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Girls basketball: Jenkintown snaps New Hope’s 10-game win streak

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“The Goldbergs” TV show has made Jenkintown a comedy locus.

Jenkintown’s girls basketball team, however, is no laughing matter.

Taking a big lead into halftime, the Drakes (17-0, 9-0 Bicentennial) extended their win streak to 34 in a 48-30 road win at New Hope-Solebury. They looked every part the defending Class A state champion.

“Their defensive chemistry is incredible,” said NH-S (12-3, 6-2 Bicentennial) coach Andy Krasna. “They can press man, they can run and jump. They are smart, athletic and long. They got into the passing lanes and we were overwhelmed in the first quarter.”

Jenkintown’s press forced five steals in the first quarter and helped the team take a 27-4 lead into halftime. All five Drake starters sank a 3-pointer by the game’s 18th minute.

“The big takeaways are not to get down on ourselves and keep going,” noted Lion senior guard Jordyn Sherman. “And to value the ball.”

But the Lions showed mettle and played the Drakes even in the last six minutes of the third quarter. Sabrina Vlahovic opened the fourth quarter with a free throw, steal and layup to trim the lead to 41-16. Five different Lions scored floor baskets as NH-S won the fourth quarter 17-7.

“We knew we had nothing to lose,” said sophomore forward Kate Dougherty. “It’s always good to keep trying and not give up.” Despite the slow start, the Lion offense topped Jenkintown’s defensive average of surrendering 27 points per game.

The Drakes received no points from their bench. Dickinson-signee Mia Kolb led all scorers with 15. Rachel Saxton’s seven led the Lions.

Vlahovic grabbed eight rebounds while Dougherty snagged seven boards.

NH-S carried a 10-game win streak into the contest. A highlight was Saxton scoring a career high 27 in the Lions’ 52-20 Jan. 8 thumping of Morrisville. Saxton averaged nearly 16 points per game during the streak; Dougherty and Zoe Palau averaged over eight per contest over the span.

“It’s really how we worked together as a team,” Sherman observed.

“We’re all friends on and off the court. We work hard in practice and we all really care about the game. We’re not just going through the motions. We’re trying to win for each other, and not ourselves.”

“I agree with Jordyn and I also think it’s our attitudes,” Dougherty echoed. “We try not to get down on ourselves. We always keep our heads up.”

The very recent success could be one reason why Krasna took Tuesday’s setback in stride. “Once we settled down a bit, we got into rhythm,” Krasna said. “Once we got the ball over half court, we could slow it down a bit. We finished a couple of shots that we didn’t in the first half. I thought the fourth quarter was our best.”

NH-S still has a good chance of winning the Bicentennial Independence division. “We try and schedule strong teams,” Krasna pointed out. “A game like this gets us ready for districts.”

He continued, “The girls were still so upbeat and I think that’s why we had a better second half. There was always a lot of focus and positive energy.”


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