By Andrew Hunter
Knightly News Sports Reporter
On Sunday afternoon, the Central Penn College men’s basketball team battled a tough Berkeley College team and were unsuccessful in a late-game run, losing 85-71 at East Pennsboro High School.
Berkeley’s Maurice Harris set the game’s tone early with an emphatic alley-oop dunk. Berkeley then forced a missed layup, which turned into a 3-pointer on the other end, and Berkeley jumped out to a 5-0 lead.
The Knights’ offense did start to roll as Rodney Ross came alive behind the arc, shooting 2-3 in the first half. The Knights and Berkeley kept going shot-for-shot in the first half, making defensive plays and smart offensive decisions.
Another significant contributor for the Knights in the first half was Cameron Wilson, who had eight points and seven rebounds in the first half, with five coming on the defensive end. With five minutes left in the first half, Berkeley began to go on a run that would change the game’s momentum.
Starting with two straight 3-pointers, Berkeley continued to force turnovers by the Knights with their zone press defense. Berkeley would go into halftime having forced seven turnovers and a lead of eight, 43-35.
To start the second half, Berkeley came out shooting on all cylinders, getting steals in their full-court press, passing well, running their set plays through, and making the easy shots around the rim. The leading man behind this effort was guard Kevon Leary, who had 11 points in the second half.
Berkeley’s lead would get to as big as 22 points, but you can never count out the Knights, flipping a switch at the 10-minute mark in the second half and playing a much crisper game. Ross was facilitating and finding his open teammates, like guard Conner Jenkins, who had a pair of outside shots.
Wilson contributed two critical offensive rebounds to keep the Knights’ hopes alive. Quadere Allen and Ross gave the Knights crucial baskets with a combined 24 points of the Knights’ 36 in the second half. There was hope in the gym that the Knights would get this game close as they were fighting for every loose ball and rebound.
The Knights would cut down Berkeley’s lead to 10, but it was just too much for the Knights as they fell to Berkeley, 85-71.
Wilson was the Knightly News Player of the Game, registering eight points and 13 rebounds.
Ross led the way in scoring for the Knights with 20 points and 4 rebounds. Allen added 16 points and four rebounds in the losing effort.
For Berkeley, Karranja Bright scored 11 points and eight rebounds, while Maurice Harris contributed 12 points and five rebounds.
The Knights will take their 1-6 mark on the road to the College of Southern Maryland on Wednesday before returning home on Friday to take on Bryant & Stratton (Buffalo).