HATBORO – The Council Rock South girls got their season off to a solid start with a double-digit win over New Hope-Solebury Friday night in the opening round of the Hatboro-Horsham Tipoff Tournament.
The Lady Lions went 27-2 last season, earning berths in the District 1/11 Class 3A final and the second round of states. The Golden Hawks finished 10-13, overall, 5-7 in the Suburban One National League, capping off their previous campaign in a District 1 playoff loss to Neshaminy.
The teams are mere shells of themselves coming into this season however, with CR South returning just one starter in senior Allison McGowan and New Hope – which won the tipoff tourney last year – graduating three starters.
Playing their first season under head coach Blair Klumpp, the Hawks tallied double digits in each of the first two quarters and were ahead, 41-18, by the intermission.
“We got off to a quick start today. That was a point of emphasis since our two scrimmages, where we started out slow,” said Klumpp. “We started out slow today too, but we still were able to build an early lead.”
“Once we established the lead, we just built off of that.”
For the game, South shot 48 percent from the floor, and 46 percent from 3-point range. The Hawks’ scoring effort was led by freshman Nicole Blaustein, who notched 18 points including a 3-pointer to begin her high school career. McGowan registered 11 points including a trio of 3-pointers in the contest.
CR South sophomore Jenna Culp chipped in with nine points, sophomores Claudia Steinmetz and Hannah Binder recorded six points, each, freshman Carley Irvin came through with five, junior Bailey Vetter contributed with four and senior Emma Jones added three.
“Offensively, I thought we did a good job sharing the ball in the first half, getting the extra pass, getting teammates open shots,” stated Klumpp.
New Hope turned up the pressure in the second half however, and that led to 10 turnovers by the Hawks after the intermission.
“The second half gave us some things we need to work on,” said Klumpp. “We have to take care of the ball. Ten turnovers in the second half is too many.”
“Overall, I thought our effort was really good. We did a good job getting on the floor getting after loose balls.”
The Lions showed resolve in the fourth quarter, notching 22 points in the final frame, including three field goals by sophomore Rachel Saxton and a pair of 3-pointers by junior Jordyn Sherman.
“We started pressuring them a little bit to cough up the ball and we were able to finish some of the shots that we couldn’t in the first half,” said New Hope-Solebury head coach Andy Krasna.
New Hope trimmed its deficit down to 14 points midway through the last period but could not get any closer.
“When you get down by so much in the first half, you tend to start taking quicker shots – lower percentage shots – in order to try and fight your way back into the game.”
“It was tough; they’re a very good team. They have some young players who are really talented.”
Both squads advance to the second round of the tournament Saturday afternoon back at Hatboro. New Hope will battle the host team at 2 p.m. while South will face Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL) rival Little Flower in the girls championship at 5:30 p.m. The Sentinals outpaced the Hatters 48-41 in Friday’s opener.
Council Rock South 62, New Hope-Solebury 45
(Dec. 9 at Hatboro-Horsham)
CR South (1-0) 17 24 5 16 – 62
New Hope (0-1) 7 11 5 22 – 45
CR SOUTH — Carley Irvin 5, Claudia Steinmetz 6, Bailey Vetter 4, Emma Jones 3, Nicole Blaustein 18, Allison McGowan 11, Hannah Binder 6, Jenna Culp 9; TOTALS — 23 9-17—62.
NEW HOPE — Sabrina Vlahovic 8, Rachel Saxton 7, Sarah Wilson 12, Kate Dougherty 2, Zoe Palau 2, Juliana Covino 3, Katie McDonnell 2, Jordyn Sherman 8; TOTALS — 17 6-8—45.
3-POINT GOALS: CRS — Irvin, Blaustein, McGowan 3, Binder, Culp; NH-S — Wilson 3, Sherman 2.
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