North Penn uses balanced attack to hand CB West 1st loss

DOYLESTOWN >> Last season, the Central Bucks West girls basketball team dominated the Suburban One League Continental Conference on its way to a PIAA Class AAAA championship game appearance. But if Tuesday night’s game against North Penn was any indication, that dominance may be coming to an end as the Bucks fell 63-51.

The height and length of the visiting Maidens frustrated West all night, forcing them to settle for jump shots instead of being able to penetrate the lane and leading to two monumental runs by their opponents to start each half.

“We had some spurts where we looked amazing,” North Penn coach Maggie deMarteleire said. “Overall I was very pleased with the entire team effort. I thought our kids were ready to play and as the first half went on I felt like their (West’s) defensive intensity and their physicality kind of let them dictate the pace so I thought we did a good job of regrouping at halftime and came out strong again.”

Coming into this game both team were undefeated in conference play, but from the jump something just didn’t look right with the Bucks. North Penn started the game by going on a 9-0 run in the opening five minutes, shutting out an offense that has played well so far this year, and NP did it with a balanced attack.

Four Maidens found themselves in double digits, which allowed North Penn to move the ball and find the open shooter rather than trying to force it to a hot hand.

Mikaela Giuliani led them with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting and said that the ability to rely on anyone to score is what makes this team special.

“I think it definitely takes some of the pressure off,” Giuliani said. “It’s really nice to have a team where everyone contributes and each night there is always someone else that has a great game and there is always someone else contributing.”

Irisa Ye (15 points), Jess Huber (14 points), and Sam Carangi (11 Points) were the other Maidens in double digits, allowing players to get some rest when needed and not have to worry about a lack of production.

Even with the balanced scoring from North Penn, the Bucks were not about to let them have this game without a fight.

After the 9-0 run to start the game, West managed to come roaring back behind a strong second quarter from guard Maggie Rakowsky, eventually taking a 19-17 lead on a high arching three from the junior.

Makenzie Mason also had a big night for West, finishing with a game-high 18 points but it was not enough.

The second half saw the Maidens go on yet another run, this time outscoring them 20-6 in the third quarter to basically seal the deal.

“There was a lot of really nervous energy to start I don’t really know how else to say it we just felt nervous,” Rakowsky said. “We just couldn’t get into an offense and we couldn’t get into anything. We were just kind of chucking up shots and we just never really got something going.”

Even with the loss, West still finds themselves at 5-1 on the season and 3-1 in the SOL Continental which is pretty amazing for a team that lost all five starters from last year’s state runner-up squad.

Freshman Tori Abelson looks to be a nice addition to the team as she showed off her inside and outside scoring on her way to a 10-point night.

For North Penn, this win brings them to 7-2 on the year and 4-0 in the conference, which is good enough for sole possession of first in the SOL Continental in this young season.

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