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North Penn seniors sink Spring-Ford in District 1-6A opener

ROYERSFORD >> Before the pivotal possession of Friday night’s District 1 Class 6A opener at Spring-Ford, a North Penn fan exalted the Knights to “give it all you’ve got for your seniors!”

She had nothing to worry about. Those seniors ​had spent the entire evening working to ensure that their high school careers wouldn’t end just yet.

Chris Coleman and Joey Lindsay combined for 33 points as the Knights ​topped Spring-Ford, 52-50, in a District 1-6A opening-round game in Royersford Friday night.

“We needed a spark,” said Lindsay, “and we weren’t going out with a first-round loss.”

The Knights (13-10) advance to Tuesday night’s second-round contest at Pennridge, with the winner earning a bid to the 6A state tournament.​ Even a loss wouldn’t mean the end of the road, as the eight second-round losers move into a single-elimination playback bracket, with the two survivors claiming 9th and 10th places in District 1 and advancing to states.

Junior David Robinson’s basket with :42.8 left put the Knights ahead for good in a contest that featured 19 lead changes.

“Right place at the right time,” said Robinson. “I got open – I was praying that my guard would see me, and he did.”

But it was seniors Coleman and Lindsay who put the Knights in position for Robinson’s pivotal bucket.

After a sometimes lackluster first half that features a combined 18 turnovers, it was Lindsay (16 points) igniting North Penn on both ends after halftime, scoring eight third-quarter points and frustrating Spring-Ford’s ball handlers in the half-court. But a Noah Baker 3-pointer gave SF a 36-35 lead after three quarters, and the Rams reeled off six straight to start the fourth quarter.

That was when Lindsay’s classmate Coleman took over. With North Penn down seven, Coleman (17 points) reeled off nine straight on his own (two 3s, a jumper and a foul shot) to bring the Knights within striking distance for Robinson’s deciding bucket.

“We needed that last push – our mindset, our defensive intensity wasn’t the same at the start of the fourth quarter,” said Coleman.

Baker’s desperation three was deflected as time ran out and North Penn, which qualified for the PIAA tournament last year, advanced to the second round.

Baker paced Spring-Ford (15-11) with 15 points. Austin Hokanson had 14 in his final game for the Rams.

“He’s a tough matchup,” said North Penn’s Robinson​ of Hokanson​, who slugged it out in the post with Hokanson all game, “because he’s so ​skilled. A lot of guys, they’ve got one move. [Hokanson] makes you work.”

Despite the loss, Spring-Ford coach Chris Talley expressed pride in the Rams’ season, especially for the seniors.

“Credit to North Penn, they played a heck of a game,” he said. “It’s tough in that locker room right now. Those are some great kids, who just didn’t get the result we wanted tonight.”

The Rams’ loss, combined with Methacton’s 56-46 season-ending defeat at the hands of Perkiomen Valley, means both PAC finalists saw their seasons end in the first round of districts.​ Spring-Ford dropped the PAC title game to Methacton, 72-60 on Tuesday.​

“I love our league play,” said Talley. “I wouldn’t trade that atmosphere for anything. It’s so ​much fun, so ​emotional ​… but losing a game like that on Tuesday​,​ it’s hard to get ready for a district game a couple days later.”



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