Galloping Ghosts take PIAA District 1 6A Boys’ Basketball Title
The Abington boys’ basketball team won the PIAA D1, 6A championship after a hard-fought game with the Coatesville Red Raiders, 57-51.
The Pavilion at Villanova played host to both the girls’ and boys’ District 1 6A championships on Sat. night. After seeing their girls team hoist a trophy on the same court less than an hour earlier, the Abington faithful were hungry to see the boys deliver another title for the Galloping Ghost.
Both teams entered with records of 22-4 and looked evenly matched through three quarters. The game was tied at halftime and at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Abington began to pull away early in the 4th quarter thanks to the play of junior guard Robbie Heath. Heath led all scorers with 30 points and created a turnover that changed the game.
With 6:48 remaining in the 4th quarter, Heath stole the ball and ran down the floor for a breakaway layup. He was fouled and the shot was good. He converted at the free throw line for the three-point play. It gave Abington a six-point lead, the largest lead of the night for either team to that point.
Coatesville missed their next shot and Heath grabbed the rebound. He was again fouled on a layup attempt. The shot was no good but he converted again at the line.
Abington head coach Charles Gratsy praised his young guard’s ability as an all-around player. “He knows the game of basketball. There are some people who play or put the ball in the basket, but he knows how to play,” said Gratsy.
Abington’s size and rebounding was an advantage as junior forward Eric Dixon grabbed 14 rebounds and senior center Joseph O’Brien had 6. Dixon also scored 10 points in the paint.
“As long as we played smart and handled our business and took care of the ball, we felt like it was going to be ours,” said O’Brien.
The future looks bright for Coatesville though as their leading scorers were both freshmen guards. Jhamir (Jig) Brickus led the team with 12 points and Dapree Bryant scored 10.
As the final seconds ticked away, The Pavilion erupted as Abington’s teams went 2-0 on the day in championship opportunities. The girls team joined the boys on the court as both of them would go home as champions.
(Photo Credit: Wave Lane)