Friday, March 8, 2013

Late rally thwarts Rustin girls

Staff photo by Brad Spahr/Rustin's Adashia Franklyn muscles her way to the basket during Friday's PIAA Class AAAA first-round game.

By BRAD SPAHR
bspahr@dailylocal.com


EAST NORRITON -- For three quarters the West Chester Rustin High School girls basketball team looked like a Lamborghini firing on all cylinders, poised to explode right on past Dover in their first-round PIAA Class AAAA playoff game.
Then suddenly the engine started overheating, and eventually the wheels simply fell off.
The whole thing was both painful and heartbreaking to watch, as the Ches-Mont League champion Golden Knights let a 12-point fourth quarter lead slip away on Friday night and saw their outstanding season come to a close as they were stunned by Dover, 54-53, at Norristown High School.
How bizarre was this game? Well, the Eagles (26-3 overall) found a way to prevail despite going a stretch of 11 minutes without a single field goal, and the fourth-place squad out of District 3 also saw four of its starters foul out of the contest. On top of that, they had no answers whatsoever for Rustin (22-8) standout junior center Adashia Franklyn, who finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds.
Nonetheless, Dover rallied back from the dead by scoring as many points in the final period as the prior three quarters combined and shockingly took their first lead of the night, 52-51, with 7.5 seconds remaining. Junior guard Alayah Hall, who was phenomenal in netting a game-high 22 points, made the big shot for the Eagles with the game on the line. She was also fouled on the play, and converted the ensuing free throw for the traditional three-point play.
Rustin, in disbelief, took a timeout to calm their nerves. However, they then proceeded to turn the ball over while attempting to get it up court trailing by a point. That forced them to immediately foul Dover’s Ashentay Kearse, who calmly buried both shots from the line to up her team’s lead to 54-51 with 5.1 seconds to go.
Rustin, now out of time outs, rushed the ball into the hands of star guard Noelle Powell. She raced up court, but then instead of pulling up for a potential game tying 3-pointer, Powell drove to the basket as the final seconds dwindled off the clock and scored on a layup as time expired. With that final horn, Rustin’s remarkable season was over.
“It was our game, and frankly I don’t have any idea how we lost this one,” said a heartbroken first-year Rustin coach Leah Kim. “It’s coaching. This one is on my shoulders -- not the kids. I assume full responsibility. I should have saved time outs and put the team in a better situation there at the end.
“This really hurts to go out like this. I thought we were definitely the better team here tonight -- no doubt about it.”
It was hard to fault Kim, Powell, or anyone for that matter. Things just kind of snowballed on Rustin in a hurry, and there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot they could do about it in what was a night to forget in an otherwise memorable season. The Golden Knights were outstanding this winter in setting a school record for wins. They also claimed their first Ches-Mont League title, won a district playoff game for the first time, eventually making it all the way to the district semifinals, before going on to earn their first state tournament berth.
They looked like they were going to roll to another first, their first state playoff victory, after storming to a commanding 31-17 halftime lead. Franklyn was terrific in the opening half, scoring 11 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Powell was on top of her game as well, scoring eight points and navigating Dover’s tough full-court pressure. Junior Casey Warley added 10 of her 13 points in the opening half.
“We were playing so well,” said Kim.
The Golden Knights didn’t surrender a field goal in the second quarter as their defense was spectacular. Dover’s first point of the quarter came with 2:34 left in the half on a free throw by Hall, who then later added their second and final point of the period on another free throw with 16.7 seconds left.
“It certainly didn’t look like this was going to be our night,” said Dover coach Troy Lokhaiser. “In the locker room at halftime, though, the girls still believed. They refused to believe that the game was over. We knew we couldn’t buy a basket in the first half, and if we could just get some shots to fall we might be able to make a run.”
Dover finally snapped its field goal drought, that had dated back to the opening quarter, when Megan Lokhaiser netted a basket with 5:42 to go in the third. The Eagles awoke from that point, and pulled to within 39-27 after three periods of play.
Then, it fell apart for Rustin.
Dover really got hot in the fourth quarter, erupting for 27 points in the frame, including four crucial 3-pointers and a perfect 11-of-11 from the line. In a game that featured over 40 total fouls, things started to get real testy late.
Rustin led 50-46 with 40 seconds to play after Franklyn made 1-of-2 free throws. But Dover immediately trimmed it to one, 50-49, on a huge 3-pointer by Brianna Crossan with 30.4 seconds left. After taking a timeout, Rustin nearly threw the ball away but Katie O’Hare saved it from going out of bounds by tossing it to Warley, who was fouled. Warley made 1-of-2 free throws with 17.6 seconds remaining to up the Golden Knights’ lead to 51-49.
That set the stage for Hall’s heroics for Dover. Her clutch old-fashioned 3-point play gave the Eagles a lead they would never relinquish and moved them on to the second round on Tuesday night for a date with Nazareth High School.
“I just wanted to take the ball strong to the basket,” said Hall. “What an amazing feeling. We knew we could come back and win this game.”
The majority of Rustin’s players, meanwhile, left the locker room with tears running down their faces. It was about as tough a loss as you can be dealt. The Golden Knights return all their starters next year, and boy oh boy, will this loss provide plenty of motivation during the offseason.
“I told the girls to keep their heads up,” said Kim. “They had a better year than a lot of people expected them to have.”

Dover 54, W.C. Rustin 53
DOVER: Funk 2 2-3 7, Fowler 2 0-2 4, Lokhaiser 4 0-0 10, Hall 3 15-18 22, Herman 2 0-0 4, Crossan 1 2-2 5, Kearse 0 2-2 2. Totals: 14 21-27 54.
W.C. RUSTIN: Warley 4 5-7 13, Steinmetz 0 0-0 0, Powell 5 4-4 14, O’Hare 2 0-0 4, Franklyn 7 6-15 20, Walls 1 0-2 2, Hoy 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 15-28 53.
Dover     15 2 10 27 -- 54
W.C. Rustin     20 11 8 14 -- 53
3-point goals: Funk, Lokhaiser 2, Hall, Crossan.

