The Abington Galloping Ghost won the PIAA D1, 6A girls’ basketball championship on Sat. night after a 2nd half comeback propelled them to a 62-57 victory over the Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials.
It was an electric atmosphere in The Pavilion at Villanova University as the Abington crowd packed the arena hoping to see their school bring home two championships in one night. Both the girls’ and boys’ teams would be playing on the same floor for 6A titles.
In the 1st half Plymouth Whitemarsh controlled the pace of the game and led by as many as 13 points. Offensively junior guard Taylor O’Brien carried the team by scoring 30 points.
Abington head coach Dan Marsh said that his team made adjustments in the 2nd half to slow O’Brien down. “At halftime, I knew she was killing us in space. We can’t keep pressing this kid. She’s so explosive,” he said.
Going in to halftime, Plymouth Whitemarsh had a 36-25 lead, but Abington had come back from behind in their 2nd round matchup with Souderton and their semifinal win over CB West.
“We’ve been here before,” Marsh said he told his team at halftime. “This is not a big deal.”
Marsh credited his team’s conditioning and approach as the reason why they’ve been able to come back from behind all year.
“I think they tired [them] down and that’s what we’ve done to teams where we’re able to overtake them in the 2nd half because they have to play 90 feet and I don’t know that they’re used to playing 90 feet,” he said.
Other than O’Brien, only one other Colonial’s player scored in double digits, junior guard Lauren Fortescue, who netted 10 points.
On the other side, Abington distributed the ball evenly. Junior forward Sam Brusha led the team with 14 points. Sophomore center Kassondra Brown scored 13 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Junior guard Britney James added 10 points.
The Ghosts’ only senior, forward Lizzie O’Leary dominated down low as she scored 10 points and grabbed 19 rebounds.
“Lizzie O’Leary has been phenomenal for us. She played in a district championship for us in 2015, we lost to CB West, and she was determined to get back here,” said Marsh. “I don’t know if I can say enough about her. She’s done it all for us.”
(Photo Credit: Wave Lane)