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PHOENIXVILLE – When discussing the beginning of the game, all Dave Baker could was shake his head and let out a chuckle.
Pope John Paul II’s coach admitted his girls basketball team may have been a bit tired to start out.
It took over three minutes to get points on the board, but once it happened they never looked back as the Golden Panthers defeated host Phoenixville, 57-46, in PAC-10 action Friday night.
“It’s our third game this week,” Baker said. “We had practice yesterday and I didn’t take it easy on them. We had to pick it up, and they knew that.”
The Golden Panthers struggled through the beginning, missing all the shots they took. The tide only began to change after the Phantoms missed a pair of free throws.
Suddenly, Pope John Paul II found the spark it needed and got the feet moving and the landing their shots.
The girls began to play taller and out-muscle Phoenixville while forcing a number of turnovers.
“By halftime, we really picked it up,” said junior Ellen Chernasky. “We made some shots, got it in to Kelly Moore, who made a lot of great drives and Lauren (Dao) handled the ball really well.”
Twice in the game, the Golden Panthers held a 17-point lead over the Phantoms – once in the third and again in the fourth.
Phoenixville made a push late, drawing to within eight points, making it the closest game all season for Pope John Paul II. Unfortunately for the Phantoms, it was too little too late.
“We tried to push the ball a little too much,” Baker said. “I kept reminding my kids, ‘Look at the clock – we’re ahead by 10, we don’t have to shoot.’ A little adversity is good for us.”
Chernasky posted a team-high 19 points and made half of her free throw attempts.
Phoenixville’s Jada Boyce and senior Aubree Flagg led their team in points with 19 and 15, respectively.
Jada Boyce scored a game-high 21 points to lead Phoenixville’s girls past Pottstown, 66-44, Tuesday night, Dec. 18, at Strom Gymnasium in Pottstown.
Nomi Washington (17 points) and Mary Sinnott (10) also reached double figures for Phoenixville, which is now 1-1 in the Frontier Division of the PAC-10 and 3-3 overall in the early going.
The phantoms built a 32-16 halftime lead against the Trojans (0-2, 1-4).
Destinee Astheimer scored a team-high 17 points for Pottstown while Alicia Rosenberger notched 12 counters.
In a non-league home game against Kennett on Thursday night, Dec. 13, Phoenixville defeated the Blue Demons, 48-38.
Jada Boyce topped the Phantom scorers with a game-high 22 points. Boyce scored the bulk of her points during the second and third periods, collecting 16 of them to help Phoenixville take a 36-28 lead.
Nomi Washington kicked in 12 points for the Phantoms.