Griffins overcome turnovers to reach 2nd round

By PETER DiGIOVANNI
cpn11716@comcast.net


PLYMOUTH MEETING -- When postseason tournament time comes it is not about style, just results. And although Friday night in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, Church Farm did not play well at all, turning the ball over a season-high 28 times, the end result is that the Griffins lived to play another day.
Church Farm did force New Hope Academy into 30 turnovers and kept a big first-period lead safe to triumph, 58-44. The Griffins will play the District 11 champion Mahanoy Area or District 4’s Muncy Tuesday night at a time and place to be determined.
Aondofa Anyam led the Griffins (21-5) with 19 points and added four assists to go along with three steals and was easily the best player on the floor.
“Our focus dropped a lot after we got that big early lead,” Anyam said. “We did not focus and take care of the basketball like we should. Coach (Marc) Turner talked about that to us in the locker room after the game. “
The first period saw a big Church Farm rush started by its tenacious defense as Joey Shelton stole a New Hope Academy pass, drove the floor, scored, and hit the free throw to complete the three-point play for a 13-6 lead.
Anyam then stripped a Mighty Ants guard and scored in transition for a 15-6 edge. John Rodriguez, who scored eight points on the night, created another steal and took a nice feed from Anyam and scored for a 17-6 advantage. After another New Hope turnover -- one of 10 first-period miscues for the Mighty Ants -- Jan Bohm hit a driving Anyam in full stride for a 19-6 lead to end the first.
The carnage continued in the second, although Church Farm did turn the ball over 14 times themselves in the first half. Baskets by Anyam and Mlynue Reeeves at the end of the second period sent the Griffins into the locker room with a big 34-20 edge.
“When your offense is not working as well as it should, you can always play good defense and create scoring chances for your team and that is what we did tonight.” Anyam said.
New Hope Academy (18-6), tried to get back into the game. Led by Ishmael Brown’s 13 points, the Mighty Ants battled hard the entire second half. The Ants did not shoot well enough however to come all the way back as New Hope shot just 16 for 50 (32 percent) on the night to go along with those 30 miscues.
 They shranked Church Farm’s lead to 54-44 with 1:56 to play in the game after a 3-pointer from Dominque Salisbury. But, two Bohm free throws and a blocked shot by Larry Cermak, one of five on the night for the 6-foot-9 senior, kept the Griffins safe and put them into Tuesday’s second round.
 “We have young guards and they played very young tonight,” Church Farm coach Marc Turner said. “We have not turned the ball over like that all season and I think we played down to the level of competition. We will clean things up Saturday in practice and they will not happen again.
 “We know what we can do and what type of team we are, so I am not worried. These things happen at times and they will not happen to us again. This time of the year it is all about execution and efficiency and we were neither tonight. It will be addressed as it was in the locker room and we will grow from it.”

Church Farm 58, New Hope Academy 44
NEW HOPE ACADEMY: Serrano 3 1-2 7, Salisbury 5 2-2 13, Brown 5 3-4 13, Morgan 2 2-2 7, Harris 1 0-0 2, Matthews 0 2-4 2, Murray 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 10-10 44.
 CHURCH FARM: Anyam 8 3-4 19, Rodriguez 3 2-3 8, Mohammed 2 8-11 12, Bohm 1 2-4 4, Shelton 2 1-2 5, Cermak 0 3-5 3, Reeves 2 1-3 5, Ofray 1 0-0 2, Towles 0 0-0 0, McDuffy 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 20-34 58.
New Hope Academy     8 12 11 13-44
Church Farm               19 15 13 11-58
3-point goals: Morgan, Salisbury.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Coatesville awakens to turn back Methacton

By JONATHAN VANDER LUGT
Journal Register News Service

WORCESTER — Coatesville struggled for the first three quarters of Tuesday night’s District 1 Class AAAA boys basketball playoff game.
Methacton’s zone defense kept the Red Raiders at bay forcing them to take uncomfortable shots, and keeping them from penetrating in the lane.
But Coatesville broke through Methacton’s defense in the fourth quarter and came away with a 63-46 blowout.
The Red Raiders, who owned the fourth quarter with a 27-4 run, will play at Upper Darby on Friday in the fifth-place consolation game.
"We knew coming in that they’re a really talented team," said Methacton coach Jeff Derstine. "Our goal coming in was to make it a half-court game. For three quarters, I felt we did that."
No Red Raider had more than seven points heading into the fourth. Andre Boggs, Jaquan Hollingshed, and Chris Jones each had six in the last frame alone.
"They came back," said Derstine. "They took a lead, and everything happened really, really fast."
"There was a stretch of time in the second half where we were getting good looks," he continued. "Shots that most times we make. We didn’t make those shots, and they got easy buckets. It snowballed pretty quickly."
Keeping Methacton’s big man Brendan Casper in check was a primary goal for Coatesville coach Rick Nelms.
"We denied (Casper) and made it hard for him," Nelms said. "We picked up the pressure."
Casper was held scoreless in the fourth on 0-for-4 shooting from the field and was 0-for-1 from the free throw line.
"Chris Jones came in and played well,’’ said Nelms. "We started playing tough defense. We started going inside."
The Raiders took eight trips to the charity stripe in the second half, shooting 14-for-15, compared to Methacton’s five trips and 6-for-9 shooting.
Coatesville’s offensive versatility was on full display, as four Raiders scored in double figures.
Emmett Hunt led the team with 12. Howard Sellars chipped in with 11, while Boggs and Hollingshed scored 10 apiece.
"They started pressuring the ball," Nelms said. "They’re a nice team, and I think we wore them down."
It certainly seemed that way for the Warriors. Methacton shot 39 percent from the field in the first half, to go along with 10-for-11 free throw shooting.
"We had to sub a little bit more than we usually do, but they were in the same boat," Derstine said about the game’s foul situation.
Casper led the Warriors in scoring and on the glass, with 15 points and seven rebounds, despite his rough fourth quarter.
Coatesville 63, Methacton 46
COATESVILLE: Boggs 4 2-3 10, Hollingshed 4 2-3 10, Lewis 2 0-2 5, Hoggard 3 0-1 6, Jones 3 0-0 6, Williams 0 3-4 3, Hunt 3 6-7 12, Sellars 2 7-7 11, Totals 21 14-26 63.
METHACTON: Jenkins 2 0-0 4, Mann 3 0-0 8, Ruhl 0 1-2 1, Forrest 2 4-7 8, O’Brien 0 4-4 4, Casper 5 5-8 15, Ardman 2 2-3 6, Totals 14 16-24 46.
Coatesville 6 17 13 27 - 63
Methacton 13 17 12 4 - 46
3-point goals: Lewis, Mann 2, Ardman 2.

Great Valley overwhelmed by Lower Merion

Staff photo by Tom Kelly IV/Lower Merion's Yohanny Dalembert throws down a dunk during the Aces' 61-35 victory over Great Valley in the District 1 Class AAAA semifinals on Tuesday night.

