Radnor pounds Penn Wood, earns berth in state tourney

RADNOR >> There was a lot of talk before Radnor hosted Penn Wood in a PIAA District 1 Class 5A play-back game in the Ellis Dwyer Memorial Gymnasium Tuesday night.

Much of it centered around the fact that the team that would come out on the losing end of the final score would have its season come to an end.

“There definitely were pre-game jitters,” said Nicole Massimino, one of six seniors on Raiders coach Mark Jordan’s roster.

Once the game began, the players on both teams concentrated on playing hard. Radnor gained the early advantage, added to its lead in the second period and got far enough ahead that Jordan had the opportunity to use all 15 players in uniform as the Raiders claimed a 72-57 decision over the Patriots.

With the win, Radnor grabbed a berth in the state tournament for the third time in four years while the Patriots, who earned a share of the Del Val League title, came up one victory short of qualifying for states.

Radnor will play for fifth place in the district at West Chester Henderson Friday night. The winner will play the District 12 champion (Archbishop Wood) in the opening round of the state tournament while the loser will draw the District 3 winner (Harrisburg High) as its first opponent.

Allison Lanzone filled up the scoresheet for Radnor with 22 points and seven rebounds (six offensive) Tuesday while freshman Ellie Mueller had nine points, nine rebounds, a pair of steals and one assist. Sophomore Holly Holtsberg chipped in nine points, five rebounds and three blocked shots, and Massimino scored eight points and added six assists and three steals.

“I think the talk about (the season ending) did help pump us up some,” Massimino said. “Everyone knew they had to give everything they had in this game.”

Jordan hopes to see his team shoot 18-for-31 and had commit only six turnovers in the first half Tuesday again.
In the second half, Radnor’s lead grew past 30 points before turnovers and some aggressive offensive play by Penn Wood forced Jordan to put his starters back on the floor briefly to restore order.

Lanzone understands there is plenty of basketball that remains to be played.

“We knew we’d be playing a scrappy team tonight,” Lanzone said. “Because it was a play-back game, we couldn’t let our season get stopped here.

“We’re not selfish when we play. We want to get the ball to the person who has the best chance to score. It’s really great knowing we’re going to states for the third time.”

Junior Carle Andrews fired in six 3-point shots and finished with 34 points, eight rebounds and three steals for Penn Wood. Saleia Matthews, another Patriots junior, got all of her nine points in the fourth period.

“There’s a lot I want to work on before next season,” Andrews said. “Things like my defense and a pull-up jumper.
“I hope I can play as much as I need to in the summer. This was a good experience, but we want to be the ones going to states next year.”

That sentiment was echoed by Patriots first-year head coach Kareem Wright.

“I told them I was extremely proud of all of them,” Wright said. “You can draw up all the X’s and O’s and try every philosophy in the world, but the kids have to know you believe in them.

“We asked them to play hard all the way through this game tonight and not to leave anything on the floor. We had our ups and downs this year, and we know we have room to grow. They had a good season, and it was one we can build on for next year.”

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