At­lantic City ral­lies past Abing­ton

The Globe - - POLICEREPORTS - By Nick Iuele

Any time a team can play well against a state champiRn, LW’V D FRn­fiGHnFH-EuLOGHU.

But Abing­ton could look at its game against New Jersey’s At­lantic City as a big win that got away.

The Ghosts had an 11-point OHDG DIWHU RnH TuDUWHU, EuW WKH de­fend­ing N.J. Group 4 state cham­pion Vik­ings dom­i­nated the sec­ond half and came back to win the game 65-51 in the Jameer Nel­son Clas­sic at Wi­dener Univer­sity.

De­spite a strong show­ing Ln WKH fiUVW KDOI, WKH GHSWK and tal­ent of At­lantic City was too much for Abing­ton to han­dle late in the game.

“We played well in the fiUVW TuDUWHU, EuW wH WuUnHG the ball over and took some un­char­ac­ter­is­tic shots in the sec­ond half and that hurt us,” Abing­ton coach Charles Grasty said. “They are a good team; they were able to get back in it.”

It seemed that At­lantic City un­der­es­ti­mated the GKRVWV DW fiUVW DnG wHUHn’W UHDGy IRU D fiJKW RuW RI WKH gate. Led by Jor­dan Sim­mons’ 11 points, Abing­ton was at the top of its game Ln WKH fiUVW TuDUWHU, VKRwLnJ how dan­ger­ous the Ghosts can be. An­thony Durham also added seven points, and the Ghosts de­fense held the po­tent Vik­ings of­fense to just 13 points. With a 24-13 lead af­ter one pe­riod, Abing­ton an­nounced it­self to the state champs.

Things started to change a bit in the sec­ond, but Abing­ton still hung in the game. AC’s Dayshawn Reynolds scored seven of his 1T points Ln WKH VHFRnG TuDUWHU, VHWWLnJ the tone for a change in mo­men­tum in fa­vor of the Vik­ings. An­thony Lee came off the bench for the Ghosts and pro­vided seven of the team’s 14 points, but they lost the TuDUWHU 21-14 DnG wHUH uS just four points go­ing into half­time.

7KH WKLUG TuDUWHU wDV WKH tip­ping point for Abing­ton. Only scor­ing seven points, the Ghosts started turn­ing the ball over and tak­ing low­per­cent­age shots, which re­sulted in too many fast break points for AC. The Ghosts only man­aged two bas­kets and only hit two out of four free throws. Hav­ing a poor TuDUWHU OLNH WKDW LV GHWULPHn­tal against a team like AC and it com­pletely changed the course of the game.

“We are get­ting our depth and younger guys some min­utes,” Grasty said. “We played the right way and passed the ball well. Once we started play­ing a lit­tle VHO­fiVK DnG WuUnLnJ WKH EDOO

over, that’s when we started hav­ing prob­lems.”

The fi­nal Se­rioG was all AC. This time, the Ghosts scored a game-low six points and fell vic­tim to break­away dunks and a run­ning clock. Sim­mons had four of AbingWon’s five SoinWs in Whe Se­riod, but a once-promis­ing game turned into a ho-hum vic­tory for the New Jersey squad.

“Th­ese last two games were a great ex­pe­ri­ence for us,” Grasty said. “We have a long way to go, but we came into this say­ing we were go­ing to learn from th­ese games no mat­ter what hap­pened.”

Grasty is cer­tain that the Ghosts, who are un­de­feated in con­fer­ence play, will take this game and turn it into some­thing pos­i­tive for the rest of the sea­son.

“We sched­uled th­ese games to give th­ese guys a great ex­pe­ri­ence,” Grasty said. “We wanted to chal­lenge our guys. We are a pretty se­nior-laden team. ThaW is GefiniWely whaW Whis was for. We feel like we had the lead­er­ship to com­pete and we did. We will learn from this ex­pe­ri­ence.”

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