Check out all of Friday’s SOL boys basketball action. To view photos of the Hatboro/CB East game, please visit the Photo Gallery later this weekend.
COUNCIL ROCK SOUTH 67, ABINGTON 54 (Thursday, Jan. 17)
What a difference a month makes.
The last time the Golden Hawks faced the Ghosts was on December 14, and the Ghosts cruised by them 71-26.
Thursday night’s matchup included a different Hawk squad. One that is playing more confidently and consistently and one that did something no one else in the National Conference has been able to do – the Golden Hawks beat Abington.
“We played well in the first half,” said Hawks’ coach John Easterly. “It was kind of back and forth, and it was more their tempo (up-tempo).”
In the opening quarter, the Hawks escaped with a narrow 16-15 lead but saw that lead erased in the second quarter as the Ghosts outscored them 19-16 to lead 34-32 at the half.
“We really tried to control tempo,” said Easterly. “We responded everytime they went on a run.”
In the second half, the Hawks were able to execute their strategy better and started to pull ahead with a 14-11 third quarter.
“Our key was to make sure they didn’t have a lot of second chance opportunities on offense and we accomplished that,” said Easterly. “We held them to under 10 second-chance points. That’s their game, crashing under the boards.”
The Hawks have been playing with improved skill and poise in their last few games, but that hasn’t necessarily translated into wins, and after coming off a tough 54-50 loss to rival Council Rock North two days earlier, the Golden Hawks were prepared to not give up.
Heading into the final frame the Hawks led by one (46-45), but they quickly lost the lead as the Ghosts controlled the beginning of the quarter. The Hawks maintained their composure, led by senior captain Christian Crane who had 10 points in the fourth quarter on his way to a game-high 27 for the day.
“Crane is showing great senior leadership - he’s responded great,” said Easterly. “He’s handling the double teams the other teams bring, he can get to the rim against anybody and he’s playing with so much confidence and poise.”
With about 4:30 left in the game, Dan Kockett got a pivotal rebound that, according to Easterly, “turned the tide.”
“Kockett really turned it on in second half, and he really did a good job on defense,” the Golden Hawks’ coach said.
The Hawks were able to keep a two-possession lead for the remainder of the game and stretched that lead in the final two minutes.
“We knew if we kept it close going into fourth that it was anyone’s game,” Easterly said.
He was exactly right.
The Hawks (3-5 SOL, 5-8 overall) knew they were the decided underdog in Thursday’s matchup but didn’t let it get in their heads.
“Our record doesn’t show the quality of team that we have,” said Easterly about his relatively young squad. “They are doing their part to give us a chance to win these games. The kids are buying in, they have good attitudes and they are playing hard every possession. We want to continue to do that.”
Tommy Townsend, the Hawks’ leading rebounder, also made important contributions in the victory, as he added 13 points and eight rebounds. Kockett and Eric Gallo each chipped in seven. Easterly also credited the play of Will Faccenda, one of his two senior guards, as being a key part of his team’s transition offense. Faccenda led the team with eight assists to go along with five points.
The Ghosts (7-1 SOL, 11-3 overall) were led by Anthony Durham with 17 points and Amir Hinton who also posted double-digits (13 points), while Jiere Morrisey connected for seven points.
“They are playing with poise and confidence,” said Easterly. “We are looking to be much more competitive in the second round (of the season).”
The Hawks will face Pennridge in the SOL Challenge on Saturday at CB South, and the Ghosts will match up against Cheltenham at Wissahickon.
TRUMAN 65, NESHAMINY 39
The Tigers seized early control over the Redskins, outscoring them 42-21 in the first half. The Tigers increased that lead to 55-30 heading into the fourth quarter on their way to the decisive win. Merdic Green produced a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Lucas Waters also chipped in double figures with 10 points. Marvin Carr had a game-high 19 points for the ‘Skins, and Cameron Fattore added 11 points. The Tigers moved into third place along with Pennsbury after upping their record to 5-3 in the league (8-6 overall) while the ‘Skins fell to 0-7 (0-13 overall).
PENNSBURY 63, BENSALEM 62
The Owls took advantage of a slow Falcon start to go on top 12-11 at the end of the first quarter. The Falcons rallied in the second quarter, opening up a seemingly comfortable 26-15 lead, but the Owls quickly erased that advantage with a 14-0 scoring surge to go into intermission with a 29-26 advantage.
