Ro­man top­ples Lans­dale Catholic

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - SPORTSROUNDUP - By An­drew Mar­cus

As Lans­dale Catholic se­nior Jim Rock swished a three-pointer in the fi­nal minute of Philadel­phia Catholic League ac­tion on Fri­day, it brought his team within 10 points of Ro­man Catholic. The Cru­saders were once again dis­play­ing the re­lent­less ef­fort that al­lowed them to carry a three­game win­ning streak into their home gym.

How­ever the Cahillites ex­tended the mar­gin large enough that the Cru­saders ran out of time be­fore they could col­lect their first PCL win of the sea­son. The 67-52 loss re­minded the Cru­saders (6-2, 0-2 league) de­spite the non­league wins, there is still some work that needs be done in or­der to be suc- cess­ful in the high-level league.

From the open­ing tip the Cahillites’ ob­vi­ous ad­van­tage in length made its pres­ence felt. The long-armed de­fend­ers dipped into pass­ing lanes and went the other way for easy buck­ets. Bluechip ju­nior Shep Gar­ner scored 13 of his game­high 23 points in the first quar­ter.

“They are a pretty spe­cial bas­ket­ball team,” Cru­saders coach Ed Enoch said. “We played hard, but I thought we could have played bet­ter. The kids are work­ing hard, but you have to earn ev­ery win. Wins do not just fall into your lap.”

The Cru­saders first at­tempted to slow the tempo and avoid rushed passes and shots. They worked off screens and used the quick fire shoot­ing of ju­niors Corey Kirk and An­drew Riviello for of­fense. Kirk scored 10 points and Riviello led the Cru­saders with 15 points.

“We prac­tice coming off screens,” Riviello said. “If I see a lit­tle bit of space, I have to get my shot off. I think it is one of my strengths.”

What Riviello lacks in size, he makes up for in heart. Even though you can find him posted up on the perime­ter dur­ing of­fen­sive-sets, he is al­ways crash­ing hard to help re­bound. How­ever Riviello’s hard dashes to the bas­ket did not al­ways re­sult in a re­bound against the Cahillites.

“A lot of Catholic League teams are sim­i­lar and we are un­der­sized,” Riviello said. “We have to come out and give it 110 per­cent. We all have to crash the glass and while a lot of guards are big­ger than me, I still have to make sure they do not get any re­bounds.”

The ex­e­cu­tion was there. The Cru­saders had seven dif­fer­ent play­ers come down with at least a pair of re­bounds. Kyle Pav­lik fin­ished with a dou­ble­dou­ble, 10 points and 10 boards. But trail­ing 5036 head­ing into the fi­nal frame, the ma­jor­ity of the quar­ter was spent foul­ing pur­ple jer­seys and hop­ing they were go­ing to have an off-night from the foul line. The Cahillites made 23-of-30 free throws com­pared to one foul shot made for the Cru­saders.

“Peo­ple say drive the ball, but you can’t,” Enoch said. “They are too long and ath­letic. They will make a few steals and score points in bunches. vou have to play ag­gres­sive and hope you shoot the ball well.”

The Cru­saders are de­ter­mined to prove the 6-1 start was more than smoke and mir­rors. They have proven they can hang with some of the top teams in the Philadel­phia Catholic League al­ready, and the con­fi­dence of the early non-league wins are bound to pay div­i­dends. The hope is it will come as early as this Mon­day when they square off with Bon­nerPren­der­gast.

“The kids are hav­ing fun and our prac­tices are much bet­ter,” Enoch said. “Win­ning makes things eas­ier. Kids pay more at­ten­tion and make my job eas­ier. It’s a slow process, but we are build­ing some­thing here.”

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