Bush boosts Burrell to victory over Apollo-Ridge
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Cole Bush had plenty of dominating performances in his football career at Burrell, carrying defenders for extra yardage and scoring touchdowns in bunches.
But the senior had never had a game with such authority on the basketball court — until Tuesday night, when he had Apollo-Ridge wishing it could tackle the 6-foot-2, 220-pound forward.
Bush scored a career-high 33 points — on 15-of-17 shooting — and grabbed 19 rebounds as Burrell dominated the fourth quarter on the way to a 55-33 victory over Apollo-Ridge in a Section 1-AA clash in Lower Burrell.
“He was a monster,” Burrell coach Rob Niederberger said.
Apollo-Ridge had almost the same stat line as Bush: 33 points and 21 rebounds.
Bush scored 21 straight at one stretch for Burrell (9-2, 3-0), which led, 12-10, after the first quarter and 23-21 at the break.
The game was tied, 31-31, heading into the fourth quarter after a 9-0 run by Apollo-Ridge. But that's when Burrell flattened the Vikings (9-2, 3-1). Bush scored 14 in the final frame as Burrell outscored them, 24-2.
“I didn't think I had that many points,” Bush said. “We knew they didn't really have size, so we knew we could have a big game inside. If we play like that, we feel like we can beat anybody.”
Bush's performance was head-turning, but it wasn't like he was taking low-percentage shots. He fired mostly from the low block, scoring on putbacks and short turn-around jumpers.
“When you shoot the ball from where he was shooting it, you're going to make 15 of 17,” Apollo-Ridge coach Matt Gourley said. “We haven't seen a player like him. You look at what he did in football. He is a rare specimen.”
Burrell lulled up-tempo Apollo-Ridge into a half-court offense and forced the Vikings to take ill-advised shots. The result for a team the came in averaging 71.7 points was an ice-cold, 12-for-53 shooting night, including 4-for-24 from 3-point range.
“To their credit, they slowed us down,” Gourley said. “We didn't want to play that type of game. We didn't make shots, and that hurt us.”
“We have some bigger guys, and we can pound it inside,” Niederberger said. “Apollo-Ridge plays five guards, and they're a good team. We can run, too. Everyone thinks we're a grind-it-out team, but we can play both ways. Our top eight guys all contributed and showed what kind of shape they're in.”
Lucas Burrell led the Vikings with 14 points, and Josh Reynolds added 11.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- WPIAL Class AA girls basketball preview: Seton-La Salle’s 4th coach in 5 seasons offers unique perspective
- New Valley girls coach still getting acclimated
- Latrobe girls basketball confident they can compete with elite teams in Seciton 1
- Derry girls basketball chasing elusive winning season
- Valley boys on learning curve
- Connellsville boys expecting to compete for postseason spot
- WPIAL Class AA boys basketball preview: Aliquippa taking aim at titles in football, basketball once players return to court
- Southmoreland boys basketball team has high hopes
- WPIAL Class AAA girls basketball preview: South Fayette using title-game defeat as motivation
- Plum boys basketball optimistic entering the season
- WPIAL Class AAA boys basketball preview: Experienced lineup has Mars among title contenders