Rock North clawed by Truman’s Tigers
— While the weather outside was frightful, the boys basketball game inside Council Rock North last Friday night might not be described as delightful.
Unless you’re a fan of the team from visiting Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference rival Harry S Truman.
Led by senior Merdic Green and his 20 points, the Tigers came back from a 4-point third-period deficit and clawed the Rock, 4845.
The senior shooting guard had help.
Ja’er Brown poured seven of his nine points for the game into the bucket in the fourth quarter, a period in which Truman outpaced the Indians, 18-11. Lucas Waters registered five of his nine points in the final frame while Merdic added six points to the Tigers’ fourth-quarter output.
Additionally for Truman, Abdul Olatunboson (6 pts.) and Marcus Palmer (4) chipped in to the Tigers seventh SOL National Conference win of the season. The victory pulls Truman into second place at 7-3 behind frontrunner Abington at 9-1 in the SONL.
For the Tigers, it was their second win in four nights playing a Council Rock school. Truman outpaced sister school CR South, 59-48, on Jan. 22 at HST. Green led the Tigers with a game-high 24 points but had help from Waters (10 pts.), Brown (8), Olatunboson (6), Palmer (6), Brandon Anparo (3) and Antwain Ashley (2).
Led by junior Tom Townsend (15 pts.) and senior Christian Crane (14), South had come to Bristol Township that night on a tear, having outpaced SOL American Conference rival Pennridge Jan . 19 in the Suburban One Basketball Challenge and tagging Abington with its only league loss of the season on Jan. 17 when the Hawks outpaced the Ghosts, 67-54.
For the Rock, it was its third straight loss and second consecutive in the SOL National including a Jan. 22 overtime loss suffered at the hands of Abington, which has defeated the Indians twice this season.
In that one, junior shooting guard Chris Rowland poured a whopping 24 points into the bucket while junior point guard Rip Engel came through with 15.
Against Truman, the pair cooled off however, with Rowland registering six points and Engel accounting for nine. Senior forward Kyle McCloskey had the team-high with 19 points. Senior Brandon Knotts, who sometimes can score points in bunches, tallied just six on a night outside that was better suited for sledding than basketball.
Josh McWilliams (3 pts.) and senior Ryan Baker (2)
also aided in the cause for North, which is caught in the middle of a four-game losing streak including a weekend loss to Bethlehem Liberty in the 18th annual Lehigh salley Hoop Group Showcase Jan. 27 at Parkland High School.
Rowland also had the hot hand Saturday Jan. 19 in the Suburban One Basketball Challenge in another overtime battle, this one with Wissahickon. Chris notched six three-pointers, tallying a team-high 20 points and three other Rock players reached double-digit scoring for North including McCloskey (13 pts.), Knotts (11) and Engel (11). Baker added nine points to the cause which wasn’t enough as the Trojans outscored the Indians, 11-8, in the extra session to win, 67-65.
Wissahickon was paced by Chase Wilson, who notched 26 points including a jumper that tied the game at 56-all in regulation. Chris sila added 12 points for the Trojans including a three-pointer in overtime.
After winning 13 of its first 14 games of the season, the Indians have cooled off at 13-5 overall after falling to Liberty Sunday at Parkland. In that one, the first half saw Rock register just nine points, though North came back after the break to tally 37 more including a 22-15 third-period run.
It wasn’t enough however with Liberty taking the final frame, 17-15, and the game, 54-46.
After the game, Rock’s head coach Derek Wright expressed confidence his team can right the ship before the onset of District play, which begins Feb. 15.
North has battles pending with Pennsbury (Jan. 29), Neshaminy (Feb. 5), CR South (Feb. 8) and Bensalem, all teams the Indians have previously beaten this season.
The Tigers have pending duels with Abington (Jan. 29), Pennsbury (Feb. 1), Bensalem (Feb. 5) and Tennent (Feb. 8).
A seeding meeting takes place Sunday, Feb. 10 at which time the brackets will be set.
Between now and then, the season will play out.
Not only do both the Tigers and the Indians hope to take part in the upcoming tournament but also both teams hope to gain spots at the top of the bracket.
It all depends on how the teams do on the court this week. Stay tuned.
Taking the jump shot for North is Josh McWilliams, defended by Truman sophomore Jai’er Brown (#11). Lucas Waters (#24) looks on.