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Girls basketball: New Hope closes book on season

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It ended too soon for the New Hope-Solebury girls basketball team.

Their season came to an end with Saturday’s 63-37 loss to St. Basil in the final of the District One Class 3A tournament. Top seed St. Basil (26-0) advanced to the PIAA tournament. The second seeded Lions ended the season 19-7.

But the Lions had a nice ride. Along the way they defeated Class 6A William Tennent and lost to 6A Bensalem by just one point. They came from behind to beat Villa Joseph Marie and in league play lost by just two points to both Jenkintown and Lower Moreland.

They took Sacred Heart, which won the District One Class 2A title, to overtime before losing but that was a game the Lions should have won.

“We realized too late that the book and the scoreboard didn’t agree and we had actually won the game in regulation,” New Hope-Solebury coach Andy Krasna said. “It should have been over, but we went to OT and lost.”

They lost 40-25 to Jenkintown in the Bicentennial Athletic League semifinals, ending the Lions’ four-year reign as league champions, and came back to defeat MaST Charter 35-18 in the district semifinals.

The Lions went 11-2 in BAL play.

Sophomore Rachel Saxton led the team with an average of 13 points per game. She has 595 points in her first two seasons. She also averaged three steals and two assists per game.

Saxton was a BAL Independence Division all-league first team selection for the second consecutive year.

“She’s so coachable and she’s a big plus for us,” Krasna said. “We’re happy to have her for another two years. She’s an underclassman and had to take a back seat to the older girls but I think she’ll be a good leader for us.”

The Lions only had seven players on the varsity.

“We had six that we played about 90 percent of the time,” Krasna said.

One of last year’s starters, Sydney Ives, transferred to Central Bucks East.

“We’re very young,” Krasna said. “We just didn’t expect much this year so I think everyone was really happy with the way things turned out.

“It wasn’t just about the wins. It was the type of kids we have and their approach and how much they improved as the season went on.”

Sophomore Kate Dougherty and senior Zoe Palau were second team all-BAL picks for the Lions while senior Jordyn Sherman received honorable mention.

Dougherty averaged seven points per game, averaged 5.2 rebounds per game and two assists per game while Palau averaged eight points per game, 2.5 steals and two assists per game. She also had the fewest turnovers on the team, giving her the best assist to turnover ratio.

Junior Sabrina Vlahovic averaged six rebounds per game for New Hope-Solebury.

Many of the girls on the team played a sport in the fall.

“We have field hockey, soccer and tennis represented on our team,” Krasna said. “So these girls were busy playing other sports in the fall so it took our team a while to jell.”

“We’re very optimistic about next year.”


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