Speller’s 35-point outburst spells end of Abington’s season

CHELTENHAM — The littlest man on the court had the biggest impact on the game.

JP McCaskey guard Randolph Speller exploded Saturday afternoon, raining nine 3-pointers and 35 points on Abington. By the time he was done, along with some big plays by his teammates, Speller had engineered a 71-66 upset of the District I champion Galloping Ghosts in the team’s PIAA Class AAAA first round game at Cheltenham High School.

The result would be considered an upset to everyone but the group that pulled it off.

“In our mind, we never feel as though we’re the underdog,’ Speller said. “We just come out and do what we’re supposed to do. Today, we did it.’

Abington’s tremendous season, which saw the Ghosts win their division, the SOL championship and the District I title, came to an abrupt end. But the Ghosts went down with everything they had, rallying from a 15-point deficit with 2:24 left in the third quarter.

In a sign signifying it wasn’t meant to be, the Ghosts got to within two and drove in for a chance to tie, only to turn the ball over roughly midway through the final quarter.

The loss marked the end of the careers of Abington’s senior class and headliners Amir Hinton and Matt Penecale, who all helped raise the bar of expectations at the school during their run.

“(Speller) got going, he got rolling,’ Abington coach Charles Grasty said. “Sometimes once you make that first one, he’s a good shooter and we knew he was a good shooter, he got going early and sometimes you get in that zone. He was just chucking it up there and going in.’

“It’s disappointing, I didn’t plan on losing in the first round,’ Hinton, who scored 28 points, said.

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