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New Hope drops nonleague game vs. St. Hubert


The New Hope-Solebury girls basketball team was disappointed with Saturday’s 47-41 loss to St. Hubert, but the Lions took away some positives as they look ahead to league competition.

“We didn’t give up,” said junior guard Emily Wilson, “we just couldn’t pull it out.”

The Lions (4-4) welcomed the Bambies (3-2) to town for what turned out to be a closely played game for four quarters.

The score was tied after one quarter, with the Bambies taking a 23-22 lead at the break.

The third quarter started with two baskets by Kayla Fennell and one by Izzy Elizondo, giving New Hope a 28-23 lead, the biggest advantage by either team up to that point.

An Elizondo bucket with seven seconds to go in the quarter allowed NH-S to take a 32-31 lead into the fourth.

But that’s when St. Hubert took over. Luca D’Andrea scored seven points in the quarter, while Alexa Price added five. Both finished with 17 points to lead all scorers.

St. Hubert will return to the court on Friday night against Merion Mercy, with its Philadelphia Catholic League schedule starting in the new year. The league will be as tough as ever, with Lansdale Catholic (4A), Archbishop Wood (5A) and Archbishop Carroll (6A) all returning as PIAA champions.

Elizondo paced the Lions with 16 points. Wilson finished with 12.

“I’m really lucky to be able to coach them,” said coach Steve Polinsky. “They’re learning. Their effort and energy are great. They’re only juniors. Those two have a lot of good basketball left in them. And more than anything, they’re great kids.”

Fennell, a sophomore, totaled eight points.

New Hope is back in action on Friday night at Hatboro-Horsham. The Lions are 1-3 in the Suburban One League Freedom Division, topping William Tennent last Friday after dropping their first three games.

“Some of the games we’ve lost we definitely could have won,” said Elizondo, a junior forward. “We have to connect. We have to keep pushing to do better as a team. We don’t have a big dog.”

Elizondo was referring to Reagan Chrencik, a 1,000-plus-point scorer who graduated and is already a contributor as a freshman at Gettysburg College. Chrencik led the Lions to an 18-8 record last season that included a District One Class 3A championship and a victory in the PIAA playoffs.

New Hope suffered another big loss in the offseason when Gabby D’Agostino, who starred as a freshman, transferred to The Hun School (New Jersey).

The players who remain are optimistic of good things ahead.

“We have each other’s back,” Wilson said. “We have to come together and connect. Consistency is the key.”

Wilson has seen good things on both ends of the court.

“Defense has been driving our offense really well,” she said.

New Hope has plenty of time to get back in the SOL Freedom race.

There are four Class 3A teams in District One, and all will qualify for the playoffs.

“If we play with a lot of energy and effort, we have a really good chance to win the district,” Elizondo said.

“The district is really our big goal,” Wilson said. “We’ll try our best. If we play the right way, we should win it.”

Polinsky is seeing improvement in Fennell, who had 11 rebounds in the Tennent game. The coach also likes the potential of junior Ella Dudick, who had 19 points and a bunch of blocks in the Tennent game.

Polinsky sees the Freedom Division as up for grabs, and thinks the competitiveness makes the games fun. He’s looking forward to the second half of the season, and believes division games and nonleague ones against teams like St. Hubert will help the Lions once districts roll around.

“Win, lose or draw, those games are a great learning experience for the girls,” he said.

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