EAST ROCKHILL >> Ashley Gordon secured one final defensive rebound for Pennridge, calmly sank a pair of free throws at the other end, and after one more defensive stop, the Rams had pulled down a gritty 64-61 victory over rival North Penn Tuesday night.
“That felt so good. We were coming off a tough game against (Central Bucks) East and we came in tonight, played hard, and to get that win is great,” Gordon said.
In a fourth quarter that saw six lead changes, the Rams came out on top in the end.
“I think our foul shots were huge,” said Gordon, who was 6-for-7 from the line with 15 points. “And our intensity. We started playing more together. In the first half, I thought we were all over the place and weren’t playing team basketball. But then we came back together and the camaraderie helped us out. The whole team did a good job rebounding today. We boxed out well too.”
Gordon typified the Rams’ fourth-quarter resolve: they pulled in eight offensive rebounds, eight defensive boards, came up with six steals, and were 10-of-13 from the free-throw line.
“It was a tale of two halves,” Pennridge coach Mike Elton said. “We played as a team in the second half. They really picked it up. North Penn played a great game. It was a typical battle.
“Our shooting percentage was up a little bit so I think we were a bit more patient, doing some of the things we had been working on in practice. It’s a step in the right direction.”
Gordon made a pair of free throws to extend Pennridge’s lead to 62-58 with 40 seconds to play.
The Knights quickly cut the margin to a single point, when Alaina Mullaly made the first of two free-throw attempts, and then Val McGriff (15 points) rebounded the second one and put it up and in to make it 62-61.
In the final seconds, Gordon pulled down the key defensive rebound and then sank two foul shots to make it 64-61 with nine ticks to go.
A three-point attempt by the Knights did not fall at the other end as time ran out.
“What lost the game for us was the third quarter,” Knights coach Jen Carangi said. “We had built a nice lead and allowed them to get back in it – just mental lapses killed us. I said with a team that we have, with four seniors and a junior that we start, there’s no way that that should be happening. We’re gonna look to learn from it, get better and move on.
“We had two great looks — Val’s shot from the corner, which was in and out, and then the last play that we diagrammed. Alli (Lindsay) brought it up the court and passed it to Alaina — that’s exactly the shot that we wanted. You can’t ask for anything more than that. We had the looks, didn’t knock them down, and (Pennridge) made shots today.”
Lindsay’s 18 points were the team high for the Knights (8-4, 3-3 Suburban One League Continental Conference) and Evelyn Loughery’s 19 were the game high for the Rams (8-5, 3-3 SOL Continental).
The Rams hope to ride the momentum from Tuesday’s win right into the second half of the season.
“Going into the second half, it only gets harder,” Gordon said. “You’ve already played the teams once so you kind of know each other. The competition goes up and you’re fighting for that playoff seed. Having this win behind definitely feels good. Last year, we only won two conference games and this year we’ve already won three.”
Pennridge 64, North Penn 61
North Penn 18 17 12 14 — 61
Pennridge 18 11 19 16 — 64
North Penn: Laynie Doran 1 0-0 2; Alli Lindsay 6 2-4 18; Rachel Dunn 2 0-0 5; Alaina Mullaly 2 2-3 7; Kate Early 1 2-2 4; Carley Adams 4 2-2 10; Val McGriff 6 2-3 15. Totals 22 10-14 61.
Pennridge: Corinn Mart 1 1-2 3; Sophie Cweiber 3 3-4 11; Katie Yoder 0 1-2 1; Julia Kreider 5 2-2 13; Evelyn Loughery 6 4-6 19; Ryan Hodder 1 0-0 2; Ashley Gordon 4 6-7 15. Totals 20 17-21 64.
3-pointers: NP-Lindsay 4, Dunn, Mullaly, McGriff; P-Cweiber 2, Kreider, Loughery 3, Gordon.
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