Facing an opponent that was perhaps coming into its gym with newfound confidence, CB East (14-6) wanted to make sure it countered Quakertown’s energy.
The Patriots did just that Feb. 1, posting a 69-59 triumph over the young Panthers, who were coming off a big win the night before at North Penn.
In its triumph over the Knights, Quakertown’s 6-5 sophomore Jimmy Casey exploded with 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead his team to a 92-70 shocker. Freshman Bobby Rosenberger added 19 points and nine rebounds including a pair of 3-pointers that helped the Panthers to a 27-12 lead after just one period.
Against CB East, Quakertown’s big man was held to a lone bucket in the opening stanza and a handful of free throws in the final frame.
The way the game started, it looked like the Panthers (5-15) might pick up where they left off. While Rosenberger opened with a pair of 3-pointers, CB East senior Ben Markowitz countered with a couple treys of his own.
“They scored 92 points last night at North Penn so we knew they were going to come after us right away,” said Patriots head coach Erik Henrysen. “It was nice to see us respond early to them making a couple of baskets.”
In addition to pouring four treys through the rim in the opening quarter, East got senior Nick Roggio going early with the big man for the Patriots cranking up a dozen points before the halftime buzzer on his way to a 19-point performance.
“Nick’s a problem for a lot of teams; he’s got great post moves,” explained Henrysen. “He provides an anchor for us because teams are going to key on him and that opens things up on the perimeter.”
Classmate Leo Masterson took full advantage, accounting for the other two treys canned by East in the opening period on his way to a team-high 24-point performance.
“They’ve been huge for us all season – both of them, providing leadership through example,” stated Henrysen. “When we need a tough bucket, they’re usually involved.”
A 3-pointer by Masterson put the Pats up 9-6 early and a pair of free throws by Masterson gave East a four-point cushion by the end of the first period.
In the second quarter, Quakertown iced up, shooting just 3-13 in the frame. Meantime, Roggio got that left-handed shot off the glass cranked up, hitting it thrice more before halftime.
“I’m always working on that at practice, especially with Coach Joe. He used to be a big guy for East,” explained Roggio. “We’re always working on post moves, trying to make all of our skill sets better as a team.”
While the Panthers struggled, the Patriots surged, canning 6-of-9 shots in the second period to take a 39-24 edge into the locker room.
After the break, Quakertown senior Eli Ortiz ignited the visitors with three buckets in the third period and two more in the fourth, and he helped the Panthers close the gap to 12 points heading into the final frame.
A 3-pointer by Quakertown senior Matt Lucas along with a pair of free throws by Ortiz drew the Panthers within six points with three minutes remaining but that’s as close as the visitors would come.
On Senior Night, the 12th-graders came through for East: Masterson canned a pull-up jumper and Markowitz closed the game out with four shots made good from the foul line.
Ranked 13th in a District One 6A bracket that takes 24 teams to the postseason, the Patriots are destined to earn a fourth consecutive trip to the District One playoffs when they tip off Feb. 15.
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