Archbishop Wood withstands Crusaders
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.”