HAVERFORD — Haverford didn’t waste any time taking control of its District 1 Class 6A seventh-place game with Garnet Valley Friday night.
The ninth-seeded Fords coasted into states with a 44-23 victory after grabbing a 26-1 lead in the first half.
The Fords didn’t give up many open looks while the Jaguars struggled shooting the ball.
Though the Fords jogged into the intermission with a 26-3 lead, the Jaguars scored the first 13 points of the second half to get with 10. But they had no answer for junior forward Caroline Dotsey, who scored 16 straight points to put the game out of reach.
Make no mistake, even the Fords were shocked looking up at that scoreboard with a 26-1 lead. The Jaguars upset them at Juenger Gymnasium in the Central League semifinals on the way to the title, despite the Fords earning the league’s top seed and beating Garnet Valley twice in the regular season.
“It was shocking to come out and see that score, but we had to mentally keep the same intensity the whole way through,” said Dotsey, who finished with a game-high 23 points. “In the third quarter using our transition to our advantage was a big way of getting out of that.”
The Jaguars weren’t making any excuses, although they played without freshman star Haylie Adamski, held out to rest a foot issue. It was just one of those nights for the Jaguars, who dug such a massive hole they didn’t have enough energy to get out of it.
“The first half they came out and they beat us up,” coach Joe Woods said. “They made a lot of shots, and we didn’t make a lot of shots obviously in the first half. I’m proud of my team the way they came back in the second half and battled with Haverford.”
Haverford did a solid job of mixing up defenses, which kept the Jaguars from finding a rhythm. The Fords used their size advantage with Dotsey and Mollie Carpenter, who contributed eight points, to keep the Jaguars in the rearview mirror.
The next stop for the Fords is the states.
If the Fords have learned one thing about postseason basketball, it’s that they need to get off to a quick start. That wasn’t the case in their Central League playoff loss to the Jaguars.
“We came out differently than we usually do,” Dotsey said. “It was kind of an off night for us. I think it was kind of surprising but it’s our job to come out and play the same way every time. We’re so excited about states. Everyone is so excited. We’ve been preparing for it. We’ve been having hard, competitive practices so I feel like we’ll be ready.”
The Jaguars are also eager to make a splash in states, with the Haverford loss serving as a reminder of the importance of fast starts.
“We’ve got to get back to work a little bit,” Woods said. “Haverford was ready for us. We beat them here in the Central League playoffs, had a great game. And they just turned the tables on us. They wanted us and they got us real good in the first half. I think we can both do some nice things in states.”