TOWAMENCIN >> The North Penn boys basketball team ran away and hid from Central Bucks West in the second half to register a 57-44 win and take control of the Suburban One League Continental Conference.
The Knights won the second half 44-31, which included a 20-5 third quarter.
“I just thought we played with a lot of passion, a lot of pace,” North Penn head coach John Conrad said about his team’s second half. “I thought defensively we got a lot of good stops in a row and we were able to run out and score in transition.”
Recent Merrimack College commit David Giuliani paced the Knights with 17 points and nine rebounds on the night.
“I was kind of just riding the momentum the team had and I had,” Giuliani said. “Getting up and down the court and getting those stops gets you fired up. It makes scoring, getting rebounds, and pushing the tempo that much easier.”
Reece Udinski added 14 points of his own, eight of which coming in the fourth quarter.
“We feel like he can get to the rim and he did a nice job of that tonight,” Conrad said of Udinski. “I felt like any time we really needed a bucket…I thought he did a real nice job of finding a way to score for us and getting us back over the hump.”
North Penn came out gangbusters in the second half, opening on a 17-2 run. The Knights turned a three-point deficit into a 12-point lead in the blink of an eye. Giuliani had eight points and five rebounds in the third quarter alone.
“We’ve had some games where we’ve had trouble scoring,” Conrad said. “We feel like we gotta play with a quicker tempo. That starts with a defensive rebound or a stop and we try and transition out. I think we did a nice job of that tonight.”
The Knights now sit alone atop the SOL Continental with a 6-1 record. It’s also the second time they’ve beaten the Bucks this season. CB West falls to 5-2 in-conference on the season.
“I know me and Ricky (Johns) came back from football season and of course coming into the season we wanted to win the league,” said Udinski, who knows a little something about success this season as the quarterback of North Penn’s district champion football team. “That’s still our goal and we’re just going to keep pushing toward that goal.”
CB West was particularly strong on the defensive end to start the game. The Bucks had active hands in limiting North Penn to nine points in the opening quarter.
Colin MacAdams led CB West and all scorers with 24 points in the game.
Offensively Jake Reichwein carried the load for West to start, scoring seven of his team’s 12 points in the first quarter. Reichwein finished with nine points in the game.
From there MacAdams took over for the Bucks, scoring seven of his nine first-half points in the second quarter. All told CB West went into the locker room with a 22-19 first half lead.
“Early on…we let (CB West) run their slow pace and everything like that when we like being able to get out and run on teams,” Giuliani said. “Once our defense really clamped down it definitely showed a difference in our play and the scoreboard showed that.”
Giuliani paced North Penn in the opening 16 minutes with seven points. Fellow-senior Ricky Johns pitched in five points and two rebounds as well. The Knights had four turnovers on offense, but were able to force five CB West turnovers in the first half.
“We wanted to beat them really badly,” Giuliani said. “We were coming into the game with not-so-great practice but when we got out on the court tonight…it showed that we really wanted this win and we worked hard to get here.”