Souderton hits 10 3-pointers, tops CB West to clinch at least share of SOL Continental

DOYLESTOWN >> When Souderton’s Megan Bealer got one 3-pointer to fall, it was all the encouragement she needed to keep letting it fly from long range.

“Usually my teammates, my coach they’re always getting to me, like ‘Keep shooting, keep shooting. You know if you miss one, it’s OK, you miss one it’s next play,’” she said. “So, once I hit one I was like ‘All right, I think the game’s on.”

Bealer and the Indians girls basketball team found their stroke from beyond the arc in the second quarter against host Central Bucks West. Bealer hit three of Souderton’s six triples in the period while Megan Walbrandt added a pair as she went on to make five of Big Red’s 10 3-pointers Tuesday night.

“Me and Megan are actually best friends, we connect and on the court we’re like let’s go, like we definitely give each other a lot of motivation,” Bealer said.

Souderton’s Megan Bealer is defended by Central Bucks West’s Olivia Irons (10) and Julia Kreider (55) during their game on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (Debby High/For Digital First Media)

The Indians proceeded to shut down the Bucks in the second half, holding West to just nine points after the break to pull away for a 53-38 victory that clinched at least a share of the Suburban One League Continental Conference title.

“I feel like once you start to get a couple going and your team’s working really well together, everything just is easier on offense when everyone’s working together and teammates did a great job of finding the open player and converting,” Walbrandt said.

Walbrandt had a game-high 21 points — 13 in the first half — while Bealer ended up hitting four 3-pointers in adding 14 points for the Indians (19-2, 10-1 conference) who earned their 13 straight victory and secured their first league championship since 2004. Souderton can claim the outright Continental crown when it hosts William Tennent 6:30 p.m. Friday.

“It means so much,” Bealer said. “Definitely gives us a lot more excitement to keep going and continue our season.”

Izzy Treon finished with 11 points while Lily Evans scored all 10 of her points in the first half for Central Bucks West (11-10, 7-5), which has lost two straight and three of its past four. The Bucks — 14th in the latest district rankings — visit West Catholic in their regular-season finale 7 p.m. Thursday.

“I think in the first quarter I mean, it’s their Senior Night, they had a lot going on, they were really excited,” Walbrandt said. “I think really in the second half we picked up our defense and kind of brought in the second half.”

After giving up 29 in the first half, Souderton limited to CB West to four points in the third then five in the fourth to quiet the Bucks’ offense for a second time this year. West was held to a season-low in Souderton’s 38-17 victory in the team’s first meeting Jan. 11.

“Well our coach gave us a talk at halftime. Defense matters, you can work on offense but defense is what we need for this game to stop them,” Bealer said. “So that was put in our heads and we just came out and we’re like, ‘All right, let’s do this.’”

The Bucks led 14-11 after the first eight minutes and 16-11 early in the second quarter on a Evans putback before a Bealer three and Walbrandt’s basket off a drive evened the contest. A Maddie Burke three-point play at 5:36 put West back up 19-16 but Walbrandt’s three tied things again.

After an Anna Blue 3-pointer made it 22-19 Bucks, the Indians knocked down three straight from behind the arc — two from Bealer sandwiching Megan O’Donnell’s trey — to lead 28-22.

“Honestly, I just try to get the best shot there is,” Bealer said. “So, I’m not going to be selfish, I want my teammates, if they have the better shot, I’m going to obviously give it to them. So, whatever happens to get the best shot, I’ll participate in it.”

A three from Treon and two from Burke on a drive had West within 28-27 before Walbrandt hit Big Red’s six three of the quarter. Two Erin McIlhinney free throws cut the margin to 31-29 at halftime.

Central Bucks West’s Maggie Burke is defended by Souderton’s Megan Walbrandt during their game on Friday, Feb. 6, 2018. (Debby High/For Digital First Media)

Burke’s jumper in the third had the Bucks level 31-31 but the Indians went ahead for good with a 9-0 run started by back-to-back threes from Bealer and Walbrandt. Alana Cardona scored on a drive while a Kate Connolly free throw had Big Red up 40-31 at 1:42.

“I don’t think we changed anything, we started to lock down and focus — focus on mostly our defense cause we’ve always been told our defense transition into our offense,” Walbrandt said.

Evans found a cutting Treon for a basket, getting West within seven at the end of the third. Treon scored off a Burke assist to make it 40-35 in the fourth before Souderton answered with a 7-0 run — Walbrandt draining a 3-pointer for a 47-35 advantage with 4:57 remaining.

Abbey Spratt’s three cut the Bucks’ deficit to nine but those were CB West’s final points. Souderton took its biggest lead of the night after two Connolly foul shots at 31.5 seconds made it 53-38.

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