By PETER DiGIOVANNI

PHILADELPHIA -- The worst thing that could have happened to the Great Valley boys basketball team occured Tuesday night in the District 1 Class AAAA emifinals against No. 2 Lower Merion at Temple University’s Liacouras Center. The third-seeded Patriots got behind by a large margin early and could never recover as the Aces adavnced to Friday night’s final with a convincing 61-35 triumph.
Lower Merion put three players in double-figures and got a big game fromn 6-foot-9, Yohanney Delembert, who led the Aces (27-2) with 16 points to go along with nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Dalembert, who had a huge size adavantage on the Great Valley (26-2) big men, controlled the boards from the outset.
"We thought we had an advantage underneath because of the size difference," Lower Merion coach Gregg Downer said. "Yohanney had about four or five inches on 23 (Nate Cohen) and he did some good things for us tonight.
"I thought it was critical for us to get that big cushion early and make them play from behind. I did not view Great Valley as a Cinderalla team. I knew they were very good and very well coached, but that big early lead got us going."
Dalembert scored six first-period points to help the Aces to a 16-7 lead after one. Great Valley had a tough shooting first half, going five for 20 from the field, and not getting offense from anyone other than Mikal Bridges, who led the Patriots with 16 points.
As if the talented Aces needed any more help, Corey Sherman came off the bench to score 10 points in the second period. Sherman drained two long 3-pointers and hit on a runner in the lane to make it a 26-9 Lower Merion late in the half. Great Valley shot just two-for-10 in the second and trailed the Aces at halftime 29-11. Lower Merion shot an astounding 60 percent (25-for-42) on the night. They were 11 of 19 (58 percent) in the first half.
"I have been getting more and more playing time as the season has gone on," Sherman said. "And tonight, I wanted to come in and give us a spark and my shots just went down."
The third period belonged to the point guard, Jaquan Johnson, who scored eight of his 14 points right after the break. After a Dalemebert slam dunk to make it 33-11, Johnson scored on a follow to push the lead to 24. After a Great Valley turnover -- one of five in the third -- Johnson slashed to the hoop to make it 37-11. Lower Merion went on to a 45-22 lead after three and the Patriots’ dream of going to the district final was done.
"We just got too far behind them early," Great Valley coach Jim Nolan said. "They are just so good and they hurt us with their size inside. They just have so many weapons tyo stop it makes it tough. But that being said, if we hit our shots early, we would have been right in the game.
"The kids are down right now, but we have no time to be down. We have to pick right back up and get ready for Friday."
Great Vallery shot the ball better in the fourth, going six-for-14 and getting four points from sophomore Ryan Buchholz off the bench, and a 3-pointer from Julian Alston.
The Patriots will host No. 5 Abington in the third-place game, Friday night at 7 p.m.
 
Lower Merion 61, Great Valley 35
GREAT VALLEY: Bridges 7 1-1 16, Sherry 1 0-0 5, Cohen 1 0-0 2, Geiss 0 0-0 0, Gregory 1 0-0 3, Buchholz 2 0-0 4, Alston 1 0-0 3, Ames 2 0-0 4, Miller 0 0-0 0, Dickinson 0 0-0 0, Strang 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 1-1 35.
LOWER MERION: Dalembert 7 2-2 16, Johnson 7 0-0 14, Johnson 2 3-4 8, Hall 3 0-0 6, McFadden 2 0-0 5, Sherman 3 2-2 10, Cotler 1 0-0 2, Howland 0 0-0 0, Shapiro 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 7-8 61.
Great Valley 7 4 11 13-35
Lower Merion 16 13 16 16 -61
3-point goals: Sherry, Gregory, Bridges, Alston, Johnson, Sherman 2, McFadden.

Griffins coast into fourth straight district final

By ANDY EDWARDS

CHELTENHAM -- Different year, much different team.
Same old Church Farm.
Mike Mohamed led a balanced attack with 12 points as the Griffins cruised into their fourth consecutive District 1 Class A title game with a 72-38 victory over Phil-Mont Christian on Tuesday night at Cheltenham High School. Larry Cermak and John Rodriguez added 10 points apiece and Aondofa Anyam turned in a stellar all-around performance for top-seeded Church Farm, which locked up a state berth and cruised into Saturday’s championship against No. 3 Gospel of Grace Christian, set for 2 p.m. at Villanova University’s Pavilion.
"It feels great," said Cermak, whose team will go for a third consecutive district crown. "It’s kind of become a tradition for us."
After losing leading scorer Howard Sellars, who transferred to Coatesville before the start of the season, Church Farm was forced to become a different team. The Griffins did, keeping their customary defensive prowess while discovering a balanced offensive arsenal with a seemingly endless array of weapons. Without a go-to scorer, Church Farm has redefined itself to become more than the sum of its parts.
"Every team is different," head coach Marc Turner said. "This team is the most versatile team I’ve had. I have eight guys averaging six points or more. I’d rather have a team like that.
"I love Howard, and I miss Howard. He’s like a son to me, but at the end of the day, give me 10 guys who can play a little bit and now I have some pieces."
Every piece came together Tuesday for the Griffins, who puzzled the fourth-seeded Falcons into 28 turnovers on the night, allowing just 14 field goals in a comprehensive rout. While Cermak and Mlynue Reeves (nine points) took care of the interior, the Griffins’ athletic guards went to work, hounding shorthanded Phil-Mont up and down the court and turning the lion’s share of the Falcons’ turnovers into layups at the other end.
While Phil-Mont Christian was missing starting point guard Micah Baldez, Turner went nine players deep for the majority of the contest, substituting in and out with regularity. Ten Griffins scored in the game, and six grabbed at least three rebounds. Anyam filled the stat sheet and made his presence felt throughout, finishing with nine points, three rebounds, three assists, and six steals, two of them coming on back-to-back possessions to help Church Farm open up a double-digit lead for the first time early in the second quarter. The track star, who holds the school record in the high jump, showed off his one-of-a-kind athleticism on several occasions, jetting through the lane at mach speed and rising high above the rim to snare an offensive rebound. Along with Cermak, the junior guard has taken on a new leadership role in the absence of Sellars.
"I think every team loses some key players every year, and different people have to step up," Anyam said. "It’s the same thing with us. We lost a couple, but we’re just trying to do our best."
Instead of an alpha dog scorer, the Griffins now have a deep stable of complementary pieces and a unit every bit as potent as the last two district championship squads.
"It’s hard to get ready for us," Cermak said, "because anybody on the floor can score."
Playing a team they had beaten by 39 just a few days before, the Griffins came out slow. They led just 6-5 when Zach Dolton, who scored a game-high 14 points, hit a runner in the lane midway through the opening period. From there, Church Farm flipped the switch, taking a double-digit lead when Anyam converted a steal at midcourt into a flying layup at the other end to make it 23-12 early in the second. Anywam stripped a Falcons guard on the ensuing possession as well, blazing downcourt for a basket and the foul.
The Griffins closed the second quarter on a 16-4 run to take a 35-16 lead into halftime, then started the second half on a 10-2 run capped by a Rodriguez follow on a missed free throw that made it 45-18. The lead swelled to 30 early in the fourth, Turner emptying his bench as the clock wound down on the Griffins’ fourth straight trip to the district finals. In a new year, with a new team, the Griffins will try to accomplish what the last two did before them. After all, players may graduate, but tradition never does.
"I would imagine there’s not a lot of teams that can say that," Turner said of the opportunity for a three-peat. "We want to be one of those teams that is able to say that. Quite frankly, we’re pretty proud of the product we’ve put on the floor the last couple of years. We don’t want to let the previous teams down. We’re just hoping to continue the success."
 
