Vikings made it interesting with a strong fourth quarter, led by Jordan Wilson’s eight points. But the day belonged to the young lady of few words.
“We were happy to win, and we’re totally appreciative of Upper Merion, which did a great job hosting this important event,” Krewson said.
“We have games when we play well and move the ball, and then some when we’re standing around and not moving the ball,” Kim said. “And today we just didn’t look ready to play.”
Upper Merion’s Pleasant finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Springfield’s Ryan had four blocked shots to go along with six rebounds. … After the game, Upper Merion inducted four-sport letterman Paul Michener (Class of 1966 who lettered in cross country, basketball, baseball, volleyball), 1963 grad Dennis McKernan (baseball, basketball and football standout who was drafted by both the Washington Senators and Oakland Athletics), former cross-country standout Jeff Menango (Class of 1993) and the 1942 undefeated and unscored upon football team into its Sports Hall of Fame.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply