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Bicentennial League

Ellsworth’s return helps Delco Christian advance

NEWTOWN SQUARE >> Delaware County Christian School’s Senior Night celebration for the girls’ basketball team wasn’t held as scheduled earlier in the month because of bad weather.

Seniors Emma Ellsworth and Siani McNeil were introduced with their parents and recognized before the Knights’ PIAA District One Class A playoff game against Friends Select Saturday night.

It was no surprise that McNeil, a 1,000-point scorer, was in DC’s starting lineup. Ellsworth, who has been dealing with a stress fracture in her left foot, got a start for the first time in more than a month.

The pair did their share in getting the home team off to a good start on its way to a 59-40 victory, which earned Delco Christian its place in the semifinal round of the district tournament.

DC’s opponent will be Bicentennial League rival Christopher Dock, with the winner of the game — which will be played Wednesday night — qualifying for the district final as well as a chance to play in the state tournament.

“It was great to see her back out there,” Delco Christian coach Mark Weaver said of Ellsworth. “Then she tosses in a basket and a 3-pointer before we took her out.”

Ellsworth is trying to decide between Wheaton, from which her older sister Emma graduated, and Gordon for her college studies. She had no trouble deciding what she would do Saturday.

“They told me I would be out for six to eight weeks,” Ellsworth said. “It’s only been about 4½ weeks, so I was really pushing it. I haven’t played in so long that I was just sort of chucking the ball up there when the game started.

“I was so happy to see the ball go in. This has been my first injury ever, and it’s been tough because I’m a senior.”

McNeil, the West Chester University recruit, left to a nice ovation in the fourth period after putting up 14 points, pulling down eight missed shots, dishing off seven assists, blocking four Friends Select field goal attempts and making a pair of steals. A number of her assists resulted from passes to sophomore Shirley Piotrowski, who came off the bench to toss in a team-high 20 points, pull down six rebounds, and block a pair of shots.

“I started playing basketball when I was in the fourth grade,” McNeil said. “And Emma and I have been playing together since then. (Weaver) just told us to go out there and play hard, and I’m glad that’s what we did.”

McNeil got six of her eight first-half points from the foul line, and Piotrowski dropped in five field goals in the second period as DC built a 36-18 halftime lead. The Knights were up by 23 points entering the final eight minutes.

As the starters left the floor, it was time for most of the Delco Christian fans to start thinking ahead to the district semifinal showdown with Christopher Dock.

DC’s two seniors chose to focus on the fact that they were playing on their home court for the last time.

“It was all just so surreal being out there tonight,” Ellsworth said.

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