Baker brings positive reinforcement after Pope John Paul II girls falter

By DAVE KURTZ

Pac-10sports.com

UPPER PROVIDENCE – Positive reinforcement.

It was the overriding theme that emerged as Pope John Paul II girls basketball coach Dave Baker sifted through the rubble of a humbling 41-20 non-league loss to Lansdale Catholic Thursday night.

Positive reinforcement.

“We hadn’t played any non-league games,” said Baker, whose club’s 2-0 start in the PAC-10 Frontier Division masked some deficiencies. “We hadn’t seen that kind of pressure in the half court. You have to attack the middle against a 1-2-2 zone press. We didn’t do that.”

What the Golden Panthers did was give up the basketball like ornamental tree salesmen unloading their stock on Christmas Eve.

“I stopped counting at 30 (turnovers),” said Baker, who spent a good 30 minutes following the debacle propping up his wounded troops. “LC has a lot of experienced players and we’re young and emotional. The girls were really upset.”

The Crusaders took control early and never let up, building a 10-4 first-quarter lead that swelled to 23-12 by intermission. PJP never challenged the double-digit deficit, falling deeper into the hole, trailing 34-16 by the end of the third quarter.

LC’s Chelsey Dutkiewicz (11 points) and Shea Wassel (10 points) combined for more points than the Golden Panthers’ entire team posted. PJP was led by Delaney Bowes with 7 points and 6 rebounds. Liz McKeon also collected 6 boards for the Panthers.

“I was really disappointed with our execution on the offensive end,” said Baker after the Panthers connected for just 7 field goals. “Defensively, we were in the game. But we panicked and didn’t respond to the pressure.”

PJP will play in the Wildwood (N.J.) Tournament next week, and the coach is hoping that his girls have short memories, and can put this one squarely in the rearview mirror.

“We need to get over it,” Baker said.

LANSDALE CATHOLIC 41, POPE JOHN PAUL II 20

Lansdale Catholic (41) – Kradzinski 0 0-1 0, McMonagle 1 0-0 2, K. Greenhalgh 3 1-2 9, Godzieba 0 1-2 1, McCarron 2 2-6 6, Brokans 0 1-2 1, Dutkiewicz 4 2-5 11, Szczepaniak 0 1-3 1, Wassel 3 3-5 10. Totals 13 11-26 41.

Pope John Paul II (20) – Bergen 2 1-1 5, Chernaskey 0 0-1 0, Bowes 3 0-4 7, Raugh 0 0-2 0, Casey 0 2-4 2, Bearden 1 1-2 4, Mesaros 1 0-0 2. Totals 7 4-14 20.

Lansdale Catholic             10 13 11   7 – 41

Pope John Paul II             4   8   4   4 – 20

3-point goals: K. Greenhalgh 2, Dutkiewicz, Bowes, Bearden.