Girl’s Basketball Team Looks to Make Some Noise as it Heads Into Playoffs with Seventh Seed and 19-7 Record

Photo Courtesy of The Buccaneer
Senior Fiona Flynn steadies herself on defense against Moorestown two years ago.

Connor Bresnahan, Staff Writer

Coming into the season, the Cinnaminson girls basketball team knew that they would have to rely on a balanced scoring effort in hopes of continuing their success that saw the team average 20 wins over the last two seasons.
Head Coach Bret Jenkins certainly believed that the team could overcome the loss of 1,000-point scorer Marisa DiLeo from last year but it would take the veterans of the team to accomplish that feat.
“It will be very hard to replace Marisa, from scoring, to ball handling, to being a leader at end of games, but we have a lot of experience coming back this year, and girls that can pick up the slack,” Jenkins said.
They have certainly rebounded well, posting a 19-7 record after last night’s 39-35 win over Haddon Township.  After winning an impressive 22 games the prior season, the Pirates have relied on two veterans, senior Anne O’Malley and junior Fiona Flynn, for their scoring for this season.  Both have combined to score 22.6 points per game for the Lady Pirates, while sophomore Maddie Ogden is averaging just over seven points per game and senior Tori Robinson is chipping in five points per game from her point guard position.
The girls had quite a hot streak to start their season, winning eight of their first nine games.  Flynn lead the charge in those games, averaging 16.5 points through the team’s first nine games, where the Lady Pirates only defeat was to Salem High School on December 17.
With a 19-7 record for the season, they look ready for their playoff matchup next Monday, February 27 when Cinnaminson hosts 9-13 Oakcrest from Atlantic County.  The only disappointing part of the season for the ladies were the games against Patriot Division champion Delran, where Cinnaminson lost both matchups to the Lady Bears, 36-32 on January 10 and 40-28 in the encore on February 3.  The Lady Bears have won the Patriot Division championship for this season.
Progress from the beginning of the season to the end of last year was a reoccurring theme when talking to the coach and players. When asked about improvement, senior Anne O’Malley said “We have people who are used to playing a more defensive game are now showing a bigger offensive role on the court this year, Vice versa. More people are shooting/dribbling and developing their skills.”
Senior Tori Robinson has been a leader on the court this year. She talked about energy being a big key to the team’s success last year, and will continue to be stressed this year.
“Building off of the energy when we do something good is key,” she said, “energy is contagious and making sure everyone is always up will help us a lot this year,” she said.
That energy will be key when the girls host Oakcrest on Monday night in the first round of the South Jersey Group 2 playoffs where the Lady Pirates will enter as the seventh-seeded team.  If they defeat Oakcrest in the opener, they will most likely be traveling to Haddonfield for the second-round game. Currently, the Lady Bulldawgs are 24-2 on the season, having only lost to Shawnee and Cherokee this year.