HOLLAND – In a rematch with visiting CB East, the team that ended Council Rock South’s season in the opening round of districts last year, the Golden Hawks had exactly 3.4 seconds to tie the non-league duel with a shot made from behind the arc.
With 15 seconds left, three times, the Patriots fouled a CR South ball-handler – not in the act of shooting – to get to this point.
“We had another foul to give and that was our plan,” admitted CB East head coach Erik Henrysen. “We just didn’t get it done.”
Finally, the Hawks put the ball inbounds with senior Christian Jabbar pushing the ball in to classmate Simon Magidenko, who flipped it bank to Jabbar, who dribbled to his right before canning the highlight of CR South’s season thus far, a game-tying trey that sent the battle to overtime, deadlocked at 43-all.
“It was a crazy shot but it went in,” said classmate Estaban Gomez. “Jabbar is a special player – he’s probably the best player on this team and he’s known to hit shots like that.”
Unfortunately for the Hawks’ faithful, the unbeaten Patriots made a pair of field goals – one each by junior Nick Roggio and senior Kyle Cassidy – to open the extra session on their way to a 49-45 triumph, their third win of the season.
CR South falls to 0-3 after this one and a pair of losses suffered the previous weekend in the Hatboro-Horsham Tipoff Tournament.
Nevertheless, South senior Estaban Gomez believes this was a game the Hawks can build off of.
“It wasn’t the result we wanted but we were a team out there today,” said Gomez, who hit for six points in the contest. “As long as we stay together – playing like a team – we’ll get to where we want.”
“That’s all we ask of our guys – keep playing, keep grinding and get better every day,” said CR South head coach Derek Wright. “They really competed tonight.”
After trailing 21-19 at the half and 34-30 after three quarters, CR South battled back with 13 points in the fourth period to send the duel to overtime. Jabbar hit for seven points in the fourth quarter, Magidenko added four and Gomez, two.
In a low-scoring game, both teams came out slow with the Hawks leading 7-5 after one period of play. Jabbar – who tallied a game- and season-high 20 points, canned all seven of South’s points in the initial frame.
The second quarter saw the Hawks get off to a quick start, though the first half sure didn’t end that way. Still, South put together a 7-2 scoring run capped by Kyle Meakim’s 3-pointer and Jabbar’s wide open layup to go up 14-9 with five minutes left in the second period.
From there, the Patriots started pouring it on, however, with the visitors hitting 6-of-9 shots in the second stanza. East senior Colin Wright and Roggio hit back to back layups to cut the Pats’ deficit to one and Cassidy canned consecutive 3-pointers to turn the tide and put the visitors up 21-19 at the intermission.
CB East opened the second half with its own 7-2 run, a scoring string that put the Patriots up 28-23 with 3:49 remaining in the third quarter. The run was capped by an open putback by Roggio and it was enough to spur a timeout called by Coach Wright.
When the Hawks came back, sophomore Jack Rebholz hit a 3-pointer. It was his second in the contest as he also hit a trey in the second quarter. Rebholz followed with a pair of made free throws to cut South’s deficit to a pair at 32-30.
CB East junior Ben Markowitz got a driving layup to go however, to put his side on top 34-30 heading into the fourth quarter.
Taking their time doing it, the Hawks paired a back-door layup by Magidenko with another putback by Gomez to tie the score at 34-all with 3:40 remaining in regulation.
“I thought we did a better job (rebounding) in the second half; we were a little loose in the first half,” said Wright. “Estaban Gomez gave us great energy on the glass tonight.”
The Patriots answered with a 5-2 run, a string sparked by a layup by Roggio and 3-of-4 foul shooting by the visitors. While a layup by Jabbar cut East’s lead to one, Markowitz put the Pats up three with 15 seconds left in regulation, setting up the final drama in the fourth quarter.
In overtime, the visitors went up by four in the opening moments, yet, another putback by Gomez drew South back within two midway through the extra period. East then opened the door for the Hawks when Cassidy missed a pair of free throws with less than a minute left in the contest.
While Jabbar came up with a steal after a missed shot from in close, he couldn’t can the rebound and was forced to foul Cassidy off the second miss.
The CB East senior made his next two foul shots and the rest, as they say, is history.
From here, South enters a tough stretch. The Hawks travel to Bethlehem to face New Jersey rival Wayne Hills in the Steel City Challenge Saturday at Northampton Community College. Wayne Hills is coming off back-to-back 20 win seasons. Tuesday, they face defending defending District 1 champion Abington, then battle sister school CR North Dec. 22 at South. The Hawks wrap up 2017 Dec. 30 in the Big Game Showcase at Interboro High School.
Central Bucks East 49, Council Rock South 45
(Dec. 13 at CR South)
CB EAST 5 16 13 9 6 – 49
CR SOUTH 7 12 11 13 2 – 45
Central Bucks East (3-0) — Kyle Cassidy 15, Ben Markowitz 11, Jesse Rivera 3, Nick Roggio 12, Collin Stein 4, Collin Wright 4; TOTALS 17 12-19—49.
Council Rock South (0-3) Jack Rebholz 8, Kyle Meakim 3, Kevin McNamee 2, Christian Jabbar 20, Esteban Gomez 6, Simon Megadenko 6. TOTALS 19 2-2—45.
3-POINT GOALS: CBE — Markowitz, Cassidy 2; CRS — Rebholz 2, Meakim, Jabbar 2.
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