Pennridge runs away from Spring-Ford for District 1-AAAA 1st round win

EAST ROCKHILL — It was grab and go on the Pennridge floor Friday night. And Pennridge showed why they are sometimes referred to as the “Running Rams.’

It is their quick transition basketball that has helped the Rams grab 20 wins and the No. 3 seed in the District 1-AAAA tournament. And in the opening round of the postseason against the Rams from Spring-Ford, the Suburban One League Continental Conference champs ran the home floor with ease, went on long stints while the group from the PAC-10 was held scoreless and literally ran away for a 78-56 victory.

Pennridge hosts a second round game Tuesday against 14th-seeded Coatesville, a 57-45 winner over Boyertown.

“Last year, February 15, our season ended,’ Pennridge coach Dean Behrens said. “We feel fortunate to be moving on and playing at home. Everyone kept talking about Coatesville and I was getting so mad. We were playing Spring-Ford tonight. We cannot jump ahead. We have to keep these kids focused.’

Right out of the tip-off, Pennridge (21-3) sprinted to a 11-1 start, showing signs of experience. The young Spring-Ford (11-12 overall) squad cut it to within 24-21 in the second quarter with a 10-2 run of their own.

Charles Drummond came off the bench to give the Spring-Ford a small spark. Drummond scored 16 points while senior Ryan Corcoran also put in 16 points  in the season-ending loss.

After losing eight players to graduation, and no Jake Freedman or Cam Reid, a 30th-seeded in districts pleased Spring-Ford, but the outcome Friday certainly did not.

“We hung with them in the first half and got caught up on some switches,’ Spring-Ford coach Chris Talley said. “I love what I saw from our young guys. It was valuable experience playing in a district playoff game on the road as sophomores.’

“We have had some injuries and other circumstances that happen,’ Talley said. “At the same time it gave some others guys opportunities they made the best out of. We knew losing our top eight from last year would be a challenge, but we expected to be competitive and we were this year.’

Pennridge junior Dan Long stopped Spring-Ford’s only surge, a 10-2 run in the second quarter, with one of his four three-pointers and then the Rams went running again. This time, behind Long and his 19 first-half points, Pennridge pulled away for good.

A 19-1 run to open the third quarter for all intents and purposes closed out the contest. The big run featured senior Zack Muredda, who navigated the lane and netted 23 points on 11 field goals. The subs played nearly the entire fourth quarter for Pennridge.

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