Goodrich gets back to health, guides Spring-Ford over Boyertown, 49-39

ROYERSFORD >> The postseason began and Abby Goodrich was stuck battling something other than opposing bigs: the flu.

“I was so frustrated,” said Spring-Ford’s 5-10 junior forward. “It was the worst timing.”

Illness held Goodrich to limited minutes and impact in Spring-Ford’s run to the Pioneer Athletic Conference championship last week. But a first-round bye as the No. 3 seed gave Spring-Ford a week-long layoff, which allowed Goodrich to get back to full health. Boyertown in turn got a healthy dose of Goodrich in their District 1 Class 6A second round game Wednesday night in Royersford.

Goodrich was the Rams’ leading presence in the paint as her 16 points keyed Spring-Ford to a 49-39 victory over PAC rival Boyertown to earn places in the district quarterfinals and the PIAA tournament.

“It really took a toll on my body,” Goodrich said of her eight-day bout with the flu. “But I’m good now. Boyertown lacks in my position (forward) and we felt I could dominate. I felt good.”

Spring-Ford’s Olivia Olsen (33) scores on a pull-up jumper over Boyertown’s Tori Boalton and Julia Smith (25). (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Spring-Ford (23-2) will host No. 6 Plymouth-Whitemarsh (a 58-27 winner over No. 11 Downingtown East Wednesday) on Friday night at 7 p.m. (due to the District 1-AAA Central Wrestling Tournament being held at Spring-Ford on Saturday).

No. 19 Boyertown (12-13), which was coming off a come-from-behind first-round win over Central Bucks West last Saturday, enters into playbacks for District 1’s 9-10-11 seeds for the state tournament. The reigning PIAA 6A champions will head to No. 11 Downingtown East on Saturday for their first playback game.

Goodrich was 10-for-11 from the free-throw line and had five rebounds while junior Cassie Marte scored 13, including five in a game-changing stretch with five minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

Boyertown senior Kylie Webb scored a game-high 18 points and Julia Smith added eight.

Boyertown’s Kylie Webb looks to pass as her pony tail flies in her face against Spring-Ford. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

The Bears, who missed the PAC playoffs, acquitted themselves well on both ends of the floor, even leading 8-7 after the first quarter. But between Spring-Ford’s advantage down low with Goodrich and reserve Olivia Olsen, who had six points and four rebounds after leaving the PAC final after taking a hard fall, and number of capable scorers, it was always going to be an uphill battle for Boyertown to keep pace.

Boyertown kept within striking distance thanks to its 3-point shooting, going 7-for-14 for the game and 5-for-9 in the second half.

Turning point >> Of Marte’s 13 points, five came in a 27-second spurt that supplied the game’s turning point.

Boyertown closed from double digits down to within 38-34 of Spring-Ford, but Marte hit a 3-pointer and long jumper from the same corner the next time down the court, allowing the Rams to reclaim a seven-point lead (43-36) that they’d never lose.

“That was awesome,” Goodrich said of Marte’s burst. “I was on the bench right there as she hit both those shots and everyone jumped up. That was clutch. She comes up clutch a lot.

“There are so many different things or players that can swing the game for us. It’s pretty well-rounded.”

Boyertown’s Victoria Boalton (4) splits the defense of Spring-Ford’s Rachel Christman, left, and Cassie Marte. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Casting call >> Only Webb and Tori Boalton logged significant minutes last season for Boyertown’s state-championship team so many have been asked to step up, Webb at the front of that line.

The Bears’ leading scorer at 11.6 points per game, Webb has proven to be up for the challenge of being Boyertown’s top option after the program graduated former Pa. Player of the Year and Mercury All-Area Player of the Year Abby Kapp.

“It’s definitely been a new challenge, but everyone has been up for it,” said three-sport athlete Webb. “From the beginning of the season we said, ‘Last year was great, but we need to move on.’ We had to learn from the things we did well and then see the things we’re doing well this year and draw from that.”

“I knew my role coming in was going to be increased. Because I had the most experience, the coaches kind of set me up for it and as the season’s progressed as a team we’ve all found our roles.”

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