Two-time District 1 champion Spring-Ford Rams advance to PIAA state quarterfinals

Photo by Barry Taglieber Spring-Ford's Shelby Mueller looks to pass as Wallenpaupack's Alexis Roman defends.

BETHLEHEM - The talent and depth that Spring-Ford’s girls basketball team showcases is quite uncommon, even in Class AAAA with the larger enrollment schools.

Take Tuesday night’s second-round PIAA state playoff game against District 2 champion Wallenpaupack, for example.

The Rams utilized eight players in the contest, and all of them contributed in some way with seven of them denting the scoring column, three in double figures.

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By contrast, the Buckhorns used seven players with two of them combining for 41 of their 44 points in the game.

Spring-Ford (29-2) came away with a 58-44 victory to advance to Friday night’s quarterfinal round against Dover, the fourth seed from District 3 which defeated District 11 winner Nazareth, 42-38, in another Tuesday encounter. The Spring-Ford/Dover game will be played at a site and time to be determined.

“That is depth and talent we normally don’t see,” said Wallenpaupack coach Adam Holtzer. “They go seven or eight deep. They extended their lead with a lot of runs because they go seven or eight deep. They wore down my defense that was steps slower.”

The Rams’ pressure-packed defense created 29 turnovers with 23 of them occurring during the first half. That allowed Spring-Ford to jump out to a 25-14 lead at intermission.

Spring-Ford created 20 steals on the night while the Buckhorns made just six.

Sarah Payonk led the way with six steals while Shelby Mueller had four, Sammi Haas and Brittany Moore three apiece, and Sammy Stipa and Maggie Locke two each.

Moore headed up the scoring parade with 14 points, including three treys, to go along with four rebounds and one assist. Stipa had 10 points, four rebounds and three assists. Courtney Hinnant had 10 points and six boardss plus five assists and one blocked shot in her patented No. 6 player role now.