Wissahickon holds off Cheltenham for SOL American win

CHELTENHAM >> Wissahickon opened up a double-digit lead over Cheltenham in the third quarter Friday night and held on in the fourth for a 73-66 Suburban One League American Conference win at Cheltenham High School.

The win moves the Trojans (14-6, 9-3) within a half-game of the Panthers (13-6, 9-2) for second place in the SOL American Conference.

After trailing by two, 16-14, after the first quarter, Wissahickon dominated the middle two quarters, out-scoring Cheltenham, 37-24.

“I said to my assistants you need to have a gameplan and you also sometimes need a little luck, too,” Wissahickon coach Kyle Wilson said. “(Cheltenham is) a really good shooting team … shots weren’t falling for them tonight. We were able to take advantage of that.

“We were able to (run) off of rebounds, not as much off of in-bounds. That sometimes makes a difference.”

Max Rapoport had a 10-point second quarter for the Trojans and Eddie Fortescue scored seven. Both players had 13 points in the second and third quarters combined.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well and they did,” Cheltenham coach John Timms said. “I don’t know how many total threes they had, but they shot the ball well. Their guards — Max Rapoport — he applied a lot of pressure on us by making shots, which extended our defense because when he’s able to hit that outside shot it pulls us away from the basket and gives them lanes to cut and backdoor.”

Wissahickon made nine threes in the game. Rapoport had four.

Cheltenham battled back in the fourth. Ahmad Bickley scored 13 in the final frame to help cut an 11-point deficit at the beginning of the quarter to five, 62-57, with 2:31 to go.

The Trojans made enough of their foul shots — going 12-for-18 in the fourth — to hold off the Panthers.

Rapoport scored a game-high 22 points and Fortescue added 20. Zach Reiner finished with nine points, eight rebounds and 10 assists.

Bickley and Amir Lewis each had 14 points for Cheltenham and Zahree Harrison added 13.

The Cheltenham loss all but locks up the SOL American title for Plymouth Whitemarsh. The Colonials have a two-game lead over the Panthers in the loss column with two games to go — including a head-to-head matchup at Plymouth Whitemarsh.

“Even if we beat PW, that gives them one loss,” Timms said. “This (game) was imperative for (a league title), but it was also a good game for us just to measure ourselves against a good playoff team.”

Wissahickon remains in great position to get a top-four seed in the District 1 Class-5A playoffs.

“We want to be top four in districts to guarantee two home games,” Reiner said. “This did it if we take care of business against Upper Moreland and Springfield we should be top four.”

“We’ve been bouncing back and forth with Chester at the number three spot,” Wilson said. “We want to stay in that top four and have the possibility to have two home games if we can win our first-round playoff game. That would really be special. This game really helps us on that path.”

Wissahickon 73, Cheltenham 66

Wissahickon 14 21 16 22 — 73
Cheltenham 16 14 10 26 — 66

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