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Girls basketball: CB West slowly pulls away from South


Big-time players make big-time shots.

Central Bucks West junior Maddie Burke is big time as anyone. She converted an Emily Spratt pass into a three with 1:45 remaining Tuesday night, giving her Bucks a 40-38 lead over host CB South. West triumphed 46-38 in the Coaches vs. Cancer fundraising game.

“It helped that our defense was picking up,” said Burke, who logged 19 points and three assists. “That led to our offense. It helped to get momentum.”

Burke opened the fourth quarter with a Spratt-assisted three, giving West its first lead of the game at 34-33.

“I heard Maddie. The defenders were both coming out under me,” said freshman Spratt, who scored six. “I just dished it.”

South freshman Taylor Hinkle hit a three mid-quarter to put the Titans up 38-34. Burke’s steal and layup trimmed the lead to one, setting up her big trey. With 1:00 remaining, Paige Gilbert sank the first two of six straight West free throws to ice the game.

“I was really nervous,” Gilbert admitted. “I’m not that good at foul shots and I’ve been working on them the past year. But I made both and I hope I hyped my team up.”

South has its own big-time player in Colgate-bound guard Alexa Brodie. The senior hit a three, a jumper and a give-and-go to fuel an early nine-point Titan run. South led 15-4 at the end of the first quarter and 22-16 at halftime.

“Our offense was getting to the rim,” West coach Terry Rakowsky explained. “We were making those six-inch passes at the rim instead of just taking it up.”

Hinkle’s drive put South up 25-17 early in the third quarter. West got layups from Izzy Treon, Burke and Spratt to knot the game at 25. Treon tallied 10.

“It really helps to have so many options,” Burke observed. “Emily is good with driving. I’m a shooter. Izzy is good with driving and kicking.”

“The third and fourth quarters, we got some drives to the basket,” Rakowsky added. “Izzy had some drives. Emily had a couple of hard drives to the baseline. If they give you baseline drives, you have to take them.”

Brodie, who finished with 14, answered West’s 8-0 run with a three. “She’s a very good player,” Spratt said. “It’s hard on a team where you are getting face guarded. I think our defense was very good on the rotations. We practiced it very well.”

“Alexa is a competitor,” noted South coach Beth Mattern. “She doesn’t like to lose. The good news is that we’ll come back to the gym tomorrow and keep moving forward.”

The defending state runners-up Titans (5-7, 3-3 SOL Continental) have a varied look this season. “Practice is a little different,” Mattern said. “We’re working on skills more. But the goal is still to end where we did last year.”

Hinkle finished with 11 points while junior Allie Burke added six rebounds. “The difference for them, was Allie,” Rakowsky praised. “She was swatting shots and I think it got into our head a little bit.”

“I’m proud of the way we battled and got after it,” Mattern commended. “That is something we were missing at the beginning of this season.”

West’s (9-4, 5-1 Continental) win streak extended to four. Spratt recorded a double-double in West’s prior win, a 39-34 triumph over Springfield Delco at the Maggie Lucas Classic. Five girls scored eight or more points in West’s Jan. 11 64-16 rout of Quakertown.

“Since you’re coming off the bench, you need to show that you’re worth playing,” Gilbert commented on West’s depth. “You have to come out full of energy.”

Both teams completed their first pass through the SOL Continental on Tuesday. South visits Quakertown on Friday while West will try and notch another rivalry win against CB East.