At this point in a season, most freshmen are no longer playing like freshmen. That is definitely the case with Haverford High power forward Mollie Carpenter.
With the game on the line in the fourth quarter against visiting Unionville in a District 1 Class 6A first-round playoff game Friday night, Carpenter struck for a pair of key baskets, came off the bench to finish with six huge points and helped the Fords hold off the visiting Indians, 42-30.
With the win, Haverford (15-9), the No. 16 seed in the tournament, advances to the second round and will take on top-seed Plymouth Whitemarsh.
“Throughout the year, I’ve been working on my shot,” Carpenter said. “Even in the first half, I know I missed one or two. But I had to just forget about those and just play on from that. Every shot counted in this game.”
That was an accurate assessment.
With 6 minutes, 44 seconds left in the game and the score knotted, 27-27, Carpenter hit a shot from the left baseline to give her team the lead for good. Then, with 3:55 left, Carpenter converted a scoop shot from underneath the basket to give the Fords a 33-28 lead. No. 17 seed Unionville (14-9) would get no closer.
Carpenter, who made 3 of 4 shots, wasn’t the only young player to contribute. Sophomore point guard Maddie Williams hit a three-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter to give Haverford a 27-25 lead. Junior guard Chiara MacGillivray led the Fords with 13 points, while Indians junior forward Alexia Brown scored a game-high 14 points.
So the Fords are playing with house money against PW and have nothing to lose. The Colonials are also a young team and don’t want to lose their first playoff game. It should make for an interesting contest. Carpenter is going to take it all in stride.
“Everyone’s younger, and we’ve all been growing together,” Carpenter said. “As the year has gone on, I guess I’ve been more comfortable to not feeling like a freshman because everyone is around supporting me.”
Unionville 8 8 8 5 -- 30
Haverford 8 9 7 18 -- 42
U: Alexia Brown 14, Emma Dempsey 8, Lindsey Robbins 6, Lyndsey Barrett 2.