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Tropea twins, Titans hold off Rams


When Jules and Gabby Tropea play against each other in their driveway, it gets “rough.”

Since they were young, playing AAU and travel basketball together for Warrington-Warwick, they’ve been honing their skills with one another.

Those skills, along with their sisterly chemistry, helped Central Bucks South advance to 4-3 in its 43-39 victory over Pennridge (6-3) on Tuesday night.

“I think it’s (their chemistry) pretty good; we’ve been playing with each other for a while,” Gabby Tropea said, as they both muttered “twin telepathy” shortly after, sharing a laugh.

The Tropea sisters, both 5-10 sophomores who play power forward/center, battled under the glass throughout the night. They consistently won rebounds and made passes into the lane or finished strong at the rim.

Jules Tropea, who got the start at center, flashed her offensive prowess early, scoring five of the team’s 13 first quarter points, which had South leading 13-7 entering the second quarter.

Her scoring cooled off then, and in correspondence, so did the team’s. Pennridge cut the deficit to one heading into halftime and had CB South hanging on by a thread with a 20-19 lead.

The Tropea sisters, along with the rest of the Titans, had to find their way back to what they were doing well defensively in the first quarter – playing aggresive and shedding screens.

“I think we did a really good job hedging off the screen,” Gabby Tropea said. “We’ve been working on it a lot at practice and getting in front of it, which really helped.”

“I just reminded them what they did well to get to that point, when we had that lead, and where we had fallen off a little bit, in my opinion,” Central Bucks South head coach Beth Mattern said.

After coming out sluggish to start the third quarter – Pennridge generated a 6-0 scoring run, forcing Mattern to call a timeout around the four-minute mark – Jules Tropea stepped up.

She scored seven second half points that found the Titans, after losing the lead, back in the driver’s seat with a 38-37 lead and just 1:04 left to play in the fourth quarter. After regaining the lead in that moment, the momentum had shifted, and the Titans’ victory was evident.

Jules Tropea finished with 12 points and Gabby Tropea finished with six, accounting for nearly half of the team’s 43-point total.

“Jules works so hard,” Mattern said. “I’ve coached few people who have made the jump she has from her freshman year to her sophomore year, in skill level and just overall ability to impact the game. I’m really happy for her; she continues to work hard.”

Defensively for the Titans, Mattern thought that was one of their better performances. They held the Rams to 39 points, who were coming off an impressive 65-point performance – their second 60-point game of the season.

“They’re great scorers,” she said. “They have a couple great shooters so I was really proud of our effort because we’ve been struggling a little bit defensively to hold people down. It was nice to execute better on the defensive end tonight.”

The Titans hope to build off this impressive victory as they prepare for the rest of the season. While they have an advantage – all five starters from last year returning – it comes with the expense of their inexperience and youth.

“It’s a different situation than I’ve ever been in,” Mattern said. “It’s the first time we’ve ever returned all five starters in the program. It’s been fun in the fact that we’ve gotten to try new things, but we’re also trying to grow. ... We start two seniors and everyone else who starts is underclassmen. We just continue to work and try to keep growing and getting better as a team.”

The Titans look to continue their growth Thursday, Dec. 21 as they host Neshaminy (5-1). The same day, Pennridge hosts Harry S. Truman.

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