PENNSAUKEN--- Washington Township’s girls basketball season has featured a little bit of everything.
That’s why the Minutemaids weren’t affected much by scoring a single point in the third quarter against Bishop Eustace on Tuesday night.
Washington Township locked down on defense in the fourth and hit a few key foul shots to win the Olympic Conference clash 38-30.
“They’re so resilient,” Washington Township head coach Jennifer Natale said. “We had a player go down in the first half and the kids just bounced back. We just have kids coming off the bench making big contributions all around."
The message in between the third and fourth quarters was simple for the Minutemaids, and they found ways to score despite Eustace committing more effort to defending Emily Johns.
“We just told them to settle down,” Natale said. “Eustace changed their defense on us and tightened up on Emily because she had a pretty good first half. We had other kids step up and just told them to find the openings, keep attacking and the shots are going to drop.”
The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth affair until Amanda Attanasi stole the ball above the three-point line and raced in for a layup to create a three-point advantage for Township.
“She was dribbling a little high so I just had to stab in there a little bit,” Attanasi said. “The majority of the time I do get blocked down there so that’s what I jump stopped.”
Then the Minutemaids went to work at the foul line, and even on their misses, they were the first ones to the ball.
“It was huge,” Julia Marino said. “Our post players came up huge and it was just an all-around team effort.”
Marino knocked down six free throws in the final eight minutes to help Township secure the victory.
“You just have to have a fresh start and keep attacking,” Marino said. “They’re going to eventually fall.”
A majority of Washington Township’s confidence in itself comes from a pair of buzzer-beaters last week, including one that featured a full-court heave to produce the game-winning score on Saturday.
“We hustle. We fight to the end,” Natale said. “With the buzzer beater on Saturday, we learned a valuable lesson to play until the buzzer and anything is possible.”
Tuesday’s victory added to the growing confidence within the Minutemaids roster, as they move closer to the treacherous South Jersey Group 4 bracket that includes divisional rivals Lenape and Cherokee.
“It’s a huge confidence booster for us and we have the mentality that we can beat anyone,” Marino said.