ABINGTON >> For the first quarter of the girls final of the Abington Friends Coaches vs. Cancer Invitational, underdog Lower Moreland was hanging with host and favorite Abington Friends.
But a 17-2 run to open up the second quarter was the start of an onslaught by the Kangaroos as they pulled away for a 65-38 win.
“First quarter, they came out aggressive we went after them, they were up man-to-man we were able to get into our sets,” Lower Moreland coach Rich Becker said. “In the second quarter, they went to their 1-3-1 (zone), we just really didn’t react well to their zone.”
For Lower Moreland, it was apparent early it was going to go as far as senior guard Lauren Killion could carry it, specifically shoot them in it. The sharp-shooting Killion scored nine of the Lions’ 11 first-quarter points.
Killion finished with a game-high 20 points, but struggled with foul trouble much of the night. She racked up four fouls before halftime, rendering her less effective particularly on the defensive end, as her inability to play aggressively left her playing off with her hands up. Killion finished with all-tournament team honors.
“Lauren Killion gets four fouls in the first half, but she’s got to stay in or there’s not a game,” Becker said. “Its tough she gets those fouls then she’s got to play back a little bit, (Abington Friends) was in the double bonus and that’s a credit to them.”
Rachel Millan was also named to the all-tournament team for the Lions, as she was second on the team in scoring with six points on the night. Lower Moreland struggled offensively especially when the ball was not in the hands of Millan or Killion most of the game.
“We got three or four girls who are comfortable with the ball in their hands and the rest are role players,” Becker said. “We thought this tournament is kind of like gravy, there’s a good chance for (Allison) Asmen, (Daniella) Azran and our bench player to get minutes so that by the end of the year maybe they are more comfortable.”
Abington Friends didn’t seem to have much problems offensively no matter who was handling the ball as more and more layers to the ‘Roos offense was unveiled as the game went on.
Leading Abington Friends’ big second quarter was tournament MVP Jade Young. The junior guard scored 12 of her team-high 15 points in the second period.
In the second half the Kangaroos went down low to their big center Alexa Middleton. She was dominant, scoring at will as she dropped all 12 of her points in the third and collected nine rebounds in the game finishing a rebound shy of a double-double en route to all-tournament team honors.
“We have a really good post player (in Middleton), she’s going to play at Monmouth next year, she really is a good high school post player,” Abington Friends coach Jeff Bond said. “By getting her the ball, whether she scores or not they got to defend her.”
Abington Friends was not done, displaying yet another facet to its offense, as it started to wear on Lower Moreland, getting into the passing lanes, forcing turn overs and getting out and running in transition.
“That’s really where we are at our best,” Bond said. “If we can create havoc at the defensive end, get deflections, get turnovers and run and try to kick the ball ahead. That was one of our better game today because we were able to do what we wanted to do defensively and get the ball up the floor.”
As the ‘Roos put the tournament championship in the rear view, they still have seven of its eight Friends Schools League games remaining and after already losing to Friends Select they have some ground to make up.