A string of four road games will draw to a close next Tuesday, when North East hosts Northwestern in a return to Region 4 play. The Grapepickers were scheduled this week to participate in a holiday tournament Tuesday and Wednesday at West Middlesex, following a Dec. 22 trip to Union City.

In that Region 4 game, three players – led by Sean Bogart with 24 points – hit double figures as a return to a former offensive approach produced a 74-49 win over the Bears.

“I thought we moved a lot better without the ball and seemed to be more comfortable,” said Picker coach Tom Pyle.

North East jumped to a 15-7 edge after the first period, then held on for an 18-17 edge in the second canto. The Pickers scored 21 and 20 points in the final two periods, while the Bears tossed in 17 in the third and 8 in the finale.

The Bears, who had trailed by as many as 14 points, clawed back to within 4 points, 41-37, in the third period. “We made some turnovers, took some shots that were ill-advised, at best, and missed them and allowed them to get on a run,” Pyle said.

Bogart canned a half-dozen 3-pointes, to go with his three field goals, while Jordan Kitchen deposited 19 points, on nine 2-pointers and a foul shot, and Jimmy Bailey chipped in 13 points on four 2-point buckets, one trey and 2 shots from the line.

Buddy Arnold paced Union City with 18 points.

The win lifted North East to 2-1 in the Region, 3-2 overall, prior to the holiday tournament. The North East JV squad won its game at Union City, 47-40.

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