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Dock Mennonite teams up to take down Collegium in BAL leader battle

02/04/2022, 1:15am EST
By Ty Daubert

Ty Daubert (@TyDaubert)

LANSDALE — Shortly after checking into the game for the first time on Thursday night, Dock Mennonite’s Vaughan Martin teed up a 3-pointer from the wing. It was a little long and a little left, but the ball kissed off the glass and through the hoop.

The sophomore bench guard smiled and gave his teammates a shrug as his banked trey extended the Pioneers lead to 17 points with two minutes left in the first half. It was that kind night for Dock; everything seemed to be working for each player down the line.

Vaughan Martin (above) hit a 3-pointer that symbolized Dock's success on Thursday night. (Photo: Ty Daubert/CoBL)

“It’s really exciting, because we went on a really good run after that,” Martin said. “We just kept going.”

Behind an excellent team showing, the Pioneers continued to cruise past Collegium Charter to complete a 64-48 victory in a matchup of the top two teams in the Bicentennial Athletic League. Junior Nathan Lapp scored 24 points while getting contributions from teammates like Martin all around him to help Dock remain the only unbeaten squad in BAL play and keep its spot in first place.

Lapp, a 5-foot-11 guard, is one of the most talented players in the league. Leading Dock’s fast-paced attack, he can penetrate, pull up for jumpers with efficiency and rebound, while defending on the other end. Lapp is the true focal point of the Pioneers, but that doesn’t mean he runs the whole show. His supporting cast is what brings everything together.

“That’s the trademark of our team,” Dock head coach Mike Fergus said. “We don’t rely on any one or two or even three guys. We move the ball, there’s a lot of cutting and we’re very unselfish.”

That principle was put into practice against Collegium. Lapp was hot early, dropping 14 points in the first quarter as Dock went up 16-7. But the Pioneers really started pulling away when others made plays.

Ninety seconds into the second quarter, reserve guard Zach Neff made his impact on the game with an impressive three-play sequence. After converting a reverse layup high off the glass from a Lapp bounce pass, the junior forced a turnover on a jump ball. He then made a two-point push shot to put Dock up 15.

A few minutes later, Martin stepped up and hit his triple. A pair of bench players helped the Pioneers grab control, and the team never looked back.

Nathan Lapp (above) led Dock with 24 points. (Photo: Ty Daubert/CoBL)

“It brings energy,” Lapp said. “Obviously, I know I can’t do everything. I need my teammates. Basketball’s a team game.”

Those around Lapp feel the excitement when they can all get involved as well.

“Everyone’s a part of it,” Martin said. “Everyone feels like they’ve done something to help get a win.”

The second half saw versatile big Hoyte Bultje step up as Collegium began to pressure. He was able to handle the ball when needed, facilitate to teammates and score inside on his way to 12 points. 

Freshman forward Tony Martin also hit a few late shots in his 10-point performance as the Pioneers closed out the win.

With the ability of senior outside shooter Tomir Johnson, forward Lane Bergey and backup center Marob Willis also added to the mix, Dock has legitimate depth producing late in the season. It’s what set the Pioneers apart on Thursday against Collegium (15-2, 11-1), which also entered the game undefeated in BAL play.

Forward Duce Jackson scored 26 points and guard DiNero Washington added 17, accounting for all but five of the Cougars’ 48 points. Only two other Collegium players recorded points.

On the other hand, seven Dock players registered points in their victory.

“Everybody on this team has a role,” Lapp said. “Each game, everybody does their job, which is why we’re undefeated in the league (14-0) and why we’re 18-3 (overall).”

Sitting at the top of the league, the Pioneers have a chance to finish the season with a perfect Bicentennial League record with a win on Saturday at Calvary Christian. And looking ahead to the playoffs, there’s still work to be done.

Dock has been one of the more successful programs with three league championships in the last five seasons, and the team has its sights set on another Bicentennial title. With continued buy-in around the roster, it certainly appears to be an attainable goal.

“My kids won’t be complacent,” Fergus said. “... I think we’ll be focused. We know we have a lot more to accomplish.”

By Quarter
Collegium Charter:   7   |  12  |  11  |  18  ||  48
Dock Mennonite:     16  |  20  |  19  |   9   ||  64

Collegium Charter: Duce Jackson 26, DiNero Washington 17, Amon Fowlkes 3, K’mari Smith 2

Dock Mennonite: Nathan Lapp 24, Hoyt Bultje 12, Tony Martin 10, Lane Bergey 6, Tomir Johnson 5, Zach Neff 4, Vaughan Martin 3

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