Church Farm 72, Phil-Mont Christian 38
PHIL-MONT CHRISTIAN: M. Steiger 0 0-0 0, Luckey 3 0-0 7, Dolton 4 4-6 14, Brandenburg 1 0-0 3, N. Baldez 1 2-2 4, Byrd 4 0-0 8, Smith 1 0-0 2, E. Steiger 0 0-0 0, Griffin 0 0-0 0, Bone 0 0-2 0. Totals 14 6-8 38.
CHURCH FARM: Anyam 3 3-3 9, Bohm 2 1-2 5, Cermak 5 0-1 10, Ofray 2 1-1 5, Reeves 4 1-6 9, Shelton 2 0-0 4, Mohamed 6 0-0 12, Dagou 0 0-0 0, Towles 2 0-0 5, McDuffy 0 0-0 0, Pile 1 0-0 3, Render 0 0-0 0, Ogunleye 0 0-0 0, Rodriguez 5 0-0 10. Totals 27 6-13 72.
3-point goals: Luckey, Dolton 2, Brandenburg, Towles, Pile.
 
 
 

Mirarchi hits milestone, Villa rolls into district final

Staff photo by Brad Spahr/Villa Maria's Lisa Mirarchi scored her 1,000th career point as Villa Maria advanced to the finals of the District 1 Class AAA playoffs on Tuesday night.

By BRAD SPAHR

PLYMOUTH MEETING - About the only dramatics during the Villa Maria Academy girls basketball team’s semifinal round District 1 Class AAA playoff game against Lower Moreland on Tuesday night centered around when exactly standout senior guard Lisa Mirarchi would get her 1,000th career point.
Mirarchi eventually hit the personal milestone early in the third quarter and finished with 15 points in all, as the No. 1 seeded Hurricanes destroyed No. 4 Lower Moreland, 52-28, at Plymouth Whitermarsh High School.
Villa Maria (20-5 overall) will now get the opportunity to make it three straight district championships. They’ll attempt to defend their crown on Saturday night at 6 p.m. in the title game at Villanova University’s Pavilion against fellow Athletic Association of Catholic Academies foe Merion Mercy. In the first game of the semifinal doubleheader on Tuesday, No. 10 Merion Mercy upset No. 3 Pope John Paul II by a score of 47-35 to punch their ticket to Villanova.
Equally as important for Villa Maria, they also clinched a PIAA playoff berth after it’s contest against Lower Moreland (22-5) turned into a surprisingly easy cakewalk.
Mirarchi came into the game needing 11 points to hit 1,000 for her career. She scored 10 in the first half, helping her team to a lopsided 36-11 lead. Her teammates, coaches and supporters in the crowd didn’t have to wait long after the intermission to see her achieve the feat.
Mirarchi was fouled with 4:36 left in the third period, and then proceeded to knock down the ensuing free throw to the delight of everyone in the crowd. The game was then halted momentarily as her teammates congratulated her on the court.
"It’s a nice accomplishment, but what we want here is district and state championships," said Mirarchi, who became just the fourth Villa Maria player to score 1,000 points. "I never expected to do this when I started playing, so it’s pretty exciting.
"The biggest thing is we get a chance to defend our district title on Saturday, which is going to be awesome, especially since it’s at Villanova. We can’t wait."
Junior Molly Namiotka scored a game-high 16 points for the Hurricanes, and Jackie Carlin (eight points) and Lexi Daggett (six points) were their other high scorers.
Villa Maria’s defense was phenomenal on this night. They forced 20 turnovers, and their play on that end of the court completely turned the tide of the game in the first half. The Hurricanes didn’t allow a single point in the second quarter, outscoring Lower Moreland 18-0 in the period to turn this one into a laugher.
There was 5:59 left in the third when the Lions finally scored again, a drought that lasted nearly 11 minutes dating back to the end of the first period.
"We’ve been telling the kids that if you wanna win championships you have to play defense," said Villa Maria coach Kathy McCartney. "I thought we were terrific defensively tonight, and we rebounded the ball very well. All and all this was a real solid effort on both ends of the floor."
McCartney, who also hit a personal milestone earlier this season with her 500th career win, could not have been happier for Mirarchi afterwards, a player who has started in each of the last three seasons for her.
"It couldn’t have happen to a greater kid," said McCartney. "She did all the yeoman’s work as an underclassman, and now she is getting her chance to shine."
Villa Maria has gone 8-1 in its last nine games. Their only loss in that span came in the AACA title game against a Mount St. Joseph’s team who will be playing in the AAAA district semifinals tonight. The Hurricanes will be facing Merion Mercy for the third time this season on Saturday night. They’ve won the previous two, and one more win over them is all that stands in the way of their third straight district championship.
"We’re very excited for the game," said McCartney. "It never gets old. I don’t care if it’s a tidily winks championship...we want to be playing in it."
 
Villa Maria 52, Lower Moreland 28
LOWER MORELAND: Killian 3 0-0 8, Dranzik 0 0-0 0, Morgan Stein 3 0-0 6, Campbell 3 1-2 8, Alexander 2 1-2 5, Givnish 0 1-2 1. Totals: 11 3-6 28.
VILLA MARIA: Mirarchi 6 2-2 15, Carlin 3 2-2 8, Namiotka 6 4-4 16, Fetterolf 0 1-2 1, Tirney 0 0-0 0, Mooney 1 0-0 2, Daggett 3 0-0 6, O’Rourke 1 0-0 2, Knopp 0 2-2 2. Totals: 20 11-12 52.
Lower Moreland 11 0 13 4 -- 28
Villa Maria 18 18 7 9 -- 52
3-point goals: Killian 2, Campbell, Mirarchi.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rustin girls book first state playoff berth

Staff photo by Brad Spahr/Noelle Powell dives on the floor during Wednesday's District 1 Class AAAA second-round victory over Methacton.

