Good open­ing Knight for NP

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - SPORTS - By Kev Hunter [email protected]­tu­ry­ @khunter10 on Twit­ter

A team with lit­tle var­sity ex­pe­ri­ence is gain­ing it in a hurry, as North Penn brought the de­fense Fri­day night and al­lowed just six fourth-quar­ter points on its way to a sea­sonopen­ing 45-38 vic­tory over non­league ri­val Perkiomen Val­ley.

“We knew com­ing in that we didn’t have a lot of var­sity ex­pe­ri­ence so ev­ery­thing is a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Knights first-year coach Jen Carangi. “We would do a lot of great things but then give up a three at the other end be­cause we had a lapse.

“But what I told the girls was in the fourth quar­ter, when it re­ally mat­tered, they buck­led down, they took care of the ball, they made foul shots down the stretch, and I’ll take it.”

The Knights (1-0) shut out the Vik­ings (0-1) in the fi­nal two min­utes and closed out on a 14-3 run to hold off Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence power Perkiomen Val­ley.

”We’ve been so ex­cited to start our sea­son,” said Carley Adams, whose ball han­dling and game­high 15 points were key for the Knights. “We were just so ex­cited to come out here and show peo­ple

what we can do.”

In the fourth quar­ter, North Penn drew even at 35 apiece on a jumper by Rachel Dunne. The two teams went back and forth until the Knights went ahead for good on a pair of free throws by Adams, mak­ing it 39-38.

“We had to bring up our in­ten­sity and we did,” said Adams, who sank five cru­cial free throws in the fi­nal frame.

The Knights got out on the Vik­ings’ shoot­ers, and when Val McGriff (11 pts) bat­tled for a re­bound on a missed three by PV’s Kelly Owens (12 pts), McGriff was fouled and calmly sank both free throws to ex­tend the mar­gin to 4238 with 1:40 to play.

Adams drib­bled out the clock and sank three foul shots to help put it away for North Penn. Seven dif­fer­ent play­ers con­trib­uted points for the Knights.

“That’s the way our sea­son’s gonna be this year, and we told them, we’re gonna need every­body to step up,” said Carangi. “We’re gonna need every­body to play, every­body to score, and what­ever they give us is what we’re gonna take.”

North Penn be­gins play in the Sub­ur­ban One League Con­ti­nen­tal Con­fer­ence on Thurs­day with a home game against Soud­er­ton Area. The Vik­ings host Owen J. Roberts in a PAC Lib­erty clash on Wed­nes­day.

“I know the fi­nal score was not in our fa­vor,” PV first-year coach Kelly Sor­ber said of the opener, “but the way we played is show­ing teams that we can play with high-cal­iber teams this year, de­spite what­ever we lost from last sea­son.”

North Penn jumped out to a 6-1 lead early, not al­low­ing Perk Val­ley to find open shots.

The Vik­ings got go­ing on a three by Owens and then tight­ened things to 8-7 on a three by Gabby Mari­nacci.

Mo­ments later, Mari­nacci got a strip at mid­court, streak­ing to the bas­ket for the easy layup to put Perk Val­ley ahead for the first time, 9-8.

The Vik­ings ended the first quar­ter with an 11-10 edge.

Both of­fenses started to get into more of a flow in the sec­ond quar­ter, with a three by Adams draw­ing things even at 15 apiece.

Emma Mi­ley put PV ahead for the last time in the first half, mak­ing it 1715 in the midst of a 12-4 run by the Knights.

Seven first-half points by Adams and six by McGriff had North Penn ahead at the break, 24-21.

Perk Val­ley hit six threes in the con­test.

“We are a three-point shoot­ing team,” Sor­ber said. “Most of my girls that step out on the court can shoot a three.”

The Vik­ings went up 35-31 early in the fourth on a three by Owens, but open shots were harder to come by in the fi­nal min­utes.

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