FRANCONIA >> Souderton Area fell behind Quakertown 13-0 early and would trail by as many as 14 in the first half.
But after the intermission, Big Red battled for every rebound, kept getting big shots from a variety of different players, and clogged up Quakertown’s path to the basket, as the Indians rallied for a 67-61 win over the Panthers in a Suburban One League Continental Conference matchup Tuesday night.
“We just came out totally a different team,” the Indians’ Ty Salone said of the second half. “We came out stronger. The focal point of the first half was to stop transition and we didn’t do it. We played terrible, basically.
“In the second half, we really focused on getting the boards, and that made a huge difference. The second-chance points (Quakertown) got in the first half, they couldn’t get in the second half.”
Souderton (3-3 overall, 1-1 conference) took its first lead of the game moments into the fourth quarter, when a three by David Brush provided Big Red a 52-51 edge.
Souderton got hot from outside, with another three by Brush stretching the margin to 55-51, and then free throws by Brush, followed by a turnaround jumper by Salone, provided Big Red a 59-53 lead. Souderton would be up by at least six the rest of the way, with a pair of free throws by Salone icing it with 40 seconds to play, giving the Indians a 64-56 cushion.
“In the second quarter, I definitely tried to get my teammates involved more,” said Salone, who scored a team-high 20 points and was instrumental in getting the game turned around in Souderton’s favor. “And I was looking for my shot more as well. It’s definitely good to get our first conference win under our belt. Now we have a big game against CB West on Friday.”
Quakertown jumped out to a 13-0 lead early, capped by a steal and layup by J.R. Grimmage.
Grimmage’s six first-quarter points complemented the eight-point effort by Griffin Schmidt (game-high 21 points) in pushing the Panthers out to a big lead early.
A three by Nick Drosnock got the lead up to 9-0, followed by back-to-back baskets by Grimmage.
Souderton’s first basket of the night came with 2 minutes and 47 seconds left in the first, coming off a drive to the hoop by Salone.
From there, Big Red began to find its way.
Salone had a big second quarter, consistently drawing the foul and going 7-of-9 from the line. He scored 14 of his 20 points in the first half.
A basket in transition by Schmidt gave Quakertown (0-2 conference) a 22-8 lead to start the second quarter, but from there, Souderton used Salone’s ability to get to the hoop, along with hot shooting by Tracy Simsick (17 points), to close to within 38-28 at the break.
Big Red controlled the third quarter, with a steal at midcourt by Mike Bealer setting up a game-tying three by Brush, making it 49 all. That would set up Souderton’s big finish in the fourth.
“I thought in the second quarter, we started to show signs of life,” Souderton coach Chuck Kornegay said. “We started fixing things — the coaches and I, and the guys responded to it. We just went from there. We felt pretty good about being down only 10 at halftime. That gave us some momentum at the half.”