Knights lose by one in high tempo game


Prasham Jobanputra

A.J. Mitchell guards Reuben Jean-Phillips

TOWAMENCIN- After a full week of school, the Knights and Fighting Owls still had plenty of energy on a Saturday afternoon in a high-flying and fast-paced game that felt more like a race from one of the Fast and the Furious movies.  And neither team could slow down as the game came down to 0.1 seconds left in regulation.

“I thought both teams wanted to run in transition.  Both teams are pretty good at it and they just made an extra play down the stretch,” Head Coach John Conrad said.

The North Penn Knights (8-8) lost to the Bensalem Fighting Owls (8-7) 72-71 even after a double-digit comeback.

Senior Tali McIver scored North Penn’s first 5 points and got things started for the Knights who went up 5-2 with 6:23 left in the 1st quarter.  T.J. Igielski got Bensalem the 7-5 lead with a three-pointer and then both teams went back and forth for a minute.  Senior A.J. Mitchell made a layup and was answered back on the other side with a layup from Jeremiah Alexander.  Mitchell made a three-pointer after that and Nasir Williams made a layup to give the Fighting Owls an 11-10 lead with 4:46 left in the 1st.  They extended that lead to 6 points and went into the 2nd quarter up 18-12.  McIver and Mitchell combined for 43 points for the game and 10 of North Penn’s 12 points in the 1st quarter.

“Once we got the confidence and we go in the lane, I don’t think (anybody) can stop me and A.J.,” McIver said.

The Knights came back however thanks to a great 2nd quarter from senior Chris Caputo.  After a three-pointer from Caputo, the Knights were ahead 22-21.  The Fighting Owls retook the lead but Caputo made another three-pointer to tie the game at 28.  Caputo retook the lead for the Knights after a solo fast-break and the Knights were ahead 31-30.  Igielski made a layup with 1:48 left and was fouled in the process.  Igielski made his free throw and gave the Fighting Owls a 33-31 lead and went into halftime with a 35-34 advantage.

The Fighting Owls built up a lead to start the second half but a three from junior Mike Chaffee brought the Knights to within 1 point with 4:11 left in the 3rd.  However, the ball movement from the Fighting Owls clicked very well and they built a 10-point lead in the 4th quarter.  The Knights came back however as they have all season.  Chaffee hit a big time three pointer in the corner to complete the comeback and tied the game at 71 with 8.9 seconds left.

Prasham Jobanputra
Mike Chaffee’s game-tying three-pointer in the corner

“I just want to do everything for my team.  We worked so hard.  We know we’re in a skid of losing.  We’re working so hard to get it back and I just gotta lay it all out on the court and it happened for a moment but just didn’t work out in the end,” Chaffee said.

The Knights forced a loose ball but Igielski recovered it and was fouled by sophomore Rob Carangi with 0.1 seconds left and Igielski went to the line.

“I think the officials awarded a terrible play.  Kid put his head down, bowled his way to the rim, a loose ball and we get called for a foul on a loose ball.  I just thought they had to do a better job of knowing the situation,” Coach Conrad said.

Igielski put up 22 points and had a big game and capped it all off by making his first free throw to win the game and make the Knights an even .500 on the season.

Prasham Jobanputra
T.J. Igielski’s game-winning free throw

“Just focus on making it.  I prayed to God and hoped it went in and I let it go, felt good,” Igielski said.

The Knights will play their next game on the road against the Downingtown East Cougars.

“I’m gonna say it today, I feel like we should have won that game.  It was just a series of misfortunate events that occurred.  We just gotta get back.  I feel like we played well enough to win any other game,” Mitchell said.

North Penn: Mitchell 24 pts, McIver 19 pts, Chaffee 9 pts, Caputo 8 pts, Carangi 6 pts, Barrow 3 pts, Swanson 2 pts

Bensalem: Igielski 22 pts, Williams 14 pts, Hasker 13 pts, Beck 8 pts, Alexander 6 pts, Ashford 6 pts, Jean-Phillips 3 pts