SOL Boys' Basketball Wrap (12-11-12)

Check out all of Tuesday’s SOL boys basketball action. To view photos of the Norristown/Truman game, please visit the Photo Gallery.

Horace Spencer had his share of big plays in Tuesday’s non-league win, but none loomed larger than the play the sophomore standout made with 10 seconds remaining and his team on top by just two points after the Rams inbounded at midcourt.
“They got the ball inbounds, and they got a look, but Spencer came out of nowhere and blocked the shot,” coach Robert Mulville said. “There was a scramble for the ball, and we got it with three seconds left.
“We inbounded the ball to Matt Alden, who then threw a pass to Spencer underneath the basket, and he dunked it at the buzzer.”
Spencer finished the night with 18 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots. Alden added 16 points and 11 rebounds.
“Alden played very well,” Mulville said. “He’s a real solid player, and between the two of them, they’re both real solid players.”
The Panthers took a seemingly comfortable 30-17 lead into halftime only to watch their offense desert them in a third quarter that saw the Rams go on a 15-4 tear. The Panthers still led 34-32 heading into the fourth quarter, but the Rams – behind the deadly three-point shooting of Jeff Garner and Zach Muredda - took a 35-34 lead.
“We went cold in the third quarter, and they got hot,” Mulville said. “We knew they could shoot three’s. We did a nice job scouting them because we knew it was going to be 11 (Muredda) and 23 (Garner).
“We went in at halftime and said, ‘We’re going to extend out on them,’ and they just kept getting open looks and kept knocking them down.”
It was still a one-point game with five minutes remaining, and the stage was set for the dramatic ending.
“To be honest, I was pleased with our last five minutes,” Mulville said. “Instead of our guys getting upset that they had blown the lead, they hung together and figured it out.
“They forgot about what happened for the other 27 minutes and just played real hard those last five minutes.”
Together Garner (15 points) and Muredda (14 points) combined for eight three’s with Garner burying six. As a team, the Rams, who also received seven points from Pat McClatchy, connected on 10 three-point baskets.
While the Rams fell to 1-2 on the season, the Panthers upped their record to 3-0.

The Panthers got in the win column on Tuesday night when they defeated the Bucks on their home court.
“This win is huge,” coach Brian Johnson said. “We were winless, so to get a win at all is big.
“We play a young group of kids, a lot of first-time varsity kids, and to go through a couple of games against a little more seasoned teams like Frankford and Central over the weekend was good for us.
“Today we played a complete game. The first effort and second effort was something that was missing. We executed our situational basketball very well, and we defended very well.”
The two teams were deadlocked 20-20 at the intermission, and the Bucks took a 33-30 lead into the final quarter, but the Panthers closed out the game with a 14-7 run.
“We just got some stops, and we went down to the other end and executed,” Johnson said. “That was really the area we had been struggling with over the weekend.
“All of our games were close. At the end of the game, we were fouling, and they were knocking down free throws. All those games were tight games going into the fourth quarter, and this was no different. The difference today was given this past weekend and having taken a few lumps, we were able to execute just a little bit better down the stretch.”
The Panthers were led offensively by Aaron McGlawn (12 points) and Guy Henderson (10 points). John Howard added eight points, and Kevin Graham, six points.
“John Howard had multiple efforts,” Johnson said. “He came off the bench and probably grabbed 10 or 12 rebounds for us.
“Kevin Graham was also huge for us. He stepped up and defended very well.”
The Bucks were led by Cal Reichwein with 14 points while Kyle Schechter added nine and Kyle Salvitti, six points.
Boths West and Cheltenham are 1-2 on the young season.

Five players finished the night in double figures for the Ghosts, who seized control of the game with a 21-point third quarter that turned a 31-26 halftime lead into a 52-42 advantage.
“In the third quarter, we opened it up a little bit,” coach Charles Grasty said. “Our pressure got to them a little bit, and we got some turnovers and some easy baskets.
“The fourth quarter we jumped on them early and got some of the younger guys in. They made a run – those guys are good.”
Anthony Durham led a balanced attack with 18 points while Jordan Simmons added 16. Jiere Morrisey (12 points), Matt Penecale (11 points) and Michael Griffin (11 points) also finished in double figures. Anthony Lee and Khalid Gibson both had four points.
Matt Scamuffo led the Titans with a 24-point effort while Kevin Raymond added 12. Adam Tamny scored nine points, and Bryce Dobisch, eight points. Chase Vonder Schmalz was held to just two points.
“Coming off a pretty tough tournament this weekend and playing a team that tough, we will definitely take this one,” Grasty said.
The Ghosts upped their record to 3-0 while the Titans fell to 1-2.

The Eagles threw some serious defense at the Tigers, opening up a 23-6 lead at the end of one quarter. The Tigers regrouped to outscore the Eagles 17-9 in the second quarter but still went into into halftime on the short end of a 32-23 score. If there was any doubt about the outcome, those doubts were put to rest in a third quarter that saw the Eagles go on a 23-10 run.
Twelve players got into the scoring column for Norristown, led by Jahbri Hargrove (15 points), Josh Johnson (14), Luke Kelley (10) and Chris Evans (10). Curt Lever and DaQuan Holcomb both added five points, and Omar Jackson had four. Closing out the scoring for the Eagles were Danny Orr (three points), Bernard Gordon (two), Jahad York (two) Marquis Bryant (two) and Shai Cree Tempson (two).
Lucas Waters led the Tigers with nine points. The dangerous Merdic Green – thanks to the standout defense of Gordon – was held to just five points.
The Eagles are 2-0 on the season while the Tigers fell to 2-1.

John Kanas had a big third quarter for the Indians, scoring 10 of his game-high 17 points in the frame and turning a two-point halftime deficit into a three-point lead at the end of three quarters.
The Indians are 2-1 on the season.

The Golden Bears (1-1) lost a heartbreaker after rallying from a 31-22 halftime deficit to take a 36-31 lead heading into the final quarter, thanks to a 14-0 third quarter explosion. LC won it by outscoring the Bears 13-6 in the final frame. Mark Williams led a balanced Upper Moreland attack with 12 points while Tommy Robinson, Matt Kohn and Kevin McFall each scored 10 points.

Senior Kyle McCloskey posted a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds. Point guard Rip Engel led the Indians (2-0) offensively with 19 points while Brandon Knotts added 17.