By BRAD SPAHR

LOWER PROVIDENCE - For the West Chester Rustin High girls basketball team, this one hurt so good.
The 12th-seeded Golden Knights, bloodied and bruised after their second-round District 1 Class AAAA playoff game at No. 5 Methacton resembled more of a cross between the Daytona 500 and a pro football game, were nonetheless nothing but smiles afterwards.
And for very good reason.
Rustin proved to be tougher in what was an extremely physical and intense battle from start to finish on Wednesday night, as they upset the Warriors on their home court by a score of 54-49 to make school history by clinching their first state playoff berth.
The red-hot Golden Knights (21-5 overall), who have now won 18 straight games, also now advance to the district quarterfinals, where they’ll host No. 20 Pennsbury at a date and time to be determined.
Junior center Adashia Franklyn turned in a monster performance for Rustin, finishing with a game-high in both points (16) and rebounds (14). But it was as balanced an effort as you’ll get, as the sophomore trio of Noelle Powell, Casey Warley and Anna Steinmetz all scored 10 points apiece. Another sophomore, Katie O’Hare, added eight points.
Rustin led by as many as six points in the fourth quarter, 43-37, with 4:50 remaining in what was a fantastic game throughout.
Methacton (21-6), however, roared all the way back to seize its first lead since early in the second half, 47-46, with 2:13 left after Kara Steinke sunk a pair of free throws following a questionable foul call on Powell near mid court.
Just moments later, though, Rustin went back in front for good when Steinmetz scored on a runner in the lane with 1:51 to go to make it 48-47. Following a turnover by Methacton, Rustin got the dagger from Warley, as she sunk a 3-pointer with 1:23 left to up the lead to 51-47.
"Coaching strategy we didn’t want her to shoot the ball there, we wanted to burn clock," said West Chester Rustin first-year coach Leah Kim. "It was one of those shots were you go...no, no, no, no....yes.
"These girls have ice water in their veins and they are confident. I’m so happy for them. They wanted this so bad and for them to get it and make states is huge. They fought their hearts out and showed a ton of poise."
Methacton got a team-high 14 points from senior Sarah Sherman, including two key 3-pointers in the fourth to help her team crawl back. The Warriors answered Warley’s three with 1:06 left on the clock to cut the score to two, 51-49, on a put back inside by Steinke.
After a time out, Rustin got another gigantic basket when O’Hare swished a jumper with 32 seconds left to make it 53-49, and that was it as Methacton failed to convert on its next trip down the court.
"It’s an awesome feeling getting this win. This was one of the most physical games we’ve played in and it was back and forth the whole time," said O’Hare, who was sporting a pretty severely bruised nose afterwards. "We fought as hard as we could all game, and it feels really good to get a win like this."
Franklyn was sensational for Rustin. She scored 13 points in the second half, eight of which came in a critical third quarter. Rustin, who trailed by two points at the break, opened the third period on an 11-2 run and eventually led 35-30 after three. Warley was also big in the frame, scoring five points.
Powell, to go along with her 10 points, did a terrific job handling the ball and helping the Golden Knights navigate Methacton’s full-court pressure. She was bumped and banged all game by double teams while attempting to bring the ball up court.
"It was very physical out there tonight," said Kim. "We expected it. We weren’t getting any calls, which we also expected. We were getting banged around and it didn’t faze my kids."
Rustin, the lower seed, knew a lot of people probably viewed them as underdogs on this night.
"It didn’t matter. We knew we were going to win," said Steinmetz, who was all over the court on both ends for the Golden Knights. "We definitely played as a team, and we wanted to make school history. It’s a great feeling."
 
W.C. Rustin 54, Methacton 49
W.C. RUSTIN: Warley 4 0-0 10, Steinmetz 5 0-0 10, Franklyn 7 2-4 16, Powell 4 1-2 10, O’Hare 4 0-0 8, Walls 0 0-1 0. Totals: 24 3-7 54.
METHACTON: Steinke 2 2-2 6, Sherman 5 1-2 14, Carroll 2 5-6 9, Watson 4 2-2 10, Glatthorn 2 0-0 6, Szkaradnik 1 0-0 2, Ellis 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 10-12 49.
W.C. Rustin 13 7 15 19 -- 54
Methacton 9 13 8 19 -- 49
3-point goals: Warley 2, Powell, Sherman 3, Glatthorn 2.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Great Valley boys clinch state berth with OT win

Staff photo by Brad Spahr/Great Valley's Mikal Bridges rises for a layup during Tuesday's District 1 Class AAAA playoff victory over Central Bucks So

By PETER DiGIOVANNI

EAST WHITELAND -- District 1 playoff games are won by the teams that can shake off adversity in a hurry and come back to regain their composure and get the coveted win to move on. Tuesday night the third-seeded Great Valley boys basketball team raced out to a huge early lead against No. 14 Central Bucks South but had to go into overtime to defeat the Titans and move on in the the District 1 Class AAAA playoffs.
The Patriots led every step of the way until late in the fourth period, but had to watch as a potential game-winning C.B. South shot fell short at the regulation buzzer. But the overtime period belonged to Great Valley and behind Mikal Bridges’ game-high 22 points, the Patriots held off the stubborn Titans, 60-57 in overtime.
Great Valley (25-1), which clinched a state playoff berth with the victory, now moves on to the quarterfinals to host No. 6 Methacton on Friday night, with the winner going to Temple University and the District 1 Final Four.
"Their coach, Jason Campbell, had a quote in the paper that his team no matter who they play will fight and claw to the end and that is what they did tonight," Great Valley coach Jim Nolan said. "We had leads on them, but could not put them away."
The Patriots jumped out to an early 14-5 lead after the first period on the strength of 3-pointers from Cyree Ames and Brad Sherry and inside buckets from Bridges. The advantage went to 18-5 early in the second after Bridges scored on a floater down the lane. Great Valley shot 10-of-14 from the field in the first half.
But the Titans (16-8) got three-point scoring from Chase Vonder Schmalz, who sank a trio of three-balls on the night. His long 3-pointer at the second-period buzzer drew the Titans to within 22-17 at halftime.
Great Valley extended its lead in the third period, but suddenly the Titans started beating the Pats on the boards, which helped up an exciting finish. Schmalz hit a 3-ball with 1:24 to play to draw C.B. South within 46-44. Moments later, point guard Kevin Raymond hit two free throws to tie the score at 48-48 with 45 seconds to play.
Each team had chances to win in regulation, the last one fell to Raymond, who missed on a runner at the buzzer and the teams went into overtime.
Nate Cohen, who had nine rebounds and played tough defense all night, helped Great Valley get off to a quick start in the extra session and later talked about starting quickly at the beginning of the game and overtime..
"I like to try to get out early and give some of our guys a spark," Cohen said. "When some guys start slow, I feel I have to get going early. But this time of the year we need everybody getting going the whole game and that is what happened in overtime."
Cohen scored to follow a Bridges free throw to give Great Valley a 51-48 lead. Matt Scamuffo hit one of two free throws, then Mike Gregory sank one of two for the Patriots and a 52-49 advantage with 2:03 to play.
Raymond missed a jumper that Brad Sherry rebounded. Ames then fed Bridges in the low post, where he was fouled. Bridges, who hit 11-of-15 from the free-throw line, sank one of two for a 53-49 lead with 1:26 to play.
"We wanted to go to me in the low post so I could either score or go to the free-throw line," Bridges said.
Then Bridges made the play of the game as he darted in front of Scamuffo and stole Raymond’s intended pass, drove down the court, scored, got fouled and hit the free throw for a 56-49 bulge with 1:02 left.
Scarmuffo hit another three to keep the pesky Titans in the game, but Gregory sank two more free throws to send Great Valley into the quarterfinals.
"The goal has been to make the state playoffs, which we did tonight, and get to Temple." Bridges said.
C.B. South now goes into the consolation bracket to try to advance to the state playoffs, but Campbell was not talking about what lies ahead for his team.
"We never give up no matter the score, but we dug ourselves a big hole in the first and second periods," Campbell said. "All year these kids have battled and they did the same thing tonight."

