One of the main goals of the Central Bucks West boys basketball program was to play meaningful games in late February.
Through Tuesday night, the Bucks did. Unfortunately, they came up short in their latest effort.
CB West couldn’t handle host Norristown’s defensive pressure as it had its five-game winning streak snapped during a 59-35 defeat in a second round PIAA District One playoff game.
Fifth-seeded Norristown got to a double-digit lead in the opening quarter and maintained its control at halftime with a 21-10 advantage.
The No. 21 Bucks couldn’t make a substantial cut into the deficit and trailed by as many as 20 points in the second half.
The Bucks will need to win two more games to qualify for the state tournament beginning with a game at Spring-Ford Friday night.
A few days earlier, CB West posted an impressive 63-50 victory over rival and 12th-seeded Central Bucks East to advance to the second round.
Against Central Bucks East, the Bucks again took charge in the second half as they have during their recent run.
CB West relied on its defense, as they held CB East to 20 points after halftime.
Jack Neri and Jack Mulhearn proved to be an effective one-two punch as they combined for 48 points and 17 rebounds.
Neri, who had a game-high 25 points with six boards, saw another second-half surge as a key.
“We left some points on the floor in the first half,” said Neri. “At halftime, we talked about getting everything together. We came out in the second half and played pretty well.
“We have played well the past couple of weeks and we’re playing basketball the way we are capable of playing.”
Neri praised the play of Mulhearn, who recorded his third consecutive double-double in points and rebounds.
“It’s amazing what he has done,” said Neri. “Over the last couple of years, he and I have been leading the team. But he has been playing very well and has really picked up his play.”
Bucks head coach Adam Sherman still believes his team has hit the right chords.
“We have been able to get contributions from a number of people,” he said. “We want to keep playing our best basketball at this time.
“They (Neri and Mulhearn) both have been there for us all season long.
Neri has improved his game the last couple of weeks, and Mulhearn getting the double-doubles in a row is pretty impressive.”