BENSALEM >> Alexa Brodie’s interception of Abington’s final inbounds pass was a fitting capper to a contest in which a tough Central Bucks South defense was lurking around every corner.
“We knew how good they were defensively,” Ghosts coach Dan Marsh said. “They did a great job of making us uncomfortable. We didn’t run our sets well and that’s completely due to South’s defense.
“But all that said, we were right in the game.”
The Titans held on for a 43-39 victory Saturday at Bensalem, as they advance to the finals of the Suburban One Challenge for the first time.
“It feels really good because we hadn’t been able to do it,” said South’s Haley Meinel, who scored eight of her game-high 13 points in the fourth quarter. “It’s so exciting. I’m really happy for our team.
“We had to keep playing tough because (Abington’s) a really good team. We had to cover their outside shots really well.”
South (21-2) advances to Monday’s 6 p.m. final at Souderton, to take on Souderton, a 66-26 winner over Plymouth Whitemarsh in the other semifinal Saturday.
A jumper by Meinel pushed South ahead 40-38, setting up a frantic final minute.
Both defenses holding their ground, Sam Brusha (team-high 12 points) hit one of two free throws for Abington (17-6), making it 40-39 with 21 seconds to go.
South twice missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Abington had a chance in the final seconds. But a tough traveling call on Camryn Lexow — after she appeared to secure an offensive board — gave the Titans possession with five seconds left.
Meinel was fouled with four seconds to go, hitting one of two to stretch the lead to 41-39. The Ghosts tried to inbound but then Brodie raced into the passing lane along the sideline. She then hit a pair of free throws to make it 43-39 with two seconds left, locking up the victory.
Brodie’s passing was instrumental throughout, twice setting up Mackenzie Ehresman for needed baskets down the stretch. Brodie had nine points and Ehresman finished with 10.
“Transition and keep pushing the ball,” Meinel said of the keys to victory for the Titans moving forward. “(A win Monday) would be extremely helpful for us and it would boost our confidence more for districts.”
The two teams battled through an evenly-played first quarter until South finished with a 4-0 spurt, an underhanded layup by Brodie providing a 10-6 edge after one.
Britney James got going early in the second quarter for the Ghosts, immediately making a steal and taking it all the way in for two. Moments later, James made another steal and took it all the way in, banking in a floater to draw the Ghosts even.
The rest of the quarter belonged to Caroline McSorley.
Coming off the bench, McSorley hit a three, sank a pair of free throws, and finishing another sequence, she drove to the hoop and got it to fall, stretching the Titan lead to 21-15.
A pair of foul shots by Brusha closed it to 21-17 at the break.
The two Suburban One powers were tied 30 all after three and neither team could pull away in the fourth until Brodie came up with the steal.
“We’re gonna use it as motivation and then come into districts and try to make a run at this thing,” Marsh said.
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