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Balanced Pennridge too much for Dock Mennonite in opener

EAST ROCKHILL >> Pennridge’s girls basketball team doesn’t figure to have one particular go-to player who is going to provide 20- or 30-point performances this season.

For the Rams, it’s more about the sum of the parts.

In Friday’s season opener against Dock Mennonite Academy, Pennridge’s offense showed numerous talented parts, and it added up to a dominating 69-25 win in the first-round game of the Rams’ tip-off tournament.

“I think this year, we have a great balance between seniors and freshmen,” said Rams junior Emilee Cramer, who led all scorers with 13 points, including 11 in the first half. “There’s equal talent across the board, and we’re all working really hard.

“I think we have the ability to go 15 deep in the bench if we have to.”

Perhaps that was a slight exaggeration, but not so much so. A testament to Pennridge’s balance on Friday night was that six different Rams dented the scoring column in each of the four quarters. Besides Cramer’s 13 points, the Rams received 11 off the bench from Evelyn Loughery. Gill Anderson contributed nine points, Brooke Bachtle had eight, Rose McCormick scored seven and Corinne Mart added six.

It was exactly the kind of balanced attack that Rams coach Mike Elton is hoping to see all season.

“I have my fingers crossed,” Elton said. “It’s all the basic stuff — the communication, the talking. We had a little bit of trouble with fouls in the first half, so that’s something we’re going to have to clean up.

“We showed some of the things we’ve been working on in practice — communication, boxing out and stuff like that. This game was an opportunity to see a little bit of what we’ve been working on in practice.”

Pennridge pretty much ended any suspense early, jumping to a 17-4 lead in the first quarter and stretching the advantage to 40-13 by halftime.

Dock looked pretty good in the opening minutes of the game, getting some good looks at the basket but having several shots narrowly miss the mark. The Pioneers, however, really hurt their chances of keeping it competitive in the first half, as they shot just 5-for-18 from the foul line prior to intermission.

Dock coach Ryan Rush was not discouraged by the loss. The second-year coach hasn’t been afraid to schedule big-school competition in non-league games. In fact, Friday’s game was a rematch of last year’s opening round of the Pennnridge tournament. The Rams also prevailed in that one last December, 58-19.

“We learned that our players always fight; they never give up,” Rush said. “We’re always competitive, despite the score, and all of our girls give it their all for all four quarters.

“(Opening against a tough opponent) gives us an idea of what we can and can’t do, and it also gives us the opportunity to grow from it as well. Even though we came out flat tonight, we still have a great season ahead of us and I’m very confident in our girls.”

Compared to Pennnridge’s score sheet, Dock was unable to display much balance offensively. Only three players scored for the Pioneers: Carsyn McCloskey and Kate Strickland each delivered nine points, and Brooke Bozarth added seven.

Pennnridge 69, Dock Mennonite Academy 25
Dock Mennonite (0-1)
Brooke Bozarth 3 0-1 7; Jessica Crissman 0 0-0 0; Carsyn McCloskey 2 5-11 9; Audrey Schweizerhof 0 0-0 0; Kate Strickland 2 5-11 9; Moon Hu 0 0-0 0; Sydney Putera 0 0-0 0; Caley Ridge 0 0-0 0; Alyse Sobetsky 0 0-0 0; Serena Tan 0 0-0 0; Jess Blaney 0 0-0 0. Totals: 7 10-23 25.
Pennridge (1-0)
Gill Anderson 4 1-2 9; Brooke Bachtle 3 1-2 8; Rose McCormick 2 3-4 7; Sam Muredda 1 0-0 2; Emilee Cramer 5 2-2 13; Maddie Stolarski 2 0-0 4; Corinne Mart 3 0-0 6; Sophie Cweiber 1 2-2 4; Evelyn Loughery 4 3-4 11; Tatianna Machado 0 0-0 0; Gina Palatucci 0 1-2 1; Jillian Coughlin 0 1-2 1; Ashley Gordon 0 3-4 3; Kiersten Moyer 0 0-0 0; Courtney McGurl 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 17-24 69.
Dock Mennonite     4 9 7 5-25
Pennridge        17 23 16 13-69
3-point goals: DM-Bozarth; P-Bachtle, Cramer.

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