(Collegeville PA) There were some good things and there were some not-so-good things.
Souderton defeated Perkiomen Valley, 51-27, on Friday afternoon in non-league action.
The Indians (7-1) are coming off a season in which they reached the state final four.
In this one Souderton took the lead early and increased it as the game went along.
SHS coach Lynn Carroll was pleased with the six straight wins. “To be 7-1 at the end of December is very nice. We graduated three starters who are playing at the collegiate level.”
Despite the margin of victory, Coach Carroll was concerned about her team’s play in the first half. “We settled for quick shots,” she said. “At halftime we talked of improving our approach on offense.”
Senior Megan Walbrandt (11 points) commented on the Indians improved play in the second half. “We played a lot more unselfishly. We were looking for the open person by making the extra pass. We were able to find the open cutter.”
Perkiomen Valley coach Kelly Sorber saw the game as a learning experience. “I told the team afterwards that they were able to stick with a very good team for a half. We need to string more good quarters together.”
After a game-opening three by PV’s Gabby Marinacci (14 points), Souderton turned up the defensive heat and gave the Vikings (3-7) few openings thereafter.
Souderton attacked the Perkiomen ball-handlers, forced turnovers, and started a game-long parade of scoring from close to the basket.
“Our defense was good throughout the game,” said Coach Carroll. “We’ve built a reputation over the last few years of being a team that plays great man-to-man defense.”
The offense didn’t flow quite as smoothly as the coach would have wanted but the Indians found enough high percentage shots, led by Megan O’Donnell (8 points) to lead 16-8 after the first period.
Senior Megan Walbrandt (11 points) had seven of them in the second quarter, including a three, and the visitors had a 27-15 advantage at halftime.
“I was especially pleased with the way we played in the third quarter,” said Coach Carroll. And who could blame her?
The Souderton offense began to turn up layups in quantity. They had three quick ones in the first 1 ½ minutes.
What made the scoring appealing was the cutting and passing that went along with it. “We were able to find open teammates,” recalled Megan Walbrandt.
The Indians put six straight points together before Gabby Marinacci hit two free throws.
The next Souderton run took all the mystery out of the final outcome. This time the “straight” points reached ten. The Vikings were co-conspirators with four turnovers. Curran O’Donnell (10 points) chose this three-minute segment to drain two 3’s.
The good collection of offense/defense elevated the Souderton spread to 43-17 with 2 ½ minutes to go in the 3rd period. Benches were cleared for the final minutes.
Coach Carroll: “We played so much better in the second half. We were moving the ball around. Our assists increased. It is really fun to watch them when they play that way.”
Coach Sorber: “We’re young. We have some seniors, but we have three freshmen that get some big minutes.”
Coach Carroll: “Perkiomen will continue to get better with the young talent they have.”
Souderton made nineteen field goals in the game. Sixteen of their field goals were inside shots. Is there a higher percentage shot than a layup?
The Vikings may have been a little tired because they played Conestoga yesterday. “We hit fifteen 3-pointers against them,” said Coach Sorber regarding the victory.
The tenacious Indians yielded only three long ones in this afternoon’s victory.
The Vikings totaled thirteen turnovers while Souderton had only five.
Megan Walbrandt (11), Mikaela Reese (10), and Curran O’Donnell (10) paced Souderton.
Mikaela had several blocks for the Indians.
Coach Sorber: “Souderton is a good team. They’re very well coached. They run their system very well. They have won districts and they’ve been to the semi’s a lot of times. They start four seniors.”
Megan Walbrandt: “I hope we’re heading in the same direction we did last year. I am hoping next year to play basketball in college locally. I am interested in the health science field.”
I was impressed with the PV gymnasium.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)