ROYERSFORD — District 1 champion Garnet Valley reached a new milestone in its 52-34 win against Cedar Crest in the PIAA Class 6A girls basketball opener Friday at Spring-Ford High School.
With the victory, the Jaguars (27-1) established a school season record for wins for both the girls and boys basketball programs. They now advance to a second-round match Tuesday against the winner of Friday’s Bethlehem Freedom-Souderton contest.
To view a photo gallery of the Garnet Valley-Cedar Crest game click here
Cedar Crest (19-9), the seventh-place finisher in District 3, committed numerous turnovers thanks to Garnet Valley’s aggressive defense, but kept the score reasonably close for most of the first three quarters with some accurate outside shooting.
At the end of the first quarter, Garnet Valley led by only five points (17-12). It was quite a difference from the Jaguars’ last game, in which Garnet Valley jumped out to an early 20-3 against Neshaminy en route to capturing their first District 1 championship.
“Defensively, we came out strong, got some steals and created some turnovers,” Garnet Valley coach Joe Woods said, “but give Cedar Crest credit, they have some good shooters, and those threes kept them in the game.”
In the second quarter, Garnet Valley’s offense began to pick up, and the Jaguars closed out the period on a 10-3 run. Senior point guard Jill Nagy hit a three from the right corner; 1,000-point scorer Brianne Borcky came in with a layup following a couple of Cedar Crest misses, and a couple of putbacks by the Jaguars’ other 1,000-point scorer, Emily McAteer, boosted the Jags’ lead to 32-20 at the intermission.
Cedar Crest battled back to cut Garnet Valley’s lead to 36-27 late in the third quarter when its high scorer, sophomore guard Reese Glover (12 points), hit her second trey of the game.
“You have to give Cedar Crest credit, they didn’t fold their tents when they fell behind in the second quarter,” Woods said. “We could have gone up by 25 had they folded their tents, but they didn’t. They kept battling.”
Woods called of Cedar Crest’s 5-10 senior forward Raven Morgan, “a good all-around athlete, and a defensive force as well. She blocked some of our shots and was a difference-maker in the first half.”
In the second half, Garnet Valley switched from a man-to-man defense to a zone defense, and late in the third quarter started to get hot, going on a 16-3 run to take a 52-30 lead. Eight of the Garnet Valley points during the 16-3 run came from McAteer, who finished the game with 19 points. She also was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
“We were a little more patient in the second half than in the first half; sometimes we get a little too greedy, trying to bowl teams over,” Woods said. “Our shot selection was better, and the zone defense slowed down Cedar Crest a little bit. We have an aggressive team with a lot of good athletes and some good size inside that can protect the rim.”
The 16-3 run began when Borcky scored underneath, then following a Cedar Crest missed shot, McAteer hit a three from the top of the key to make it 41-27 at the end of the third quarter.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Nagy hit from the outside following a Cedar Crest turnover, then McAteer began to cash in at the free throw line as Garnet Valley pulled slowly away. The Jaguars also got some good rebounding from Borcky during this stretch.
Nine players entered the scoring column for Garnet Valley, and Woods spread the credit around for the Jaguars’ win.
“McAteer did a great job; and so did our guards – Jillian Nagy played great defense, and Morgan Falcone knocked down a couple of big threes in the first half that stemmed Cedar Crest’s momentum,” Woods said. “Brianna Borcky did a great job on the rebounds, and a few of our players came off the bench to give us a lot of energy – Abbey Anderson, Kendall DiCamillo and Liesl Dentinger.”