Spring-Ford rolls to District 1 Class AAAA girls' basketball crown

Mount St. Joseph's Meg Geatens (left) and Spring-Ford's Sarah Payouk (right) celebates chase a loose ball in the third period during the District 1 Class AAAA girls' basketball championship at Villanova. March 1, 2013. (Ron Tarver/Staff Photographer)
Mount St. Joseph's Meg Geatens (left) and Spring-Ford's Sarah Payouk (right) celebates chase a loose ball in the third period during the District 1 Class AAAA girls' basketball championship at Villanova. March 1, 2013. (Ron Tarver/Staff Photographer)
Posted: March 02, 2013

Shelby Mueller isn't one to come out of a game.

A forward for the Spring-Ford girls' basketball team, Mueller has taken her fair share of bumps and bruises this season and played through it all.

So when she hobbled off the court with a little less than five minutes to play in the third quarter because of an ankle injury, the look on her face told everyone at the Pavilion she wasn't happy about it.

The look on her face as she trekked to the locker room probably wasn't much better.

But after the District 1 Class AAAA final, Mueller was all smiles, as the Rams defeated Mount St. Joseph and defended their title, 51-30.

"It was scary because I didn't think I was going to be able to play for the rest of the season, and I want to help my team out down the road," said Mueller, who did return to the game.

"It was hard to come out."

It was the Magic's first loss since Jan. 12, the only other time they played the Rams this season.

After a close first quarter that resembled the regular-season contest between the top two seeds from the district, the Rams broke the game open with balanced scoring and some of the toughest defense they've played all year. They blanketed Alex Louin, the Magic's extremely talented and athletic guard.

Louin finished with just six points, her lowest total over the last 16 games.

With a 17-point lead at halftime, the Rams (27-2) continued to play stingy defense, not allowing a single point in the third quarter.

The Magic (26-3) went nearly 13 minutes without scoring in the second half, as they didn't get many great open looks and also couldn't knock down shots from the perimeter.

"Our defense was just so good," Mueller said. "We contained everybody and cut off penetration."

On offense, Spring-Ford had a balanced attack, getting 15 points from junior guard Sammy Stipa and nine from junior forward Mueller.

The Rams, ranked first in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, will play the seventh-place team from District 3 in the first round of the state tournament. The Magic, ranked fifth, will play the fifth seed from District 3.

"There is fire inside us," Mueller said. "We want this more than ever. Last year, it was taken away from us."

"We are here to play," Stipa said. "And we are here to play hard every minute."

Mount St. Joseph 11 4 0 15 – 30

Spring-Ford 14 18 11 8 – 51

MSJ: Libby Tacka 9, Alex Louin 6, Meg Geatens 6, Carly Monzo 4, Colleen Steinmetz 2, Genny Hagedorn 2, Katie Maranksky 1.

SF: Sammy Stipa 15, Shelby Mueller 9, Brittany Moore 8, Sarah Payonk 7, Sammi Haas 5, Courtney Hinnant 5, Julia Roshelli 2.


Contact Kate Harman at rallysports@phillynews.com.

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