Great Valley 60, C.B. South 57
C.B. SOUTH: Raymond 4 6-6 15, Scarmuffo 2 4-6 9, Rudnick 2 1-1 5, Vonder Schmalz 4 5-5 16, Tamny 3 0-2 6, Dennis 1 0-0 2, Ohntrup 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 18-22 57.
GREAT VALLEY: Bridges 5 11-15 22, Gregory 1 7-8 9, Ames 4 1-2 10, Cohen 2 2-6 6, Geiss 0 2-4 2, Buchholz 1 0-0 2, Sherry 4 0-0 9, Alston 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 23-35 60.
C.B. South 5 12 17 14 9 -- 57
Great Valley 14 8 15 11 12 -- 60

3-point goals: Vonder Schamlz 3, Raymond, Scarmuffo, Sherry, Ames, Bridges.


 
Great Valley 60, C.B. South 57
C.B. SOUTH: Raymond 4 6-6 15, Scamuffo 2 4-6 9, Rudnick 2 1-1 5, Vonder Schmalz 4 5-5 16, Tamny 3 0-2 6, Dennis 1 0-0 2, Ohntrup 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 18-22 57.
GREAT VALLEY: Bridges 5 11-15 22, Gregory 1 7-8 9, Ames 4 1-2 10, Cohen 2 2-6 6, Geiss 0 2-4 2, Bucholz 1 0-0 2, Sherry 4 0-0 9, Alston 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 23-35 60.
C.B. South 5 12 17 14 9 -- 57
Great Valley 14 8 15 11 12 -- 60
3-point goals: Vonder-Schamlz 3, Raymond, Scarmuzzo, Sherry, Ames, Bridges.

Updated District 1 basketball playoff results

Boys
Class AAAA
Second Round
Tuesday, Feb. 19
Chester 85, Strath Haven 44
Upper Darby 47, Harriton 41
Ridley 64, Norristown 61, OT
Abington 66, Penn Wood 52
Lower Merion 75, Penncrest 42
Coatesville 65, Hatboro-Horsham 57
Great Valley 60, C.B. South 57, OT
Methacton 54, Souderton 45
Friday, February 22
Quarterfinals
(9) Upper Darby at (1) Chester, 7 p.m.
(13) Ridley at (5) Abington, 7 p.m.
(10) Coatesville at (2) Lower Merion, 7 p.m.
(6) Methacton at (3) Great Valley, 7 p.m.
9th-10th Place Consolations
(25) Harriton at (16) Strath Haven, 7 p.m.
(12) Penn Wood at (4) Norristown, 7 p.m.
(15) Penncrest at (7) Hatboro-Horsham, 7 p.m.
(14) C.B. South at (11) Souderton, 7 p.m.
Semifinals and Consolations Feb. 26, Championship and Consolation March 1.
Ten teams advance to states
Class AAA
First Round
Friday, February 22
(6) Lower Moreland at (3) Pope John Paul II, 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 23
(8) Octorara at (1) Holy Ghost Prep, 7 p.m.
(5) Pottstown at (4) Upper Moreland, 7 p.m.
(7) Phoenixville at (2) Glen Mills, 3 p.m.
Semifinals scheduled for Feb. 27, Championship March 2.
Two teams advance to states

Girls
Class AAAA
Second Round
Wednesday, February 20
Spring-Ford 52, Downingtown West 31
Central Bucks West 52, Springfield (Delco) 45
Pennsbury 48, Neshaminy 41
W.C. Rustin 54, Methacton 49
Mount St. Joe 49, Central Bucks East 44
Boyertown 47, Garnet Valley 38
Upper Dublin 58, Abington 28
North Penn 35, Souderton 34
Quarterfinals
Froday, February 22
(8) Central Bucks West at (1) Spring-Ford, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 23
(20) Pennsbury at (12) W.C. Rustin
(7) Boyertown at (2) Mount St. Joe
(6) North Penn at (3) Upper Dublin
9th-10th Place Consolations
Saturday, February 23
(24) Springfield (Delco) at (16) Downingtown West
(5) Methacton at (4) Neshaminy
(18) Central Bucks East at (10) Garnet Valley
(14) Abington at (11) Souderton
Semifinals and Consolations  scheduled for Feb. 27, Finals March 1, Consolations March 2.
Nine teams advance to states
Class AAA
First Round
Tuesday, February 19
(1) Villa Maria, bye
Gwynedd Mercy 49, Upper Perkiomen 44
(4) Lower Moreland, bye
Sun Valley 66, Phoenixville 51
(2) Radnor, bye
Merion Mercy 43, Villa Joseph Marie 34
(3) Pope John Paul II, bye
Chichester 54, Nazareth Academy 41
Quarterfinals
Friday, February 22
(9) Gwynedd Mercy at (1) Villa Maria, 7 p.m.
(10) Merion Mercy at (2) Radnor, 7 p.m.
(6) Chichester at (3) Pope John Paul II, 7 p.m.
Saturday, February 23
(5) Sun Valley at Lower Moreland, 1:30 p.m.
Semifinals scheduled for Feb. 26, Championship and Consolation March 2.
Three teams advance to states

Friday, February 15, 2013

Red Raiders shake off Kennett to reach second round

Staff photo by Tom Kelly IV/Coatesville's Emmett Hunt puts up a shot inside during Friday's 58-47 victory over Kennett in the District 1 boys baskplayoffs.

