HAVERFORD — It wasn’t a masterpiece, but Haverford’s 47-29 win over Methacton Wednesday kept the Fords perfect this season and on track to claim the District 1 Class 6A girls title.
Caroline Dotsey scored 18 points to lift the Fords, who take on Springfield Saturday at 6 p.m. in the quarterfinals at Juenger Gymnasium.
“It wasn’t pretty, especially the second half,” Fords coach Lauren Pellicane said. “But I thought we had a really good second quarter that helped us separate ourselves a little bit. We didn’t turn the ball over, we got shots and I think we put 18 points up in the second, and that was the difference in the game. We held on in the second half. It wasn’t clean, we missed some shots but hey, it’s the district tournament. Sometimes that happens. It’s how we respond to it.”
The scrappy Warriors worked hard throughout the first quarter to grab a 12-10 lead on a 50-footer by Cassidy Kropp at the buzzer. Warriors pivot Mairi Smith got the Fords’ attention by blocking their first two shots and scoring five points, including a 3-pointer.
The Fords (25-0) led most of the first frame but didn’t help themselves by committing a handful of turnovers. The second quarter was a totally different story as the Fords powered to the basket against their smaller opponent.
Mollie Carpenter muscled inside for five points, including a three-point play, and Dotsey was unstoppable in the paint as she tallied eight of her 12 first-half points.
The Fords outscored the Warriors 18-2 in the second quarter to secure a 28-14 cushion at the intermission.
“The first quarter we executed the game plan really well,” Warriors coach Kevin Kaminski said. “That halfcourt shot was awesome. It gave us a little momentum.
“The second quarter absolutely hurt us. We just didn’t have an answer for their size. We did a horrible job of boxing out against them. With their size they alter your shots and make it tougher to get the really good shots.”
The Fords beat Springfield, 55-38, a month ago at Springfield. Pellicane has been around long enough to know that in the Central League, just about anything goes on any given game day. The Cougars Wednesday knocked off Conestoga, who the Fords struggled to defeat in their three meetings, including the Central League final.
“It’s going to be tough,” Pellicane said. “No matter who you’re playing it’s going to be tough but it’s a Central League matchup between good teams. It’s going to be a battle. I think our kids are ready. I think they’re a mature group that all year has focused on one game at a time.”
The Fords reached the District 1 Class 6A quarterfinals last year but were beaten by eventual state champion Plymouth Whitemarsh.
The Warriors (17-9) have played a lot of good teams this year, including Perkiomen Valley, the top seed in District 1. Trust Kaminski when he says the Fords and Pellicane are special.
“They’re up there with some of the best,” Kaminski said. “PV is a really good basketball team. They’ve got a lot of weapons. They play the game extremely tough. If Haverford plays the way they played tonight, they can go extremely far. I know they’ve got a great coach to get them to that point. They’re on a mission here.”