C.B. East stuns C.B. South

Central Bucks East's Brendan McLaughlin celebrates the double–overtime victory over Central Bucks South with fellow students after the final buzzer. CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Central Bucks East's Brendan McLaughlin celebrates the double–overtime victory over Central Bucks South with fellow students after the final buzzer. CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Posted: February 09, 2014

Two out of three ain't bad. Actually, for Central Bucks East, it was much better than that.

With a half-second left in the second overtime, sophomore Tommy Strasburger was fouled on a three-point attempt and made his second and third free throws to give the visiting Patriots a dramatic 50-49 victory over stunned Central Bucks South before a lively crowd Friday night in Warrington.

The deciding free throw rattled around the rim before finding the twine.

"I was just trying to follow the routine I use in practice," Strasburger said.

After Strasburger missed the first free throw and nailed the second, the Titans called a timeout. Before the 6-foot-1, 170-pounder sank the winner, senior teammate Brendan McLaughlin offered a few words of encouragement.

"I told him I believed in him 100 percent," McLaughlin said. "I have complete confidence in the kid. He's one of the best seniors in our league."

With the last-second victory, C.B. East (12-9 overall) forged a three-way tie atop the Suburban One League Continental Conference. C.B. East, C.B. South, and North Penn are each 9-5 in conference play.

Pennridge, with an 8-5 league mark entering Saturday's league final, also can earn a share of top honors.

After Ryan Tagliamonte made one of two free throws to give the Titans (13-9) a 49-48 edge with 5.1 seconds to go, Strasburger hurried the ball up the court and took a left-wing three. It was off the mark, but the referee on the opposite side blew his whistle.

"With all the noise, I didn't hear it," Strasburger said. "You usually don't get that call late in a game, but we'll take it."

C.B. South coach Jason Campbell, whose squad was denied an outright Continental Conference crown, was visibly upset afterward.

"All I'm going to say is, 'Let the players determine the outcome of the game,' " Campbell said. "I can't say any more than that. It would only get me in trouble."

Strasburger shot 5 for 6 from the field (0 for 1 from beyond the arc) and 6 for 8 from the line on the way to a game-high 16 points. He added 10 rebounds, three steals, and three assists.

McLaughlin, a four-year varsity member and cocaptain, hit a pair of second-quarter threes, increasing his season total to 32, and finished with eight points. Fellow senior Brendan O'Neil contributed nine of his 13 points in the first half.

"We've played a lot better down the stretch," said McLaughlin, who plans to study business at Pittsburgh. "It's been a team effort every single game."

For the Titans, who trailed by 28-18 at intermission and led just once, senior guard Bryce Dobisch netted 13 points. His right-wing jumper, just inside the arc, produced a second OT.

Central Bucks East 10 18 9 7 2 4 - 50

Central Bucks South 9 9 15 11 2 3 - 49

CBE: Tommy Strasburger 16, Brendan McLaughlin 8, Brandon Birkhead 6, Bennett Kardane 7, Brendan O'Neil 13.

CBS: Matt Scamuffo 5, Josh Brodie 2, Paul Weeks 5, David Drea 4, Bryce Dobisch 13, Ryan Tagliamonte 7, Chris Hones 9, Shane Degnan 4.


robrien@phillynews.com

@ozoneinq

www.inquirer.com/ozone

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