EAST ROCKHILL >> Sean Yoder, Pennridge’s prized senior guard and Navy commit, was lying on the court. His injury — and status for the remainder of the game — was uncertain.
Indicative of the Rams’ resolve Tuesday night, they responded by going on a run.
“Knowing Sean, he’s always getting back up and coming back in, somehow, someway,” said Pennridge’s 6-foot-5 senior forward, Jonathan Post. “There was a thought that it could be bad, but at the end of the day, he’s a fighter. He never gives up, wants to be on the court every single second.”
Post and the rest of the Rams amped things up in Yoder’s absence. John Dominic hit a pair of threes and finished with a game-high 15 points. Post added 13 inside, as did Trent Fisher. Luke Yoder chipped in with 10 points.
And Sean Yoder would return, in fact his coast-to-coast layup helping to apply the finishing touches to an all-around 71-48 Pennridge victory over Spring-Ford in the second round of the District 1-6A Tournament.
“Man, did (John Dominic) step up in the second half. And I thought his senior leadership has been tremendous,” said Rams coach Dean Behrens. “And we didn’t do it without Jon Post. I also thought it was big that Trent Fisher, his first playoff game, a big kid, stepped up tonight.”
The win earned the fourth-seeded Rams a home quarterfinal game Friday against No. 5 Norristown. Pennridge has also locked up a spot in states for the second straight year.
No. 13 Spring-Ford, led by Ryan Hagan’s 11 points, now heads to playbacks, trying to lock down one of the two remaining spots for states.
“We hadn’t had a game in eight days,” Dominic said. “And the first-half jitters were just killing us. But at halftime, we came together, and pulled away in that second half. We got our game back.”
Pennridge broke the game open in the third quarter.
A three by Dominic put the Rams in front 33-31, and they were on their way. Dominic had 10 points in the quarter to help turn a one-point lead at the half into a 14-point cushion after three.
Pennridge’s defense was also key: the Rams held the visitors to just six points in the frame.
“We have kept multiple teams under 10 points in a quarter. That was the goal,” Dominic said of the defensive intensity, which made open shots hard to come by. “The energy shifted. We just came out with so much energy that it was tough to stop.”
Pennridge began the fourth by pounding it inside to Post and then Sean Yoder’s coast-to-coast layup had the lead at 18.
“Everyone really brought it today,” Post said.
Robert Bobeck was a force inside early for the SF Rams, scoring the visitors’ first four points of the contest. A three by Tyler Scilingo had Spring-Ford out to a 7-2 lead.
Luke Yoder and Sean Yoder both hit threes for the Rams in the first quarter, but Spring-Ford was able to stay in front, six points each by Scilingo and Bobeck powering a 17-15 lead after one. Luke Yoder’s rebound and score at the buzzer had brought Pennridge within two.
The Rams went in front for the first time in the opening moments of the second quarter on a three by Jack Gillespie. Pennridge started to get the ball to Post and Fisher underneath, the two combining for eight second-quarter points.
Gillespie hit another three to keep Pennridge ahead, and then the SF Rams sliced it down to a 30-29 difference at the break on a layup by John Franz.
Luke Yoder’s three broke a 33-33 tie early in the third and Pennridge led the rest of the way. Noah Baker added 10 points for Spring-Ford and Bobeck had eight.
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