Defense wins the day for Souderton in victory over rival North Penn

FRANCONIA >> It was a sluggish start, but Souderton plowed ahead.

“We had to limit Alli Lindsay’s touches, and in the second half, help defense was definitely key on their pick and roll,” Big Red’s Jordan Zimmerman said after her team’s clash with rival North Penn Friday night. “It was a lot of just: keep your man in front of you and play good defense.”

Big Red turned up the “D” and locked things down for a 39-32 victory in the Suburban One League Colonial Division contest.

“In all honesty, I had no idea where we were gonna end up this year (with the pandemic and late start to the season), so I’m extremely happy with where we are,” said Zimmerman, who helped her team raise its division record to 5-2.

Zimmerman, Olivia Schneider and Casey Harter each scored 8 points for Big Red, who survived a rough start in which they trailed 3-2 at the end of the first quarter. Big Red pushed in front 12-7 at the half and then began the third quarter with a three by Erin Bohmueller.

Olivia Schneider’s spin move and layin later widened the gap.

Key throughout was the defense by Big Red.

“It’s always good to win one where you really have to gut it out,” said Big Red coach Lynn Carroll. “We said before the game that if we can defend, we can afford to go through some stretches where we have a difficult time scoring.”

A three by Zimmerman gave Big Red a 32-23 lead early in the fourth. A basket by Teya McConnaha kept Souderton firmly ahead and a free throw in the final minute by Bohmueller helped lock it up.

“They made us earn it,” Carroll said of the Knights. “They would not go away. And they made things as difficult for us as they could. North Penn played really hard. Every kid that comes in for them is a worker.”

Liv Stone had a game-high 12 points for the Knights (0-6 Colonial), including a pair of threes. A three by Imani Plaza brought the visitors within 34-28 with 3 minutes, 45 seconds left to play, but similar shots would be hard to come by in the final minutes against a persistent Souderton defense.

North Penn put together some good stretches, particularly on the defensive end.

“We’ve been working on communication, and I think we’ve been doing a much better job now,” Knights coach Jen Carangi said. “One of our points of emphasis all season has been limiting the other team to one shot and done. And we did that. We gave up only three offensive rebounds in the first half, which was huge for us.

“It’s a matter of continuing, having that part of what we do and what we know.”

Both teams hit the road Tuesday.

North Penn is at Central Bucks South for a 7 p.m. game and Souderton travels to Pennridge for a 7 p.m. clash.

North Penn 3 4 12 13 — 32
Souderton 2 10 17 10 — 39
North Penn: Abby Plaugher 1 0-0 3, Caleigh Sperling 2 0-0 4, Liv Stone 4 2-3 12, Alli Lindsay 1 0-0 2, Imani Plaza 2 0-0 5, Laynie Doran 0 3-4 3, Ali Johns 0 2-2 2, Rachel Strobel 0 1-2 1. Totals 10 8-11 32.
Souderton: Jordan Zimmerman 3 0-0 8, Olivia Schneider 3 2-2 8, Casey Harter 4 0-0 8, Hayley Fenchel 2 1-3 5, Erin Bohmueller 1 1-2 4, Teya McConnaha 2 0-0 4, Mikayla McGillian 1 0-1 2. Totals 16 4-8 39.
3-pointers: NP-Plaugher, Stone 2, Plaza; S-Zimmerman 2, Bohmueller.

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