Neshaminy girls basketball having a season to believe in

By John Gleeson, 21st-Century Media News Svc.

NEWTOWN – Winning seasons take talent and dedication. Add character and the victories become truly memorable.

The Neshaminy girls basketball team is definitely on course for a great 2016 campaign. Currently, they sit atop the Suburban One League (SOL) National Division with an unblemished 11-0 league mark. The Lady Skins have reeled off 15 straight wins. Three more victories and they run the table.

Though impressive, Neshaminy’s success did not just happen; it evolved. Devon Storms, junior co-captain, traced the growth. “At first, we definitely had a rocky start, losing to the Central Bucks teams. Once we started winning and realizing our potential, we got more confident and felt we were the team we wanted to be.”

The true character-building started in their first encounter with defending SOL National champ Abington on Dec. 15. Devon knows that, “The key game was beating Abington. We were expecting a fight but when we won, it felt really great.”

Seven days later, the ‘Skins followed the big 54-42 win with a nail-biting 37-36 conquest of previously unbeaten Council Rock North. The game that featured three lead changes down the stretch ended when Neshaminy freshman Allison Harvey drove the lane to score a layup with two seconds left on the clock.

Little wonder Devon sensed they were in for a real battle when they faced the Indians in their January rematch. “It was not just a game. We really took it to heart. North was really trying to beat us. They were definitely gunning for us.”

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To counter the Lady Indians’ determination, the Skins adopted a wise policy, play their brand of basketball. “We didn’t really have any special strategy – just, to play our game. We knew we had to play all out for 32 minutes. That’s the only way to beat North.”

Devon’s words proved prophetic. With Mackenzie Tinner scoring under the boards and Megan Haggerty gunning from beyond the arc, Council Rock roared out to a 29-15 lead by halftime. The Indians maintained the margin through a furious third quarter of play and closed out the frame ahead 36-24.

Neshaminy needed a real character check if they were to keep their league record unblemished. “At half, Coach Lally told us he really wanted to press them. That definitely led to our win. Coach said not to put our heads down. He always says don’t give up, you have nothing to lose at this point.”

The press worked to perfection as the Skins exploded in the fourth quarter. Harvey led the charge, scoring seven points in the frame. Devon and Emily Alexis added six points apiece to the ‘Skins total of 25 fourth-quarter points.

With just under a minute left in regulation, the two archrivals found themselves locked in a 45-45 tie. Devon knew her role, one that became magnified when Neshaminy senior Morgan Goldenbaum fouled out. “I usually play small forward. My job is to drive to the basket, draw fouls and get to the foul line.”

Devon’s basketball savvy told her she would need to instantly alter her mode of attack as she drove the lane with 29.2 seconds left in the game. “All game, the refs were not calling anything inside. I knew driving the lane wasn’t going to be an option so I decided to pull up and shoot a jumper.”

The shot fell true, giving the Skins a 47-45 lead. Two free throws by Harvey iced the 49-45 comeback victory and sent the Neshaminy players into a spirited celebration. “It felt amazing. We had shown we were the team we wanted to end up being. It’s great to be a part of a team that’s like your second family. We are all really close. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

In the nightcap of the doubleheader, Council Rock North was the team celebrating when the final buzzer sounded. North senior Will Desautelle led the Indian attack, scoring 16 points followed closely by classmate Riley Thompson with 15. The Indians’ reliable scoring duo got ample assistance from sophomore Matt McAlister, who poured in 11 points, including three from beyond the arc as North captured a hard fought 60-40 win, a victory that keeps them in second place in the SOL National Division with an 8-3 league mark.

Whatever side of the winning tally they fell on, this evening, all four teams showed they have developed the all-important character that makes seasons memorable.


Neshaminy 49, Council Rock North 45

(Jan. 26 at CR North)

NESHAMINY (15-3, 11-0 SOL) — Morgan Goldenbaum 1 6-7 8; Allison Harvey 4 4-4 13; Devon Storms 4 1-3 10; Brooke Mullin 2 0-2 4; Emily Alexis 5 2-2 12; Tiara Porterfield 1 0-0 2; TOTALS — 17 13-18 49.

COUNCIL ROCK NORTH (10-7, 8-3 SOL) — Becca Margolis 0 2-2 2; Megan Haggerty 4 0-0 12; Mackenzie Tinner 4 1-2 9; Samantha Saifer 1 0-0 2; Hannah Weiler 3 0-2 6; Kaelin Mealey 1 0-0 3; Dana Bandurick 1 5-8 7; Camryn Polinsky 1 2-4 4; TOTALS — 15 10-18 45.

Neshaminy 11 4 9 25 – 49

CR North     17 12 7 9 – 45

3-POINT GOALS: N — Storms, Harvey; CRN — Haggerty 4, Mealey.


Council Rock North 60, Neshaminy 40

(Jan. 26 at CR North)

Neshaminy 4 14 13 9 – 40

CR North   15 9 18 18 – 60

NESHAMINY (3-13, 2-9 SOL) — Zach Tredway 3 6-9 12; Charles Dominic 3 2-2 8; Billy Warren 3 0-1 6; Eric Rotteveel 2 1-1 6; Anthony Papeo 2 0-0 5; Shammond Thomas 1 1-1 3; TOTALS — 14 10-14 40.

COUNCIL ROCK NORTH (10-8, 8-3 SOL) — Will Desautelle 7 2-2 16; Riley Thompson 6 1-2 15; Matt McAlister 4 0-0 11; Ryan Costello 2 0-0 5; Noah Ehlin 2 0-0 4; Tyler Nowmos 1 0-0 2; Eric Levine 1 0-0 2; Tyler Shields 1 0-0 2; Anish Thakur 1 0-0 2; Elliot Spicer 0 1-2 1; TOTALS — 25 4-6 60.

3-POINT GOALS: N — Papeo, Rotteveel; CRN — McAlister 3, Thompson 2, Costello.

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