Home > Cenntenial School District, William Tennent High School > GIRLS BASKETBALL: Cheltenham Spurts Past William Tennent

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Cheltenham Spurts Past William Tennent

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Mary Jane Souder
The Public Spirit/Globe Times Chronicle

WYNCOTE – William Tennent had the height. Cheltenham had the speed.

For one quarter in Wednesday night’s District One Class AAAA second round contest, Tennent’s height edged out Cheltenham’s speed.

“We stayed with our game plan and did a very good job in the first quarter,” said Tennent coach Paul Veltre, whose team led 11-10 after one quarter. “We forced them to shoot from the outside. They did knock down a three, but we were able to live with that.”

In the second quarter, the Lady Panthers’ speed took over, and things were never the same again for either team.

William Tennent's Ashley Alden puts up a shot over Cheltenham's Austin Hamler during Wednesday's District One Class AAAA playoff game. (Bob Raines/Montgomery Media)

The fourth-seeded Lady Panthers outscored Tennent 20-8 in the second quarter and never looked back on their way to a 58-41 win in front of a spirited crowd.

“They talked about how they were prepared, and it did show they put in a lot of practice to get ready for us,” Cheltenham co-captain Tiffany Johnson said. “I was a little shocked to have them come out like that in the first quarter. In the second quarter, we upped the tempo and tried to play better defense, get some rebounds.

“Once we started pushing the ball and moving the ball on offense, everything came together.”

The win ensured the Lady Panthers a berth in the state tournament. It is Cheltenham’s 26th trip to states in the past 28 years.

“It’s a wonderful statement about our program and the kids that we get and their commitment,” coach Bob Schaefer said. “I don’t think there’s a team out there that has improved or strived to improve as much as this team has.”

Tennent, meanwhile, will face Downingtown West on Saturday in an attempt to stay alive in its quest for the ninth and final state playoff berth, but there was no mistaking the disappointment the players were feeling after Wednesday’s loss.

“We tried to come out with even more intensity than we did the first game, and I thought we did,” Tennent senior Ashley Alden said. “It could have been different under different circumstances – if we were on our home court.

“You have to adapt to what you’re given, try and play with adversity, but it didn’t really turn out for the best.”

Alden, who fouled out in the fourth quarter, led Tennent with 11 points while Melissa Horn and Rachael Mueller each added seven points. Ciara ‘CC’ Andrews led the Lady Panthers with 21 points, which included a perfect 10-for-10 effort at the foul line. Senior Austen Hamler added 15 points.

“From the beginning of the game, we knew it was going to be a tough game,” Hamler said. “They said they were ready to play us, and they had seen what we could do.

“It’s always harder going against a team that’s taller than us.”

Tennent scored on its first possession of the game when Alden found Melissa Horn for an easy bucket. Andrews answered with a basket off the dribble. Allison Chatburn put the Lady Panthers on top 4-2 when she scored on a putback.

Cheltenham took its first lead when Christina Coleman scored after an offensive rebound, but Horn answered with a deuce at the other end. A Shayla Peoples three-pointer gave Cheltenham a two-point edge, but Alden scored on a layup to knot the score 8-8.

When Horn, who had six first-quarter points, buried a pair of foul shots in the closing seconds of the quarter, Tennent led 12-11.

Andrews – after coming up with a steal on the defensive end – hit nothing but net on a three-pointer. Liz Koval answered with a bucket for Tennent, knotting the score 14-14. Peoples found Coleman for an easy two to put Cheltenham back on top, and when Peoples buried a trey, the Lady Panthers led 19-15.

A Tennent miss was followed by a Coleman bucket (Andrews assist). When Hamler buried a jumper over her defender, the Lady Panthers led 23-15, prompting Veltre to call a hasty timeout.

The Panthers were whistled for a charge, and on the other end, Hamler turned a Peoples pass into an easy bucket in close, and just like that, Cheltenham led 25-15.

“In the second quarter, they were getting transition points,” Alden said. “They were driving, and we were picking up fouls. That was a big setback for us.”

A Melissa Wasserleben trey made it a 29-20 game with 35 seconds remaining, but Hamler scored on a putback at the buzzer to send Cheltenham into halftime with a 31-20 lead.

“In the second quarter, their pressure got to us,” Veltre said. “We’d turn the ball over, and they’d turn it into transition points. It was nothing we weren’t expecting, and they did a very good job defensively turning it into some easy baskets.

“There’s no doubt in my mind they pulled away with what they do best, and we deviated from what we planned.”

The Lady Panthers lost Coleman for the entire second half to a shoulder injury, and when sixth man Jiana Clark was whistled for her fourth foul with 3:08 remaining and Cheltenham on top 39-28, Schaefer elected to spread the floor.

After running close to a minute off the clock, Johnson penetrated and dished to Hamler for an easy bucket.

“I love when Schaef calls spread to score,” Johnson said. “I just dribble out there – if they guard you, go by them and drop it off to the post, or I can just dance outside with the ball like I like to do.”

Cheltenham stretched its lead to 42-28 before Alden scored in the closing seconds to make it a 42-30 game.

“When they went on that run in the third quarter and the calls started going the other way, we got emotional and started thinking about the other players and stopped focusing on the game,” Alden said.

Back-to-back Tennent turnovers to open the fourth quarter resulted in Andrews going to the foul line and burying four straight to put Cheltenham on top 48-30. Tennent never threatened. Andrews was 8-for-8 from the line in the fourth quarter, and the Panthers were 12-of-18 overall in the frame.

“Tiffany was fantastic and so was CC,” Schaefer said. “I was happy with our kids’ execution. Jianna Clark and Asia Dan stepped in and gave us big minutes when we had to have them without Christina.”

William Tennent (41) – Malatesta 1 0-0 3; Chatburn 2 0-0 4; Alden 5 1-5 11; Koval 3 1-2 7; Horn 2 2-2 6; Mueller 3 1-2 7; O’Donnell 0 0-0 0; Wasserleben 1 0-0 3. TOTALS 17 5-11 41.

Cheltenham (58) – Andrews 5 10-10 21; Johnson 2 2-4 6; Coleman 3 0-0 6; Peoples 2 2-4 8; Hamler 5 5-8 15; Clark 1 0-0 2; Dan 0 0-0 0; Cassius 0 0-0 0; Petty 0 0-0 0; Seawright 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 18 19-26 58.

Three-point goals: Malatesta, Wasserleben; Andrews, Peoples 3.

William Tennent 12 8 10 11—41

Cheltenham 11 20 13 14—58

Republished with the permission of The Public Spirit/Globe Times Chronicle

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