Big first half lifts Wissahickon over Hatboro-Horsham

LOWER GWYNEDD >> Wissahickon made quick work of Hatboro-Horsham with a 71-54 Suburban One League American Conference win Tuesday night at Wissahickon High School.

The Trojans (13-6, 8-3) completed the season sweep over the Hatters (8-10, 5-6) after being them, 52-36, three weeks ago.

Wissahickon closed the first quarter on a 10-2 run to turn an 8-7 game into an 18-9 advantage.

That momentum continued into the second quarter, where the Trojans out-scored their league rival, 20-4, to head to the half with a 38-13 lead.

“Fast breaks,” Wiss senior Max Rapoport said caused the momentum shift. “We know we’re a running team. We don’t like to ever jog up the court or walk up the court. We feed off of defense. We got some stops, started running and finishing layups.

“I told my teammates after the first quarter we gave up too many points and they scored nine. Halfway through the (second) quarter they still didn’t score a point. They ended up scoring four, which we still think is too many, but we’re getting there on defense.”

Wissahickon’s Eddie Fortescue goes to the net against Hatboro-Horsham during their game on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Debby High/For Digital First Media)

Rapoport hit a three-pointer at the first quarter buzzer, Donovan Oliphant did the same on the first possession of the second and Zach Reiner grabbed a rebound and raced end-to-end for an easy layup to break the game open early in the second.

“We didn’t come ready to play,” Hatboro-Horsham coach Ed Enoch said. “That’s too good of a team to not come out and play not at a good level, but we have to play above our heads to compete with that team. We just didn’t play. Give (Wissahickon) credit, they had a lot to do with it — they played very well, but we just came out with very little enthusiasm. Very disappointed in how we approached the game today.”

Wissahickon has a big matchup with Cheltenham Friday night at Cheltenham. The Trojans are in third place in the SOL American Conference and the Panthers are in second with a two-game lead in the loss column. Cheltenham still has to play at first-place Plymouth Whitemarsh.

“They’re a good team,” Rapoport said. “They beat us here by I think 15, but they lost one of their good players Jack Clark. They still have players over there. They have (Ahmad) Bickley, they have a couple other guys. We know what to expect. We have two practices leading up to that. We’ll work hard.”

The Trojans are in great shape to get a couple home games in the District 1 Class-5A playoffs. They entered Tuesday’s game as the No. 4 seed and 16 teams make the playoffs.

“We’re just looking for a home game,” Rapoport said. “Last year we had to travel far to Phoenixville and then to Penncrest where we lost. We’re looking to go to Temple this year, hopefully. Home games — we have good fans — so we can get some momentum here and try to go far in playoffs.”

Hatboro-Horsham’s Chris Edwards rises up looking to score during the Hatters’ game against Wissahckon on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Debby High/For Digital First Media)

The Hatters have their work cut out for them to make the District 1 Class 6A playoffs. They were ranked No. 33 before losing to the Trojans. The top 24 teams in Class 6A qualify for the playoffs.

“It’s going to be very difficult (to make playoffs),” Enoch said. “We play PW Friday. If we were to beat PW we’ll get some points, but that’s a pretty tall task. It doesn’t look good. We’re going to keep trying.”

Rapoport scored a game-high 23 points. Eddie Fortescue added 16 and Reiner 14.

N’Gianni Cerisier and Solomon McNair each had 14 points for Hatboro-Horsham.

Wissahickon 71, Hatboro-Horsham 54
Hatboro-Horsham 9 4 21 20 — 54

Wissahickon 18 20 17 16 — 71
Hatboro-Horsham: Logan 2 2-4 6, Cerisier 5 4-4 14, Johnson 1 0-0 3, McNair 5 3-5 14, Dixon 1 0-3 2, Edwards 1 3-4 6, Hogan 3 0-0 6, Schumacher 1 0-0 3. Total 19 12-20 54.
Wissahickon: Oliphant 1 0-0 3, Fortescue 7 1-2 16, Williams 0 1-2 1, Willis 2 0-0 4, Caso 1 1-2 3, Rapoport 9 0-0 23, Hirsch 1 1-2 3, Lawrence 2 0-2 4, Reiner 4 6-9 14. Total 27 10-19 71.
Three-point goals: HH: Johnson, McNair, Edwards, Schumacher. W: Oliphant, Fortescue, Rapoport 5.

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