The Boyertown Area Times

Boyertown rallies for win over Pope John Paul II

- By Dennis Weller dweller@medianewsg­ @dwellerspo­rtz on Twitter

The Boyertown girls played like a whole different basketball team in the second half on Thursday night and rallied from 12 points down for a 46-43 win over Pope John Paul II in a Pioneer Athletic Conference crossover game.

Madelyn Weaver led the comeback for the host Bears (1-5 Liberty Division, 4-5 PAC, 5-12 overall) with 14 of her team-high 16 points in the third quarter and Hannah Adamski scored 15. Katie Nilles led the Golden Panthers (4-1, 4-4, 6-9) with 24 points and Nadia Platt added nine points and seven rebounds.

“We just had a really good talk at halftime and we came out with a lot more energy,” said Weaver.

“The energy that they played with in the second half was amazing,” said Boyertown coach Troy Sweisfort. “They decided they were not going to lose this game.”

The Bears trailed 13-4 early in the second quarter and 20-13 at the half, even though the deficit could easily have been more at that point.

“We put ourselves in a position to be up, but it should have been more than seven,” said PJP coach Jack Flanagan.

Pope John Paul was able to match Boyertown’s energy during a fast-paced five minute stretch to start the third quarter and took its largest lead of the night at 3523 on a basket by Rylee Derecola off a pass from Sarah Bell.

But that’s when the Bear comeback began as Weaver went inside for her fourth basket of the quarter, passed to Carlie Schweizer for a 3-point basket from the left wing and then stole the ball and scored to quickly cut the deficit to 35-30.

Boyertown took the lead at 4038 midway through the fourth quarter and Harper Glennon (10 points, 8 rebounds) sank a baseline jumper to boost the advantage to four. Two free throws by Adamski and another pair by Glennon in the final 20 seconds wrapped up the win.

PJP wound up with just six points in the fourth quarter, two of them on a basket at the final buzzer.

“We were just not giving up any 3s and we pinched when they went to the basket,” said Weaver. “We just needed to play better. We definitely drove a lot more than we normally do.”

“I told her (Weaver) at halftime, you’ve got to start attacking from the middle of the floor,” said Sweisfort. “We weren’t making the PJP defense work hard in the first half. We had to be more aggressive and attack the basket and the offense started to flow. Any time you see the ball go through the net, the confidence begins to build.”

Boyertown shot just 5-for-24 from the floor in the first half due to many rushed shots, but 13-for23 in the second.

“They started playing together and made the extra pass,” said Sweisfort. “They never quit. They figured it out on their own.”

“It’s a cliché, but it’s true … basketball is a game of runs,” said Flanagan. “We missed an assignment on defense and Schweizer got open for a ‘3’ for a five-point run to make it 35-30. You’ve got to get both facets of the game. The things we needed to work on before the game, we still need to work on.”

Despite the loss, the Golden Panthers still hold down first place in the PAC Frontier Division.

“This was basically a non-league game,” said Flanagan. “We have a big week coming up, starting with Phoenixvil­le on Tuesday.”

And though the Bears are a long shot to make postseason play, they hope to play like they did in Thursday’s second half the rest of the way.

“If we can play like that all year, we’ll be tough to beat,” said Sweisfort.

“We just need to keep playing like we did tonight,” Weaver added. “And just have the same energy we had in the second half.”

Boyertown 46, Pope John Paul II 43

Pope John Paul II: Benincasa 0 0-0 0, Derecola 1 0-0 2, Fitzgerald 1 0-0 2, K Nilles 8 8-15 24, Todd 0 0-0 0, J Colliluori 0 0-0 0, E Colliluori 2 2-3 6, Platt 4 0-0 9, Totals 16 10-18 43

Boyertown: K Wolfe 0 0-0 0, Glennon 4 2-2 10, Ca Schweizer 2 0-0 5, Bieber 0 0-0 0, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Adamski 4 7-8 15, Co Schweizer 0 0-0 0, C Wolfe 0 0-0 0, Weaver 8 0-0 16, Totals 18 9-10 46

Pope John Paul II 13 7 17 6 - 43 Boyertown 6 7 19 14 - 46

3-point goals: Platt,Ca Schweizer

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