by Matt Snider
As the fourth quarter buzzer sounded, the girls of the Poquessing Middle School Varsity Basketball team had left everything on the court. Their grueling game against bitter rival Maple Point rendered the girls with sore limbs and bruises. Only they did not know it yet.
“They would say ‘Miss Rich look at my arm’ or ‘Look at my knee,’” said Christine Richardson, head coach of the team. “They would be pointing out the different bruises and bumps they got during the game that they were only just starting to feel on the ride home.”
The collective heart that helped push them to a win that night had been one of the major factors in contributing to an undefeated season for the team from Feasterville.
“No basketball team in recent history has gone undefeated,” said Christine. “Basketball just hasn’t been one of our stronger sports in years past. This year though we just had something special.”
It is no doubt that the girls had something special this season. In addition to going undefeated, they also managed to defeat three middle schools from the Pennsbury School District, which boasts a good basketball program.
“I knew from watching tryouts that we had a great squad from the beginning. But it wasn’t until we beat that first Pennsbury team that I realized that this was something else,” said Christine of the matchup. “I have been coaching for a long time now and I’ve never beaten them once. I don’t think I’ve ever even come close.”
Word did not take long to spread for the team’s success, and soon the games were drawing fans that included faculty and students alike. In support of the girls, the attendees would organize different colors to be worn at games. One game in particular, the staff organized a “white-out” for supporters of Poquessing to wear white, while at another game fans were encouraged to wear red.
“It was really great for the girls,” said Christine when talking about the hype for the team. “The faculty and students would fill the stands almost every game and those that couldn’t make it would find us the next morning and ask ‘Did you win? Did you win?’”
No game generated more hype than the showdown between Poquessing and their fellow undefeated Neshaminy School District rival, Maple Point Middle School. The mid-December matchup pitted the smaller Poquessing against a school approximately twice their size and who Poquessing has had trouble with in the past. However, in another showcase of drive and desire, the girls from Poquessing would continue to roll on.
“The girl’s just fought tooth and nail to the bitter end,” said Christine of her team’s scrappy performance. “As it turned out our win gave Maple their first loss in basketball in the past two years.”
In addition to the memories and bragging rights, the girl’s would also get the opportunity to be recognized during the halftime of a Neshaminy High School’s Girls’ Varsity Basketball game for their outstanding achievement. This occasion not only gave the girls a chance to be congratulated for their hard work, but also a chance to see the next step in their playing careers.
“It was just the perfect group of girls this year,” said Christine. “I know a lot of times kids are looking forward to the winter break but we just wanted to keep playing. I’m just excited now to see these girls move on and continue to play.”
It will no doubt be a big step to go from the small school, where athletes would miss half of the practice to help out in the school play, to a school with five times as many students. Fortunately for the girls of the Poquessing Middle School Varsity team, they have shown the drive and desire to overcome their humble beginnings and more.
PHOTO CAP: The Poquessing Middle School Girls Varsity Basketball team, back row from left, Meghan Ansel, Alyssa Gerdy, Maddy McCullough, Jordyn Fehrle, Allison Harvey, Annie Rienzi, Destiny Pastore, Coach Richardson, and Jules Zamorano; front row, Taylor Kelly, Logan Ricciardi, Jacqueline Zeigler, and Maria Tunney. The managers (not pictured) are: Clint Housel, Gabe McIlvaine, and Emily Abrams.