Matthew Knaub: Berks Catholic defeats Twin Valley behind stellar defense in girls basketball [updated]

·2 min read

Jan. 14—In a clash of division leaders, Berks Catholic orchestrated one of its best defensive performances of the season.

The Saints held Twin Valley to a season low in points and defeated the Raiders 37-22 in a Berks Girls Basketball League Division I-II game Thursday night at Twin Valley.

Berks Catholic (5-0 Berks I, 10-2) remained undefeated in league play and held its fifth straight opponent to less than 40 points. The 22 points allowed on Thursday are the second-fewest the Saints have given up this season, and the fewest they have allowed against a league opponent.

"Defensively, I've been happy all year," Berks Catholic coach Bob Birmingham said. "We're in the right position on things (and) we've been rebounding really well."

The Raiders (4-1, Berks II, 8-4) sustained their first league loss because they never settled into a rhythm on offense. The lone bright spot was senior Natali Foster, who led all scorers with 11 points.

The Saints took the lead early in the first quarter and stayed ahead the rest of the way. They played tight, physical defense and generated a slew of turnovers.

Berks Catholic led 20-8 at halftime. The Saints held Twin Valley to no more than eight points in each quarter.

"Pressure and communication (are) key," Berks Catholic senior Aaliyah Dabney said about the Saints' defense. "We definitely have that connection to help (one another on) defense."

Dabney led the Saints with nine points, including seven in the second quarter. She has scored at least eight points in five of her last six games.

"She is so quick to the basket off the dribble and so strong," Birmingham said. "She just adds a nice dimension to us because of the way she plays."

Despite the victory, Berks Catholic was held to less than 40 points for the second consecutive game. The Saints beat Wilson 35-32 on Monday.

"Our offense right now, it's a little stagnant," Birmingham said. "We're not moving the ball like we did earlier in the year."

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