Ghosts Topple Knights in Second Half

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BENSALEM- When Abington is on a roll, they get things done. But this “roll”, didn’t get started until the second half. In the first game of the SOL Championships, North Penn and Abington faced off in what started as a close game. However, a tie turned into a lead for North Penn, which made Abington rethink their game play and change their attitude. The Ghosts ended up winning by over 20 points in a 66-45 victory over the Knights.

“We have resilience and a willingness to fight. That is really what separates our  team from others in the league,” said sophomore Ghost Eric Dixon.

In the first quarter, almost immediately, it was apparent that North Penn was in for a towering challenge with Dixon, a 6’7’’ sophomore. Dixon could not only jump to snatch a rebound, but he could put it back in the basket as well, which made him a dangerous weapon in the paint.

“He’s unreal; you can only try and contain him, and I thought our kids did a nice job,” said North Penn Head Coach John Conrad.

Along with junior Robbie Heath, the Ghosts were sinking quick shots, and if they missed, they used their hops to grab the ball and try again. North Penn was also keeping up with the growing score due to seniors Reece Udinski, Lance Ford, and David Giuliani. After a fast pace start, the quarter ended tied 15-15.

The Knights began to pull away from the tie in the second quarter by focusing on their defense and giving the ball to Udinski who earned seven points. The Knights outscored the Ghosts 15-10 in the second quarter and led 30-25 going into the second half.

“The biggest challenge from North Penn was their zone. We settled a lot for three pointers, but we knew we had to adjust and break it in the second half,” said Heath.

As the third quarter unfolded, North Penn’s five point lead dwindled quickly. After a rocky start, the Ghosts put the first half behind them and started with a relentless mindset in the second.

We got on [Dixon] a little bit at halftime,” said Head Coach Charles Grasty, “He took it and said, ‘My bad, I got you coach’, and that’s the type of game that we expect from him”

— Coach Charles Grasty

“We got on [Dixon] a little bit at halftime,” said Head Coach Charles Grasty, “He took it and said, ‘My bad, I got you coach’, and that’s the type of game that we expect from him.”

Abington’s ability to take responsibility for the first half while also being able to move forward was key to their success.

“They coaches came into the locker room at halftime, and they were straight up with us. We weren’t playing hard, we weren’t playing good basketball, so we just came out in the second half and did just that,” said Dixon.

In the third quarter, Abington focused on guarding Udinski, which resulted in the Knights earning 6 points total, while the Ghosts put up an impressive 22 points.

“We know that [Udinski] can shoot the ball, and we know he shoots it very well, so we wanted him to put it on the floor, make him go backdoor, and we denied him a little bit,” said Grasty.

The Knights we not as successful in stopping their opponent’s offensive threat because Dixon earned 13 of his team’s 22 third quarter points.

“[Abington] made some adjustments to our zone, and that was pretty effective, so I give them a lot of credit,” said Conrad.

However, the Ghosts lead only by 11 points at the end of the quarter, which left no room for being comfortable against the fired up Knights.

In the beginning of the final quarter, there were signs of North Penn coming back from behind, but Abington kept making their trek harder and harder. The Ghosts were coming up strong under the basket and extending their lead at a fast pace.

“I thought [Abington] did a great job of rebounding in the second half; we gave up a lot of second chance points that they didn’t get in the first half,” said Conrad.

The Ghosts continued to dump the ball to Dixon, who earned seven more points, and they continued to limit the Knights’ offensive opportunities. Fouls from North Penn on Abington also allowed the Ghosts to rack up points from the foul line, and  the Ghosts finished with a 20 point lead over the Knights.

“We are used to coming from behind against big teams, and I think by coming out in the second half with a lot of energy we were able to get the win,” said Heath.

SCORING

North Penn 15 30 36 45

Reece Udinski, 11; Ricky Johns, 10; David Giuliani, 10; AJ Mitchell, 6: Lance Ford, 4; Chris Coleman, 2; Michael Ward, 2

Abington 15 25 47 66

Eric Dixon, 31; Robbie Heath, 14; Lucas Monroe, 7; Darius Brown, 7; Rob Young, 4; Jonah Canada, 3

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