WEST NORRITON >> Father Judge kicked off the 42nd Annual Triangle Club Basketball Tournament with a 64-40 win over Pottsgrove at Norristown Area High School Monday night.
The Crusaders got the job done on both ends of the floor, but it was their outside shooting that led to the lopsided victory.
Judge made 14 three-pointers in the game, 10 of which came in the first half. All seven field goals the Crusaders made in the second quarter and their first two in the third quarter were from downtown.
“They made shots,” Pottsgrove coach Scott Palladino said. “It’s pretty tough. They made open shots when they had to make them. They made ten threes in the first half. I knew they could shoot the basketball, but… I don’t want to fault our defensive effort – I think we played hard. They just knocked down shots when they had them… It’s frustrating for the kids, but give credit to (Judge).
“We knew they had good ball movement and we switched up our defense. We tried a 2-3 zone, we went to man, 1-3-1. We tried to give them different looks to get them off-balance and it was just their night tonight. Sometimes it’s just the other team’s night… It’s going to be tough to win a game when guys are knocking down shots all over the place.”
Justin Fleming led the Philadelphia Catholic League school in scoring with 15 points on five three-pointers. Quincy Reed and Marc Rodriguez each added 14.
Pottsgrove got off to a slow start that really set the tone for the game. The Falcons did not score a point for the first five minutes and fell behind 8-0.
“Offense – we didn’t perform tonight,” Palladino said. “We had another low performance point wise. We had ball movement, we had open shots, we just didn’t knock them down tonight. In transition – they got back. We’re usually a good transition team, but they got back on defense and stopped our transition, so we couldn’t get easy buckets, which usually gets us into the flow of games.
“They played well defensively. They’re well-coached. I tip my hat to them tonight.”
Pottsgrove finished the first on an 8-5 run to trail by just six, but Judge dominated the second quarter, 21-10, to take full control of the game.
The Falcons cut their deficit to single digits early in the third quarter, but Judge’s offense came back to life and quickly built the lead back up.
“We got some turnovers to start the third quarter,” Palladino said, “tried to go on a little bit of a run, but they answered with two or three more threes and it just kind of snowballed on us tonight. It just wasn’t our night.”
Nazhir Goldston led the Falcons in scoring with 15 points – all from five three-pointers.
Both teams will be action again on Tuesday. Pottsgrove in the third-place game at 6:30 p.m. and Judge in the championship game after.