“We couldn’t get stops at all,” said Falcons coach Bill Coleman. “We had no ball pressure, and everyone was one step behind on rotations.”
The Owls opened the third quarter with a 6-0 scoring run to maintain the momentum.
“Due to how young we are, if we don’t have momentum early, we start questioning ourselves,” said Coleman.
But the Falcons finally started putting it all together midway through the third quarter.
“Defensively we were able to pick it up in the third quarter, and offensively we started clicking due to defensive pressure,” said Coleman. “We were able to get to free throw line too, which helped us out a ton.”
Even though the Falcons’ offense came to life, they faced a 46-41 deficit heading into the fourth quarter. They still trailed by four with 1:51 to go, but Cameron Jones hit a crucial trey to spark the Falcons’ comeback.
With the final seconds ticking off the clock and the Owls on top by one, the Falcons misfired, but Lewis Troh picked up the long rebound and put the ball up for what could have been the game winner.
“(Troh) got the rebound around foul line, he shot and it hit side of rim and (Shawn) Pepper tips it in at buzzer,” said Coleman of the sequence that won the game for the Falcons.
Steve Ciotti (13 points) and Pepper (14 points) led the way in the come-from-behind victory with each scoring 11 in the second half, while Pierson Burton scored all of his eight points in the half as well. Jones scored a team-high 15 points, and Mekhi Bryant added 13 points.
“It’s a big win for us, said Coleman. “Being down by five to start the fourth, and battling back, it provides a lot of confidence and hopefully a lot of momentum.”
The Falcons (5-3 SOL, 9-6 overall) will try to maintain momentum heading into Saturday’s SOL Challenge matchup against CB West. The Owls, who are reeling after two tough league losses, fell to 4-4 in the conference (6-6 overall). They will host North Penn on Saturday.
To read Kevin Cooney’s complete game story, please click on the following PhillyBurbs.com link: http://www.phillyburbs.com/sports/pepper-s-buzzer-beater-lifts-pennsbury-over-bensalem/article_bee29e8f-ed47-5c60-9402-c9c773766b58.html
COUNCIL ROCK NORTH 70, WILLIAM TENNENT 47
A complete game story about the SOL Featured Game, sponsored by the CR North Booster Club, is posted on the web site.
SOUDERTON 53, NORTH PENN 38 (Thursday, Jan. 17)
The Big Red maintained its hold of second place in the conference standings after downing the Knights on Thursday night. The Indians took a 23-18 lead into the half and upped that lead to 39-29 heading into the final frame. Austin Murphy led the way for the Indians, scoring seven points in both the first and third quarters on his way to a game-high 19 points, and Brendan Wagner recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Brian Coleman led the scoring for the Knights with eight points, followed by Jin Lim who added seven. The Indians upped their league mark to 6-2 (8-5 overall) while the Knights fell to 2-6 SOL (4-7 overall).
CENTRAL BUCKS SOUTH 59, PENNRIDGE 48
The Rams staked out an early 19-12 lead but saw that lead erased in the second quarter as the Titans outscored them 16-7 to go into the half with a 28-26 lead. In the third quarter, the Titans blew open the close game, outscoring the Rams 20-5 to go on top 48-31. South had eight scorers contribute in the victory. The Titans were led by Chase Vonder Schmalz (11 points), Ricky Dennis (10 points) and Matt Scamuffo (9 points). The Rams’ leading scorer was Drew Dietterich (12 points), followed by Jeff Garner and Shane Schmidt who also recorded double-digits with 10 each. The Titans improve to 6-2 SOL (9-5 overall) while the Rams saw their record drop to 3-5 in the league (8-7 overall). The Titans host American Conference leader Norristown in Saturday’s Coaches vs. Cancer contest. Pennridge will face Council Rock South at CB South.
HATBORO HORSHAM 53, CENTRAL BUCKS EAST 46
Hatters’ senior forward Mike Brown helped propel his team to a 27-26 lead at halftime after scoring 14 points on his way to 22 for the day. The Hatters, however, saw that lead slip away in the third quarter as the Patriots held an 8-6 advantage to go on top by one moving into the final frame (34-33). The Hatters, sparked by six points from Chris Hobbs, used a 20-12 fourth quarter surge to earn the big win. Zach Quattro also had a big game for the Hatters with 12 points. The Patriots were led by double-digit contributors Matt Stauffer (16 points) and Brendan McLaughlin (13 points). While the Patriots fell to 2-6 in the league (6-8 overall), the Hatters remained perfect in league play (8-0 SOL,12-2 overall).
