Rosenberger’s hot shooting lifts Lansdale Catholic over Boys’ Latin

LANSDALE >> Coming out of the halftime break, the strategy — coach Joe Corbett said with a smile afterwards — was actually to pound the ball inside.

But then…

“We made some threes, which is a good thing,” Corbett said after his team’s non-league battle with visiting Boys’ Latin Charter. “At a certain point, when Craig (Rosenberger) knocks a couple down and he’s got the hot hand, I can’t tell him to not shoot the ball at that point.”

One after another, Rosenberger knocked them down. He hit five threes in a row in that pivotal third quarter, causing the LC student section – many of whom sported Santa hats, elf ears and all decked out in red and green Christmas attire — to explode in celebration.

“He was feeling it,” Corbett said of the senior shooting guard. “It was fun to watch.”

Rosenberger helped make it a fun night for the Crusaders, as he nailed eight 3-pointers to spur the Crusaders on to a 58-45 victory, giving LC its fourth win in a row.

“The rim was as big as the ocean,” said Rosenberger, who finished a phenomenal 8-of-11 from three-point range. “The third quarter was big for us. We were down by three at halftime and we really felt we could win this game.

“The threes just kept falling so we went with what was going good.”

Rosenberger calmly sank one of his three-pointers in the opening moments of the third to draw the game even at 29 apiece. Moments later, Mike Ottomano (10 pts) connected from three-point range, putting the Crusaders ahead 32-31 and in the lead for good.

Rosenberger hit his eighth and final three to stretch LC’s lead to 41-31 in the third, and the Crusaders would stay ahead by double digits the rest of the way. Rosenberger polished off the evening with a pair of free throws – which must have felt like layups – as he finished with a game-high 26 points for streaking LC (4-1).

“It’s a really big win for us, especially before the Catholic League starts,” Rosenberger said.

And it certainly started off pretty well. In a preview of things to come, Rosenberger hit three consecutive threes to give the Crusaders an early 9-0 lead.

“I felt like tonight was my night,” he said. “But we played a really good team game tonight.”

Particularly on defense, as the Crusaders were able to hold off the Warriors (2-4) in the second half.

“The key was we made shots so (BLC) couldn’t get out and run in transition,” Corbett said. “I liked our half-court, man-to-man defense, so I thought if we could make them try and run offense, we would be successful. And once we knocked shots down, we were able to get back and it limited their ability to run and get easy buckets, which they had some success with in the first half.”

In the second quarter, the visitors held the Crusaders to just two field goals while finding their way to the hoop at the other end, with Damien Sears (team-high 15 pts) leading the way and with Todd Gregory slicing to  the basket and laying it in to provide the Warriors their first lead of the night at 16-14.

Boys’ Latin Charter led the rest of the way in the first half. A big block by Nasir Scott triggered a fast break, ending with two free throws by Damien Gregory and a 23-20 lead for the Warriors at the break.

Rosenberger and LC took over in the third.

“It took us a little while to adjust to their zone,” Corbett said, “but once we started to knock some shots down, it opened some things up for us.

“We keep getting better and better. The guys are buying in. They were ready to go today. We knew Boys’ Latin would be an athletic team, like some of the teams in the Catholic League, so it was a good match-up for us, to get some exposure to those types of teams. And we handled it well.”

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