By PETER DiGIOVANNI

CALN -- Three short nights after a very emotional Ches-Mont League championship win over Great Valley, Coatesville looked like they had a bit of a hangover Friday night in the opening round of the Boys District 1 Class AAAA playoffs.
Coatesville was far from its best, but solid offensive rebounding from Tyler Burke and Leroy Hoggard, pushed the 10th-seeded Red Raiders to a hard-fought 58-47 win over No. 23 Kennett.
Burke tallied 11 points to go along with nine rebounds, while Hoggard had 11 points and eight boards. Burke came off the bench in the second period with Coatesville (19-6) nursing a two-point lead and immediately went to work, scoring six second-period points off the offensive glass, pushing the Red Raiders to a 27-22 halftime edge.
"It took me a while to come back from football," Burke said. "I have lost 10 pounds since football ended and I feel like I finally have my legs back. My game along with Leroy is to bang the boards, do the dirty work and get putbacks. We have a lot of guys who can shoot, so I just like to go to the glass. I feel if we practice hard, we can play with the big names in the district."
Kennett (14-9) got a big game from Maalik Rochester who led all scorers with 17 points, including three 3-pointers. The senior hit a long three-ball to start the third period to draw the Blue Demons to within at 27-25. After Emmett Hunt hit three free throws for Coatesville, Chris Jones bounded down the lane for a bucket and a 32-25 lead.
Kennett, which shot just 1-for-12 from the field in the second when they were outscored 14-5, did not shoot much better in the third. The Blue Demons were 3-for-11 from the floor in the third, and it crippled their chances of springing the upset. Kennett was outscored 28-12 in the middle periods.
"We did not shoot real well," Kennett coach Mike Fergus said. "But where we really got hurt was on the glass. We knew they crash the boards and that they are a very deep team, but we could not stop them. That is the kind of team they are."
With Coatesville up 32-25, Rochester missed a jumper and Hunt beat everybody down the floor, took a pass from Vinnie Williams to score to put the Red Raiders up 34-25. When Williams hit a long 3-ball late in the third, Coatesville was ahead 39-27 and Kennett could not close the gap.
"Kennett is a very good team and they had Rochester scoring and (Vaughn) Jenkins hitting the boards for them," Coatesville coach Rick Nelms said. "Tonight, I thought they were focused and ready to play after the Great Valley win, but it was an ugly win for us.
"Tyler Burke really came through for us. He was the last guy to come back from football and tonight, he did not miss a layup and really did a good job for us on the boards."
Coatesville’s lead went to 45-31 early in the fourth after Hunt followed a miss and Kennett, despite playing very hard, could not make up ground. Coatesville will now travel to No. 7 Hatboro-Horsham next Tuesday in second-round play. The Hatters eliminated Downingtown East on Friday night.
With Kennett’s season over, Fergus talked about his young team, which loses just two seniors.
"We were ready to play tonight and I was very proud of their effort. These kids have come a long way since the start of the season. We just did not have enough tonight."
 
Coatesville 58, Kennett 47
KENNETT: Rochester 6 2-2 17, Kobayashi 4 7-7 15, Jenkins 3 1-3 7, Jones 2 2-2 6, Boulden 1 0-0 2, Hyland 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 12-14 47.
COATESVILLE: Burke 4 3-4 11, Hoggard 4 2-2 10, Hunt 3 4-5 10, Jones 4 2-3 10, hollingshead 4 0-1 8, Boggs 1 0-1 2, Williams 1 0-0 3, Lewis 0 3-6 3. Totals 21 14-22 58.
Kennett 17 5 7 18-47
Coatesville 13 14 14 17-58
3-point goals: Rochester 3, Hoggard, Williams.

Updated District One playoff results

Boys
Class AAAA
First Round
Thursday, February 14
Central Bucks South 63, Wissahickon 55
Friday, February 15
Chester 86, W.C. Rustin 58
Strath Haven 47, W.C. Henderson 45, OT
Harriton 53, Council Rock North 51
Upper Darby 45, North Penn 44
Norristown 63, Plymouth Whitemarsh 53
Ridley 61, Cheltenham 58, 2OT
Abington 84, Oxford 53
Penn Wood 69, Perkiomen Valley 66
Lower Merion 59, Conestoga 42
Penncrest 49, Spring-Ford 47
Hatboro-Horsham 61, Downingtown East 51
Coatesville 58, Kennett 47
Great Valley 51, Harry S. Truman 40
Methacton 67, Bensalem 49
Souderton 59, Pennsbury 43
Second Round
Tuesday, Feb. 19
Chester 85, Strath Haven 44
(25) Harriton at (9) Upper Darby
(13) Ridley at (4) Norristown
(12) Penn Wood at (5) Abington
(15) Penncrest at (2) Lower Merion
(10) Coatesville at (7) Hatboro-Horsham
(14) C.B. South at (3) Great Valley
Methacton 54, Souderton 45
Quarterfinals and Consolations scheduled for Feb. 22, Semifinals and Consolations Feb. 26, Championship and Consolation March 1.
Ten teams advance to states
Class AAA
First Round
Friday, February 22
(6) Lower Moreland at (3) Pope John Paul II, 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 23
(8) Octorara at (1) Holy Ghost Prep, 7 p.m.

(5) Pottstown at (4) Upper Moreland, 7 p.m.
(7) Phoenixville at (2) Glen Mills, 3 p.m.
Semifinals scheduled for Feb. 27, Championship March 2.
Two teams advance to states

Girls
Class AAAA
First Round
Friday, February 15
Central Bucks West 62, Great Valley 30
Springfield (Delco) 56, Upper Darby 51
W.C. Rustin 65, Bishop Shanahan 47
Boyertown 52, Wissahickon 33
Garnet Valley 50, Downingtown East 48, 2OT
Souderton 51, C.B. South 37
Saturday, February 16
Spring Ford 70, William Tenent 32
Downingtown West 60, Norristown 47
Neshaminy 60, Penn Wood 47
Pennsbury 54, Council Rock South 48
Methacton 46, Council Rock North 38
Mount St. Joseph 73, Bensalem 37
Central Bucks East 52, Conestoga 40
Upper Dublin 46, Ridley 32
Abington 53, Perkiomen Valley 42
North Penn 47, Upper Merion 28
Second Round
Wednesday, February 20
(16) Downingtown West at (1) Spring-Ford, 7 p.m.
(24) Springfield (Delco) at (8) Central Bucks West
(20) Pennsbury at (4) Neshaminy
(12) W.C. Rustin at (5) Methacton, 7 p.m.
(18) Central Bucks East at (2) Mt. St. Joe
(19) Garnet Valley at (7) Boyertown
(14) Abington at (3) Upper Dublin
(11) Souderton at (6) North Penn
Quarterfinals and Consolations Feb. 23, Semifinals and Consolations Feb. 27, Finals March 1, Consolations March 2.
Nine teams advance to states
Class AAA
First Round
Tuesday, February 19
(1) Villa Maria, bye
(9) Gwynedd Mercy at (8) Upper Perkiomen, 7 p.m.
(4) Lower Moreland, bye
(12) Phoenixville at (5) Sun Valley, 7 p.m.
(2) Radnor, bye
(10) Merion Mercy at (7) Villa Joseph Marie, 7 p.m.
(3) Pope John Paul II, bye
(11) Nazareth Academy at (6) Chichester, 7 p.m.
Quarterfinals scheduled for Feb. 22, Semifinals scheduled for Feb. 26, Championship and Consolation March 2.
Three teams advance to states

