By: Jordan Hirsh
March 2, 2023
HAVERTOWN, PA. – 11-seed Pennsbury knew coming into this one that the size and length of 2-seed Haverford could be an issue. Unfortunately for the Lady Falcons, it was just too much to handle, as the Fords got out to a double digit lead in the first half of the PIAA 6A District One playoff semifinals, and never looked back.
Haverford established their dominance early by jumping out to a 10-4 lead after the first. Their overwhelming size paid dividends on the glass in the quarter. They outrebounded Pennsbury 9-3 in the first, grabbing six offensive boards in the process, including four on one possession.
Something the Lady Falcons have done a great job of this year is keeping games close, and coming up with clutch shots down the stretch for wins.
“For us to be able to beat them, the game would have had to have been a little closer,” said Lady Falcons head coach, Frank Sciolla after the game, referencing Pennsbury’s tendency to win close games throughout the season.
Unfortunately for the Lady Falcons, the hope of keeping this game close vanished after the Fords started the second quarter on an 11-0 run to go up 21-4. During the run, Haverford was able to get pretty much whatever they wanted on the offensive end. They utilized not only their imposing size, but also their physicality, and were able to get a ton of easy layups and open jump shots as a result.
At halftime, the Lady Falcons found themselves in a 27-8 hole. Sofia Vitucci scored all eight points for Pennsbury, although even she looked off at times during the opening half.
The size and length of Haverford benefitted them on both sides of the ball on Wednesday. They forced the smaller Vitucci into difficult shots all night, and did not allow the Lady Falcons to make a three the entire first half, as Pennsbury went 0/6 from beyond the arc before the break.
The halftime deficit proved too much to overcome for the Lady Falcons, as even though they contained Haverford’s high-powered offense in the third, holding them to just four points in the quarter, they were still down by twenty entering the fourth.
In the fourth, Pennsbury never cut the Fords’ lead to less than seventeen, and when the final buzzer sounded, the Lady Falcons were on the wrong end of a 43-21 blowout.
Sophomore forward, Rian Dotsey, and senior center, Mollie Carpenter, lead the way for Haverford, each finishing with 12 points on the night. Carpenter also added 10 rebounds in the Fords’ winning effort, making her the only player to finish with a double-double.
Sofia Vitucci paced the Lady Falcons on Wednesday. She finished with 12 points and 5 boards.
Haverford will now face the top-seeded Perkiomen Valley Vikings on Saturday at the Liacouras Center in the PIAA 6A District One Finals. Haverford fell to eventual state champ, Plymouth-Whitemarsh, in the finals last season, and will be looking to finish the job, as well as maintain their undefeated record, this weekend.
As for Pennsbury, they will have a playback game to determine seeding for the state tournament on Friday, when they travel to Spring-Ford to take on the 7-seeded Rams.
This will be the Lady Falcons’ final tune-up before the state playoffs begin on March 10th. Pennsbury has already clinched a first-round home game in states.