Spring-Ford survives Plymouth-Whitemarsh, 53-50

ROYERSFORD >> Keep shooting.

That’s the motto of the Spring Ford girls’ basketball team and on Friday night the Rams were able to shoot their way past Plymouth Whitemarsh, 53-50, and earn a spot in the District 1 Class 6A final four.

The No. 3 seed Rams jumped out to a 32-23 lead in the first half, thanks to some hot shooting beyond the arc and at the foul line. Spring Ford had four different players knock down a 3-pointer and shot 9-for-12 at the charity stripe.

“We have so many good shooters,” Abby Goodrich said. “When girls are knocking down shots like that it opens things up for me inside and I can also go after some offensive rebounds.”

Spring-Ford’s Abby Goodrich (25) shoots over Plymoiuth-Whitemarsh’s Anna McTamney during their District 1-6A quarterfinal Friday. (MJ McConney – For Digital First Media)

“I always tell my girls to never stop shooting,” Spring Ford coach Mickey McDonald added. “Confidence is such a big part of being a good shooter and I don’t want my players worrying about the shots they miss. There’s no such thing as a bad shot to us.”

Plymouth-Whitemarsh, the tournament’s No. 6 seed, would come back as Taylor O’Brien scored all 11 of the Colonials’ third-quarter points, eventually cutting Spring Ford’s lead to just one after three consecutive three-point plays.

“(O’Brien) is such a great player,” Goodrich said. “She is really tough to guard and they are just a really tenacious team.”

The Rams ended the third quarter on an 8-0 run, highlighted by a pair of threes from senior Ali Higgins, but Plymouth-Whitemarsh answered with a 13-2 run of their own that tied the game at 47 with just under two minutes remaining in regulation.

Spring Ford’s Cassie Marte then scored a basket and made a technical foul shot to give the Rams a three-point lead, but after that lead was extended to four, Sydney Kesselman knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the Rams’ lead to just one with less than 10 seconds remaining. Rachel Christman then sank a pair of free throws to ice the game.

Spring-Ford’s Olivia Olsen and Plymouth-Whitemarsh’s Taylor O’Brien battle for a loose ball along the sideline during their District 1-6A quarterfinal Friday. (MJ McConney – For Digital First Media)

Goodrich led all scorers with 19 points and shot a cool 9-for-10 from the foul line. Higgins had 11 while shooting 3-for-5 from beyond the arc and Freshman guard Lucy Olsen added 7 points and three assists.

O’Brien led the Colonials with 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists, leading the Colonials in all three categories.

“Every time we play Plymouth-Whitemarsh, it seems like (O’Brien) almost beats us by herself,” McDonald said with a laugh. “She is such a tough player and I was impressed with how our team contained her in the first half, but it was a matter of time before she got loose.”

Spring Ford shot just 29 percent from the field on Friday night, nine points lower than their counterparts. But the Rams were saved by solid three-point shooting (7-for-19) and an opportunistic defense that came up with four steals and forced 10 turnovers.

Spring-Ford’s Lucy Olsen (1) and Plymouth-Whitemarsh’s Taylor O’Brien compete for a rebound during their District 1-6A quarterfinal Friday. (MJ McConney – For Digital First Media)

With the win, the Rams will go on to face the winner of Central Bucks South and Neshaminy in the District Semi-Final next Wednesday at Bensalem High School.

“All year, I’ve felt that this is a really special group,” McDonald gushed. “Our girls don’t back down and I give them all the credit in the world for the way they kept fighting tonight.”

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