Rob Rose (@RobRoseSports)
Jack Blum only scored two points after halftime on Friday night, but they were the biggest pair of the game.
The Council Rock North junior stepped to the foul line all alone with .04 seconds left down by two points in overtime. While the rest of the gym tried to figure out why the game wasn’t already over, Blum’s focus was on his free throws.
On the prior play, Central Bucks East senior Brett Young scored a layup which appeared to end the game and the Patriots’ student section stormed the court to celebrate what they believed was a buzzer-beating win on their home floor.
Jesse Krasna (above) and Council Rock North got help from a technical foul to beat CB East in 3OT. (Photo: Rob Rose/CoBL)
After a string of whistles and waved arms by the officials, it was announced that Council Rock North coach Jesse Krasna called timeout before the clock expired and the crowd was called for a technical foul, which put Blum on the line with a chance to force another overtime.
The junior stepped to the line and drilled both free throws, just like Krasna knew he would. After neither team scored in the second overtime, a steal by Blum set up a basket by senior Bernie Parent which eventually won the wild game for Council Rock North, 54-52 in triple overtime.
“The timeout was great, but (Blum) knocking those things down, I can't think of a more intense, pressure moment,” Krasna said. “He's calm, cool and collected under that. He just has a special way about him where he kind of gets himself locked into the moment and everybody on the bench just kind of knows it's automatic when it comes to him.”
A photo posted on Twitter from a person that watched the livestream of the game showed no fans on the court with no time left on the clock. Central Bucks East head coach Erik Henrysen said the team would explore a potential appeal of the game, which was a crucial contest for the Patriots, who came in after a pair of losses.
Central Bucks East sophomore Jacob Cummiskey said Henrysen delivered a motivational message to the team after a 28-point loss to Bensalem and the players answered his challenge in practice this week. After going down 13-0 in the first quarter on Friday, Henrysen was proud of the way his team fought back, eventually took the lead in the fourth quarter and nearly (or maybe actually) won the game in overtime.
“I don't think we've been as resilient as we could be and we weren't happy with the way that we played and so tonight I was happy with the guys,” Henrysen said. “The way that they responded to their early adversity; we wanted to kind of reset our program with how we go about competing and I thought we did that tonight.”
Parent dominated the game from the opening tip with nine points in the first quarter. Council Rock North appeared to pull away early, but after a timeout by Henrysen the Patriots’ star punched back.
Cummiskey hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter to close the gap before he poured in eight points in the second quarter to cut the deficit to two points at halftime. The Patriots’ sophomore hit a 3-pointer that put his team ahead with one minute left, but Parent responded with a tough layup to tie the game and force overtime.
The battle between the standout scorers impressed Krasna, even if he was on the wrong end of some of the points.
“(Cummiskey) is really gifted with the ball and puts so much pressure on your defense, so it was pretty cool to see him and Bernie kind of going back and forth,” Krasna said.
While each team’s guards dominated the ball and controlled most of the game, it was a pair of big men who provided clutch points down the stretch.
Council Rock North junior forward Adam Mahtat led his team with 23 points, including 14 in the second half and overtime. Parent finished with 18 points and Blum scored six.
Central Bucks East senior and Duke baseball commit Aidan Weaver had 15 points and hit a go-ahead 3-pointer to start the third overtime period. Cummiskey led the Patriots with 19 points.
Despite the weird circumstances in which his team won the game, Krasna and his players celebrated after they left the floor with a victory. Krasna added any team can lose in the league on any night, so while it was a wild way to win the team won’t complain and take it as a lesson.
“I want them to take the time to really enjoy this way because East is one of the best teams in the district,” Krasna said. “But as a coach, I think my mind when I get into that locker room is on, we gotta be ready for that next game. Every time we step on the floor, the margin for error is really small. So, I think our guys understand that and know that they have to bring it every night for us to come out on top.”
CRN 15 | 8 | 12 | 18 | 4 | 0 | 5 | 54
CBE 9 | 12 | 18 | 10 | 4 | 0 | 3 | 52
CRN: Adam Mahtat 23, Bernie Parent 18, Jack Blum 6, Logan Saifer 4, Shane Anhalt 2, Ryan Burkett 1
CBE: Jacob Cummiskey 19, Aidan Weaver 15, Nick Rivera 6, Liam Cummiskey 6, Brett Young 3, Tyriq Toney-Bailey 3