ENOLA - As Meghan Trenholm walked off the court and hugged her coach Steve Sholder, the Neumann fans rose to their feet in appreciation for all the great memories Trenholm and the rest of the senior class gave them over the last four years. It is an end of an era for the most dominant and decorated class in program history.
The era ended in heartbreaking fashion as Neumann was outscored by 15 points in the fourth quarter in a 49-41 loss at the hands of Jenkintown on Wednesday night at East Pennsboro High School in the second round of the PIAA Class A state playoffs.
"We were winning the majority of the game, we won three quarters," said Sholder. "Unfortunately, we didn't win the fourth."
Neumann dominated the first three quarters and was getting whatever it wanted offensively. Defensively, the Knights limited Jenkintown 1,000-point scorer Emma Dorshimer to 12 points over the first three quarters.
But as Dorshimer came alive, so did her teammates. Jenkintown tied the game at 39 after a quick 9-2 run to start the final quarter. Emily Sholder regained the lead for Neumann with a runner with 3:40 to play. That would be Neumann's last points, though, as Jenkintown ended the game on a 10-0 run.
Madisom Kremp was big for Jenkintown as she scored eight of her 18 points in the final quarter, including two big 3-pointers to close Neumann's lead. Jenkintown went 6 of 7 at the foul line in the final 40 seconds to hold off Neumann.
"It's awful tough, especially with the four seniors," said Sholder. "I told them all throughout, 'This is a great season, regardless of what happens, let's keep looking forward.' Now the timing is going to hurt for a little bit, but we're gonna look back to how great of an experience this was."
The class of Trenholm, Emily Sholder, Rachel Danneker and Stephainie Fernandez have reached new heights for a program that had just one playoff win before the class arrived in 2010. Prior to the arrival of the senior class, the program never made it to the district semi-finals, never won a district medal, never made state playoffs and never won a state playoff game. The four seniors managed to accomplish all that within the last two weeks.
Trenholm, the program's all-time leading scorer with more than 1,500 points and over 500 rebounds, and Sholder with over 1,000 points and 500 assists, have been two of the most dominant players in program history. But Danneker and Fernandez have been a major part of this team's success over the years and their hard work and determination have helped put Lady Knights basketball on the map.
The seniors all put together great games with Trenhom (20 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals) leading the way, Sholder (7 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals) calmly running the offense, Danneker (4 points, 4 rebounds) working hard inside and Fernandez, (2 points, 2 assists) playing her usual stingy defense.
Even though the four seniors will not return next year, Neumann still has a solid foundation with sophomores Megan Helminiak (4 points, 2 rebounds) and Baylie Gerrity (4 points, 4 rebounds).
"I told them, 'These seniors set the foundation, now you guys gotta go from there,'" Sholder said. "That's one thing that we do have to look forward to and they came up big in a lot of games. The last game, Baylie hit the big shot, it was a pass from Megan. They did some nice things tonight as well. We're going to be OK in the future, it's gonna be awful tough replacing about 3,000 points and about 1,500 rebounds and about 900 assists or whatever. But we'll find a way and those two are going to do some great things."
Emma Dorshimer 6 5-7 18, Ruby Westkaemper 3 3-4 9, Madison Kremp 7 2-4 18, Sarah Dillon 0 2-2 2, Nina Lindenbaum-Grosbard 0 0-0 0, Morrin McSherry 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 12-17 49.
Meghan Trenholm 8 2-4 20, Emily Sholder 3 0-1 7, Megan Helminiak 2 0-0 4, Baylie Gerrity 1 2-2 4, Stephanie Fernandez 0 2-2 2, Rachel Danneker 2 0-0 4. Totals 16 6-9 41.
Jenkintown 9 10 11 19- 49
Neumann 12 15 10 4- 41
3-pointers: Jenkintown 3 (Kremp 2, Dorshimer); Neumann 3 (Trenholm 2, Sholder)
Records: Neumann (18-9); Jenkintown (21-8)
Next game: Jenkintown vs. Old Forge in state semis, Sat.