Balanced scoring leads Unionville to 56-30 victory
● By Richard Gaw
In what has become the norm for a team that now stands a solid third in the Ches-Mont American standings and sports a fashionable 10-4 overall record, the Indian women fully utilized the strength of its seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen in an equal opportunity, 56-30 win over visiting Interboro.
Starting the game with an effective zone defense and half-court press, Unionville stymied any offensive threat Interboro could throw at them, beginning with a steal and layup by sophomore Maddie Shanahan on Interboro's first possession. With only a minute-and-a-half gone, another steal and basket, this time by Senior Casey Scheuer, gave Unionville a 9-0 lead.
With 4:40 left in the first, a three-point play by Scheuer extended the Indian lead to 14-0, while Unionville kept the Buccaneers scoreless until a free throw by Sami Barnett got her team on the board with 1:35 remaining in the opening quarter.
Although Interboro began to puncture the Unionville defense in the second quarter on Barnett's playmaking, they could not convert their shots, while the Indians converted 9 for 12 from the free-throw line and headed into halftime with a secure 29-10 lead.
As the second half got underway, the unselfish play of the Indian offense saw to it that members of all four classes continued to get touches. Junior Sam Pancoast scored on two jumpers, but the third quarter saw the emergence of freshman Olivia Mason as a key contributor on both ends of the floor. In addition to sinking two jumpers in the third quarter – on her way to an eight-point game – Mason was a dominant force on defense, helping to hold Interboro to just 15 points in the second half.
"She's a hustler," Unionville coach Fred Ellzy said of Mason. "She moved up for the second half of the season. She had been doing so well on the junior varsity level, so we rewarded with an opportunity. And she's been making the best of that opportunity."
In fact, along with Mason, a quick glance at Unionville's roster reveals a roster of underclassmen who fully compliment seniors Scheuer, Micayla Flores, Emily Mason, Lexi Shanahan and Adrianna Weber – which nearly guarantees that Unionville will remain competitive in the Ches-Mont American.
"The ninth grade group that's come through is phenomenal," Ellzy said. "They listen and they constantly want to improve, and they show it at practice. There's a couple fundamental things we need to work on, but I never doubt their hustle for a moment.
"They endure me yelling at them constantly. They endure the ups an downs, and they keep fighting and pushing. They're very resilient. They really push themselves because they want to be successful, and they carry that onto the basketball court."
Scheuer and Shanahan led the balanced Unionville squad with 11 points each, while Flores scored ten. Interboro was led by sophomore guard Gina McNamee with eight points, while Barnett scored six points.
Unionville looks to improve their standing in the Ches-Mont American when they take on division leader Sun Valley (8-0 overall) at home on Jan. 20. Now 0-4 overall on the 2014-15 season, Interboro faces off against Delaware Valley Conference foe Chichester on Jan. 20.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.