LANGHORNE – When it comes to scheduling, the Suburban One League (SOL) certainly knows how to break up a frozen wintery spell – just light the gym up with an explosive doubleheader featuring both the boys and girls basketball teams from Council Rock North and Neshaminy. When the fireworks finally died down, Neshaminy had prevailed in both games.
The Lady Skins entered the game fresh off big wins over Abington and Pennsbury. The victories placed them in a tie for the number one spot in the SOL National Division. Crosstown rival Council Rock North also sported a 3-0 record, good enough to keep them even with Neshaminy for the league lead. The outcome of their big showdown at Neshaminy’s Fred Gerst Gymnasium just might weigh heavily, come playoff time.
Kristin Curley, outstanding sophomore point guard for Neshaminy, knew the game’s huge import. “Last year, we lost to North by one in overtime and the second time, we lost by four or five points. Last year, they won the league and we know they will be incredibly good this year. If we stay composed, as we did with Abington, we should be fine and not let them dictate the game’s tempo.”
Council Rock certainly did boast a powerhouse squad featuring All-SOL performers Becca Margolis and Dana Bandurick. The dynamic duo, coupled with 6’1” center Mackenzie Tinner, hoped to bring a second straight SOL title to their Newtown campus.
Fueled by the confidence they had gained in the 60-53 win over Abington, the Lady Skins started strong. Racing out to a 16-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, they continued to press and extended the margin to 24-14 at halftime. Junior Allison Harvey sparked Neshaminy’s early offensive explosion, netting nine points including two from beyond the arc. The Skins’ cause was aided when sharp-shooting Becca Margolis drew her third foul with four minutes left in the half and was forced to sit.
Yet the Skins realized this was Rock North and anything could happen. Curley knew that Neshaminy needed to play a whole game. “Our goal for the season was to play 32 minutes of basketball and not have any lapses. We’ll see how we do from there. If we play games with two or three minute lapses, it could all fall apart.”
The Skins did not ‘lapse.’ After a defensive third quarter that saw both teams net a total of 11 points, Neshaminy continued to hustle, outscoring North12-9 in the final frame. Harvey continued to shine, nailing a big 3-pointer after the Indians had pulled to within eight.
The big 41-29 victory earned the Skins sole possession of first place in the National Division. Harvey led all scorers with 14 points. She was followed closely by Brooke Mullin, who netted 10 for Neshaminy. Camryn Polinsky and Mackenzie Tinner shared scoring honors for the Indians with eight points, apiece.
In the nightcap, the Rock boys squad showed real determination in their underdog role. Led by Matt McAlister’s quick eight points, the Indians jumped out to a 13-7 lead with 3:48 left in the first quarter. The Skins, who played the first quarter without their high scorer Chris Arcidiacono, relied on Danny Bodine, Charles Dominick and Anthony Papeo to keep pace with North. Bodine connected on a 3-pointer to narrow the Rock’s lead to 13-10 with a little over three minutes left in the period.
When Arcidiacono returned to action late in the first quarter, the tide turned. The versatile forward sank two foul shots to even the score at 18 all with 7:38 left in the first period. From that point on, it was all Skins.as they built a 61-38 lead with 5:23 left in the game.
Neshaminy capped off their 68-54 win by nailing 10-of-11 shots from beyond the arc. Arcidiacono would lead all scorers with 24 points. He was amply supported by Papeo with 12 buckets, and Bodine and Dominick, who netted 15 points apiece.
It may have been played in subfreezing temperatures but Neshaminy and Council Rock North had certainly heated up the gym with some intense and exciting hoops action.
Council Rock North 8 6 6 9 – 29
Neshaminy 16 8 5 12 – 41
COUNCIL ROCK NORTH (5-5, 3-1: SOL) — Becca Margolis 5, Camryn Polinsky 8, Dana Bandurick 6, Olivia Boyle 2, Mackenzie Tinner 8.
NESHAMINY (7-3, 4-0: SOL) — Emily Tantala 1, Olivia Scotti 8, Brooke Mullin 10, Kristen Curley 6, Meghan Ansel 2, Allison Harvey 14.
Neshaminy 16 22 12 18 – 68
Council Rock North 18 8 11 17 – 54
NESHAMINY (8-2, 2-1 SOL) — Chris Arcidiacono 24, Anthony Papeo 12, Logan Williamson 1, Danny Bodine 15, Charles Dominick 15, Deval Glover 1; TOTALS — 19 19-24–68.