Knights strike down Titans on Senior Knight

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Julia Shearer

Sophomore Captain Caleigh Sperling receiving a pass look to score against CB South on a Tuesday.

A special night for Senior Captain Kelsie Machintosh proved to be exactly what the Knights needed to break their 4 game losing streak.

The Knights Girls Basketball team (7-12) upset the Titans of CB South (10-5) winning 66-54 in a conference matchup Tuesday Night on their home court while also celebrating their Senior Night.

The game started off close as the teams stayed within three points of each other for the first 5 minutes with scoring contributions coming from Sophomore Captains Liv Stone and Caleigh Sperling and Junior Captain Abby Plaugher. It wasn’t long till the Knights took control of the scoring with Stone and Plaugher adding another two each to the scoreboard for the Knights giving them an 11-5 lead forcing South to call an early timeout.

“Abby has been in a little bit of a scoring slump, but tonight she came out and had an excellent game,” Head Coach Bri Cullen said.

The timeout did not work in the Titan’s favor as they came out sloppy turning the ball over and giving North Penn a chance to pull even further ahead. After a scoreless minute with multiple turnovers from both teams, fouls came at inconvenient times for the Knights with both Freshman Cam Crowley and Sperling giving South the opportunity to inch back into the game. South made both foul shots from Sperlings foul with 30 seconds left in the 1st quarter. A beautiful offensive possession by the Knights left Machintosh open to score her first points of the game with time expiring giving them a 13-7 lead.

“[Kelsie] has been a leader all season on and off the court. I think coming in she just played with her heart and that led the entire group of girls to play with their hearts,” Cullen explained.

[Kelsie] has been a leader all season on and off the court. I think coming in she just played with her heart and that led the entire group of girls to play with their hearts”

— Coach Bri Cullen

The Titans came out in the second quarter scoring two off of lacking defensive rebounding by the Knights. It wasn’t long for the Knights to answer as Sperling scored two of her own giving the Knights a 15-9 lead. The back and forth continued as the Titans scored a three putting them within three of the Knights, but not for long as Stone answered with two of her own. Helping to keep up the Knights’ intensity, Macintosh forced a turnover giving Plaugher the opportunity to score extending the Knights’ lead to 19-12.

“We played very unselfish basketball today and defensively we never hung our heads on any possession so that really impacted the game,” Cullen said.

South answered again with another three making the score 19-15, but not long after the Titans put Sperling on the line where she made her two free throws. The foul shooting didn’t stop for Sperling as she went 10 of 10 from the line making up almost half of her 22 points.

The Titans seemed to recover scoring 4 unanswered points putting them within 2 with 3:37 left in the first half. Sophomore Kelly Donnelly extended the lead again for the Knights 23-19 with a two-point layup. Aggressive defense from Stone gave the Knights possession leading to a Plaugher three with just two minutes left in the first half. A foul by the Knights put South on the line scoring 1 of 2 free throws. With one minute left in the first quarter and a strong offensive possession by the Knights, Sperling was able to score two giving the Knights a 28-20 lead heading into the half.

“I think we played really well as a team after coming off of a loss against Souderton where we didn’t really play together, but I think today we played together really well,” Plaugher said.

Coming out of the half, the Knights kept up their intensity. Plaugher was fouled in the first minute of the second half making 1 of 2 extending the lead 29-20 in favor of the Knights. The Titans answered with two points of their own, but for Sperling that didn’t seem to matter as she drilled a three, putting the Knights up by 8, their largest lead of the night.

Julia Shearer

The Knights continued to dominate on both sides of the ball forcing a turnover leading to a Stone layup off of an offensive rebound forcing South to call a timeout.

“We have been working a lot of boxing out and rebounding and playing together as a whole,” Plaugher explained.

South looked promising coming out of the timeout with a solid offensive possession resulting in another two points for them. The promise soon faded as a Titans foul gave the Knights possession and the opportunity for Sperling to make another big three-pointer. The scoring continued for the Knights as Plaugher and Donnelly scored another two each. South went on to score another three points following a Crowley three making the score 44-31 with 2:53 left in the 3rd quarter. A few fouls allowed the Titans to go on a six-point unanswered run leaving the score 44-37 going into the 4th quarter.

The Titans had just eight minutes left to try to make a dent in their deficit, but coming out of the gates the Knights just kept scoring. Stone made a two-point layup and Plaugher was fouled making both free throws. Crowley added another three and the defensive front kept up for the Knights as Stone got a defensive rebound forcing the Titans to call a timeout with only six minutes left in the game with the score of 51-38

“We never hung our heads. The entire game we went on runs. South is a very good team, and [the Knights] constantly stayed composed,” Cullen said.

After two points from Kelly Donnelly, the Titans answered with two made free throws. With 5:00 left South started to foul. Four Titan fouls resulted in eight points for the Knights which was the story all night as they went 19 for 21 from the free-throw line. South did get back into a rhythm scoring cutting the lead to 10 with a score of 61-51 with 2:47 left in the game. Sperling was fouled again making both shots and then once again the crowd erupted for Senior Machintosh as she found herself at the foul line making 1 of 2. That would be her last action of the night as she was taken out of the game.

“ It definitely made me nervous, a good kind of nervous, definitely had the adrenaline rushing. It was a great night,” Macintosh said.

The game ended quickly after with a few points sprinkled in from both teams. This win broke a four-game losing streak for the Knights and put them a step closer to making the playoffs.

I’m so proud of [the Knights] because we came off a big losing streak so to win tonight was a big push so hopefully we make playoffs”

— Kelsie Macintosh

“I’m so proud of [the Knights] because we came off a big losing streak so to win tonight was a big push so hopefully we make playoffs,” Macintosh said.

The Knights take on CB East away for their last regular-season game Friday at 7 pm.