Boalton, Boyertown too much for CB West in District 1-6A opener

DOYLESTOWN >> Boyertown senior Victoria Boalton was tasked with a difficult assignment but remained as even-keeled as ever in the Bears 59-56 District 1-6A first round defeat over Central Bucks West.

Boalton was put in charge of guarding CB West’s sophomore Maddie Burke. Burke’s competitive and physical demeanor does not reflect that of a second-year player, and neither does her skillset.

“We knew (Burke) was a Division I point guard, so all week at practice we were practicing their plays, practicing their screens and getting over them and fighting hard,” Boalton. “My entire mindset was to always contest her shot because she’s a great three-point shooter. We noticed her percentage is lower when she faced contested shots.”

The idea that Burke was held in check while still filling the stat sheet with 22 points is an indication as to what she is capable of. It can be difficult to match her scoring, but Boyertown sophomore nearly Julia Smith did just that.

While Burke is one to create space and create her own shots, Smith is the sharp-shooter who lives on the perimeter just waiting for opposing defenses to give her just a little too much freedom.

Smith led Boyertown with 20 points, including four three-pointers.

The ability to score against CB West was a load off Boyertown coach Jason Bieber’s back.

“We talked all year about making shots and playing solid defense,” Bieber said. “We’ve played good defense all year but the scoring has been off

“Really, the kid who stepped up huge tonight was (Boalton),” Bieber continued. “Even though Burke had 22 points, a lot of them came toward the end on deep threes. (Boalton) did a heck of a job. (Burke) can just take a game over at any point in time and I thought we did an excellent job in containing her.”

The game started out modestly, with both team’s largely failing to take advantage of the other’s miscues until CB West junior Diane Nicholson stole the ball twice and finished both times with contested layups with under one minute in the opening quarter.

The Bucks led 27-22 at halftime with Boyertown closing the gap in the third. It was 37-36 heading into the fourth quarter with CB West clinging to a slight lead.

In the fourth, CB West fell behind and was ultimately forced to foul in an effort to play catch-up. Boyertown, with raucous Bucks fans making a scene beneath the basket, kept their cool enough to carry a 5-point lead into the last minute of the game.

The draining duty of guarding Burke did not deter Boalton from being able to perform effectively on the offensive side, particularly from the free throw line. Boalton went 9-of-10 from the foul line, and Boyertown as a team went 23-of-33 from the line.

Boalton credited Bieber’s regimented practice habits for allowing the offense to stay fresh and focused toward the end of the game.

“We run a lot in practice,” Boulton said. “We run a lot of sprints. We run sprints and shoot foul shots afterward to make it similar to game-like situations.”
Burke, with a flair for the dramatic, drilled a contested three-pointer with 25 seconds left, cutting the lead to two. Boyertown then traveled on the subsequent in-bound play, giving CB West their chance to tie or go ahead. Burke, however, missed the three-pointer this time and Boyertown hung on to advance.

“(We were) missing foul shots, missing layups, missing screens, not rotating,” CB West Head Coach Terry Rakowsky said. “We did not do the things we had to do.

“It’s probably one of the most talented teams I’ve had, but there’s definitely a lack of maturity. When you’re not focused and you’re not taking care of that business in practice, that’s what happens.”

While CB West’s season has come to a conclusion, Boyertown has advanced to face Spring Ford next week.

“It’s a rivalry,” Bieber said. “When it’s us and Spring Ford on the court, anything can happen.”

Boyertown 59, CB West 56
Boyertown 8 14 14 23 — 59
CB West 9 18 10 19 — 56
Boyertown (59): Smith 5 6-8 20, 4 3P; Boulton 2 9-10 14, 1 3P; Webb 4 7-9 17, 2 3P; Marburger 1 1-2 3; O’Connor 1 0-0 2; Sweisfort 1 1-4 3.
CB West (56) : Burke 7 3-5 22; 5 3P; Treon 4 2-2 10; Nicholson 5 2-2 14, 2 3P; Broskey 1 0-0 2; Evans 1 0-0 2; Spratt 2 1-2 6, 1 3P.

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