Haverford Grabs Major Win Against Springfield Girls Basketball

Mason Baylis, Sports Editor

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Senior Maddie Williams makes both free throws, ensuring a victory for the Fords. (Sophia Khan)

First place in the Central League, undefeated in their last six games, and three years of beating the Haverford girls basketball team, the Springfield Cougars posed the ultimate threat. If the odds weren’t already against them, the Fords had the pressure of redemption, after dropping three games against foes Marple Newton, Conestoga, and Radnor High School. 

Neither team got the start they wanted. Both teams missed their opening shots, and a chaotic quarter unfolded. The Fords struggled to get any shots, often turning over the ball to the Cougar’s scrappy defense. On the Springfield side, things didn’t go much better. Cougar Junior Mia Valerio was the only player to score in the first quarter, making two free throws and a basket to give Springfield the 4-0 lead. 

After an anti-climactic start, the game started to open up for the two teams in the second quarter. The Cougars extended their lead to 7-0 after Freshman Molly Clifford had an easy lane to two points. The Fords were finally able to get on the board with 5:14 left in the second quarter, as Junior Sky Newman knocked down a free throw. 

Senior Emma Rowland makes the game look easy as she cleanly scores. (Sophia Khan)

Afterward, the Fords started to slowly claw their way back into the game. Senior McKenna Walsh hit an arching three for the Fords, making the score 8-6 Cougars. After a Springfield basket with 1:50 remaining in the second quarter, the Fords turned up the heat. Senior Emma Rowland followed up a missed shot from the Fords, giving them an easy put-back basket. On the next possession, it was Rowland once again, drawing contact and making one of her two free throws. Off of the miss, Junior Caroline Dotsey did her part by grabbing the rebound, getting herself to the line, and then making two straight free throws to give the Fords an 11-10 lead at halftime. 

Taking the momentum from the second quarter, the Fords started to build on their lead. Walsh, doing her best Steph Curry impersonation, made another three-pointer for the Fords, giving them a 17-12 lead with 3:48 left in the third quarter. Passing off their first-quarter offensive woes to Springfield, Ford’s defense suffocated the Cougars who could only add five points the entire third quarter. This in part led to the 21-15 lead the Fords had entering the fourth quarter. 

Quickly grabbing the rebound, Junior Caroline Dotsey dribbles down the court. (Sophia Khan)

With a chance to exorcise their past demons, Haverford had to hold onto their lead for eight more minutes. The Cougars were not interested in making this job easy for the Fords. Springfield Junior Anabel Kreydt scored the opening basket of the quarter, cutting the lead down to four points. With her own response, Sophomore Aniya Eberhert of Haverford, with her Klay Thompson impression, tossed down a three-pointer, making it 24-19 Fords. After two made free throws by Valerio, the score was 24-21 with 4:46 left in the game. 

Killing all Cougar momentum, the Fords went on a 4-0 run, to bring the game clock down to 1:12 left. Anabel Kreydt kept Springfield afloat with a basket, making the score 29-23 with only a minute remaining. After an ensuing Fords miss, Mia Valerio kept the pressure on as she drove coast to coast uncontested cutting the lead to only five, and 45 seconds still remaining. Following three missed free throws, the Cougars were given life once again. Valerio drove coast to coast once again, yet this time she kicked the ball out to an open Sophomore Cora Fattori, who drained the three, making the score 31-28.

Junior Sky Newman scans for an open teammate. (Sophia Khan)

After an inbound play, the Cougars fouled Haverford Senior Maddie Williams who stepped up to the free-throw line. The options were simple. Make one of two free throws, and the game’s over. Miss, and the opportunity gets back into the hands of Springfield. Williams made both, sealing a 33-28 victory for the Fords. 

With only two weeks remaining, Haverford will look to hit their stride at the right time, as they start their push into the playoffs. 

The Fords celebrate their win against Springfield’s Cougars. (Sophia Khan)
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