North Penn Life - - Sports - By An­drew Mar­cus amar­cus@jour­nalregis­ter. com

As LDn­sGDOH CDWKROiF se­nior gim Rock swished D WKrHH-SRinWHr in WKH fi­nal minute of Philadel­phia CDWKROiF LHDJuH DFWiRn Rn 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 FRuOG FROOHFW WKHir firsW PCL win RI WKH sHDsRn. 7KH 67-52 ORss rHPinGHG WKH CrusDGHrs (6-2, 0-2 leagueF 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 darner sFRrHG 13 RI Kis JDPHKiJK 23 SRinWs in WKH IirsW 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.”

7KH CrusDGHrs firsW DWtempted to slow the tempo and avoid rushed passes and shots. They worked off screens and used the TuiFN firH sKRRWinJ RI Mu­niors 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 LHDJuH WHDPs DrH siPiODr 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 fin­isKHG wiWK D GRuEOH­dou­ble, 10 points and 10 boards. But trail­ing 5036 KHDGinJ inWR WKH finDO 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 PDGH 23-RI-30 IrHH WKrRws 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. You 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 LHDJuH DOrHDGy, DnG WKH FRn­fiGHnFH RI WKH HDrOy 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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