McNamara scores 1,000th point in rout of Canton
MANSFIELD – There was a lot going on for North Penn-Mansfield heading into their game Tuesday night at home against Canton.
It was senior night for seven seniors, the top seven players in their rotation. It was a winner-take-all game to get into the NTL showdown. And JoAnne McNamara needed 19 points to reach 1,000 for her career.
Despite having all of this linger in their heads for five days after the game originally scheduled for Friday was postponed, the Tigers played some of their best basketball of the season en route to an 80-54 win. The Tigers travel to NTL Large School Champion Towanda on Thursday in the NTL Showdown semifinals.
The story of the night, though, was McNamara’s outstanding play. The senior four-year starter scored 25 points, all of them coming in the paint or at the foul line, as she cemented her place in a long and storied Tiger tradition.
“I’ve been blessed to coach a lot of girls who have reached this milestone,” NPM coach Jason Dominick said. “I always try to instill to my girls that win a lot of games and the individual milestones will come.”
McNamara has racked up quite the list of accomplishments. The 5-foot-2 guard has started every game in both volleyball and basketball in her career. Her 1,000 career points in basketball and 1,500 assists in volleyball, a total that is almost unheard of, will put her in the rafters forever.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” McNamara said. “I remember watching (former North Penn boys basketball guard) Jesse Kriner get 1,000 points when my dad was coaching him and then Kaitlyn (Garverick) and Ali (Hillson) getting it here in Mansfield and thinking ‘wow, that’s pretty cool.’ For me to be in their company is really cool, but I was more focused on winning.”
The 999th and 1,000th points of her career came at the foul line with just under three minutes left in the third quarter. The second foul shot hit nothing but net and McNamara was embraced by her teammates, Dominick, who happens to be her uncle, and her father, assistant coach Nate McNamara. It was special for McNamara, as over two dozen family members were in the crowd. To top it off, it was her 18th birthday.
Quite the present.
“It was so special to get it at home and in front of my family,” McNamara said. “This is a basketball family. At Thanksgiving, we’re talking basketball. Christmas dinner, the topic is basketball so it was great to share this with everyone.”
McNamara’s performance underscored a great performance by a surging North Penn-Mansfield team. Thought of as preseason favorites in the NTL before the season, the Tigers struggled early. When the league title became out of reach, their focus shifted to making, and then winning, the NTL Showdown. Progress has been slow, but steady, and the Tigers appear to be peaking at the right time.
Jaime Palmer is regaining her scoring form from last year, Hannah Bowens is playing the best basketball of her career, and Lizzi Welch continues to be a great inside-out threat, as she has over 500 career rebounds and has expanded her game to the 3-point line.
The Tigers led by just five at half, but back-to-back 3s by Emma Palmer and Welch to start the second half extended the lead to double digits. That ignited a huge Tiger run where a team which had fallen in love with the 3-point shot at times this year, got the ball inside and played unselfish basketball. The plan helped get Canton in foul trouble, with Warriors star Elle Binford fouling out at the end of the third quarter.
From that point, it was all Tigers. McNamara showed off her unselfishness, finishing with seven assists, with a handful of them coming on feeds to Jaime Palmer in transition. Palmer finished with 17 points.
“If we play like that and do the right things, we can play with anyone,” Dominick said.
NPM 80, Canton 54
Binford 3 5-8 12, Weiskopff 1 2-2 5, Williams 0 4-7 4, Ward 2 1-2 5, Kelley 3 5-8 11, Wesneski 1 0-0 3, Tymeson 3 3-4 8, Thoren 1 1-1 3. Totals 14 21-32 54.
NORTH PENN-MANSFIELD (80)
Kahl 0 2-4 2, McNamara 11 3-6 25, J. Palmer 6 5-7 17, Stubblefield 1 0-0 2, Welch 2-2 7, Berguson 1 0-3 3, E. Palmer 2 0-0 5, Bowens 1 0-0 2, Spohn 4 2-2 10, Brubaker 2 0-0 5, Spencer 0 2-2 2, Rossell 0 0-2 0. Totals 30 16-26 80.
Canton 14 14 8 18 — 54
NPM 11 22 22 25 — 80
3-point goals: Canton 5 (Tymeson 2, Binford 1, Weiskopff 1, Wesneski 1); North Penn-Mansfield 4 (Welch 1, Berguson 1, E. Palmer 1, Brubaker 1).