MANSFIELD — The North Penn-Mansfield Lady Tigers (14-10) basketball team hosted a first round district playoff contest with the Muncy Lady Indians (15-8) and were unable to deal with the size and defensive pressure displayed throughout the evening and were beaten by a score of 49-39.
Muncy had a solid game plan coming into the contest, and it was evident that they knew that if the game turned into a track meet, they would have little to no chance of coming out with a win.
The Lady Indians were patient on offense, pounded the ball into the paint with their superior size and were aggressive on defense, running a full-court press for almost the entirety of the evening forcing an incredible 22 turnovers in the effort.
In the first half NP-Mansfield was able to continue to fight back with every run thrown their way and despite falling behind 14-10 in the final moments of the quarter, Jaime Palmer seemed to have an answer everytime the Lady Tigers were in need.
With just two seconds left in the frame, Palmer darted into the paint for a layup and was able to draw the contact and the foul to close the first quarter behind just one point, 14-13.
Muncy began another run in the second, and opened things up on a 4-0 run before Palmer once again was able to make a big play as she splashed a three-pointer through the nylon that brought the Tigers within two points to just 18-16.
The Muncy girls were prepared for scoring dynamo JoAnne McNamara and every time she had the ball, the defense shifted her way in order to keep her out of the paint.
They continuously pressured McNamara and made getting into the paint, where she does most of her damage almost impossible throughout the night.
With McNamara receiving a big dose of attention on offense, it was up to the other scoring options to step up. Palmer stepped up ns kept her team alive as she was able to hit another shot that tied the game at 19.
The Lady Indians defensive pressure had its way with the Lady Tigers in the closing moments of the half, and after a few turnovers and easy transition buckets, Mansfield found themselves in a 23-19 hole with only a few minutes left in the second.
The Lady Tigers continued to fight back, and went on a 4-2 run to end the half and bring the score to 25-23 and still within striking distance.
In the second half things started to slow down drastically on both ends, with neither team getting into a groove offensively as only 12 points were scored during the quarter with each team putting up six.
In the fourth, turnovers and fouls doomed Mansfield, as they were outscored 18-10 and Hannah Bowens, Palmer and also Elizabeth Welch all racked up their fifth foul in the frame and had to watch the time tick off the clock from the bench as their district title hopes slipped away.
The Muncy team relied on their size in order to take down a much quicker and better shooting Mansfield team, and Bell Hitesman was a headache on both ends of the floor clogging the lane and eating up rebounds throughout the night.
She also scored a team-high 13 points with multiple buckets coming off offensive rebound put-backs. The Muncy team was able to score 49 points without hitting a single three-pointer which is a testament to the game plan they had in place.
Mansfield was led by Palmer who scored a game-high 16 points and hit a few big shots in the first half that kept Muncy from pulling away early. Welch was able to contribute eight points and McNamara was held to just six points for the Lady Tigers.
With the loss the Lady Tigers season ends at 14-10 and a first round exit in the district playoffs. The Lady Tigers will lose a vast number of their top-producers this offseason with seven seniors on the roster including 1,000 point scorer McNamara.