Turnovers haunt Cheltenham in District 1-6A defeat to Council Rock North

NEWTOWN >> Cheltenham girls basketball coach Brendan Nolan said it was not a good sign that on the way to his team’s opening-round District 1-6A playoff game against Council Rock North Friday that he was concerned about keeping his team’s turnovers under 17.

“That’s been our problem all year,” the coach said. “We’re young, we don’t have many players back from last year’s team, and sometimes it shows.”

It showed Friday night when the Panthers committed 26 turnovers, scored two points in the third quarter and lost to the Indians, 55-22.

Becca Margolis had 13 points and Dana Bandurick had 10 for the winners, but the Indians’ real key was a suffocating defense that limited the visitors to seven points after halftime.

“You can’t control how many points you score, but you can try and control how many points your opponents do,” said CR North head coach Lou Palkovics. “That was the one thing that remained consistent for us the whole game.”

The Indians (16-7) built a 27-15 lead at halftime on the strength of seven points from Margolis, and five from McKanzie Tinner .

The Panthers (12-11) got six points from Courtney Murray, but had far too few possession that resulted in points.

“The girls played hard and stuck together,” Nolan said, “and I think we surprised a lot of people who didn’t feel we could get here this year.

“To us, making the playoffs was the highlight of the season for us.”

But the Indians had bigger fish to fry, and they never stopped cooking.

“At one point I looked up and saw (Cheltenham) hadn’t scored in the third quarter,” Palkovics said. “We played good defense the whole game, but especially in the second half.

“Offensively, we get a lot off our pressure, and once we got them playing a half-court game, we had them.”

Courtney Murray led the Panthers with six points, all coming in the first half, while Mia Leonard was held to five.

Hannah Weiler had nine points off the bench to supplement the Indians offense.

Council Rock North 55, Cheltenham 22
Cheltenham 8 7 2 5 — 22
Council Rock North 13 14 15 13 — 55
Cheltenham: Mia Leonard 1 3-6 5; Caitlin Wallace 0 0-0 0; Courtey Murray 2 1-2 6; Danielle Brown 0 0-0 0; Nashira Brown 0 0-0 0; Madison Rorer 0 0-0 0; Taylor Johnson 1 0-0 3; Najem Edens 0 0-0 0; Shannon Nichols 0 0-0 0; Kelia Holmes 2 0-0 4; Kai Williams 2 0-0 4. Totals 8 4-8 22.
Council Rock North: .Becca Margolis 6 0-0 13; Megan Haggerty 1 0-0 2; Emily Mackin 2 0-0 4; Dana Banderick 3 4-9 10; MacKenzie Tinner 1 5-6 7; Camryn Polusky 1 1-1 3; Riley Sheehy 0 0-0 0; Sydney Blum 1 0-0 2; Olivia Boyle 1 0-0 2; Abby Jones 0 0-0 0; Kaelin Mealy 1 0-0 2; Hannah Weiler 4 1-2 9; Sarah Khantzian 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 11-18 55.
3-pointers: Murray; Johnson; Margolis.

Top Photo: Hatboro-Horsham’s Katie Fisher foils a shot by Cheltenham’s Danielle Brown during their game on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)

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