PHILADELPHIA — It was Abington’s night Friday at the Liacouras Center at Temple University in the boys District One AAAA final.
The Ghosts jumped out to a large first quarter lead and kept their distance throughout, cruising to a 53-35 victory.
“In my eyes, this is the first complete game we actually played all four quarters together,’ Abington’s Amir Hinton. “It’s a great feeling.’
Hinton was at the head of Abington’s attack. The senior scored his team’s first seven points and the 1,000th of his high school career. He finished with a game-high 20 points.
“My coach told me to come out and just leave it all out there,’ Hinton said. “My mindset was to come out and leave it all out there.
“Very special,’ Hinton added about scoring his 1,000th point in a district final game. “At first I really didn’t think I was going to get it — a stretch of the season I was at 180 — I was like I might not get it. I just kept playing, played hard, and really didn’t worry about it and it came.’
Matt Penecale also frustrated PW’s defense the entire night. The senior guard tallied 13 points. Freshman Robbie Heath chipped in eight points.
The Ghosts went on a 16-0 run early in the first quarter that carried into the second and they quickly led, 16-2.
The Colonials struggled the entire night. Their big three — Andre Mitchell, Jimmy Murray and Xzavier Malone — combined for only 24 points. They were averaging around 45 in the first four playoff games.
The kids did everything right as far as planning and getting focused,’ PW coach Jim Donofrio said. “But my concern was just Abington’s confidence level in this game. I knew it was going to be through the roof.’
Plymouth Whitemarsh’s only first quarter points came on two Mitchell free throws that gave them a 2-0 edge.
“Believe it or not, for a 24-3 team, I have not been thrilled with our offense all year,’ Donofrio said.
PW wasn’t able to make a field goal until there were six minutes remaining in the second quarter. They made 10 field goals in the entire game, just two more than Hinton made alone.
The only time that it felt like the Colonials had a chance to make a run came in the third quarter. Out of a timeout, trailing 30-13, Malone hit a three from a long way out to cut the deficit to 14, but it couldn’t swing the momentum.
By the time the third quarter ended, PW trailed 45-20. A large part of that surge was Abington’s Brian Close. Close scored all seven of his points in the third quarter to help build the Ghosts’ lead and put the Colonials into an insurmountable hole.
Mitchell paced PW with 15 points and Malone added seven.