Anna McTamney stood tall on her home court last night.
It didn’t matter what Upper Dublin threw at the Plymouth Whitemarsh 5-foot-10-inch junior forward. Zone defense? No problem. Man-to-man? Rolled off her back.
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McTamney set the tone early with 10 points in the first quarter, finished the game with 16 points and led the Colonials past the Cardinals, 35-21, in a District 1 Class 6A quarterfinal playoff game.
With the win, top-seeded PW (22-3 overall) advances to the semifinal round against No. 4 seed Pennsbury, a 43-34 winner over No. 5 seed Methacton, on Wednesday at Wissahickon at 7:30 p.m.
Number-8 seed Upper Dublin (18-8 overall) will play at No. 5 seed Methacton in a fifth-place playback game on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Both teams have already qualified for the state tournament.
Not to be overlooked last night was the fact that these teams were playing for the fourth time this season. PW won the first meeting while the Cardinals took the last two contests. McTamney knew a win in this game was all important if the Colonials hoped to go to Temple for the district final.
“We just knew that we had to take it one step at a time,” McTamney said. “We were really determined to beat them so we could go to Temple. But we just knew that we had to beat them first in order to get to the next part and then get a ride to Temple. We knew that we could beat them. We just had to prove it to ourselves, and we did.”
McTamney, who shot 7-for-9 from the floor in the game, staked PW to a 6-0 lead on a pair of jumpers and a follow shot. She also picked up a jumper and another follow at the end of the quarter as the Colonials grabbed a 14-4 advantage. Sophomore guard Kaitlyn Flanagan took over in the second quarter, collecting 6 of her 13 points while boosting PW to a 21-11 halftime lead.
The Colonials man-to-man pressing defense forced Upper Dublin into a 16.7% shooting night and nearly shut out the Cardinals in the third quarter while running out to a 29-13 lead. Jackie Vargas scored a game-high 17 points for Upper Dublin, but she was the only Cardinals player able to get into the boxscore until Dayna Balasa knocked down a jumper with 1 minute, 31 seconds left in the game.
But this night was all about McTamney.
“Anna is a coach’s dream,” PW coach Dan Dougherty said. “Every practice, every drill, that kid gives everything she has, and it’s hard to defend somebody like that. Upper Dublin’s a great defensive team, and she’s hard to defend. Her energy and effort was tremendous.”
McTamney made Dougtherty’s dreams a reality last night.
Upper Dublin 4 7 2 8 - 21
Plymouth Whitemarsh 14 7 8 6 - 35
UD: Jackie Vargas 17, Anajae Smith 2, Dayna Balasa 2.