It’s tough to win a basketball game when 75 percent of your opponent’s baskets are worth 33 percent more than your own.
Central Bucks West (11-3) proved that last Friday at CB East (10-4), topping the Patriots by double digits for the second time this season. The Bucks canned 15 3-pointers in the contest on 20 shots made from the floor.
CB West senior Maddie Burke led the way, pouring eight treys into the basket, seven of which came in the first half, sending the Bucks to the locker room holding a 40-21 halftime edge.
“We’re a fast team and we like to build momentum from that,” said Burke. “We got some open shots and we just knocked them down.
“Coach always says ‘shoot with confidence’ so we shot with confidence and played really well.”
Burke poured four of her team’s six first-quarter field goals into the basket, five of which were drained from outside the 3-point line. Four of those treys were recorded by Burke.
“We talk about team basketball and she gets everybody involved,” said CB West head coach Zach Sibel. “Even when the lights are brighter, she steps up and she had a heck of a game tonight.
“She’s just incredible and she’s fun to watch.
“She got it going but she got everybody else going, too. Her confidence level brings everybody else’s confidence level up.
“The high tide rises all boats.
“She’s a once in a lifetime player and I couldn’t be more thankful to be here with her.”
The type of accuracy displayed by the Bucks from beyond the arch put West on top 17-6 after just five minutes of play and 20-12 by the end of the first period. A 14-5 scoring run by the Bucks to end the second quarter put CB West up 19 points heading into the locker room.
Defensively, the Bucks kept the Patriots’ size at bay, almost neutralizing CB East center Emily Chmiel and forward Gabby Wilga. The top scorers for the Patriots managed a lone field goal between them in the final two frames.
“It’s a cool team because we can do it on both ends,” added Sibel. “We’re really good offensively but it starts on that defensive end. Give a lot of credit to Jess (Broskey) and Lilly (Evans), who make it tough for them to get the ball in.
“We put a lot of pressure on the ball. Everyone was active and made every pass tough. It’s a really athletic team and we want to make (our opponents) work.”
A five-point scoring spurt by CB East sophomore Aubrey DeAngelis helped the Patriots reduce their deficit to 14 points by the end of the third quarter. Still, West outpaced the home team 14-13 in the third stanza, sparked by 3-pointers poured into the basket by Burke, junior Anna Blue along with seniors Jess Broskey and Olivia Irons.
CB West junior Paige Gilbert sparked the Bucks with a trey of her own in the final frame and sophomore Emily Spratt got to the foul line three times, canning five of six free throws, helping West to a 66-45 triumph.
For her part, Gilbert gathered in seven rebounds in the East-West duel.
“Paige brings energy on the offensive and defensive side,” said Broskey. “You see a shot go up and everybody goes to crash the boards, then you see Paige come out of nowhere. She’s always hustling, always keeping up the intensity.”
“She just keeps getting after it,” added Sibel. “That energy and that effort is just contagious and everybody else steps it up when she does it.”
Burke led the Bucks’ scoring effort with 27 points. She’s a 1,000-point scorer for CB West, a milestone she eclipsed the last time the two teams squared off.
After District One playoff wins over Upper Darby, Owen J. Roberts, Pennsbury and Plymouth-Whitemarsh along with a run to states in 2019, CB West returned to the hardwood this season without the services of graduates Izzy Treon, a first-team All-Suburban One Continental League forward, and guard/forward Tory Abelson, who’s now playing at Florida Atlantic.
“The returning players are all stepping up,” explained Broskey. “We’re playing more team basketball.
“Emily Spratt has had such a great year – attacking, defensively, everything. Maddie Burke is always draining threes. We’re always picking each other up.”
For CB East, the loss was its first in the new year. The Patriots entered the battle with the Bucks on a six-game win streak, a tear that began with a triumph at home over Souderton on Jan. 3 and ran all the way to a road victory over Bensalem on Jan. 14.
East also made it to the postseason in its last campaign, toppling Kennett in a District One Class 6A opener before bowing out after losses to eventual D1 champion Garnet Valley and state qualifying Methacton.
CB West remains atop the SOL Continental Conference unbeaten at 7-0. East is next in line at 5-2.
Both teams are ranked among the top 10 in the District One 6A field.
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