Northeastern leaves no question in first-round rout
GameTimePA reporters Teddy Feinberg and Jim Seip discuss potential District 3 basketball title teams from the YAIAA. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
Last year in the first round of the District 3 Class 4A tournament, the Northeastern boys' basketball team came in as a high seed and was upset in its home gym.
One year later on Monday, the Bobcats made sure history wouldn't repeat itself during the District 3 Class 5A first round.
The top-seeded Bobcats scored 32 first-quarter points and led by 50 points at one point during their opener against No. 16 seed Exeter Township. Northeastern rolled to a convincing 86-38 victory.
"Last year against Wilson, we went in thinking it was going to be a cake walk and we ended up losing," Bobcats junior Antonio Rizzuto said. Northeastern, then a No. 3 seed, lost to 14th-seeded Wilson, 78-59.
"This year, we just went out as hard as we could and it was just a lot of fun. Everybody was just working the ball and scoring."
Northeastern (24-2) advances to play No. 8 Greencastle-Antrim (16-8) in the quarterfinal round Thursday at Northeastern. It will be the third time the Bobcats play Greencastle-Antrim this season. The Bobcats won both of their previous contests.
The Bobcats sped to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and by the end of the first quarter it was 32-8. Northeastern was 11-of-16 from the field in the first quater, caused five turnovers and out rebounded Exeter, 11-1.
"We had a really good practice Sunday night and it was as sharp a practice as we have had all year," Northeastern head coach Jon Eyster said. "I felt pretty good that the guys would be focused (tonight) and they were focused. They were razor sharp."
Northeastern took a 57-17 lead at halftime, and the second half was played with a running clock due to the score advantage of the home team.
Coming off winning the YAIAA tournament, the Bobcats had off on Saturday in preparation for the district tournament.
"This late in the season, you don't change a lot," Eyster said. "You don't need a lot of running up and down. You need to save your legs a little bit."
Northeastern dominated in every aspect of the game, including sharing the ball offensively, where nine players found the score sheet. Rizzuto led the charge with 21 points, Brandon Coleman and Fred Mulbah added 17.
No player for Exeter reached double figures. Devon Jackson led the team with nine points.