(Quakertown) Winless Palisades blew open a close game in the second half and decisively defeated Quakertown, 49-26, in the opening round of the Quakertown Christmas Girls Basketball Tourney on a rainy Tuesday night.
This game was hardly decided four minutes into the third quarter when two Ashlee Ruzicka free throws cut the Pirate advantage to, 25-21.
However, the next seven minutes stretching into the fourth period did in the Panthers. It sure didn’t help them to have three of their best players (Brittany Taylor, Katie Kelsall, and Monica Ervin) foul out during this segment. The loss of these players was most noticeable on defense.
It took Palisades (1-5) twenty minutes to get their first 25 points. Over the next seven minutes they poured in 16 points turning this game into a 41-22 blowout with just three minutes left.
During the memorable run of Pirate scoring there was a lot to like for the folks from Kintnerville. The Panthers overplayed 6-2 Joey Noonan on an inbounds play and that left Emily Odle all alone for an easy layup. Joey was on the layup end of nice passes from Katie Salva and Kirby Funt. Lizzie Sessinger made a layup just before the end of the 3rd quarter fed nicely by Marylee Hendricks.
When all this dust cleared Palisades had put together a 16-1 run to build up a 41-23 spread. The reserves from both squads carried the action the rest of the way to a 49-26 final.
Sophomore Joey Noonan led all scorers with fourteen points. Samantha Sharo added twelve.
Brittany Taylor topped Quakertown with seven points despite fouling out with 4:26 to go in the third period.
Palisades relentlessly pressured/trapped the Quakertown guards after they crossed half-court. Turnovers of all flavors resulted. Most of the violations were for traveling. I was at a game recently where such a violation set off the student section chanting, “Where you going!”
Down the other end the Pirates were very intent on getting the ball inside to Joey Noonan. Credit undersized Ashlee Ruzicka for keeping Joey from doing too much damage.
The defense that worked the best for Quakertown (1-5) was a zone that they used in the second quarter. Denied the inside the Pirates struggled from the outside. Quakertown was able to turn a 16-6 deficit early in the 2nd quarter into a much more manageable 21-19 deficit at halftime.
The Panthers hit 9-of-12 free throws during that second quarter.
Freshman Marylee Hendricks injured a knee at the start of the final quarter and came back later on crutches with an icepack on her knee.
Quakertown has one senior (Katie Kelsall) while Palisades has two (Amberli Delimit & Kirby Funt).
I was surprised to see another photographer roaming around taking pictures of players DURING the National Anthem. Maybe this game was nationally televised?
(The pictures enlarge to normal size if you click on them.)