"I told the kids before the game if we want to look to a team that hustles as much as we do, it's Jenkintown," Lions coach Steve Chapman said. "They are so aggressive defensively that what you tend to do is get passive on offense. Instead, we wanted to be very, very aggressive on offense, and that caused fouls - it's going to. We were 26 for 33 from the line, and that's superior shooting."
Junior Jill Ronkowski was 6 for 6 from the line and led the Lions with 19 points. Senior Betsy Stanshine had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and senior Jill Grau added 12 points with 8-for-10 free-throw shooting.
"I think our game is also speed," said Grau, who had five steals. "They hustle a lot and we do, too. We try to play aggressive defense also."
The Drakes led, 9-2, with 2 minutes, 54 seconds remaining in the first quarter when Stanshine drove the baseline for a basket and started a 15-0 run for the Lions. The spree ended with another Stanshine layup, with 6 minutes, 20 seconds to play in the first half.
"I got beat up in there. I think everyone else did, too," Stanshine said. ''But I think we pulled it off. We were aggressive enough just to get by and win the game."
The Lions led, 24-18, at halftime, but steadily increased that margin in the second half. The Drakes were held to just one field goal in the third quarter and scored six points to trail, 36-24, entering the fourth quarter.
"We made a slight adjustment at halftime when Jim went to that double-high post," Chapman said, referring to Jenkintown coach Jim Romano. "Our kids are very bright basketball-wise, and they really adjusted to it. We just stopped them."
A jump shot and two free throws by senior Jen Fox gave the Lions a 28-18 lead early in the second half. The Drakes cut the deficit to less than 10 points several times in the third quarter until Stanshine hit a pair of free throws with 1:40 to play for a 32-22 lead. After that, the Drakes could not trim the margin to single digits.
"The way the game was played, I thought it was sloppy on both sides," Romano said. "And we just didn't meet the challenge. I guess when they made their runs we just couldn't get back in it. Adrianne (Richards) sitting out the whole second quarter after her fouls in the first quarter and Rachel (Connolly) sitting out because of her foul trouble hurt us.
"And we feel we're strong enough to be able to play even with those girls out."