JACKSON TWP — Guard and share.
Two simple words — and they’re working quite well for the North Catholic boys basketball team.
The Trojans (13-1) used a 16-0 run in the first quarter to build a 19-5 lead in that period and rolled to a 70-57 victory Saturday at Seneca Valley. The win was North Catholic’s third in a row. The Raiders (6-9) dropped their third straight.
After an Andrew Roy trey gave Seneca Valley an early 5-3 lead, the Raiders went eight minutes and 15 seconds before scoring another point.
“We take a lot of pride in our defensive effort,” North coach Jim Rocco said. “When you come out and guard people, then share the basketball offensively, you stand a good chance of winning any game you play.
“We had assists on almost every bucket we made. I love seeing that.”
Half of the Trojans’ 26 field goals were 3-pointers. Five players combined on draining them, including three in the first quarter by junior Max Rottmann.
“We have the shooters, so why not use them?,” Rocco said.
“Rottmann came out on fire,” SV coach Kevin Trost said. “We dug ourselves a hole early, trailing 19-5. It’s hard to come back against North Catholic because they shoot the ball so well. They dribble it well, too, so if you come out on them too far, they’re taking it to the basket.
“We won the second half by one point. That’s a positive for us. That’s how we have to look at it.”
Rottmann was one of five Trojans in double figures, scoring 16 points. He added 11 rebounds and four assists as well. Max Hurray led North Catholic with 18 points.
The Trojans enjoyed a 33-20 rebounding advantage on the day.
“Our attitude every game is to come out and be the tougher team,” Rottmann said. “My teammates find me when I have the open shot and I do the same for them. That’s how we play.”
Andrew Maddalon scored 37 points, including six treys, in a Friday night win over Burrell. He played in foul trouble Saturday and was limited to 10 points.
“I don’t care who scores for us,” Rocco said. “Sometimes it’s a different kid on a given night. Sometimes we have the balance like we had today. Playing a 6A team from a tough section, we knew we had to come out and play aggressively right away.
“Seneca Valley is a great program that is used to tough competition.”
Matt Gregor had 11 points and five assists, Ben Tomer 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals.
“I thought Ben gave us an outstanding game,” Rocco said of his center. “He’s a big man who can pass the ball extremely well.”
Jameson Greico led the Raiders with 17 points, 12 coming in the second half. The Raiders scored 40 points in the second half after being limited to 17 in the first two quarters.
Roy had 15 points and four rebounds, Connor Oros eight points, five rebounds and three assists. Seneca Valley returns to section play Tuesday night, hosting Pine-Richland.
“We’re in a dogfight for that last playoff spot and it’s gonna go right down to the last game,” Trost said of Section 1-6A. “It’s hard to believe somebody from our section is going to have to miss the playoffs.
“We’ve played North Catholic each of the three years I’ve been here. It’s a neighborhood game and most of the kids on both teams know each other from summer ball. It’s a fun game and the competition benefits both teams.”
NORTH CATHOLIC 70
Andrew Maddalon 4-8 0-2 10, Ian Palmer 0-1 0-0 0, Matthew Ellery 2-3 0-0 5, Matt Gregor 4-7 0-0 11, Ben Tomer 4-9 2-2 10, Max Hurray 6-18 3-5 18, Max Rottmann 6-9 0-0 16. Totals: 26-55 5-9 70.
SENECA VALLEY 57
Aiden Lyczek 2-2 1-2 5, Connor Oros 3-4 2-2 8, Luke Lawson 1-5 2-2 4, Beaux Lizewski 3-6 0-0 6, Jameson Grieco 7-14 2-2 17, Jackson Wetzel 0-0 0-0 0, Brian Olan 1-1 0-0 2, Andrew Roy 5-12 3-3 15. Totals: 22-44 10-11 57.
North Catholic 19 12 21 18 — 70
Seneca Valley 5 12 23 17 — 57
3-point goals: North Catholic 13 (Maddalon 2, Ellery, Gregor 3, Hurray 3, Rottmann 4), Seneca Valley 3 (Grieco, Roy 2)
JV: Seneca Valley, 65-41 (SV: Tyler Peppin 21, Aiden Lyczek 18; NC: Erik Schneider 9, Nick Larson 9)
Tuesday: North Catholic at Derry, Pine-Richland at Seneca Valley