Burton wills Council Rock North boys basketball to win at Neshaminy

Council Rock North senior Drew Burton (11), left, goes up to block the shot by Neshaminy senior Zach Tredway (5) in Suburban One National League boys basketball action Thursday, Jan. 26 on the Skins’ home court in Langhorne. (J.S. Garber – For 21st-Century Media)

LANGHORNE –Facing Neshaminy Thursday night (Jan. 26) in a game visiting Council Rock North just had to have in order to keep its playoff hopes alive, the Indians led almost from start to finish.

After competing in the PIAA playoffs the past two years for Conwell-Egan Catholic, senior transfer Drew Burton certainly isn’t ready to exit his final campaign early. He showed as much in a 57-45 triumph over the Skins, leading the way with 12 of his team-high 13 points registered in the final two periods when the outcome of the battle was still in question.

As of Jan. 23, North is ranked 30th among the 6A teams in the District 1 rankings. Only the top 24 play in the D-1 tournament.

“We really want to make a push to make that 24th spot,” said Burton. “Winning out would really help us and that’s our ultimate goal.”

While the Rock got off to a dreadfully slow start in its current campaign (3-10), the boys have won four of their last six including a 3-point win over sister school South on Jan. 17 on the Hawks’ home court.

“We still have a chance, if we can move up,” said Burton. “Especially the way we’ve been playing lately, I think we can do it.”

Burton nearly willed his team to a win late in last night’s game in Langhorne, with five field goals in the second half including three baskets in an 8-point performance in the fourth quarter.

After capping off the third period with a layup that put North up, 36-32, heading into the final frame. In the fourth quarter, Drew added an open layup two minutes in then added a whip-around one handed jump shot at the 3:15 mark to keep that 4-point spread on the side of the visitors.

For good measure, he posted up with a putback basket and the and-one or a 3-point play that gave the Indians a 9-point edge with 2:45 remaining then added another putback bucket to keep that margin less than 30 seconds later.

From there, the Rock closed things out from the foul line, canning 13-of-17 shots from the stripe in the fourth quarter after shooting 1-for-8 from the line in the first three periods combined.

The last time the sides squared off Jan. 3 at CR North, the Skins pasted a 41-30 loss on the Indians. Needless to say, the Rock entered this matchup with a score to settle.

“Coming into our house and giving us a loss, we definitely wanted to come out here and give it to them on their home floor and come out with a ‘W,’” explained Burton.

Drew wasn’t the only one who played well at Neshaminy. In truth, all five starters took turns carrying the Indians through some portion of the contest.

CR North senior James Kosyla got the scoring started with a couple of buckets in the low post in the first period. Classmate Eric Levine hit a layup, a jumper and a putback basket in the second period.

Senior Noah Ehlin scored all nine of his points in the first three frames including a 3-pointer in the second period. Classmate Tyler Shields tallied all eight of his points in the last two periods including a trey of his own to start the second half.

Sixth man Matt McAlister hit a 3-pointer early in the game then capped his scoring performance off with 4-for-4 foul shooting to help seal the win.

“We don’t have a lot of size but we do have guys who have a lot of heart,” stated CR North head coach Jesse Krasna. “Noah Ehlin always finds a way to come up with offensive rebounds and our big guy, James Kosyla, tonight, looked like a man among boys.

The Indians got plenty of help from those two players on putbacks, which at times, seemed to be the difference in this game.

“We always say to the guys, ‘will over skill’ and they’ve really embraced that,” said Krasna. “Against a team like Neshaminy, you have to be able to come up with those second-chance points and get those loose balls.”

“If you don’t you give them extra possessions and a kid like Chris Arch, if he’s got the ball in his hands too many times, he’s going to really put a hurting on you.”

According to Krasna, poor shooting doomed the Indians in the first matchup with the Skins. He says North shot just 24 percent in that one.

“We thought if we played the same type of defense that we played in the first game and moved the ball a little bit better and got more open shots, good things would happen, offensively, for us.”

With two players – Burton and Kosyla – in the starting lineup who weren’t even on the team last year, it has taken time for the Indians’ offense to jel.

“Sometimes, it just takes time for guys to click,” said Krasna.

For the Skins, while there may have been times in the third period when they made shots, Neshaminy just didn’t make enough of them to win. The Skins shot an abysmal 4-for-23 in the first half and shot just 31 percent for the game.

“We’re just not shooting the ball well right now and that’s what’s hurting us,” stated Neshaminy head coach Mark Tingle. “We’re playing hard and staying in games but when you can’t make shots, it’s tough to win.”

Junior Chris Arcidiacono led the Skins with 13 points with 11 of those coming after the intermission. Senior Mark Gentry came through with 11 points, though he was the only other player in double digits for Neshaminy.

While the Skins entered the week ranked 22nd in District 1, this game, coupled together with a 49-41 loss suffered Jan. 24 at the hands of Pennsbury threatens to leave Neshaminy out of the D-1 playoff picture.

The week started for the Skins with much more promise. Neshaminy outpaced Avon Grove, 55-49, in overtime on Monday, Jan. 23 in West Goshen Township. Trailing the Red Devils, 35-25, after three periods, the Skins outscored the Red Devils 30-14 in the fourth quarter and the extra session, combined.

Council Rock North 57, Neshaminy 45
(Jan. 26 at Neshaminy)
Council Rock North          9 10 17 21 – 57
Neshaminy                            8  7 17 13 – 45

COUNCIL ROCK NORTH (7-12, 4-6 SOL National) — Drew Burton 5 3-6 13, James Kosyla 5 1-5 11, Noah Ehlin 4 0-1 9, Eric Levine 3 3-5 9, Tyler Shields 2 3-4 8, Matt McAlister 1 4-4 7; TOTALS — 20 14-25 57.

NESHAMINY (6-11, 2-7 SOL National) — Chris Arcidiacono 3 7-9 13, Mark Gentry 4 2-4 11, Anthony Verrecchio 3 1-1 7, Zach Treadway 2 2-4 6, Anthony Papeo 2 0-0 4, Corey McGarry 1 0-0 2, Andrew Note 0 2-2 2; TOTALS — 15 14-20 45.

3-POINT GOALS: CRN — Ehlin, Shields, McAlister; N — Gentry.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply