Northeastern suffers first loss of season

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Northeastern got a little taste of what it has been doing to a lot of other teams this season on Wednesday evening at William Penn High School.

The Bobcats have shown the capacity to run opponents into the ground with its high-octane offense. Northeastern came into the game with William Penn averaging over 77 points per game and have a high game of 101 points on the season.

William Penn took a page from that playbook, scoring the first eight points of the game and led by as many as 22 points in the first half on its way to a 78-67 YAIAA inter-divisional win over the Bobcats. The loss was the first of the season for Northeastern.

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"Everything went our way in that first quarter," said William Penn coach Troy Sowers. "It can be a double-edged sword playing with that big of a lead. You don't want to shoot bad shots, but sometimes it was those kind of shots that got you the lead. Sometimes, it is just a mental thing playing with the lead. When you're playing from behind, you have no fear. You just jack up threes and sometimes they go in. Going into the fourth quarter, I felt we just needed to stick with the game plan.

"I think we are going to see them again down the line. They are very good. I'm glad we got that big of lead. It evaporated pretty quick. I knew a run was coming. They have too many offensive weapons for it not to."

William Penn (6-3) jumped out to a 14-point lead after the opening quarter behind 10-of-17 shooting from the field and nine turnovers by Northeastern. Trey Shifflet and Jacquez Casiano scored seven first-quarter points each for the Bearcats.

"We ran a 3-2 (zone defense) effectively against Chester and slowed them down," Sowers said. "We definitely wanted to slow (Northeastern) down. They get back on transition. Even though we did slow them down, they still got some transition stuff."

Northeastern (7-1) fell farther behind in the second quarter, but rallied to close to within 13 points at halftime. The Bobcats then used another run in the third quarter to close the gap to 53-50 heading into the final eight minutes.

"We didn't execute offensively and that affected our transition game and our mindset a bit," said Northeastern coach Jon Eyster. "(William Penn) got their juices flowing and got into a rhythm. We were able to get the ball inside a bit and attack their zone a bit better in the second half."

William Penn saw Northeastern close to within three points again after a Kobi Nwandu layin with 6:07 to play, but the Bearcats managed to hold on down the stretch thanks in part to making 8-of-13 free throws in the final two minutes.

"We don't get a chance to see teams like (William Penn) very often," Eyster said. "That's why it is on the schedule. We can get better from this. We'll take this and get better from it."

The win was the second in a row for William Penn, which lost in overtime to Spring Grove in a Division I game and by 11 to Chester last week.

"I was proud of the way these guys stayed mentally tough," Sowers said. "We are playing some good teams. We are in the middle of a gauntlet now where we've played Spring Grove, Chester, Dallastown and (Northeastern) and have some tough games ahead."

Northeastern (67)
Coleman 3 0-0 7, Donovian Maxfield 6 6-7 19, Mulbah 3 2-4 9, Jeff Reynolds 5 2-3 12, Kobi Nwandu 7 2-4 16, Rizzuto 2 0-0 4, McCarter 0 0-0 0, Zirkle 0 0-0 0. Totals — 26 12-18 67.  
William Penn (78) 
Jacquez Casiano 8 0-0 21, Johnson 2 5-10 9, Iturmendi 4 0-0 8, Montrel Morgan 4 5-6 14, Jaser Drayden 5 0-2 11, Trey Shifflett 4 5-12 13, Colston 0 0-0 0, Anderson 1 0-0 2. Totals — 28 15-30 78.  
Northeastern_ 8 _ 19 _ 23 _ 17 _ — _ 67 
William Penn _ 22 _ 18 _ 13 _ 25 _ — _ 78 
3-point goals — Ne 3 (Coleman, Maxfield, Mulbah). WP 7 (Casiano 5, Morgan, Drayden).

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