Sammy Stipa doesn't usually stay on the bench for longer than a minute - her team needs her out on the basketball court.
The senior guard for Spring-Ford is the Rams' floor general, dictating the pace of the game and directing her squad on defense, all while making hustle plays at both ends.
That was the case Thursday night, even with a banged-up - and obviously in pain - Stipa on the floor for Spring-Ford. She scored a game-high 14 points as the Rams beat Pioneer Athletic Conference Liberty Division rival Methacton, 50-40, to remain unbeaten this season.
"We knew that if we lost our composure we could give the game to them," Stipa said.
"It was really back and forth. Great pressure from them - they forced us outside a bit - but I feel like we handled it really well."
After a stint on the bench in the third quarter that lasted a little more than a minute and a half - a break in which she couldn't help but yell out to her team to slow the offense and jumped out of her seat when a teammate made a big play - Stipa came back, still in pain, but ready to work.
Almost immediately, she forced a turnover on defense, won a loose ball after diving to the hardwood, and sank two free throws for the Rams (7-0 overall, 4-0 division).
The Warriors (3-2, 2-1) were paced by the senior tandem of Jenna Carroll and Kelly Glatthorn, who each had 12 points. Carroll was a force in the paint for Methacton, and Glatthorn made her presence felt by sinking jump shots and playing tenacious defense.
Methacton stayed within 10 points almost the entire game, and trailed by only three with three minutes remaining.
"I think our intensity picked up and we got a lot of tips and that caused us to get steals, and they turned over the ball," Rams senior forward Shelby Mueller said. "Then we were able to execute."
Spring-Ford 13 12 12 13 – 50
Methacton 9 9 11 11 – 40
SF: Sammy Stipa 14, Shelby Mueller 8, Amy Roth 7, Emily Walker 5, Maggie Locke 5, Abby Beyer 5, Molly Hynes 2, Sydney Wagner 2, Cammy Jones 2.
M: Jenna Carroll 12, Kelly Glatthorn 12, Ryan DeOrio 7, Jackie Cerchio 4, Kara Steinke 3, Amber Szkaradnik 2.