Adjustments earn William Tennent boys basketball win over Neshaminy (VIDEO)

WARMINSTER – Just when it looked like Neshaminy might get its first win of the season, William Tennent clamped down on defense and found its shooting touch.

Ahead 18-16 at the half, the visiting Skins started the third period with an acrobatic layup by junior Zach Tredway and another shot from the floor from senior Francis Robles (9 pts.). What’s more, the Panthers turned the ball over on their first two possessions in the second half.

That’s all William Tennent head coach Rob Mulville needed to see. Timeout was called and the Panthers’ coach switched up the defense, one that kept Robles, Neshaminy’s shooting guard, and Billy Warren (11 pts.), the Skins’ 6-6 forward who lit the home team up for all nine of his team’s points in the second period, away from the basket.

From there, Tennent turned the tide, registering a 15-6 scoring run to enter the fourth period with a 31-28 lead. The Panthers (2-5, 1-2: SONL) went on to a 46-36 triumph Dec. 18 on their home court, their second win in three days and first of the season against a Suburban One National League (SONL) opponent.

“Tennent did a great job of adjusting in the second half,” stated Neshaminy head coach Jerry Devine. “They limited our big kid (Warren) from scoring and that’s what changed the tide of the game.”

While Warren kicked off the final frame with a putback under the basket to draw the Skins within a point, the Panthers launched another 15-6 scoring run to ensure their second win of the season.

William Tennent sophomore Anthony Woodard came through with a third of those fourth-quarter points posted by the Panthers. With his team holding a 5-point edge midway through the final frame, Woodard crashed the offensive glass with a streaking layup then added the and-one to put his team on top, 38-30 with 3:15 to go in the contest.

“We just worked as a team together,” explained Woodard. “Coach (Mulville) got us fired up on the bench. He got us swinging the ball around, driving to the basket and we knocked down our free throws.”

While Neshaminy (0-4, 0-3: SONL) tried to close the gap by countering with a pair of 3-pointers by junior Eric Rotteveel (6 pts.), Tennent closed the game out by making nine of its last 11 foul shots. Conversely, the Skins made just 3-of-9 shots from the charity stripe in the game.

Leading the way for the Panthers was sophomore Pat McCauley, the top scorer in the SONL duel with 14 points including 6-of-6 from the foul line. With Tennent trailing by three points late in the third quarter, McCauley gave his team a big boost, hitting a pair of 3-pointers then finding junior Matt Berndlmaier streaking down the court for a breakaway basket that put the Panthers on top to stay.

“We had to find Pat a little bit more; he’s our shooter on the team,” added Woodard. “We found him a couple more times and that gave us a little more space.”

While neither team shot well from the floor in the first half – the Skins were 8-for-26 and Tennent was 7-for-22 – the Panthers’ shooting came alive in the third period as the home team made six of its 10 shots from the floor for a 60 percent shooting rate.

Defensively, Tennent held Warren to just two points in the second half.

“We knew that in the first half he had nine on us so we had to shut him down or we weren’t going to get a ‘W’ out of this,” stated Woodard. “We had to lock him down.”

Additionally, the Panther defense held Robles at bay. Neshaminy’s senior shooting ace hit for five points including a 3-pointer in the first period then added four more in the third quarter. But after Tennent’s third period timeout, he didn’t make a shot from the floor.

“They forced us to try to make some shots from the outside and we didn’t do that,” stated Devine. “They did a good job of collapsing on (Warren) and making it tough for him to get the ball.”

“They doubled him and crunched him and forced him to kick it out and we couldn’t make shots.”

The numbers certainly support the coach’s statement. The Skins shot 4-of-12 in the third period and made just 3-of-10 in the final frame.

Turnovers were also a problem for Neshaminy in the second half, especially the fourth quarter when they turned the ball over five times.

“We got caught trying to force the ball into the lane a little bit – some bad drives, some drives in traffic,” explained Devine. “They just did a great job in the second half adjusting to what we were trying to do.”

While the Skins didn’t shoot well in the second half – they were 7-for-22 after the break, Tennent came alive, hitting 9-of-18 shots for a 50 percent shooting touch that earned the Panthers the win.

WT senior George Alston (12 pts.), after not registering a point in the initial frame, hit five shots from the floor in the last three periods, a shooting performance that included a pair of 3-pointers. Sophomore John Ryan added nine points to Tennent’s cause, hitting for five points in the first quarter and four in the final frame.

For Neshaminy, the loss drops the Skins to 0-4, overall, 0-3 in the SONL.

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William Tennent 46, Neshaminy 36

(Dec. 18 at William Tennent)

Neshaminy 9 9 10 8 – 36

William Tennent 9 7 15 15 – 46

NESHAMINY (0-4) — Frances Robles 3 2-2 9; Shammond Thomas 2 0-0 4; Zach Tredway 3 0-5 6; Eric Rotteveel 2 0-0 6; Billy Warren 5 1-1 11; TOTALS: 15 3-9 36.

3-POINT GOALS — Robles, Rotteveel 2.

WILLIAM TENNENT (2-5) — Brendan Carter 1 0-0 2; John Ryan 3 3-6 9; Pat McCauley 4 6-6 14; George Alston 5 0-0 12; John Maher 1 0-0 2; Matt Berndlmaier 1 0-0 2; Anthony Woodard 1 3-3 5; TOTALS: 15 12-15 46.

3-POINT GOALS: WT-McCauley 2. Alston 2.

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