Knights fall short in close game against Bears


Prasham Jobanputra

Senior A.J. Mitchell at the free throw line for North Penn. He would finish with 20 points.

TOWAMENCIN- After a grand offensive game against Souderton, it was a much different game for the Knights against the Bears

The North Penn Knights (3-2) lost to the Boyertown Bears (2-2) 63-62 in a Saturday afternoon game at the North Penn gymnasium.

“They did a better job at controlling tempo. They played a zone, 2-2-1, and were able to slow us down and they were able to score so we couldn’t get out in transition,” Head Coach John Conrad said.

The Bears jumped out to a 5-0 lead until senior Tali McIver made a flashy layup for the first two points of the game for the Knights.  Later, junior Kolby Barrow knocked down his first of 5 three-pointers off a no-look pass from senior A.J. Mitchell.  However, the Bears took a 15-9 lead into the second quarter.

Prasham Jobanputra
Senior Tali McIver dribbles while scanning the court for an open player.

“When we get into the middle it helps cause they collapse and then you can kick it out and then we get shots open from the outside.  And screens away like flare screens helped out a good amount as well,” Barrow explained after a 15-point performance.

The Bears did the dirty work and battled for second chance points as they built a 19-14 lead with 5:35 left in the half.  However, the Knights came within three after junior Matt Swanson made a layup from a Mitchell assist.  Swanson finished with 13 points.  Then Mitchell made a hop step layup and was fouled in the process.  Mitchell knocked down his free throw to tie the game at 19.  The lead was exchanged a few times until junior Mike Chaffee stole the ball and Mitchell made a second chance opportunity.  The Knights were up 27-24 until Boyertown’s Tre Diguglielmo made a three to tie the game at 27.  As the buzzer went off, Mitchell was fouled and made a free throw to give North Penn a 28-27 advantage into halftime.

North Penn was held scoreless for the first 4:18 seconds of the 3rd quarter and then Chaffee made a three to cut a Boyertown lead to 35-31.  Barrow followed this with a three-pointer of his own and got the Knights to within one.  However, the Bears were able to build another lead and entered the 4th quarter up 46-39.

In the 4th, Boyertown’s Aarick Salata made a layup and was fouled by McIver.  Salata made his free throw and extended the Bears lead to 10.  With 3:53 left in the game, Barrow made a three-pointer and then Swanson made a basket to tie the game at 57.  Boyertown’s Chris Kiefer battled to get a rebound and scored on the second chance effort to put the Bears up 59-57 with 1:15 left.  Later, Salata was fouled and went 2-2 at the free throw line and added two more points to that lead.  With 30.1 seconds left, Swanson scored and it was back to a two-point lead for the Bears.  The Bears had what looked like a wide-open layup attempt but Chaffee raced down court and contested the layup to get the ball back for North Penn.  McIver then drove to the basket but missed his layup. The Knights got the rebound and Chaffee shot a three that didn’t fall through the net.  The Knights fouled and Tre Diguglielmo went to the line and sunk both free throws to give the Bears a 63-59 lead.  Barrow rushed down the court and made a three from way downtown but the buzzer sounded and the Knights were still down by one.

“We couldn’t really get any stops defensively.  We didn’t have much of an answer for [Salata], he’s a nice player, he’s quick.  Obviously, the game plan was to get some stops and score on the other end,” Conrad explained.

The Knights will be at Pennsbury for a date with the Falcons at 7:00 on Tuesday.

North Penn: Mitchell 20 pts, Barrow 15 pts, Swanson 13 pts, Chaffee 8 pts, McIver 4 pts, Robinson 2 pts

Boyertown: Borgmann 20 pts, Diguglielmo 17 pts, Salata 16 pts, Kiefer 4 pts, Marinello 2 pts, Metcalf 2 pts, O’barow 2 pts