Rock North clawed by Tru­man’s Tigers

The Advance of Bucks County - - SPORTS - By Steve Sherman Jai’er Brown: Olatun­bo­son: Wa­ters: 9.

Buck­sLo­calS­ports Ed­i­tor

— 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.


Photo by John Glee­son

Tak­ing the jump shot for North is Josh McWil­liams, de­fended by Tru­man sopho­more Jai’er Brown (#11). Lu­cas Wa­ters (#24) looks on.

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