By Summer Patsko
The Valley Forge girls basketball team improved to 4-1 on Thursday night with a 58-51 win over Lakewood despite only having 7 players. The Patriots are now 2-0 in the Great Lakes Conference.
Jada Benjamin scored 21 points, Lameice El-Madhoun had 19, Summer Patsko had 9, Emily Beckner had 4 points and 4 blocks and Jurnee Amill had 2 points.
“With only having seven people (two of them only play in two quarters), I thought the five starters that we had definitely played their hearts out the entire game,” said coach Brittney Matushek “It was a very hard task for them to overcome in that we’re facing a lot of injuries right now. They had mental lapses at times but they never gave up and they never stopped fighting.”
The Patriots led 34-33 going into the fourth quarter, but three straight layups by Benjamin pushed the lead to 40-33.
Layups from Benjamin, Patsko and El-Madhoun built an 11-point lead. Hailey Rivera hit a 3-pointer with 1:15 left, making the score 55-45.
“(Benjamin) scored a quick six points just attacking the basket, forcing Lakewood to call a quick timeout to stop her,” said Matushek “When she doesn’t hesitate and attack it’s usually two points or she’s going to the line. That really got her going got the team going. She played huge all around”.
Said Benjamin: “We just needed a spark you know we were kind of lackadaisical on offense (in the third quarter). We were doing that on defense but we weren’t finishing the possession so they were getting tired and I just tried to take advantage of it and try to switch up my moves so they cant guard them as well. And luckily it gave us the boost we needed for the rest of the third and going into the fourth.”
Patsko and Benjamin hit free throws to close out the game.
The Patriots led 15-10 after a fast-paced first quarter. They struggled to score in the second and the Rangers tied the game 15-15 with 2:00 left before the half.
Benjmain and Patsko scored layups to make the score 21-19 at the half.
El-Madhoun hit two 3-pointed to open the third, giving the Patriots a lead 27-19. But the Patriots were outscored by the Rangers 12-5 the rest of the quarter and entered the fourth quarter with the one-point lead.
The JV team. also dealing with lack of players, lost its first game of the season, 53-18. They are now 4-1.