TOWAMENCIN >> Jess Huber had the hot hand early. The North Penn girls basketball team’s defense kept Lansdale Catholic cold after halftime.
Huber collected all 14 of her points in the first half to help the host Knights build at 16-point lead at the break. North Penn proceeded to allow the Crusaders just nine points in the final 16 minutes in rolling a 50-24 non-league victory Friday night.
“The first half we really did great with stepping in and helping off the drive. We wanted to make sure that nobody got any lucky shots or easy shots, no easy baskets,” Huber said. “And I think everyone did a great job. Irisa (Ye) played great defense, so did Mia (Melchior). Everyone did just great.”
Huber posted seven points before collecting her second foul at 3:16 in the first quarter but came back in the second to add seven more. Bri Hewlett chipped in another 14 points as the Knights (5-1, 1-1 Suburban One League Continental) won their second straight.
“Sam (Carangi) and I see each other well. She saw me a lot. It’s great, we work really well together. When she’s not hot somehow I got hot and she saw me and we feed off each other,” Huber said. “The two fouls really slowed me down in the beginning but they were just dumb fouls. In the second half I was just smarter and just played to my potential.”
Lauren Crim paced Lansdale Catholic (3-3, 1-1 Philadelphia Catholic League) with eight points while Brady Wassel had six points.
The 24 points were the second lowest the Knights have given up this season, having held Pope John Paul II to 22 in the season opener. With North Penn allowing 37.0 points per game so far, deMarteleire is looking improvement on the other side of the court.
“I think defensively we’re playing pretty solid. Offensively, I’d like to see more consistency,” she said. “Like we scored 14, 17 then seven, I don’t what we scored (in the fourth), maybe 12. I’d like to make sure we’re scoring double-digits at least every quarter. I would like to seem more consistency offensively.”
GIRLS #BASKETBALL: @NPKnightsGBB‘s Jess Huber with a sweet turnaround jumper to put NP up 26-11 2Q vs. Lansdale Catholic. pic.twitter.com/OA4THol2Q1
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) December 24, 2016
North Penn does not play again until 2017 but the Knights start the year with a tough three-games-in-six days stretch, visiting Souderton Jan. 3 then home games with Central Bucks South (Jan. 5) and Upper Dublin (Jan. 7).
Lansdale Catholic, meanwhile, competes in the George Snear Tournament at the Fellowship House in Conshohocken Tuesday and Wednesday. LC faces Agnes Irwin on the first night at 7:30 with Mount St. Joseph taking on Girard College at 6 p.m.
Down 31-15 at the half to North Penn, the Crusaders could only score two points in the third on pair of Crim free throws. LC’s first field goal of the second half came from Maile Erwin to make it 46-20 in the fourth.
“(Brady Wassel) did a really nice job of posting in the first half of posting some of my kids up and we didn’t have a lot of help on the weak side so we talked about that at halftime,” North Penn coach Maggie deMarteleire said. “But overall, I felt we played really good defense.”
Lansdale Catholic tied the contest 7-7 on an Emily Smith three-pointer in the first quarter before the Knights responded with a 7-0 run to take the lead for good. Ye made two free throws at 4:08, Huber converted a three-point play off a putback at 3:50 while Ye found Hewlett in transition for a 14-7 lead. A Crim bucket made it 14-9 after eight minutes.
GIRLS #BASKETBALL: @NPKnightsGBB‘s Irisa Ye finds Bri Hewlett up court for a layup & a 14-7 lead 1Q vs. Lansdale Catholic. pic.twitter.com/tC1wDpVeuu
— Mike Cabrey (@mpcabrey) December 24, 2016
The Knights began the second quarter with five straight points from Melchior then a pull-up jumper by Ye off a steal to lead 21-9. A Huber three and turnaround jumper made it 26-11 North Penn before a Crim bucket, but two more from Huber put NP back up 15.
“She was running the floor really well and getting down in the post,” said deMarteleire of Huber. “She was finishing.”
Hewlett’s three-point play with 1:04 left gave North Penn the 31-15 advantage at intermission.
“She is so steady,” said deMarteleire of Hewlett. “Bri is just very, very steady. She’s so coachable. She does whatever I ask her to do. She does things the right way. She’s been having a solid season for us so far.”
The Knights were up 38-17 after three quarters and held their biggest lead at 46-18 when Melchior made two free throws with 3:43 remaining.