LANSDALE >> The story for most of the year for Lansdale Catholic has been their struggles putting together a complete four quarters of basketball.
Wednesday night saw them continue those shortcomings as they fell to Abington Friends School 49-42.
The Crusaders (7-9) jumped out to a 10-8 lead in the first behind five early points from Abby Ward but a slow second quarter set them too far back to recover.
“Our story the whole year is that we haven’t really been able to play four quarters,” LC head coach Joe Mack said. “Again today, for whatever reason, we seemed a little lackadaisical in that second quarter. Now I have to do a better job getting these girls ready to play a full game, but its been our story all year.”
LC was outscored 19-8 in the second as they allowed the much bigger Kangaroos (15-5) to dominate both the high and low post with their size.
Alexa Middleton was dominant at times for AFS, finishing with a team high 14 points. The Monmouth University bound forward seemed to be grabbing rebounds at will and making the smaller Crusaders pay for their lack of size.
“We have a size advantage on a lot of the teams we play,” AFS head coach Jeff Bond said. “We talk a lot about going up and getting the ball when it’s on the glass and Alexa Middleton is just a really good high school rebounder and she’s able to go up and get it and we have other girls that are able to just get their hands on the ball and extend the possessions.”
Middleton was only able to play sparingly in the second half due to foul trouble but when she was in she made it count, showing a set of low post move that’s not often seen at the high school level.
“She’s just a really good high school basketball player,” Bond said. “She’s a throwback type player that loves to play with her back to the basket and that’s rare. She got a lot of fouls today which probably wouldn’t be fouls at the next level but we showed a depth today to be able to work around it which was good.”
On the other side of the floor LC was able to score with some consistency but was never able to get the big run they needed to climb back into the game.
Sophomore Lauren Crim finished with a game high 15 but it came in a different manner than she’s used to.
Known for her lights out three-point shooting, the Crusaders’ guard finished without a single shot made from beyond the arc as AFS made her try and beat them from inside the paint.
“We knew about her (Crim) and we talked about how we wanted to defend her,” Bond said. “For a lot of the game we put number 13 Cheryl Remolde on her because she’s a really good on ball defender. We knew Lauren would score but we wanted her to have to work really hard for her points and we thought if that happened we’d be in good shape and it did.”
With Middleton out for most of the second half the Crusaders defense was able to keep AFS in check on the offensive end, but turnovers and sloppy play of their own kept them from making any real comeback effort as they squandered some big chances in crucial moments, leading to the loss.
“We just made too many fundamental mistakes that really hurt us,” Mack said. “We missed some layups, didn’t box out, and then just had those turnovers that hurt us and I think that was the difference.”