For the Pandas, it was a painful way to watch their 23-game unbeaten string come to a halt. "We came into this week looking at a 3-game segment of tough teams (Carroll, Cardinal O'Hara and Little Flower). Now, if we can come out of it at 2-1 we'll still be in good shape," Ciminera said.
Prendergast (3-1 league, 10-4 overall) played the first half as if it was a team in last place in the Catholic League South instead of one tied with the hosts for first place.
"Carroll plays much more physical than they have in the past, and they did a better job on the boards in the first half than us," Ciminera said. The second-chance baskets given to the Patriots allowed Lynn Dougherty to hammer inside on her way to a 12-point effort.
In the second half, Prendergast came back behind the ball handling of guard Lisa Serafino and the scoring of Melissa Pantalone, last season's co-MVP of the Catholic League.
Of Serafino, Ciminera said: "I have as much confidence in her handling the ball than anyone I've had in the past. If everyone could play as intelligently as she does we wouldn't have any problems." Serafino finished with 12 points.
Meanwhile, Pantalone also scored 12 but played fewer minutes than Serafino. She got herself into foul trouble early, but Ciminera said the senior probably would not have gotten many more minutes even if she had been able to stay foul-free.
"Pantalone had a knee injury early in the year, and this was only her third game back. We were only going to play her in stretches anyway since she
hasn't rounded into game form yet," Ciminera said.
In Central League action, Ridley head coach Rick Gamble coached his 100th career girls' basketball victory as his Green Raiders rolled Conestoga, 65-57. The milestone triumph came in Gamble's seventh season and was aided by Shawn Turoski's 24 points and Robyn Chappell's 23.
While 18 of Turoski's 24 points came from beyond the 3-point line, she was not the game's high scorer. That honor went to Conestoga's Jody Buckley with 32.
"It was an excellent game with a lot of running. They were able to comeback on us and even outscored us 20-8 in the final quarter," Gamble said.
Ridley raised its record to 6-1 league and 10-4 overall without the services of center Dawn Croumbley who was out with an ankle injury. She is expected to return for Friday's home game with Haverford High.
Meanwhile, Penncrest downed host Lower Merion, 52-38, as Mandy Valentine scored 20 points, Wendy Heffernan 10, and Monica Benson 8.
The Aces held a 7-point halftime lead on roughly 80 percent shooting from the field but could not maintain that blistering pace, enabling the Lions (5-2 league) to storm back for the victory.
Ten different girls scored as Strath Haven remained unbeaten in the Central (6-0) by ripping Marple Newtown, 66-22, behind Torie Shaw's 32 points. Kelly Evans (11 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists) and Becky Carey (7 points) also helped in the win.
Upper Darby moved its record to 4-3 in the league by virtue of a 69-45 victory over host Springfield as Debbie Utz and Molly Monahan each scored 17 points. For the Cougars, it was Marge Lyons netting 20 and Karla Kutufaris adding 12.
In southern Chester County play, Garnet Valley (1-2 league, 6-6 overall) defeated Bishop Shanahan, 47-42, behind Carol Sperone's 20 points.