NEWTOWN – With his team trailing Bristol by double digits entering the second period, Council Rock North senior captain Will Desautelle did what any other team leader would do – he turned his play up a notch.
The 6-3 forward registered 11 of his game-high 21 points in the second period, turning a 15-4 deficit at the end of the opening frame into 26-22 Indian lead heading into the intermission. From there, Rock North (2-0) rolled to a 48-38 triumph, their second non-league win in as many games Tuesday, Dec. 8 in the Indians’ home opener.
“I don’t know what happened to start the game. You have to give (Bristol) credit; they made shots and they made us uncomfortable, offensively, to start,” admitted Indians head coach Derek Wright.
“But Will led like he should as a senior – he kept playing. He just played through it.”
While the Rock was without one of its top scorers with senior shooting guard Riley Thompson out of the lineup – he’s still nursing a broken finger from the football season – the Indian bench stepped forward with senior reserve guard Elliot Spicer (8 pts.) coming through with a pair of 3-pointers in the second period.
Additionally, sophomore reserve Matt McAlister netted 10 points and seven rebounds in the game, an effort that included a pair of threes – one each in the critical second and third periods.
“Elliot Spicer off the bench, I thought, was really big,” added Wright. “He hit two threes and that really sparked us in the second period.”
“Matt played a good game, too. We expect good things out of Matt; the more he plays, the more confidence he’s gets. He’s going to really help us.”
“And defensively, we got better as the game went on.”
Did they ever!
CR North outscored the Warriors 22-7 in the second period and 17-6 in the third to take a 15-point lead into the final frame.
“We just stepped up the intensity on the defensive end and that got us going,” said Desautelle. “On offense, we moved the ball a lot better and we were able to get open shots.
“It was a great all-around team effort from that point on.”
To their credit, a 3-pointer by Bristol senior Deonte Harris – who was limited to 13 points – made it a seven-point game with just under three minutes to play in the contest. The Warriors (1-2) could have cut the lead further when Dayeshawn Cortex intercepted an Indians outlet pass but turned the ball right back over to Rock North, which finished the game with a 5-2 run.
Desautelle added six rebounds to his effort and senior Tyler Nowmos came through with a half-dozen assists. While Desautelle was willing to admit that Rock came out slow in this one, he said winning starts with the defense.
“We weren’t ready to go; we didn’t have a lot of energy, particularly on the defensive end,” he said.
“I think they scored about 15 points that quarter and the rest of the game, we did a great job, defensively. That quarter, we weren’t doing what coach always wants us to do – playing hard on defense. On offense, we were dribbling too much and trying to make plays that weren’t there.
“That quarter, they just wanted it more than us; they were just tougher than us.”
Trailing by 11 entering the second period, it took the Indians less than half the quarter to surpass Bristol. Spicer’s first trey in the period put Rock up for good 17-16 with 4:15 remaining. In the first half of the frame, North outscored the visitors 15-1, a run capped by a layup made on the fast-break by Desautelle.
While a 3-pointer by Harris deadlocked the sides at 19-all, the Indians finished the half with a 7-3 spurt. Rock’s points came on a 1-handed layup and a pair of free throws by Desautelle and another trey by Spicer.
“Our bench guys did a great job of stepping up,” said Desautelle. “Elliot hit a couple threes and Matt McAlister did a great job coming off the bench – hit a couple big shots.”
Coming back from the break, North turned the intensity up even higher, registering a 15-4 run capped by a jumper by Spicer that put the home team up 41-26 with 1:30 to go in the third period. Desautelle scored the first four points in the run, with junior Noah Ehlin adding an early putback and McAlister hitting from 3-point range.
McAlister came alive in the third period, hitting for seven of his 10 points in the third quarter including a nifty layup made off a feed from senior Matt Baniewicz. His jumper capped the quarter off at 43-28, favor: the Indians.
While the Warriors got a little closer in the fourth period, they seemed to run out of gas in the end. After the game, Bristol head coach Matt Gasper spoke of his team’s effort.
“That was first time a lot of these kids witnessed the box and one and the triangle and two,” said Gasper. “They really didn’t understand where to react and how to beat that type of defense.”
Bristol mounted a big lead in the first period, sure, but the shot selection by the Warriors was not good, said their coach.
“That first quarter was huge for us but I tried to tell them a lot of our shots weren’t great shots to begin with. We only made them play defense for like 10 seconds – a one-shot pullup.
“We played defense probably minutes at a time and they were only playing (defense) a few seconds.
“Once they picked up the defense after the first quarter, we struggled to adapt.”
For the Warriors, the loss drops them to 1-2 on the season. Bristol opened the season Dec. 4 at home with a loss to Philadelphia Public League rival Overbrook but rebounded the next day with a 52-43 win over Bicentennial Athletic League(BAL) rival Plumstead Christian.
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Council Rock North 48, Bristol 38
(Dec. 9 at CR North)
CR North 4 22 17 5 – 48
Bristol 15 7 6 10 – 38
Adrian Ellerbe 4, Ronnie Garrison 8, Deonte Harris 13, Parker Kelley 9, Dayeshawn Cortez 4. TOTALS: 13 6-10–38.
3-POINT GOALS: Kelley 2, Harris 2, Garrison, Cortez.
Tyler Nowmos 2, Matt McAlister 10, Noah Ehlin 7, Will Desautelle 21, Elliot Spicer 8. TOTALS: 16 12-13–48.
3-POINT GOALS: McAlister 2, Spicer 2.
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