Brown’s 30-point night pow­ers Abing­ton past PW

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - SPORTS - By An­drew Robin­son arobin­[email protected]­tu­ry­ @ADRobin­son3 on Twit­ter

WHITEMARSH >> There’s some­thing about play­ing Ply­mouth Whitemarsh that brings out the best in Kas­son­dra Brown.

The Abing­ton se­nior for­ward just seems to hit an­other level when she goes up against the Colo­nials, re­gard­less of the year or who is on the op­pos­ing ros­ter. With the Ghosts jump­ing to the SOL Amer­i­can con­fer­ence this year, it meant Brown got two cracks against a team she’s done quite well against.

Brown got her first chance Fri­day night and made the most of it, pour­ing in 30 points with 13 re­bounds and six steals as the Ghosts over­came a foul-plagued start to top the Colo­nials 63-40 at Gym West.

“The sight of our jer­sey to that kid is like a bull’s to a mata­dor’s cape, her eyes just light up when she plays against us,” PW coach Dan Dougherty said. “We played her twice last year, she dom­i­nated us twice last year.”

Ply­mouth Whitemarsh, which lost for the first time this sea­son, has two very good young post play­ers in fresh­men Lainey Allen and Jor­dyn Thomas. It wasn’t a mat­ter of ef­fort or will, as the two Colo­nials for­wards bat­tled Brown all night, it was more a case of ex­pe­ri­ence and strength win­ning out.

Brown, who has signed with Rhode Is­land, was also con­sis­tent in scor­ing seven points in the first, sec­ond and third quar­ters be­fore post­ing nine in the fi­nal frame to make sure her team didn’t have a sec­ond half let­down. After Abing­ton was whis­tled for 10 fouls in the first half, the Ghosts had to change some things de­fen­sively and had their se­nior play­ing al­most as a safety on de­fense, which al­lowed Brown to pick off sev­eral passes.

Given that there aren’t too many play­ers around who mea­sure up to Brown, get­ting to bat­tle a cou­ple of good post play­ers only fired the se­nior up.

“I had to play strong, ev­ery game we play (PW), it’s been a good game and I knew they had some height this year, so it was go­ing to be even harder,” Brown said. “I think I ac­tu­ally play bet­ter when I have that kind of com­pe­ti­tion, I had 30 tonight, so I wanted to im­pose my­self on the in­side and the out­side.”

Dougherty said that the game tape from Fri­day would be in­valu­able for Allen and Thomas and also cred­ited as­sis­tant coach Brid­gette McKnight, her­self a for­mer Divi­sion I post player, for help­ing pre­pare the two fresh­men. While the Colo­nials got off to a good start this sea­son, they

hadn’t faced a test quite like the one Abing­ton pre­sented.

There’s no sub­sti­tute for the real deal, as Brown proved.

“That team is go­ing to be re­ally good, they’re all un­der­class­men and they’re go­ing to have to their day but I think this is, hope­fully, our year,” Ghosts coach Dan Marsh said. “Those two fresh­men are go­ing to be re­ally good, but they’re not ready for (Brown) yet, but I don’t think any­one is. I think she’s the best big in the state and one of the best play­ers in the state, so it’s no dis­re­spect to them, it’s just that Kas­son­dra is on a dif­fer­ent level right now.”

The Colo­nials knew Abing­ton is an ag­gres­sive de­fen­sive team, so they used to their ad­van­tage by get­ting into the bonus with a minute left in the first quar­ter. Allen was es­pe­cially good at get­ting her­self to the foul line and PW man­aged the lead down to 22-14 in the sec­ond quar­ter be­fore Brown helped Abing­ton

out to a 29-16 half­time lead.

Re­gard­less of whether or not she’s shoot­ing well, Brown said she’s al­ways go­ing to ask for the ball be­cause it helps open up her team­mates for shots. Fri­day, she shot 13-of-21 from the floor but just as cru­cial, she didn’t do all her work right un­der the bas­ket.

Once she had es­tab­lished her­self down low, and with a cou­ple team­mates not shoot­ing well, Brown stretched things out and knocked down a hand­ful of jump­shots be­tween 12-17 feet.

“I wanted to bal­ance it out be­cause I knew I wasn’t go­ing to have it easy in the post,” Brown said. “Com­ing back from the hol­i­day we had a cou­ple bad prac­tices, no one was re­ally work­ing hard, so we had to have a game like this to snap back.”

Allen had a dou­ble-dou­ble with 14 points and 10 re­bounds while Thomas had two points and five re­bounds. After the game, Brown said she sees bright things ahead for both PW fresh­men and even as Abing­ton pulled away in

the sec­ond half, the PW coaches wanted them to keep bat­tling the all-state se­nior.

“It’s im­por­tant to keep their spir­its up too. Kas­son­dra wasn’t what she is now when she was a fresh­man, she had to go through these lumps and grow­ing pains as well,” Dougherty said. “We told our two, ‘we’d love to see you grow into some­one like that,’ it’s why we kept them on the floor and kept the ex­pe­ri­ence go­ing. There’s no rep like a game rep.

“She’s not only tal­ented, but she has a mo­tor that out­does ev­ery­body else.”

Brown hit the 30-point mark on a power drive to the rim with about 1:15 left in the fourth quar­ter. The Ghosts, now 8-1, have an­other big test Satur­day when they trek to Ne­shaminy for a non­league game with their for­mer SOL Na­tional ri­vals.

“If we play smart, we’re tough to beat,” Marsh said. “It’s when we get sped up and start to do things that aren’t within our­selves that we get our­selves in trou­ble. De­fen­sive dis­ci­pline was key in the sec­ond half, we ap­proached it like a big

game and knew it was a big game com­ing in.”

PW also doesn’t have much time off, as the Colo­nials host Down­ing­town West on Satur­day then have to pre­pare for their first meet­ing with Up­per Dublin next Tues­day. Dougherty knew this would be a piv­otal stretch for his young team – which started five fresh­men and sopho­mores Fri­day.

“It’s a group of kids that works six days a week, they’re com­mit­ted to a long-term goal of be­ing very good,” Dougherty said. “The kids are very bought in, they don’t want to hear that we’ll be good in two years or three years. They want to be good this year and com­pete this year.”

Per Marsh, Abing­ton’s non­league game at Soud­er­ton that had been sched­uled for Mon­day, Jan, 7 has been resched­uled to Jan. 31.

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