NTL BOYS' BASKETBALL: NEB FINISHES WILD YEAR STRONG
(2021-03-29)Northern Tier Sports Report
It was a tale of two seasons for the Northeast Bradford boys’ basketball team. The first seven games was a team in transition as they tried to integrate an influx of new players. The final 11 games of the season the Panthers showed how talented they were.
NEB went 2-5 to start the year, including an 0-3 losing streak in the first week, but went 9-2 the rest of the season, their only losses coming to Wyalusing.
“This season was a wild ride,” said coach Paul Burgert. “Going back to November, we weren’t positive that we’d have a season at all. And there were shut downs, masks, protocols, and low numbers. What we did have, however, was a tremendous group of kids who worked hard everyday, and bonded as a team. They understood that if they kept grinding good things would happen. And some incredible things did happen.”
Four different players hit game winners at the buzzer over the course of the season. They had big comebacks - down 15 points in the fourth quarter in a road win over Northwest and down 21 points in the first quarter in a game where they retook the lead in a home loss against Canton.
During their second half run they beat Wellsboro, NP-Mansfield and Athens en route to earning the third seed in the District IV, Class AA tournament.
“We had some real quality wins against tough teams,” said Burgert. “We won our last six regular season games, and got a quality win at home in the first round of districts. It was a very special season.”
It came to an end at Wyalusing in the district semifinals, a game that was tied in the final minutes before the Rams inched ahead. Considering how much Wyalusing won the final by that was likely the title game for Class AA.
“The sad part, as always, is saying goodbye to our seniors,” said Burgert. “We had four outstanding young men - Julian Jampo, Nick Beers, Lucas Crown, and Dan Williams - who have done a lot of our program, and they will be greatly missed.”
Beers came over from North Rome Christian School and nearly averaged a double-double, while Crown continued to be his consistent self as he took over the point guard duties. Williams and Jampo filled roles, with junior center Dan Seeley showing a deft touch in the paint. Newcomers Ethan Finch and Sam Abell provided outside shooting as they adapted to varsity play.
“All in all, w have been very thankful to have played this season,” said Burgert. “And are grateful for all those who made it happen.”
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