TREDYFFRIN >> With their backs to the wall after going 0-3 so far this season in Central League play, the Conestoga boys basketball team came out roaring Friday night, as the Pioneers played great zone defense and got big games from Shane Scott, who led all scorers with 21 points and Milton Robinson, who added 17, as the host Pioneers took care of Upper Darby, 64-46.
Conestoga (1-3 Central League, 4-6 overall) held the Royals (1-4, 2-6) to a tough 15-for-51 shooting night from the field and did not allow Upper Darby’s offense anything under the basket, forcing the cold-shooting Royals into settling for three-pointers that were not falling.
“I was very pleased with our defense tonight,” Conestoga coach Mike Troy said. “And we really boxed out well and I was extremely pleased with our rebounding tonight. We needed this win tonight.”
Conestoga jumped out to a 30-17 halftime lead as Scott drained two long 3-pointers near the end of the second quarter, and Robinson scored 10 of his 17 points in the first half, as the Pioneers took little time taking over control of the tempo.
“We really wanted to get out on them early,” Scott said. “We knew if we started fast we could control tempo and we looked at this as a must-win. We need to put together a steak right now and tonight had to be the start.”
Conestoga opened up a 40-20 lead late in the third quarter, forged by the cold shooting of the Royals But Upper Darby did not quit. The Royals closed the third on an 8-0 run and the Conestoga lead was down to 42-31 heading into the fourth. Upper Darby did not put a man in double figures and was led by Sharif Jones, who tallied nine points.
But, Robinson went strong to the hole for a 45-31 lead. But Jack Cavanaugh drained the first of his two 3-pointers and Upper Darby was back within 11 at 45-34. Evan Medley grabbed an offensive rebound, scored in tight and hit the free throw to give the Pioneers a 48-34 advantage with 4:54 to play in the fourth quarter.
Medley took a nice pass from Scott to score again inside and it was a 50-34 Conestoga lead. Scott then forced a turnover and scored in the lane to give the Pioneers a cushion at 52-36.
“We really needed this win because one of our goals is to reach the Central League playoffs,” Robinson said. “My game is to keep moving without the ball because it is harder for the defense to guard you and I got some good passes my way tonight. We looked a this game as a must0win for us and now we can get on a roll.”
Upper Darby tried valiantly to come back, but the Royals’ cold shooting continued, as the visitors shot just five for 18 in the final quarter, something Upper Darby coach Bob Miller talked about after the loss.
“The last three or four games we have shot this poorly,” Miller said. “And we could not get anything inside. I thought we got good looks but the shooting and confidence level goes down when you start missing a few. But give Conestoga credit. They played very well tonight. And I understand the school lost a young man in a car accident this week and all our thoughts are with the Conestoga community.”
Conestoga 64, Upper Darby 46
Upper Darby 7 10 14 15 – 46
Conestoga 12 18 12 22 – 64
UPPER DARBY (46): Kante 0 1-2 1, Toure 1 2-2 4, Joshuasville 3 0-2 7, Keita 2 2-2 7, Jones 3 1-4 9, Cavanaugh 2 0-0 6, Bonney 1 2-5 4, Ritter 2 0-0 6, Kosh 1 0-1 2. Totals 15 7-18 46.
CONESTOGA (64): S.Scott 7 5-7 21, Brace 0 2-2 2, Martin 0 202 2, M.Scott 1 0-0 2, Robinson 6 3-4 17, Rush 2 0-0 4, Lezanic 1 0-0 3, Medley 3 1-1 7, Steele 1 0-0 3, Fox 1 1-1 3. Totals 22 13-17- 64.
3-point goals: Robinson 2, Scott 2, Lezanic, Steele, Cavanaugh 2, Ritter 2,Keita, Jones2, Joshuasville.