While Detroit desperately tries to crank out various Ford models to appeal to consumer tastes, the Haverford head boys' coach can unveil an appealing assembly line of basketball talent. the kind with a sleek and aerodynamically sound app-roach to the game.
Last Thursday, the result of this finely tuned and fluid approach to James Naismith's game came to fruition as Haverford won the Steve Juenger Classic title, 57-49, over The Haverford School.
McNichol's "Share the Wealth" philosophy paid superb dividends as a balanced scoring attack kept their rivals off balance in the title clash.
Jake Mingey led Haverford with a game-high 17 points. He was joined by a trio of teammates in the double-digit scoring parade: James Pokorney and Brian Murphy netted 11 points apiece and Nick Masloff 10.
For his superlative efforts, Mingey was named tournament MVP.
Taking the championship was anything but easy, though. The two schools - both nicknamed Fords -were neck and neck by intermission, with the host Central League team owning a tenuous 23-21 lead.
Haverford School launched a serious challenge by reeling off the first seven points of the second half. However, Mingey drilled nine consecutive points to provide a 32-30 advantage.
Haverford High seemed to take control early in the fourth quarter, expanding the lead to 39-32.
But the Inter-ac team was not to be denied. They fought back valiantly to tie at 41.
McNichol's squad, however, showed heart and resolve. Using their athleticism and swiftness to the max, the Fords maintained an up-tempo offense combined with a tenacious defense.
Haverford School could not focus on any one particular Ford because McNichol made sure to spread the offensive load around in a fairly equal manner.
In addition, the county team found a myriad ways to get open for excellent scoring chances.
The triumph lifted Haverford High to 6-4 overall going into the new year.
Haverford landed in the championship finals by dispatching Upper Dublin in the opener.
The script was eerily similar to the championship game. Mingey was the center of attention as he notched 17 points to lead all scorers.
He was joined by that same trio of teammates in double-digit scoring. Masloff popped in a dozen points; Pokorney and Murphy added 10 apiece.
Haverford was not the only local school to win a tournament over the holiday break.
Bonner took the Bay Ball at the Beach Basketball Classic Saturday in Lewes, DE, knocking off Bishop Loughlin (NY), 55-52.
The Friars made their record a gaudy 10-2 as Jeff Jones erupted for a game-high 26 points to help seal the deal.
The Friars seized a 19-5 advantage in the second quarter to grab an 11-point halftime lead. However, this competitive contest was far from over as Bishop Loughlin fought back in
the second half.
Coach Brian Daly has forged a finely honed Friar squad. The team held off the challenge and kept the lead. Lijah Thompson backed up Jones with 10 points.
Bonner landed in the title game on the strength of a thrilling 68-66 double-overtime victory against St. Mary's (NY) Thursday.
The Friars needed Jones' 34-point, 15-rebound package to advance.
Yet another local team captured a tournament championship when Upper Darby defeated Reading, 65-54, Thursday to take the Reading Tournament for the second consecutive year.
Upper Darby's Brandon Robinson led all scorers with 18 points, followed by teammate Clinton Cole's 15. Both players were named to the All- Tournament team with Robinson selected tournament MVP.
Upper Darby made the finals by edging Strawberry Mansion, 72-69, as Elie Daniel popped in 21 points. He was one of four players who notched double digits for the Royals. Damone Armstead and Cole each had had 14 points; Khayri West added a dozen.
Penn Wood made the finals of the Coatesville Tournament by defeating Allentown Central Catholic, 33-30.
Austin Smith led the Pats with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Gerald Bryant also came up with 11 points to help pace the Pats.
Penn Wood lost the title to Central Bucks West, 44-38. The Pats' Gerald Bryant hit for 18 points.
In the Chester Pike Kiwanis Tournament, Marple Newtown
defeated Friends Central, 50-38, to take third place as Matt D'Ottaviano had a career night.
Named to the All-Tournament team, he netted 22 points.
In the William Allen Tournament in Allentown, Springfield also took third place by beating Central, 70-50, as Chris VonTanhausen scored a game-high 23 points. Teammate Dan McGarrigle came up with 18 points and Frank McKnight (10 assists) 11.
In the Kennett Tournament in Kennett Square, Strath Haven captured third place by beating Kennett, 73-56, as Mike Reese hit for 13, followed by teammates Willie Curry and Roy-al Edwards (11 apiece).