Spring-Ford set for rematch with PW in District final

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Photo courtesy of Lifetouch

Spring-Ford sophomore Mac Pettinelli drives the basketball during the winter sports season.

Andrew Eross, Sports Editor

Last year, the Spring-Ford Girls Basketball Team hosted a District 1-6A Tournament championship game in which they defeated Plymouth Whitemarsh. After Spring-Ford defeated Souderton, 36-24, in the Final Four this week, the Rams and the Colonials will face off again with the same stakes at hand – this time at Temple University.

The big game is scheduled for this Saturday, Mar. 5, at Temple University’s Liacouras Center.

The road to the championship certainly has not been easy for the Rams; gritty wins against Central Bucks East, West Chester Rustin, Garnet Valley, and just recently Souderton tested the Rams’ late-game offense and defense. The depth of the young Rams’ bench has passed the test in crucial playoff minutes thus far.

It was this last feature about the team that helped propel them over higher-seeded Souderton on Wednesday — the ability of Coach Mickey McDaniel to trust his bench when the game matters most.

Sophomore Alaliyah Solliday, known for her bunch scoring and three-point shooting off the bench, did exactly what she has been doing all season. When the Rams’ starters have struggled offensively, it has been Solliday’s job to provide that spark for scoring spurts to keep the Rams in the game. A pair of second-quarter triples helped erase an early 14-8 Souderton lead and flipped the edge to Spring-Ford at the first-half buzzer. Solliday would go on to finish with nine points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

Meg Robbins, also coming off the bench, utilized her size for a game-high 10 points, all of which she scored in the second half. Her presence anchored the Rams’ defense to allow only 24 points. With Robbins defensively clogging the middle of the paint, Spring-Ford allowed no field goals from the 1:09 mark in the first quarter all the way to the final minutes of the fourth quarter.

Even throughout the thrilling victories that have led them to this championship, the Rams understand there’s still more to give against a very difficult 1-seeded Plymouth Whitemarsh. Spring-Ford obviously looks much different from when they defeated PW 52-36 last season for the District championship, and the Colonials have proved eager for revenge as they have carried an undefeated season to date.

Win or lose, the championship game should be an exciting experience for the Rams, with less nerves knowing they still have more basketball to play in the upcoming PIAA state tournament.