Tinkel double-double helps New Hope get past Solebury School
A rivalry seems to be developing between New Hope-Solebury and Solebury School, two schools separated by less than three miles.
Although the Spartans have yet to win in the short, two-game series, next year’s contest promises to be a dandy, with the Lions scheduled to graduate only four seniors and the Spartans expected to return their entire squad.
“It’s a fun rivalry,” New Hope head coach Rick Fedele said.
Fedele’s Lions defeated Solebury again last Thursday night. New Hope was money from the free throw line, especially in the fourth quarter. The result was a 55-48 victory at home. (The Lions downed the Spartans, 49-37, last year at Solebury.)
“That’s really what sealed it, I think,” New Hope senior guard Dan Doolan said, referring to his club’s 15-for-17 effort from the charity stripe in the final quarter. “Without those, it would have been a much different score.”
Solebury had the deficit down to 44-40 with under 2 minutes remaining, but Lions junior standout Spencer Tinkel coasted in for a lay-up, Doolan made one of two free throws and Tinkel followed Doolan to the line, where he sank a pair, to increase the advantage to 49-40.
The Spartans made one final push with under 30 seconds remaining, as freshman Macio Sexton converted a three-point play, but Doolan stepped to the line and knocked down two on the ensuing possession to put the game out of reach.
“We’re a little more versatile than we’ve been,” Solebury head coach Cleve Christie said. “Being young, we’re going to get young mistakes, too.”
While the Lions hit 16 of 20 foul shots for the game, the Spartans struggled, dropping just nine of 21 attempts.
“We make our foul shots, we win the game,” Christie said.
For the second straight year, Solebury was eaten up by Tinkel inside. Coming off a 10-point, 10-rebound performance in last year’s tilt, Tinkel, a 6’3” small forward, managed 21 points and 13 boards last Thursday.
“He’s easily the most important kid we have on our team,” said Doolan, who added seven points to New Hope’s winning effort. “He’s our leading rebounder, probably our leading scorer the way the season is going and maybe our best three-point shooter. He really does it all.”
Playing without junior 6’2” guard Milo Luciano, the Spartans were forced to go with their starting five for most of the game. In fact, Christie didn’t substitute until starting forward Qihang Zhang fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Christie is anxious to see Malik Harvey, a 6’4” freshman out of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Sexton develop alongside junior guards Justin Berger and Darvin Johnson.
“We have two freshmen who can play a little bit,” Christie said. “Macio is kind of like a poor man’s ‘4.’ He bangs down there. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s just a tough kid. And Malik is multi-faceted. He can do a lot of things. He does a nice job blocking shots, rebounding and he can put the ball on the floor.”
Sexton led Solebury with 15 points and six boards against New Hope. Berger, who had a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter to cut the Lions’ lead to 36-31 heading into the fourth, and Johnson each deposited 11 points. Harvey had seven points and ripped down five rebounds.
Zhang netted four.
“They have some good young players,” Fedele praised. “They do. They’re going to be a tough team next year. Definitely.”
The Spartans are 4-7 on the season; the Lions improved to 9-6.
Jack Dougherty and Max Wagner each contributed eight points for the Lions. Dalton Waterman had four off the bench, and Andre Garabaldi added four boards.
“You have to give credit to them,” Christie said of New Hope. “They went to the foul line and they knocked down their foul shots. They’re well coached. They made adjustments. It was a great game to be a part of. It’s a nice little rivalry.”
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