Council Rock North misses last-minute upset bid at Lower Merion

LOWER MERION — Council Rock North had Lower Merion right where it wanted — within sight with time winding down in its District 1 playoff opener last night (Feb. 13) at Kobe Bryant Arena.

With upset on their minds, the 21st-seeded Indians even got the shots they needed to turn a 6-point fourth-quarter deficit into a 1-point lead in the final minute of play.

Indeed, if a pair of three-pointers by junior Riley Thompson wasn’t enough to excite a spirited visiting audience that made the trek to the Main Line, then the next trey by senior Drew Glenn certainly was. It put the Rock on top of the 2013 PIAA champs and 2014 state quarterfinalist Aces, 37-36, with 41 seconds left in the contest.

Twelve seconds later, Lower Merion senior Steve Pendleton, who notched seven of his team’s 12 points in the final frame including the last two baskets, hit an open layup, giving his team a 38-37 edge and Rock just 29 ticks to answer back.

Unfortunately, the Indians, after nearly turning the ball over near the foul line, got off only an off-balance shot by senior Steve Nowmos that deflected off the rim as the final seconds ticked away.

“We kept fighting back the whole game. A few bounces didn’t go our way but there’s nothing you can do about that. We played hard and gave ourselves a shot.

“It just didn’t go our way.’

The outcome ends North’s season at 14-9 and sends the 12th-seeded Aces to a Round of 16 pairing against No. 28 Penncrest, which stunned fifth-seeded Penn Wood, 56-53, in overtime.

“The game went exactly how we wanted it to go,’ said Indians head coach Derek Wright. “We just wanted to hang around all night. We felt like the pressure would be on them at the end of the game and we had the ball. They did a good job defending what we wanted to run but we still had a shot — a shot from one of our leaders.

“But it hurts; this is a tough one.’

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