WEST WHITELAND >> After three periods of tight, intense basketball between host Church Farm and Delco Christian, which saw neither team grab a lead larger than five points, the Griffins broke the Bicentennial League contest wide open with a devastating fourth-quarter run to take a 52-32 win Monday night at Church Farm School.
It marked the third win in a row for the young Griffins.
The Griffins (4-4 Bicentennial, 7-6 overall) were led by 6-foot-10 junior and Division 1 prospect Jon Bol Ajak, who tallied a game-high 18 points to go along with 14 rebounds and three blocks. Ajak also altered many Delco Christian tries inside the lane with his massive wing span.
Senior Abdul Ogunsanya chipped in with 15 points and six boards as the Griffins controlled the paint on the smaller Knights (4-6, 7-6).
“The run was set up by us getting stops,” Ogunsanya said. “At Church Farm is it always defense, and that did it for us tonight. We had a lot of energy in the fourth period and everybody got into the game tonight.”
Church Farm harassed the Knights into a nine for 45 shooting nightmare and kept all Delco Christian shooters not named Eric Lewis at bat. Lewis was the only Delco Christian player in double figures with 10 points, including two 3-pointers.
Despite all that, the Knights only trailed 32-29 after three quarters as they played good post defense against Ajak. But the Griffins came out firing in the fourth quarter, putting together a 20-0 run that turned a close affair into a blowout.
The blitzkrieg started when Ajak beat his man on the baseline and threw down a slam. After a Knights miss, Messiah Lee buried a long 3-pointer for a 37-29 Griffins lead. Delco Christian could not muster any offense, and after a Knights’ miss on a runner, the Griffins stormed down the floor and Jimmy McEvoy buried another three, and the Griffins were off to the races with a 40-29 advantage.
“I think after the slam everybody got a lot of energy,” Ajak said. “And then Messiah and Jimmy hit those shots right after one another and we were really into the game at that point and that did it tonight.”
Delco Christian shot just one for 12 in the final frame, and the Griffins took full advantage as Najeh Mahama scored on two consecutive trips down the floor, leading to a timeout by Delco Christian coach Mike Walker.
The Knights turned the ball over six times in the final stanza.
“They hit some shots right after one another and we were defending the post and they had open looks,” Walker said. “Then, we had an offensive-minded lineup in the game but we could not get anything going and that is a bad combination and it put us out of the game. We could not hit shots and they hit theirs.”
Church Farm shot a torrid seven for 10 in the final quarter as the Griffins hit on their first five shots of the period. The run was finally broken when Jamal Hairston hit a 3-pointer with less than two minutes to play in the game. The Knights missed on their first 11 shots of the period and Church Farm coach Marc Turner cleared his bench in a much-needed league victory.
“We are a young team and we are very sporadic,” Turner said. “But we are getting better as the year goes on and tonight we got a big game from Abdul, which I expect because he was a starter for us last year and he is a senior. So, tonight we progressed a little more as a team.”
Church Farm 52, Delco Christian 32.
DELCO CHRISTIAN (32): Lewis 2 1-2 10,Hairston 1 0-0 3, Penley 1 2-4 5, Broken 1 2-2 4, Nwodoba 2 1-4 5, Pietrowski 0 1-3 1, Smith 1 2-3 4. Totals 9 9-17-32.
CHURCH FARM (52): Ajak 7 4-5 18, Ogunsanya 6 3-5 15, Mahama 4 0-2 8, Lee 1 2-2 5, Scott 1 0-0 2, McEvoy 1 0-0 3, Harris 0 0-2 0, Agodoba 0 1-2 1, Gyami 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 10-16 52.
Delco Christian 9 12 8 3 – 32
Church Farm 13 9 10 20 – 52
3-point goals: Lewis 2, Hairston, Penley, Lee, McEvoy.
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