Abing­ton bat­tles past Ten­nent

The Willow Grove Guide - - OPINION - By Nick Iuele

ni­uele@mont­gomerynews.

com When Abing­ton shoots the ball well, it is very hard to bHDW. HLWWLnJ 10 WKrHH-SRLnWHrV TuDOL­fiHV DV D JRRG VKRRWing night.

Af­ter stum­bling out of the JDWH wLWK D ODFNOuVWHr firVW quar­ter, Abing­ton shot the lights out in the last three SHrLRGV Hn rRuWH WR D 57-44 win over the Lady Pan­thers. Led by Deja Rawls’ gameKLJK 16 SRLnWV WKDW LnFOuGed four triples, the Ghosts showed why they are one of the best teams in Sub­ur­ban One League with perime­ter shoot­ing and de­fense.

“They al­ways try to pack in a zone on us,” Abing­ton coach Dan Marsh said. “We are not as good of a shoot­ing team as we were in the past, but we have kids that can knock some shots down and luck­ily we were able to do that tonight.”

Although Ten­nent looked primed for an up­set with a 10-7 firVW TuDrWHr, AbLnJWRn woke up in the sec­ond quar­ter in a big way. By far their best quar­ter of the night, the GKRVWV GrRSSHG 21 SRLnWV Rn Ten­nent and only al­lowed a PHDJHr fivH. LHDK 6LPPRnV wHnW RII IRr nLnH RI KHr 14 points in the quar­ter, and it was a rare oc­ca­sion when the Lady Pan­thers got an open look at the bas­ket both from out­side and un­der­neath the bas­ket. Ten­nent only man­aged one bas­ket in the quar­ter.

“I just told them that we needed to play our game, stay in­tense and push the ball,” Marsh said. “They were dic­tat­ing the pace early and we had to change that. We told them they needed to be more ag­gres­sive and for­tu­nately they were as the game went on.”

The big sec­ond set the tone for the rest of the game Rn bRWK HnGV RI WKH flRRr. TKH GKRVWV KLW VLx RI WKHLr 10 threes on the of­fense end and only al­lowed two bas­kets in the mid­dle quar­ters on de­fense. Sin­gle digit quar­ters for the Lady Pan­thers in the sec­ond and third hurt any chance of a le­git­i­mate come­back.

“We played really hard,” Ten­nent coach Paul sel­tre said. “We had a few girls out due to in­jury and ill­ness, so we were a bit short­handed. We played WRuJK DnG wHnW GRwn fiJKWing, but they shot the ball ex­tremely well.”

One stand­out per­for­mance for Ten­nent was Angie PomSRnLR wLWK 14 SRLnWV, 12 of which came from free throws. The Lady Pan­thers’ point guard at­tacked the bas­ket at least once a pos­ses­sion and was ex­cel­lent in draw­ing con­tact. She wHnW 12 IRr 17 IrRP WKH OLnH and her only bucket was a mid-range jumper in a solid fourth quar­ter for Ten­nent. Pom­ponio sin­gle-hand­edly kept this game from be­ing a blowout.

“We chal­lenged Angie tonight and told her that we needed the ball in her hands,” sel­tre said. “She’s a tough player and we really en­joy work­ing with her.”

Ten­nent got back to within 10 Ln WKH finDO SHrLRG, buW Abing­ton was too po­tent on the of­fen­sive end to really chal­lenge the in­evitable re­sult. Ten­nent has been a fiJKWLnJ WHDP DOO VHDVRn, buW WKH GKRVWV VFRrHG 21, 14 DnG 15 SRLnWV Ln HDFK RI WKH TuDrters af­ter the open­ing eight PLnuWHV. THn­nHnW VFRrHG 18 points in the fourth and did all they could, but it’s hard to re­cover from back-to-back sin­gle digit quar­ters when the op­po­si­tion is shoot­ing so well.

“We are a young team and made a few mis­takes down the stretch,” Marsh said. “WH nHHG WR finLVK JDPHV strong and we did that tonight. We are get­ting there; we have a cou­ple more games be­fore the play­offs to get this right.”

Mont­gomery Me­dia / BOB RAINES

Arch­bishop Wood’s Cody Fitz­patrick gets ready to pass in­side past St. Joseph;s Prep’s P.J. Kelly.

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