Knights win back and forth battle to start season


Erik Jesberger

Val McGriff attempts a free throw on her way to an 11-point performance

TOWAMENCIN- A New coach and a new season for the girls’ basketball team and they would be tested right away with a close game that saw several lead changes all the way until junior Carley Adams along with the rest of her teammates closed out the game with a 14-6 4th quarter.

The North Penn Knights (1-0) beat the Perkiomen Valley Vikings (0-1) 45-38 to start their season off with a win on a Friday night in the North Penn gymnasium.

“Honesty, I’m happy with the way that we performed in a close game because I feel like, that we are gonna have a lot of close games this season,” Head Coach Jen Carangi said.

As soon as the Knights won the tip off, Adams wasted no time as she drove straight to the basket and got the first two points of the season for the Knights.  The Knights held an early lead, but after a three-pointer from PV’s Gabby Marinacci, the game was tied at 7 with 2:43 left in the first quarter.  Senior Cayla Sharkey retook the lead for the Knights after she hit her shot out of the post.  Sharkey finished with 7 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 blocks. However, the shot from Sharkey was followed by a good two-point jumper from PV’S Anna Hallisey.  The first quarter would end with the score at 11-10 in favor of the Vikings.

In the second quarter, both teams tried to establish a lead but neither could.  Adams hit a three-pointer with 3:56 left in the half to tie the game up at 15 but the Vikings came back and with 50 seconds left in the half, Sharkey hit a three to put the Knights up 22-19.  North Penn took a 24-21 lead into halftime.

The Knights seemed to pull away in the third quarter with a sequence that built a 6-point lead.  Adams hit a flashy layup and was fouled in the process.  She converted on the and-one opportunity and the next time the Knights came down the court with the ball, junior Alaina Mullaly made her two-point jumper.  Then on the next possession, sophomore Rachel Dunn, who finished with 7 rebounds, fought for a second and third chance opportunity with her offensive rebounding efforts and converted on her shot.  However, once again, the Vikings fought their way back and in the closing seconds of the third quarter, Kelly Owens of the Vikings made her shot and gave the Vikings a 32-31 lead into the final quarter.

In the 4th quarter, Dunn made her two-point attempt to tie the game up at 35 with 4:44 left in the 4th.  This was followed by a three-pointer good from Marinacci to put the Vikings up 38-35.  However, the Knights would regain the lead once again after Adams went 2-2 at the free throw line and got the 39-38 lead for the Knights.

Erik Jesberger
Carley Adams attempts a free throw

“The pressure is always the biggest buildup but then once you close it out, it’s the best feeling,” Adams said.

And the Knights never looked back adding 6 more points to the lead to earn the W.  Adams and junior Valerie McGriff led the way on the offensive end with 15 points and 11 points respectively.  And as for Coach Carangi, she comes away with her first win as the head coach for Knights.

“I learned that we are as inexperienced as I thought we were.  With inexperience, I think, comes a lack of confidence sometimes and there were times where we made decisions that we probably shouldn’t have made, but as I told the girls after the game, that I was really proud of the way they buckled down in the 4th quarter and took care of the ball and made really good decisions.  And I think down the stretch, that’s what really won it for us,” Carangi said.

The girls will be back in action for a rivalry matchup with the Souderton Indians on December 13th.

“We are pumped, we have some things to work on, things we can fix and work on in practice and we’re ready to take on the rest of the league,” Sharkey stated.