In a District 1 State Championship game on Tuesday, March 27, it was the Upper Dublin Cardinals that came out victorious over the Central Bucks South Titans 41-39. A rematch from the season opener, Upper Dublin got their revenge against C.B. South on the big stage to hoist the state title trophy up for the first time in program history.
The win came from a pair of clutch free throws by freshman Jess Polin with only 33 seconds left. It gave the Cardinals a 2-point lead that they clung to tightly for the win.
“This is for the state championship. You can do it, you can do it,” Polin told herself when stepping up to the free throw line late in the game.
The Titans had multiple opportunities with 33 seconds remaining, but a missed layup, missed shot and a pair of key blocks by Cardinals’ sophomore Jackie Vargas rejected them their chance at winning. The 6’3” Vargas made her size and presence felt as she finished with five blocks, seven rebounds and eight points.
It was a close game from start to finish. They were tied after the first quarter and going into halftime, thanks to 3-point buzzer beater by Polin. It was only a 1-point difference in favor of the Cardinals heading into the fourth, and the only deficit that mattered of two at the end of the game.
A pair of missed free throws by Titans’ senior Lindsay Scott, with less than four minutes to play, seemed to play a pivotal moment in the game. It was their only missed shots from the stripe, but were big ones.
Polin’s scoring efficiency was key to the Cardinals’ success. She shot 3-of-4 from behind the arc, 5-of-6 overall and made all four free throw attempts to total 17 of her team’s points. It was a great performance, especially for a freshman playing in the biggest game of her career on the big stage.
“It’s a relief,” said Polin when asked about how it felt to help carry her team at such a young age.
She went on to praise her teammates saying, “Everyone on our team contributes. I definitely would not have been able to make most of my shots today if it were not for them.”
Titans’ junior Alexa Brodie also had a good game, putting up 20 points for her team. She was not afraid to shoot the rock, as she attempted 20 shots. Senior teammate Haley Meinel contributed with 13 points and five rebounds as well.