CENTRAL BUCKS WEST 53, QUAKERTOWN 26
The Bucks and the Panthers both got off to a slow start, and at the end of a low scoring first quarter, West held a 6-4 advantage. The Bucks increased that lead to 19-8 by the intermission. The Bucks, who were led offensively by Kevin Dunn who led all scorers with 13 points, outscored the Panthers in the third quarter 21-10 to put the game out of reach. Cal Reichwein also recorded double figures for the Bucks with 11 points, and Jared Kelly chipped in eight points. Brett Wolf led the pack for the Panthers with eight points, followed by John Smith who added six. The Bucks evened out their record at 4-4 (6-8 overall) and host Pennsbury on Saturday at 5 pm in the SOL Challenge. The Panthers fell to 1-7 in the league, 4-8 overall.
PLYMOUTH WHITEMARSH 66, UPPER MORELAND 59
The Colonials opened up with a 15-10 lead in the first quarter, but the Golden Bears outscored them 14-12 in the second quarter, trimming PW’s lead to 27-24 at halftime In the third quarter, the Bears went on a 22-13 tear and entered the final frame with a 46-40 advantage. The turning point for the Colonials came in the final quarter when Anthony McKie exploded with an eleven-point scoring run to put his team back on top, on his way to 26 for the day. Cameron Johnson (14 points) and Michael Reddick (11 points) also nabbed double digits in the victory. The Golden Bears were led by Tommy Robinson who recorded a team-high 19 points and Matt Kohn who added 14 points. The Colonials evened their SOL mark at 4-4 (6-7 overall) while the Bears saw their record drop to 3-5 SOL (7-7 overall).
NORRISTOWN 63, UPPER MERION 36
The Eagles silenced the Vikings to stay atop the conference in a three-way tie with Wissahickon and Cheltenham. The Eagles and Vikings were deadlocked after one quarter 10-10, but the Eagles started to pull away in the second quarter, opening up a 24-16 halftime lead. Josh Johnson scored nine of his 19 points in the third quarter to increase the Eagles’ lead to 58-23 and put the game out of reach. Jahbri Hargrove and Luke Kelley also added twin figures with 11 points each. The Vikings were led by Riece Jenerette who scored a team-high nine points. The Eagles improved to 7-1 SOL (11-3 overall) and travel to CB South on Saturday for the SOL Challenge. The Vikings fell to 2-6 in the conference, 6-8 overall.
WISSAHICKON 50, UPPER DUBLIN 41
The Trojans had trouble finding their rhythm against the Flying Cardinals, who outscored them 13-8 in the opening frame.
“They did a god job of mixing up defenses and catching us off guard,” said Trojans coach Kyle Wilson. “And a couple guys weren’t knocking down shots like they typically do.”
In the second quarter, the Trojans outscored the Cards 9-5 but still trailed by one at halftime (18-17). The Cardinals opened the third quarter with a scoring run to up their lead, but midway through the quarter, the momentum began to shift, thanks to the Trojans’ defense.
“We had to grind it out and make our defense turn into offense,” said Wilson.
The Trojans still trailed 30-26 heading into the final frame when the Trojans finally found their rhythm.
“They had a fire in their eyes,” said Wilson. “There was a point in the fourth where defense was creating turnover after turnover, and each one turned into a basket.”
With the Trojans’ still clawing their way out of a deficit, Gordon Bentley scored on a breakaway to tie the game, and Chase Wilson had a key play to put the Trojans on top. The Trojans never looked back.
Wilson led all scorers with 24 points, 10 in the pivotal final quarter. Chris Vila also made significant contributions for the Trojans with 11 points. Andrew Carber and Kurt Groff both scored 12 points to lead the Cards. The Trojans improved to 7-1 in conference play and remain in a three-way tie for the top spot in the American Conference, while the Cardinals fell to 2-6 in the league. On Saturday, Wissahickon hosts Council Rock North at 6:30 and Upper Dublin faces Hatboro Horsham at Quakertown at 2 pm.
CHELTENHAM 62, SPRINGFIELD 37