HORSHAM >> Upper Dublin appeared to be on its way to another comfortable Suburban One League win Thursday night.
The Cardinals ended the first half against Hatboro-Horsham with nine straight points and went to the locker room with a 19-point advantage.
Fifteen minutes of gametime later, the lead was trimmed to five with 22.6 seconds remaining.
Upper Dublin made the necessary defensive stops in the final moments and hit enough free throws to hold off the Hatters for a 43-36 SOL Liberty Division win at Hatboro-Horsham Senior High School.
“You just have to find ways to win games,” Upper Dublin coach Morgan Funsten said. “You have to take the positives out of it and you have to learn from your mistakes. We don’t have too much time to dwell on any mistakes we made in the second half. We’re excited that we won tonight and we have Upper Moreland in less than 24 hours and we know they’re going to be ready for us and they’re playing really well. We have to have a short memory on the second half tonight and come out and play with confidence.”
“It was a little stressful,” Upper Dublin sophomore Amy Ngo said. “I think at the end we came together. We were able to win, which is the most important thing.”
The Cardinals 29-10 halftime lead quickly evaporated in the third quarter. Emily Thomas scored five points in the frame for Hatboro-Horsham (4-3, 3-3 SOL Liberty) and Caroline Shegogue had four to make it a 10-point game, 36-26, going to the fourth.
“We were playing them in zone in the first half and had success,” Funsten said. “Too many times we had two girls running at the ball in the second half. That ended up in one girl being wide open and giving them some clean looks. They played well, they made some shots.”
Shegogue added four more points in the fourth quarter before Sam Hollish hit a three-pointer to get within six, 39-33, with 1:20 remaining. Less than a minute later, Leah Harrington connected from beyond the arc to get the Hatters within five, 41-36 with 22.6 seconds on the clock, but that’s as close as they’d get.
“A much better second half,” Hatboro-Horsham coach Eric Glemser said. “(Upper Dublin does) a great job. We were just rushing all of our shots. We panicked a lot in the first half. In the second half, we were more calm in the huddle, more relaxed and they were smiling and having fun, even when they were missing shots. They fought and tried the best that they can.”
Upper Dublin built most of its lead in the second quarter. Ngo had eight of her game-high 13 points in the frame and Aditi Foster had six as the Cardinals outscored the Hatters, 18-5, to extend an 11-5 lead after the first quarter.
Upper Dublin’s defense, which allowed 10 points in the first half, was focused on stopping HH’s Alice Hall. They wanted to keep the MIT commit from turning missed shots into easy baskets and did their job, holding her to eight rebounds and one point.
“She gets so many second-chance points,” Funsten said. “She’s so long, she’s so active. Sometimes their best offense is to miss a shot because she almost gets every rebound. That’s what we saw when we were scouting them and I thought the girls did a great job of knowing where she was at all times and when a shot went up they put a body on her. That’s a major positive to take out of tonight.”
“Colleen (Klammer) did a great job guarding her,” Ngo said. “All the other guards, when (Hall) got it, doubled down and did whatever we could to not let her score.”
The win was Upper Dublin’s third straight against SOL opponents after beating William Tennent and Springfield-Montco in the last week. The Cardinals improved to 6-6 overall and 4-3 in league play with the victory.
“If you asked me at halftime of this game I would say absolutely we are hitting our stride,” Funsten said. “We know what’s been a problem for us all year is our consistency. We’ve played stretches with some of the best teams around and for parts of the game we can compete, but we haven’t been able to put together a full four quarters. Before the game we talked about it and at halftime we talked about it and we weren’t able to do it again. Fortunately, we were so good in the first half that we pretty much won the game in the first half.”
Upper Dublin 43, Hatboro-Horsham 36
Upper Dublin 11 18 7 7 – 43
Hatboro-Horsham 5 5 16 10 – 36
UD: Brenner 1 2-3 4, Klammer 2 0-0 4, Sarnoski 3 2-4 11, Kleiman 0 1-2 1, Sanders 0 0-0 0, Foster 5 0-2 10, Ngo 5 3-4 13. Total 16 8-15 43.
HH: Shegogue 6 0-0 13, Hall 0 1-2 1, Cole 0 0-0 0, Randa 0 0-0 0, Harrington 1 2-2 5, Nelson 1 0-0 2, Tooley 0 0-0 0, A Hewish 0 0-0 0, Thomas 3 0-0 7, S Hollish 2 2-4 8. Total 13 5-8 36.
3-point goals: UD: Sarnoski 3. HH: Shegogue, Harrington, Thomas, S Hollish 2.
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