Arch­bishop Wood with­stands Cru­saders

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

The Lans­dale Catholic boys bas­ket­ball team saw nR UHDVRn WR EH VDWLV­fiHG wLWK UHFRUGLnJ WKHLU fiUVW ever Philadel­phia Catholic League play­off win, which they ac­com­plished against Con­well Egan on Mon­day. The 10th-seeded Cru­saders came to Arch­bishop Wood with the full in­tent to con- tinue its win­ning ways.

The sev­enth-seeded sik­ings failed to cap­i­tal­ize on a T-0 start and with two min­utes re­main­ing on Wed­nes­day, were wit­ness­ing bed­lam. With heart rates speed­ing out of con­trol the Cru­saders com­mit­ted a few costly er­rors down the stretch and al­lowed the sik­ings to pre­vail with a 38-36 win.

“Give Wood credit,” Lans­dale Catholic coach Ed Enoch said. “There was that one minute and a half were they came out, I don’t know what hap­pen, and it was over.”

The mo­men­tum changed with ev­ery turnover in the DGUHnDOLnH-fiOOHG IRuUWK TuDUter. The Cru­saders’ se­nior Jim oock made a steal and raced to a break­away layup that gave the Cru­saders a 33-32 lead. How­ever, the sik­ings’ ju­nior Pat Smith stole the mo­men­tum right back by hit­ting a three-pointer on the fol­low­ing trip down the flRRU. 7KH CUuVDGHUV KDG D chance to tie it at the buzzer, EuW WKH flRDWHU IHOO VKRUW DnG the sik­ings pre­vailed.

“We knew Wood was a great team, but we were very FRn­fiGHnW,” 5RFk VDLG. “WH were really ready. The last game against West Catholic and the two against Con­well-Egan were must win games, so we came in with an edge. For the last week we had to keep win­ning to keep play­ing.”

Pat Smith, who missed the last two games with the flu, VFRUHG VHvHn RI KLV nLnH points in the fourth quar­ter. HLV fiUVW fiHOG JRDO FDPH wLWK six min­utes re­main­ing in the game, but the three-ball by Smith and one by Tommy oush was enough to erase the pre­vi­ous three quar­ters of poor shoot­ing.

“oush hit a big three to start us up,” Smith said. “Once we saw the ball go in LW JDvH uV FRn­fiGHnFH. 7KH

last week I was sick and I am a lit­tle out of shape, but I feel bet­ter now.”

Smith was not the only 9LNLQJ VWruJJOLQJ WR fiQG D rhythm, es­pe­cially on free throws. The sik­ings shot 10 of 21 from the foul line and watched mul­ti­ple chances to in­crease their lead get wasted. With se­nior cen­ter Joe LoS­tracco bat­tling foul trou­ble, Shane ke­her stepped in the paint and scored a team high 10 points.

“A lot of our shots did not fall, but in the fourth quar­ter we knew it was do or die,” Smith said. “We had eight min­utes to step up or we were go­ing home. We picked LW uS RQ WKH GHIHQVLvH VLGH. That’s where it all starts.”

A ORW RI WKH RIIHQVLvH wRHV for the sik­ings were forced by the Cru­saders’ zone deIHQVH. (vHQ DIWHr D firVW TuDrter that saw the sik­ings start on a T-0 and closed the quar­ter with a deep three-pointer at the buzzer, coach Enoch’s group was not phased.

“7KHy KDvH D ORW RI JRRG SODyHrV DQG yRu KDvH WR hope they miss some shots,” (QRFK VDLG. “YRu DOVR KDvH to re­bound, and that’s what KDSSHQHG LQ WKH firVW TuDrWHr. We did not re­bound.”

Af­ter 13 points in the firVW TuDrWHr, WKH CruVDGHrV lim­ited the sik­ings to nine SRLQWV RvHr WKH QHxW 16 PLQutes. The Cru­saders made all RI WKHLr GHIHQVLvH VwLWFKHV smoothly and made sure they got a hand in the face of all the sik­ings’ shoot­ers. 7KH CruVDGHrV WRRN D VHvHQSRLQW OHDG LQWR fiQDO TuDrWHr.

“I tried to be a leader out there,” oock said. “We played zone a lot and oaf­ferty did a good job on Pat Smith. They set a lot picks at the top of the key and we had to make a lot of switches. Pat is a great player and I just did my best to get a hand in his face.”

Lead­ing all scor­ers with 11 points was the Cru­saders’ Brian oaf­ferty, while AnGrHw 5LvLHOOR DGGHG 10 LQ the sea­son end­ing loss. Bit­ing down hard on their green and gold jersey in anger, shock and dis­ap­point­ment could not get the taste out the Cru­saders mouth.

“We tried to stay com­posed, but they took the tempo from uV,” 5RFN VDLG. “,W LV GHfinitely a spe­cial sea­son. The VLx VHQLRrV JrHw uS SODyLQJ WRJHWKHr DQG , FRuOG QRW KDvH asked for a bet­ter script.”

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