By Summer Patsko
The Valley Forge girls basketball team has a chance to finish fifth in the first GLC tournament after Tuesday’s 56-52 win over Lakewood.
The #6 Patriots play #5 Buckeye on Thursday in the fifth-place game.
Jada Benjamin scored 11 points, Alysa Coyne, Jurnee Amill and Lameice El-Madhoun all had 10, Emily Beckner had 8 and Summer Patsko had 5 against Lakewood.
The Patriots trailed 17-13 after the first but tied it in the second after an El-Madhoun jump-shot. They built a lead late in the second with an aggressive press and led 31-28 at the half.
The Patriots trailed 46-45 in the fourth until Amill and El-Madhoun hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Patriots a 53-50 lead.
“I just took advantage of this space I had between me and my girl. And it was there,” said Amill.
Lakewood responded with two free throws but still trailed by one with 53 seconds left. Patsko and El-Madhoun made free throws in the final seconds to close out the game.
The game was close throughout, but the Patriots got key turnovers and stops in the second half to hold off Lakewood.
“On offense they had a bunch of open looks to the basket (in the first half),” said Coyne. “On defense to stop them we stepped up and shut them down.”
Coach Brittney Matushek said her players took advantage of opportunities and met challenges against Lakewood, something she preaches everyday.
“A lot of times in the past Valley Forge has had teams that that given up when the opportunity presents itself,” said Matushek “But time and time through this year, these girls have really taken advantage of certain situations in games and they don’t give up, they all fight together until the clock hits zero. I would love for them to take that energy and momentum, that togetherness, through the remainder of the season. We do need to be more disciplined and eliminate mistakes that we’ve made throughout the whole season. After that, Nobody can stop us.”