NEW PARIS - The fall sports season has shifted to winter, but that doesn't make much of a difference to Chestnut Ridge's Brad Hengst.
Hengst cut between defenders, passed to his targets in stride and scored plenty of points himself as the Lions picked up a victory Monday night.
The senior point guard displayed the same skills he showcased on the football field this past winter as Ridge's quarterback on the court at the Richard W. Fisher Gymnasium. He scored 20 points while compiling several key assists in the Lions' critical 59-56 Sideling Hill League victory over Northern Bedford.
Mirror photo by Patrick?Waksmunski
Brad Hengst drives to the bucket for Chestnut Ridge against Northern Bedford.
"My teammates really compliment me," Hengst said. "They make really good cuts to get open for me. Making reads comes fast for me, being a quarterback. It's one of the better assets of my game, and my teammates really help me exemplify that."
Leading by just a point with less than a minute to play, Hengst took the inbounds pass and drove up the floor. He found Beau Bosch wide open under the basket for an easy layup, and the Lions made all four of their free throws down the stretch to clinch the victory.
"Brad Hengst is a joy to coach," Chestnut Ridge coach Randy Meck said. "He hustles his tail off, he's a great athlete and he always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He gets his hands on a lot of loose balls."
The victory marked the second time this season Chestnut Ridge has defeated Northern Bedford. The Lions remained tied with Southern Fulton atop the Sideling Hill League standings.
Early in the game, it appeared Ridge was going to run away with it. Bosch scored the first four points, and Ben Pick capped a 10-0 Lions' run to start the game with a steal and a layup. Chestnut Ridge used a full-court press for the majority of the game and forced 14 turnovers while committing just six of their own.
"Our goals were to take care of the ball, win the battle of the boards and hit our free throws," Meck said. "There for awhile, we were missing our free throws, but down the stretch, when we needed them, guys really came through."
Ridge outrebounded the Black Panthers, 41-32, behind 12 boards from Bosch and 11 from Pick. Bosch (17 points) and Pick (10 points) also each recorded double-doubles.
"We definitely wanted this game bad," Hengst said. "We knew this was a big game for our Sideling Hill title hopes. Winning it is something Chestnut Ridge has never done, and it would be big for us."
Kyler Diehl and Tayler Pressel did their best to makes things difficult for Ridge. Diehl scored a team-high 19 points, and Pressel scored 17 points while pulling down 12 rebounds.
Pressel hit a jump shot with 2:28 to play that gave Northern Bedford its first lead of the game at 52-51. Seconds later, however, Pick made a jumper and Hengst found Bosch for a layup.
"It's always difficult to dig back, especially on the road," Northern Bedford coach Barry Crawford said. "When you are playing someone this good on the road, you can't dig yourself a hole like that and come back. They just made one more play than we did."
The Black Panthers had a chance to tie the game, but with 3.4 seconds left, Blake Over traveled while trying to set himself up for a 3-pointer. Over had already connected on three second-half treys while scoring 13 points.
"I was proud of our effort," Crawford said. "We're playing decent. We can improve on some things. Having a home game in the playoffs will be nice, but we still have a challenging schedule coming up."
NORTHERN BEDFORD (56): Oswalt 1 0-0 2, T. Pressel 6 5-6 17, Z. Pressel 2 1-2 5, Diehl 8 3-4 19, Over 5 0-0 13, England 0 0-0 0, Barnes 0 0-0 0. Totals - 22 9-11 56.
CHESTNUT RIDGE (59): Bosch 7 3-9 17, Pick 4 2-2 10, Young 4 0-0 8, Little 1 2-2 4, Brad Hengst 8 3-4 20, Brae. Hengst 0 0-0 0, M. WIley 0 0-0 0. Totals - 24 10-17 59.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Northern Bedford13 15 14 14 - 56
Chestnut Ridge18 10 14 17 - 59
3-point goals: Northern Bedford 3 (Over 3); Chestnut Ridge 1 (Brad Hengst).
Records: Northern Bedford (13-6); Chestnut Ridge (15-3).
Officials: Tim Johnson, Roy Rolla, Denny Grambling
JV: Chestnut Ridge, 46-36. High scorers-Luke Stultz/Matt Wiley, CR, 12 each; Coltin Ebersole, NB, 9.