Maddie Burke was pumped.

"Yeeeaaaah," the freshman on the Central Bucks West girls' basketball team enthusiastically said, with the body language to match, her team having just forced a five-second violation in a tight contest.

Just more than a minute remained at North Penn when the turnover occurred, the Bucks down only a bucket.

After inbounding the ball, Burke casually stepped back behind the three-point arc at the other end and hit nothing but net.

There was no celebration this time, as Burke cooly ran back down the floor to play some defense.

But celebration was warranted, considering the shot was what helped put the Bucks on top, 46-43, on Friday night, in a clash of District 1 6A titans.

"I just kind of popped out on the wing and saw I had the space so I shot it and hoped for the best," Burke said.

It was her third three of the night - each one bigger than the next for the Bucks (3-0, 1-0 Suburban One Continental), as C.B. West clawed back from being down 20-11 after one.

Top-notch defense was what did it, as the Bucks held the Maidens (3-1, 0-1) scoreless in the final 4 minutes, 51 seconds of play. The strong - and scrappy - unit was led by senior Maggie Rakowsky, who hounded Villanova recruit Sam Carangi all game long and made it hard for North Penn to get many good looks.

"We just try to play. We play until the very, very end of the game," said sophomore Tori Abelson, who scored a game high of 16 points. "We're not going to put our heads down. It was a close game the entire game. We knew we were there. We knew this was our game."

While the defense was tough all game, it was a late turnover that motivated Abelson, one she didn't want to be remembered for as she went to the foul line with 19 seconds left in the contest.

"I didn't want that last mistake to be what did it for them," Abelson said.

It wasn't.

She went 2 for 2 at the line, forcing the Maidens to shoot from long distance instead of a high-percentage look.

Then that Bucks defense went back to work.

Central Bucks West 11 11 10 14 - 46

North Penn 20 2 10 11 - 43

CBW: Tori Abelson 16, Diane Nicholson 10, Maddie Burke 9, Izzy Treon 6, Abby Spratt 3, Alex Burkauskas 2

NP: Irisa Ye 14, Sam Carangi 13, Jess Huber 6, Mia Melchior 4, Bri Hewlett 4, Jenny Hulmes 2

@ka_harman