Diguglielmo red hot in third as Boyertown surges past Pottstown

POTTSTOWN >> Aarick Salata has seen teammate Tre Diguglielmo get hot before.

Over the last three seasons, it’s been a common occurrence in Boyertown’s practices and not a rarity in the Bears’ games either.

Unfortunately for Pottstown, one of those hot streaks happened in the third quarter of Monday’s Pioneer Athletic Conference crossover game, dooming the Trojans in 70-51 Boyertown victory.

Diguglielmo torched the nets in the third quarter, scoring 14 of his career-high 22 points in the period as Boyertown pulled away.

“Honestly, I’m used to it by now,” said Salata, who tallied nine points of his own. “A lot of the time it happens in practice. I’ve seen it in games before plenty of times. It’s just who he is. You give him open shots, and he’s going to step up and knock them down.”


Boyertown’s Aarick Salata (5) attempts to hold off Pottstown’s Rashean Bostic (0) as he drives to the basket Monday. (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)

Boyertown blitzed Pottstown (2-1 Frontier, 2-3 PAC) with a 15-5 run to start Monday’s game and led 30-20 at halftime. Senior Christian Renninger, who finished with 16 points, scored the Bears’ first four points after halftime then came the fireworks from Diguglielmo.

The senior 6-foot-4 senior sharpshooter, who made six threes in the game, knocked down four three-point shots in the period, helping the Bears (0-1 Liberty, 1-1 PAC) turn a 10-point halftime lead into a 55-24 advantage heading to the fourth.

“We were just running in transition, our new transition offense, and our point guards did a really good job getting to the paint,” said Diguglielmo, who scored 20-or-more points twice last season. “I was just trailing the plays and got wide open looks every time, and they found me. I just had to execute.”


After falling in a hole early, Pottstown kept the Bears from pulling away in the second quarter, but the Trojans, who’ve struggled to shoot the ball this year, couldn’t keep pace with a Boyertown squad that knocked down 12 3-point shots in the game.

 Sophomore Nyles Bunn-McNeill scored 19, senior Corey Cottman had 15 and senior Jahzeel Watson tallied 11 for the Trojans, who were coming off a 60-57 overtime win over Upper Merion last Friday.

“We played with them for a half and then got out to a sluggish start in the third quarter, and you can’t do that against a team like them,” Pottstown coach Scott Palladino said. “You can’t let them get a 16-point lead and then you have to play perfect the rest of the night. We just didn’t do it tonight. We’re going to struggle to score. We’re going to have to hold teams to 50-or-under to have a chance, have a legitimate chance.”

Pottstown’s Nyles Bunn-McNeil, center, shoots over Boyertown’s Tre Diguglielmo, right, on Monday. (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)

Boyertown coach Mike Ludwig’s teams are usually a bit more methodical on the offensive end, attempting to keep game scores in the 40s or 50s as they grind teams down with their 2-3 zone defense.

Through two games, that has not been the case as the Bears have already twice scored in the 70s and made 12 3-point shots. They lost to Owen J. Roberts, 74-70, in their opener last Friday.

“We know we have an experienced group, four-year starters, three year starters ,” Diguglielmo said. “So we’re looking to use our size, our strength, our experience to get up and down the court and use our defense to our advantage and put some big numbers up this year,”

“For me as a point guard, there’s a lot of skill on that court, so it opens it up for me,” Salata added. “My job is a lot easier finding guys on the floor.”


The Trojans were without senior forward Darius Smallwood and a few others Monday as they had three sophomores in the top six of their rotation.

Palladino said he hopes to have closer to his full roster available by Feb. 5 for a second matchup with Pope John Paul II.

The Trojansface Frontier rival Phoenixville on Wednesday with a chance to take sole possession of second place in the division.

“They played like a seasoned team,” Pottstown coach Scott Palladino said of Boyertown. “They start four or five seniors and it showed today. They’ve been playing together for a while, while we’re trying to learn on the fly. … We’re athletic, we just have to get that basketball IQ a little better, but it’ll come. I’m excited.”

Boyertown’s Jordan Butler drives to the basket as Pottstown’s Nyles Bunn-McNeil, left, and Jahzeel Watson defend on Monday. (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)

Diguglielmo and Salata have been building toward this season for quite some time. Salata earned a spot on the Bears’ varsity roster in his freshman season in 2017-18, and Diguglielmo joined him a season later.

Boyertown had a breakthough season a year ago, putting together the program’s best record in 13 seasons, earning a spot in the PAC playoffs and hosting a district playoff game.

With their two leading scorers returning in Salata and Diguglielmo and another top threat David Leh (seven points Monday) back from injury in addition to several other players with varsity experience, expectations are once again high for the Bears.

“It’s amazing, for one, to get the opportunity to play,” Salata said. “And with all the talent we have this year, we feel like we really all buy in and we believe that we can do something big here at Boyertown.”

Boyertown 70

Pottstown 51

BOYERTOWN: Butler 1 0-0 2, Marinello 1 0-1 2, Salata 4 1-2 9, Ward 0 0-0 0, Diguglielmo 8 0-2 22, Leh 2 1-2 7, Kapp 2 0-0 5, Renninger 5 4-4 16, Black 1 0-0 3, Schaefer 2 0-1 4, Totals 26 6-14 70.

POTTSTOwN: Bostic 1 0-0 2, McNeil 7 5-5 19, Oister 0 1-5 1, Watson 3 5-9 11, Cottman 7 1-2 15, Albert 0 0-0 0, Toussant 1 1-5 3, Totals 19 13-26 51.

Boyertown 15 15 25 15-70
Pottstown 7 13 14 17-51

3-point goals: Diguglielmo 6, Leh 2, Renninger 2, Kapp, Black.

Pottstown’s Jahzeel Watson (4) shoots over Boyertown’s David Leh (23) and Tre Diguglielmo (22). (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)
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