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North Penn rallies to beat Perk Valley; CB West cruises past Chester

TOWAMENCIN >> Some people figure this will be a rebuilding season for the North Penn girls basketball team. But coach Maggie deMarteleire still expects the Knights to do just one thing.

“One of my children always says, ‘You always think you’re going to win every game.’ Well, if I don’t, what am I doing here,” she said. “Like, that’s what you do. You go out and do the best you can.”

North Penn’s best Friday night came after finding itself doubled-up on the scoreboard four seconds into the second half against Perkiomen Valley in the nightcap of the Lady Knights Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament.

Down 30-15 at 7:56 in the third quarter, the Knights began to gets stop and rebounds and then some offensive rhythm. Ten straight points got North Penn back into the contest and was the beginning of a 34-13 run to end the game and earn NP a season-opening 49-43 victory over the Vikings.

“We picked up our intensity on defense, that’s where it all started,” Knights senior Bri Hewlett said. “We came together as a team and we boxed out and rebounded. I think that’s what sparked us on the offensive end.”

In the night’s opener, Central Bucks West got through a slow start to rout Chester 62-28. The tournament finishes Saturday with CB West facing Perk Valley at noon and North Penn taking on Chester at 1:30 p.m.

Jenny Hulmes paced North Penn with 15 points, Kate Early added 10 points while Hewlett – who picked up her third foul at 3:58 in the first quarter – score all nine of her points in the third, including seven straight to cap the 10-0 run that pulled North Penn to within 30-25.

A Megan Jonassen putback made it 32-25. Hewlett, however, scored and was fouled at 1:34 – she could not convert the and-one – to begin a 5-0 burst that cut the margin to 32-30 before another Jonassen putback gave PV a 34-30 edge entering the fourth.

“(Perkiomen Valley is) tough. they’re just a tough team. And then when Jess McKenzie’s injured and Bri picks up three fouls and then Kate Early has four fouls on the technical, I’m like Cayla Sharkey was my only post player left. And, you know, I got to give the kids credit,” deMarteleire said. “At halftime, I just was like look, let’s just put a little bit more pressure on defensively and half court look to trap sometimes , we got to rebound better and we got to make shots.”

Jonassen and Taylor Hamm collected Perk Valley’s first 34 points and combined for all but four of the Vikings’ total – Jonassen scoring a game-high 21 points while Hamm scoring all 18 of her points in the first half.

“Took us out of our game. They put a little more pressure on us, took us out of our game, we couldn’t handle the pressure,” Perk Valley coach John Strawoet said. “We didn’t run one play in the second half. The kind of play we were getting in the first half defensively we didn’t get in the second half. You can’t have to people score. You can’t be your whole team. You got to have five, seven people play.”

A Mullaly 3-pointer had the Knights even 35-35 with a basket and two free throws from Cayla Sharkey putting  North Penn up 39-35 with 3:37 remaining.

North Penn pushed the lead to five twice but a Kyle Monaco bucket off an offensive rebound had PV within 45-43. Jonassen came up with a steal and was fouled at 56.6 seconds but missed both free throws. From there, the Knights went 1-of-2 on four trips to the line to secure the win.

“Everybody, oh it’s a rebuilding year – we’re young but we have some experience as well. Bri Hewlett has played and Jess Mackenzie and Jenny, they’ve played on state playoff teams,” deMarteleire said. “So, I just think it’s a matter of everybody meshing together and the younger girls feeling more and more comfortable and they gain confidence. Yeah, it was a good win.”

North Penn graduated two 1,000-point scorers in Sam Carangi and Jess Huber and another senior in Irisa Ye that was just shy of a 1,000 from a 25-5 team that reached the PIAA 6A quarters. It’s necessitated a different approach with this year’s group, but deMarteleire is confident these Knights have what is needed to continue the program’s success.

“We’re doing a lot more teaching. And that’s really all, we’re doing a lot more teaching and, you know, there’s sometimes a benefit to that because then everyone’s on the same page,” deMarteleire said. “Like, if you’re teaching everything, then everybody’s doing it the same way.

“Obviously I’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of talented players and we still have a lot talented players, it is just a matter of putting them all together and I think tonight was a good start for us.”

CB West gets a boost from Evans in win over Chester

Central Bucks West’s Lilly Evans admitted it took a bit for her to settle into her first-ever varsity game Friday night.

“I was nervous at first and then at the beginning, I was missing passes,” she said. “And then as soon as the flow kept going and my teammates were building me up, I sort of felt at home playing.”

A pair of baskets inside in the second quarter by the 6-foot freshman helped the Bucks end the first half on a 12-2 run and hold a 28-14 lead over Chester the break. Evans added 10 more points in the second half to finish with a game-high 14 as the Bucks ended up cruising to a 62-28 victory after a sluggish start.

“It’s been a long time since we had that big kid. You know, we had Corrinne (Godshall) a couple years ago, she was more of an out type. Lilly’s our kid that we can put inside against their big, too, cause she’s real athletic,” CB West coach Terry Rakowsky said. “She can come out and watch a guard. We have her playing guards on defense, cause she can move her feet, she’s real athletic. And she runs the floor which fits right into where we want to be down the road.”

Sophomore Maddie Burke added 11 points while junior Diane Nicholson and sophomore Jess Broskey each chipped in nine points.  A dozen players had at least two points for the Bucks, who are still sorting out a young roster and have to play without Tori Abelson – out for the year with a knee injury.

“They’re young so when I have them on the floor with three of four upperclassmen, if they’re off a little bit, we look like we’re off,” Rakowsky said. “Once we figure it out – hopefully we figure it out this year, but losing Tori was like that maturity that’s what we’re trying to replace now. It’s a maturity on the floor during a game.”

Central Bucks West jumped out 8-0 but the Clippers cut their deficit to 10-7 after a quarter and were within 16-12 before the Bucks’ push before halftime despite struggling with free throws. West was just 7-off-22 from the line in the first half.

“It was just first-game jitters I think but we had a lot of energy coming out, so we just sucked it all in and played our way,” Burke said.

Burke got the Bucks started on the right foot in the third, draining a three from the wing off an Abby Spratt assist. West scored 16 of the second’s half first 20 points to go up 44-18 after a Nicholson steal and bucket.

“I thought that we were more organized than sometimes a game like this could be. We were really trying to focus on staying organized. Don’t let it get helter-skelter, just craziness,” Rakowsky said. “Cause you need that discipline when you’re playing really good team. We’re not one of those yet, but we got a lot of work to do.”



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