Erin Haines is good at throwing at things.
The Plumstead Christian senior is the reigning District One discus champion. And her adroit passing yielded a team high six assists in the Panthers’ Tuesday night 61-33 throttling of Bicentennial rival Delco Christian.
“Erin and other girls fed me,” said Olivia Mott, whose 22 points led the Panthers. “I got good passes and then it was just making layups. If I can get a good pass from my teammates working hard, I need to finish it.”
A Chloe Kent steal turned layup put Plumstead up for good at 5-4.
Caroline Taylor added a three-point play and Mott scored or assisted on the next three baskets to build a 14-4 Panther lead.
Two Taylor buckets and a Mott putback produced a six-point run that extended Plumstead’s lead to 28-12. The Panthers entered halftime up 39-18. Plumstead had little problem breaking the Green Knights’ press.
“We’ve been practicing press breaks, since that happens to us often,” Haines said. “It’s a good combination of Caroline and Chloe cutting up front. I’m on the side, able to be open, if players focus on them.”
Delco Christian (0-10) scored the first nine points of the second half, trimming the lead to 39-27. An Anya Link free throw stopped the run … and started a 14-0 Panther point avalanche.
“We’re used to trying to catch up,” Kent explained. “Our mentality is to try and score as much as we can. We don’t slow it down. Knowing that we were ahead calmed us. We could take it slow and make good clean passes.”
It’s the second straight impressive offensive output for Plumstead, who topped Phil-Mont Christian 55-46 five days earlier. “We’re seeing each other and communicating well,” noted Taylor, who recorded a double double with 13 points and 10 boards against Delco. “The give-and-gos have been a major part of the offense. That’s helped a lot over the past couple of games.”
Kent and sixth man Link both scored nine points against the Green Knights. Kent grabbed nine boards; Link added five.
The Panthers (4-7, 3-3 Bicentennial) lost consecutive tight games in December – 38-36 to Coventry Christian and 56-52 to Chester Charter Arts. If those games went Plumstead’s way, the Panthers would be above .500.
Which is a far cry from Kent’s and Haines’ freshman year, when the Panthers went winless.
“This year, our basketball IQ has gone up,” Kent said. “We’re able to recognize so much more. As a freshman, going up against huge senior girls, you’re not sure what to do. We know how to play better basketball than we did when we were younger.”
“As freshmen, we had one senior and we haven’t had a senior since,” Haines pointed out. “This year, being able to play with these girls for three years, our chemistry is better. We knew freshman year would be rough, and the wins wouldn’t come until junior or senior year.”
“Our goals used to be to hold a team to 40 points in a half,” commented Panther head coach Steve Haines. “This offseason was the first where our girls played in a fall league and it really helped. You can see the confidence, the basketball IQ and comfort with the ball.”
But Plumstead’s effort is similar to prior years. “They don’t play the score,” Steve Haines continued. “They don’t give up. They always hustle. And I appreciate the sportsmanship. You never hear arguing with the officials. They’re great girls.”