Hewlett helps NP pull away from East

Ju­nior’s 15 points lead Knights past CB East

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - SPORTS - By Mike Cabrey mcabrey@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @mp­cabrey on Twit­ter

TOWAMENCIN >> A slug­gish start by the North Penn girls bas­ket­ball team Fri­day night could be traced back to a cold bug hit­ting the Knights this week.

“Jess (Hu­ber) missed the last two days of school. She came in to­day and Sam (Carangi) she missed yes­ter­day and she came in to­day as well,” North Penn coach Mag­gie de Marteleire said. “So I think it was the first time in four years the two of them haven’t been at prac­tice.”

The Knights how­ever, were a lit­tle more sick and tired of drop­ping games at home to Cen­tral Bucks sides.

Af­ter tak­ing a one-point lead into half­time against vis­it­ing Cen­tral Bucks East, North Penn came out fir­ing from long dis­tance. North Penn knocked down four 3-point­ers dur­ing a 14-2 run to start the third quar­ter and pulled away from the cold-shoot­ing Pa­tri­ots for a 43-29 Sub­ur­ban One League Con­ti­nen­tal Con­fer­ence vic­tory.

“We just wanted to cut down on our turnovers, we were play­ing good de­fense. So we wanted to keep that up and make even bet­ter de­ci­sions on of­fense, North Penn’s Bri Hewlett said. “And I think we just started knock­ing down shots in the se­cond half.

Hewlett had nine of the Knights 18 points in the third and fin­ished with a teamhigh 15 points as North Penn (9-2, 4-2 con­fer­ence) won its third straight.

“My team­mates were just find­ing me and I was get­ting open shots. I was kind of just the luck of the draw, what­ever. I was open,” Hewlett said.

Irisa Ye added 10 points for NP, who held an op­po­nent un­der 30 points for the se­cond straight game and for the fifth time this sea­son.

“I thought they did a re­ally nice job dig­ging down and just per­se­ver­ing,” deMarteleire said. “First half I think we were giv­ing up tran­si­tion buck­ets which we don’t nor­mally do. And East took ad­van­tage of it, they fin­ished and they ran the floor well.

“I thought we did a bet­ter job in the se­cond half, de­fen­sively I thought we did a re­ally nice job. Bri did a great job on Brid­get Birk­head. I thought she did a re­ally nice job on her.”

Birk­head had a game-high 17 points — 11 in the first half — for the Pa­tri­ots (6-5, 3-3), who had just two field goals and 10 points af­ter half­time as NP snapped their fiveg­ame win streak.

CB East vis­its Coun­cil Rock North 3 p.m. Satur­day in the SOL Chal­lenge. North Penn plays in the Mag­gie Lu­cas Clas­sic at Philadel­phia Univer­sity Sun­day, tak­ing on Epis­co­pal Academy.

Up 20-19 at half­time, Hu­ber and Hewlett opened the third quar­ter with back-to­back threes. Bri Tal­bot re­bounded her own miss to score and get East within 2621, but Ye re­sponded with a triple for an eight-point North Penn edge.

Jess McKen­zie found Hewlett for a bas­ket with a Carangi three putting the Knights up 34-21.

“It was nice in the third quar­ter that we had sev­eral dif­fer­ent peo­ple hit threes to kind of open up the game,” deMarteleire said. “Ob­vi­ously you’re not ever go­ing to con­sis­tently hit threes but we can shoot bet­ter than what we’ve been shoot­ing over­all. So that would be nice if we can start to get go­ing from that.

Birk­head made two free throws at 1:41 then hit a cor­ner three, cut­ting the mar­gin to 34-26, but Hewlett scored four of the quar­ter’s last five points – Hu­ber find­ing her in­side just be­fore the buzzer for a 38-27 ad­van­tage.

“She re­bounds and she plays de­fense. She doesn’t take a se­cond off,” deMarteleire said of Hewlett.

The teams com­bined for just seven points in the fourth as East could not mount a come­back and North Penn was con­tent with run­ning the clock. The Knights’ lead grew to as large as 16 af­ter a Car­ley Adams bas­ket made it 43-27.

North Penn had gone 0-2 in its first matchups with Cen­tral Bucks schools on its home floor – fall­ing to West 46-43 Dec. 16 and South 48-34 Jan. 5 – and early on Fri­day, CB East looked set on con­tin­u­ing the trend.

Af­ter a Ye step-back jumper pulled North Penn to within 11-8 in the open­ing quar­ter, Birk­head scored three straight points – her jumper off a turnover giv­ing East a 14-8 edge at the end of eight min­utes.

But the Knights reined in their turnovers and the Pa­tri­ots could not get a shot to drop in the se­cond quar­ter.

A Bri Hewlett bucket gave NP a 15-14 lead be­fore Birk­head scored in­side to put East back up a point. Hewlett an­swered with a jumper while a Hu­ber trey made it 20-16 Knights. Birk­head drained a deep three to get East within 20-19 at the half. North Penn 43, CB East 29

BOB RAINES — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

North Penn’s Jess McKen­zie get tripped up try­ing to get around Cen­tral Bucks East’s Brid­get Birk­head Fri­day night.

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