Lady dawgs pick up first win of year

Girls basketball

By: John E. Powers
   The Hopewell Valley Central High School girls basketball team got its first win of the season Monday in emphatic fashion at the Moorestown Christmas Tournament.
   After starting the season 0-3, the girls beat Pennsauken 61-45 in the consolation round game of the tournament. The Lady Bulldogs, who open the Colonial Valley Conference Patriot Division season at Allentown on Saturday, raced out to a 17-4 first-quarter lead, saw Pennsauken close to 31-20 at halftime, then made another push to lead by 25 in the fourth quarter and cruised. A 10-0 run by Pennsauken to close the game made the score a bit misleading.
   "We played pretty well," Hopewell coach John McGinley said. "The biggest thing was we were focused the entire game. We were ready to play the whole game."
   The team got contributions from just about everybody. Junior guard Kristy Cramp led the way with 18 points, followed by junior forward/center Emily Newport, who had 14 points. Sophomore shooting guard Jhonna Tirpak had 11 points, and freshman small forward Suzy Noyes had a terrific all-around game with eight points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
   "She (Noyes) is about 6-foot, and she’s lean, and she has the athletic ability to drive and shoot from the outside," McGinley said. "She has to learn to be consistent and be able to play within herself."
   The Lady Bulldogs slowed the run-and-gun Pennsauken club down by using a 2-3 backcourt trap. The game plan was to force Pennsauken to a half-court game. The Lady Bulldogs converted 16-of-25 from the foul line. Now McGinley is hoping that the team will carry its momentum into the New Year.
   "We played some good teams to start the year — Trenton, Archbishop Ryan and Haddon Township — so that’s been part of it," McGinley said.
   Haddon Township beat Hopewell 42-32 in the opener of the tournament last Saturday. Kramp had 16, followed by Noyes, who had six. Newport added four. The Lady Bulldogs fell behind 21-8 and really never recovered.
   They shot just 2-for-22 in the first half, but did close to 26-21 after three periods.
   "We actually had our opportunities in the first half," McGinley said. "We were really missing point-blank shots."
   The press helped Hopewell get back in the game, but it also led to some easy Haddon Township baskets in the fourth quarter that put the game away.
   "They were a good and smart team and well coached," McGinley said. "What we needed to do was bring the intensity of the third quarter for the whole game. But we weren’t clicking. We were missing lay-ups."
   That all changed against Pennsauken.