Robinson’s big night leads Knights over Panthers in OT Shootout


Jake Copestick

BASKETBALL- David Robinson carries the Knights in their first win of 2018 with a career high of 38 points.

TOWAMENCIN – Two minutes into the North Penn Knights’ first game of the new year, the scoreboard read nothing but zeros as the Knights and the visiting William Tennent Panthers hadn’t seen a ball go through the net since warm ups. The two teams combined for just 27 points in the first quarter thanks to shooting that was as cold as the frigid air outside. However, over the next four periods, one of which was overtime, it seemed like no one could miss – especially North Penn junior center David Robinson.

“Yes,” said Robinson, who cracked a smile when asked if 38 points was his personal best.  

Robinson erupted for a game-high 38 points, including 11 in overtime, that led the Knights to an 85-77 victory. Six of Robinson’s overtime points were part of a personal 6-0 run that was capped off when he stole the ball near half-court and finished the play with a two-handed dunk on the other end.

“[David] continued to work and stay positive, and I thought he had a great second half. He really carried us,” said North Penn Head Coach John Conrad.   

Robinson and senior Chris Coleman, who had 19 points, spearheaded the Knights’ offensive attack coming out of halftime. They were able to withstand streaky shooting from Panthers Dave West and Pat McCauley, the latter knocking down four of his shots from behind the three-point line. North Penn held an eight point advantage going into the fourth quarter thanks to AJ Mitchell assisting on a David Robinson floater in the lane that beat the buzzer. However, the game started to slip away from the Knights when the fourth quarter opened. The Panthers went on a 15-2 run to give Tennent a five point lead by virtue of three point plays from McCauley and Markeith Baxter.

“We had to get back to what gave us the lead. I thought we started to become pretty selfish offensively, and we gave up too many second shots,” said Conrad.

The Knights wouldn’t go away easy, though. Tali McIver set up David Robinson with a nifty behind the back pass to cut the lead to two, with under two minutes left. Then, with just under eight seconds left in regulation, senior AJ Catanzaro put back an AJ Mitchell three that rimmed out to tie the game at 64.

“It was big,” said Conrad.

Tennent’s Michael Mulville couldn’t hit a deep three, and the Panthers were denied two putback attempts in the waning moments of regulation, forcing an extra period.

Overtime would be all North Penn, who rode Robinson’s 11 points and clutch free throw shooting to a 21 point outburst that ultimately put the Panthers away.

“Most of the plays we ran were to me; to see me, to feed me the ball, and to let me work,” said Robinson, whose career day puts the Knights back at .500 with a 4-4 overall record.

The Knights will travel to Upper Merion High School this Saturday, January 6th, for a non-conference game that tips off at 12 p.m.