The magical ride for the girl’s basketball team came to an end on Saturday at the hands of #5 Haddonfield, 55-43, in the South, Group 2 sectional semifinals.
“We knew that they were such a good team that it would be really tough if we got down early,” head coach Bret Jenkins said. “When three starters get in major foul trouble in the first half and have to sit until halftime; we knew that was gonna make it tough.”
#1 Cinnaminson finishes the season with a 22-7 record, tying the program mark for wins in a season.
“This season was special. Tying the school record for wins,” Jenkins said. “The division championship, which means so much to them and how tough it was to get. The individual milestones with Marisa (DiLeo). We earned the one-seed. Almost every single goal we set, except for the sectional championship, we were able to hit. Rarely can you set that many goals and be able to accomplish them.”
Things got off to a rough start for the Pirates, who trailed 11-0 before registering a point. After one quarter of play the Bulldawgs held a 15-5 lead and the Pirates were in serious foul trouble.
Sophomore Fiona Flynn had to sit the remainder of the first half after picking up three personal fouls in the first. All told, the Pirates were called for eight personal fouls in the first.
For the first half, the Pirates were called for 18 total fouls. At the break, the Pirates trailed 33-21 and had three players with three personal fouls each.
“Once they built that 12-point lead at halftime, you’re gonna have to play near-perfect to get it back in the second half,” Jenkins said. “We played hard, we played well, but not really well enough to get it back into the game. Once you get down to a team like that it’s just really hard to keep climbing back to get in it.”
In the fourth, the Pirates had five players on the court with four fouls apiece with two of them fouling out of the game.
All told, the Bulldawgs went to the line 43 times, converting on 24 of them.
The Pirates did their best to make a run at the Bulldawgs in the second quarter and were outscored by one point in the third, 10-9. Cinnaminson won the fourth, 13-12, as the Pirates never gave up despite the score and time left on the clock.
With a little over four minutes remaining in the game, junior Tori Robinson entered and immediately drained a three, trimming Haddonfield’s lead to seven, but the 10-point disadvantage from the first quarter was too much to overcome tonight.
“They have five scorers, their starters, and it’s rare in high school basketball,” Jenkins said. “It’s tough to defend when you have five people that can score that well. I knew that was going to make it hard.”
DiLeo scored 17 points (2 threes) to lead the Pirates. Flynn added 12 as five other Pirates picked up at least two points.
DiLeo set another school record tonight when she hit her first three-pointer of the game in the second quarter. DiLeo came into the game tied with Jackson Merget for most three-pointers in a career (male or female) with 133. The two tonight give her 135 for her career.
DiLeo also finishes her career at Cinnaminson with 1,074 total points.
“I am so proud of their effort,” Jenkins said of his post-game locker room speech. “They really stuck to our motto of All-32 all year. Our bench, I’m going to miss them and how great they were. I’m going to miss going to practice every single day. And, I just told them I love them.”
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Marisa DiLeo – 17 (2 three’s – broke record for three’s in a career. 135 for career)
Fiona Flynn – 12
Anne O’Malley – 4
Tori Robinson – 3
Maddie Parrish – 3
Alex Kane – 2
Kelly Kane – 2