When you look at the roster, you’d probably rub your eyes. It’s not often a team enters the postseason without a senior. The 19th-seeded Plymouth Whitemarsh Lady Colonials have three freshmen, five sophomores, and two juniors.
PW’s opponent, 14th-seeded Spring-Ford, has four seniors who participated on district and state championship teams in 2013. For three quarters, it looked like the squad full of undergrads could pull out the road victory.
However, the Lady Colonials couldn’t cash-in their opportunities in the fourth quarter. Although Spring-Ford clinged to a 24-22 advantage after three quarters, the Lady Rams knocked PW, 42-34, in Royersford on Feb. 13 in the first round of the PIAA Class AAAA District 1 playoffs.
The hosts improve to 15-8 and earned a second-round trip to third-seeded Garnet Valley on Feb. 16; the winner of that game secures a berth in the state playoffs and a trip to the district quarterfinals. Sydney Wagner led Spring-Ford with 17 points on five-of-13 shooting, three rebounds, two assists, one block, and two steals. Maddie Haney added 11 points with four rebounds despite four turnovers.
Sophomore guard Taylor O’Brien jockeyed the Lady Colonials (16-7) with 20 points, seven rebounds, seven turnovers, turnovers, two assists, and two steals. Laurel Suchsland posted eight points with two three-pointers. The Lady Colonials, who haven’t advanced to the second round since bowling became a sport at PW in Dec. 2004, trailed the entire game (except 12-12 near the end of the second quarter).
At halftime, Spring-Ford held a 13-12 lead. It could’ve been worse for Spring-Ford because the Lady Rams committed nine first-half fouls (PW had been guilty four times). However, the Lady Colonials were four-of-13 from the floor and three-of-seven at the charity stripe while Spring-Ford made five-of-24 field goal attempts.
The Lady Rams held PW to three points in the first quarter for a 7-3 advantage. Spring-Ford scored the first five points of the game on a two and a trey.
But the Lady Colonials never had that shining moment. PW was seven-of-14 on free throws, including six-of-12 by O’Brien. Lauren Coscia, a six-foot-three junior center, pulled down five rebounds and blocked two shots, but she couldn’t find room for layups and settled for one point.
O’Brien successfully hurled a half-court effort into the basket at the buzzer to close the contest. The Lady Colonials will aim for their first district championship since 1983 next season; they entered this game with three district playoff appearances (0-3) over the last 12 years. Spring-Ford, on the other hand, won three district games last season as a 16 seed in the 32-team field.
19PW 3 9 10 12= 34
14SF 7 6 11 18= 42
·Victoria Betterly 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 foul
·Lauren Coscia 1 point, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal, 4 turnovers
·Ali Diamond 3 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 4 turnovers
·Brooke Felgoise 0 points, 0 rebounds
·Sydney Kesselman 0 points, 0 rebounds
·Taylor O’Brien 20 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 7 turnovers
·Sarah Putsch 2 points, 5 rebounds, 2 turnovers
·Gia Schweitzer 0 points, 0 rebounds, 1 turnover
·Laurel Suchsland 8 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 turnovers
·Juliana Allesandroni 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 turnovers
·Alyssa Conway 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 turnover
·Maddie Haney 11 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 steal, 4 turnovers
·Cassie Marte 1 point, 5 rebounds
·Lauren Mensch 0 points, 1 rebound, 2 turnovers
·Diane Nicholson 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 turnover
·Lexie Nugent 0 points, 0 rebounds, 1 steal
·Amy Roth 8 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal
·Chloe Schretzman 1 point, 2 rebounds
·Sydney Wagner 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 2 steals, 1 turnover
·Emily Walker 2 points, 4 rebounds