Kutztown’s season ended by Berks champion Reading
The Kutztown High School boys basketball team saw its season come to a close against eventual Berks Conference champion Reading High School on Monday, Feb. 13 in the quarterfinal round of the Berks County Interscholastic Athletic Association (BCIAA) playoffs.
Bolstered by 17 points from Tyrone Nesby IV and another 15 from Miami University commit Lonnie Walker, the top-ranked Red Knights handily beat the No. 8 ranked Cougars 90-35.
Sophomore Lorencz Jean-Baptiste paced Kutztown (8-2 Berks Conference III, 1310) with 17 points while senior Brayden Eck followed with ten, but the elusive Reading (10-0 Berks Conference III, 23-2 overall) offense proved to be too much. The Red Knights jumped out to a 51-22 lead at the half, sparked by a 30-8 advantage during the second quarter and outscoring Kutztown in all four quarters.
Reading, the No. 1 seed out of its conference, eventually went on to claim the Berks Conference crown on Friday, Feb. 17 with a 61-39 win over Berks Catholic.
For the season, Kutztown, the second-ranked team out of Berks Conference III, was led by Jean-Baptiste who averaged 16.1 points per game. The two-year varsity starter scored double digits in all but four of Kutztown’s 19 games, including a seasonhigh 36 points (five 3-pointers) against Schuylkill Valley earlier this month.
Eck averaged 11.3 points per game, which included 16 games in double figures. He scored a season-high 25 points against Schuylkill Valley during a game in mid-January.
Matthew Angstadt averaged just a shade under 10 points per game.
Kutztown ended its sea-
son winning one of its final four games, that after winning four consecutive late last month. Despite a forgettable finish, the Cougars’ season was one of the most memorable to date. Kutztown posted its first above-.500 season since 2002.
The Fleetwood girls basketball team’s fell to eventual champion Berks Catholic during the quarterfinal round the BCIAA playoffs on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Despite a game-high 13 points from Lauren Lister, the Tigers were put in a first-half deficit they could never quite dig out of, falling 45-41.
Behind Lister, Gabrielle Downs (three 3-pointers) and Alexis Norotarski (two 3-balls) each posted 10 points in the loss. No. 3 seeded Fleetwood trailed 25-16 at the break and despite an eight-point advantage in the third frame, was outscored 14-11 during the closing quarter.
Taylor Blunt and Dejah Terrell scored 10 point apiece for No. 7 seeded Berks Catholic while Meghan Leininger and Abigail Gaffney each added seven.
No. 10 seeded Fleetwood opens up its run in the District 3 5A playoffs with an opening-round matchup against No. 7-ranked Dover on Tuesday, Feb. 21.
Kutztown’s Lorencz JeanBaptiste, left, tries to dribble away from the defensive pressure of Reading’s Wesley Butler during their Berks quarterfinal on Feb. 13.
Kutztown’s Dane Fegley drives for two against Reading during their Berks playoff quarterfinal on Feb. 13.