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Souderton puts it all together in win over Pennridge

Souderton’s Mikaela Reese (33) puts up a shot over Pennridge’s Evelyn Loughery (22) during their game on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (James Beaver/For MediaNews Group)

FRANCONIA >> Senior Mikaela Reese mentioned that there’s only a few regular season games left in her high school career, so she’s trying to “put it all out there.”

Like they have done all season, her teammates followed her lead.

Souderton put together one of its most complete games of the season, leading from start to finish in a 54-37 victory over rival Pennridge Friday night.

“At the beginning of the year, our goal was to be playing our best basketball at the end of the season,” coach Lynn Carroll said. “We’ve gotten so much better. And the kids just work at practice. They’re playing with so much intelligence and they always work hard.”

Souderton’s Casey Harter (14) moves up the court on a fast break against Pennridge during their game on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (James Beaver/For MediaNews Group)

Souderton raised its record to 14-6 overall and is now 6-5 in the Suburban One League Continental Conference. Pennridge, still in the thick of things, dropped to 10-8 overall and 4-6 in the Continental.

“We were excited to go play them again,” Reese said. “We won the first game in double overtime, and the energy was still there and we were excited to go play them again because they’re a great team.”

Reese was dominant inside, scoring 15 points (tied for the game high), making five assists and blocking four shots. She also hit a three.

“I was trying to work on my game all around,” Reese said, “posting up and trying to hit some outside shots and be unpredictable.”

Pennridge’s Katie Yoder (4) drives the lane against Souderton’s Mikaela Reese (33) during their game on Friday, January 31, 2020. (James Beaver/For MediaNews Group)

Early Push

Souderton took control from the start.

Big Red patiently ran its offense, with Casey Harter (15 points) scoring at the end of a long sequence to put the Indians ahead.

Pennridge turned it over on its first possession and Hannah Alderfer scored in transition at the other end to make it a 4-0 jump early.

Julia Kreider scored Pennridge’s first points three minutes in, but then Souderton went on a 8-0 run to push firmly in front.

Olivia Schneider scored on a layup, Alderfer stepped in front of a Ram pass and took it all the way in, Harter cut to the basket for another two pointer, and Schneider’s two free throws made it a 12-2 Souderton lead.

Harter scored again to make it a 14-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Souderton’s Casey Harter (14) looks to the net to get a shot off over Pennridge’s Evelyn Loughery (22) during their game on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020 at Souderton Area High School. (James Beaver/For MediaNews Group)

The Rams got back into it in the second quarter, thanks in part to a pair of three pointers by Grace Rosica.

But the Indians kept pace, finishing the first half strong when Reese found Jordan Zimmerman breaking to the hoop, the three-point play providing a 25-16 advantage at the break.

The two teams went back and forth in the third.

Pennridge stayed close with baskets by Katie Yoder and a three by Sophie Cweiber (9 points), but Harter scored again for Big Red to make it 31-20 midway through. After Cweiber’s three, a basket by Reese stretched the margin back to double digits.

Souderton strengthened its grip in the final minutes of the third.

Reese scored underneath to open up Big Red’s biggest lead to that point at 40-25, and the Indians would take a 42-29 lead into the fourth.

By the time Reese battled inside again for another two, the lead was at 18 points.

Pennridge’s Sam Murreda (2) pushes past Souderton’s Nikki Hamilton (20) during their a game on Friday Jan. 31, 2020. (James Beaver/For MediaNews Group)

Doing It All

Big Red had things locked down at both ends.

“They were without Corinn Mart and she does so much for them on the court. But we played well right from the start,” Carroll said. “We have four kids coming off the bench now who are getting minutes for us, which is great. Any given night, somebody new steps up. Mikaela is almost always leading the way, Casey has been so solid, Liv – the way she finishes around the basket…”

Jordan Zimmerman had five assists and Schneider added three. The Indians had 20 assists on the night.

“That’s exactly the kind of basketball we want to be playing,” Carroll said. “It makes us difficult to defend and we’re executing offensively, playing hard and determined defensively and at the right time.

“I’ve been blessed with some incredible defenders. Casey Harter is gonna graduate here near the top of the list if not at the top of the list. What she can do defensively as a freshman, she is just so good and so smart. She plays 30 to 32 minutes a game, handles the ball on every possession and usually guards the other team’s best player. She just plays like an upperclassman.”

Souderton’s Rachel Schewe (3) hits the brakes with Pennridge’s Kiersten Moyer (20) defending during their game on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (James Beaver/For MediaNews Group)

And they have Reese down low.

“Mikaela, what she can do to alter shots in the lane…She had four blocks tonight. When a kid’s driving the lane, and you just got your last shot blocked, you’re not comfortable going down the lane again,” Carroll said. “It was a solid group effort and even at the end there, our swing players got in and we had a nice full-court pass (to Julia Shaughnessy) for a layup. From beginning to end, it was a good team effort, a good team win.”

Going Forward

Pennridge is back on the court Saturday, on the road at Kennett at 12:15.

Souderton is off until Monday, when it hosts Gwynedd Mercy Academy at 5 p.m.

The regular season may be winding down but Reese wants many more games beyond that.

“It’s so much fun,” she said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls. Everyone gets along so well and we’ve just connected. It’s exciting to see everyone grow together and become better people and basketball players as well.”

Souderton 54, Pennridge 37
Pennridge 4 12 13 8 — 37
Souderton 14 11 17 12 — 54
Pennridge: Sophie Cweiber 2 3-4 9, Katie Yoder 2 4-4 8, Julia Kreider 1 0-0 2, Kiersten Moyer 2 0-0 4, Evelyn Loughery 1 0-0 2, Grace Rosica 3 0-0 8, Ryan Hodder 2 0-0 4. Totals 13 7-8 37.
Souderton: Jordan Zimmerman 1 1-1 3, Olivia Schneider 4 2-4 10, Casey Harter 7 0-0 15, Hannah Alderfer 2 2-2 6, Mikaela Reese 7 0-1 15, Hayley Fenchel 1 0-0 2, Alexis Stefanowicz 0 0-1 0, Julia Shaughnessy 1 1-1 3. Totals 23 6-10 54.
3-pointers: P-Cweiber 2, Rosica 2; S-Harter, Reese.

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