Powell leads Rustin girls to first district playoff win

By ANDY EDWARDS

WESTTOWN -- It’s hard to imagine a program with no history of postseason success feeling disrespected by a No. 12 seed and a first-round home game in the district playoffs.
But coming into Friday’s clash with Bishop Shanahan fresh off a Ches-Mont championship and undefeated in 2013, that’s exactly how the West Chester Rustin girls basketball team felt.
Ultimately, the perceived slight was all too real to the Golden Knights, who used it as motivation to make some history of their own.
Noelle Powell poured in a game-high 25 points, making 15 of 17 free throws and leading three Golden Knights in double figures as Rustin (19-5) pulled away from a game Shanahan squad to post a 65-47 victory on its home court in the first round of the District One Class AAAA tournament. The win was the 17th in a row for Rustin, and more importantly the first girls district playoff victory in school history. Emily Walls came off the bench to score 11 crucial points and Anna Steinmetz chipped in 10 for the Golden Knights, who are just a win away from their first PIAA playoff berth after setting up a second-round date with either No. 5 Methacton or No. 28 Council Rock North next Wednesday.
"We’re a lot better than they made us out to be," said Walls, who added four rebounds and a steal in one of her best performances of the season. "I feel like it made us more motivated to come out stronger than we’ve always been and finish out the game, definitely."
Christine Lawrence impressed with a team-high 18 points for the Eagles (14-8), who came out firing and led 17-14 after the first quarter thanks to Jordan Ogden, who scored eight of her 14 points in the opening period. But Powell ignited a 14-2 run to start the second quarter, scoring a pair of buckets and assisting on two others to help the Golden Knights take command. Shanahan, which also received 11 points and nine rebounds from Rachel Parker, pulled to within 43-35 on a free throw by Lawrence in the first minute of the fourth before Rustin scored the next 13 points, six of them by Powell, to put a bow on its historic victory.
"The girls definitely came to play tonight," Shanahan head coach Mary Anne Keenan said. "They played from start to finish, and they executed our game plan. Rustin is a good team. Actually, they’re a great team. They have shooters, they have defensive players. They have a lot."
On this night, the Ches-Mont champions simply had too much. Adashia Franklyn finished with nine points and nine rebounds, Casey Warley added seven points and seven rebounds of her own, and Powell was there every step of the way, delivering four assists and four steals in a dominant floor game that kept the Eagles at arm’s length all night. The Golden Knights’ star guard scored 13 points in the fourth quarter as Shanahan attempted to make a run, calmly sinking free throw after free throw and running Rustin’s offense to perfection.
"We’re definitely learning how to play with each other and where each other wants the ball," Powell said. "We really are excited for the future, and we think we can go pretty far. We’re excited."
No one more so than Walls. Not normally known for her scoring, Walls gave the Golden Knights a big lift in the first half, scoring seven points in the second quarter as Rustin started to make its move. The sophomore buried a deep three-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to give Rustin a 35-24 lead at intermission, then scored back-to-back baskets to restore some order after Lawrence pulled the Eagles to within eight early in the final period.
"I’m feeling awesome," Walls said. "It was definitely a team win. We came out a little rough in the beginning, but I think towards the end we fought for it...We still stuck together as a team and pulled out the win.
"Normally I’m not a top scorer or anything. I guess I was kind of feeling it today."
"It was a huge lift," first-year Rustin head coach Leah Kim said of Walls’ performance. "I knew she had potential in her. It was just an issue of when she had to step up and concentrate and play. If we can get that out of her every night, it makes us an even tougher team."
Whether or not they do, the Golden Knights figure to be a tough out for the remainder of the district playoffs. Rustin hasn’t lost since a 54-38 setback at the hands of Perkiomen Valley on Dec. 27, and the first-time league champions are playing as well as anybody. With plenty of talent on their young roster, the Golden Knights just needed a strong presence to guide the ship. They found it in Kim, who stepped in for Colette Dugan and has scripted a historic season in no time.
"I did not make the history," Kim said. "The girls made the history. They come in and they want to work, and they’re determined kids. I’m excited for them that they did get that opportunity and they did achieve that goal, but we’re not done. We’re not really satisfied with that...We’d like to make a little run here."
The chance comes Wednesday. With another victory, which may have to come on the road against fifth-seeded Methacton, the Golden Knights can rewrite the history books once more.
"It’s huge," Kim said of being on the doorstep of states. "I would encourage everybody to come out. I think we’ll be ready."
 
W.C. Rustin 65, Bishop Shanahan 47
BISHOP SHANAHAN: Briglia 0 0-0 0, Lawrence 6 3-3 18, Cusick 1 0-0 2, Ogden 6 2-3 14, Wirshup 1 0-0 2, Clark 0 0-0 0, Dreiling 0 0-0 0, Habbel 0 0-1 0, Julianna 0 0-0 0, Parker 4 3-5 11. Totals 18 8-12 47.
W.C. RUSTIN: Warley 2 2-4 7, Walls 4 2-2 11, Steinmetz 4 0-0 10, Hoy 0 0-0 0, Powell 5 15-17 25, O’Hare 1 0-0 2, Franklyn 3 4-5 9. Totals 19 23-28 65.
Bishop Shanahan 17 7 10 13 -- 47
W.C. Rustin 14 21 8 22 -- 65
3-point goals: Lawrence 3, Walls, Steinmetz 2.
 
 
 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Coatesville boys edge past Great Valley for league title

Staff photo by Vinny Tennis/Coatesville's Leroy Hoggard rises for a jumper during Tuesday's victory over Great Valley in the Ches-Mont boys championship

By PETER DiGIOVANNI

EAST MARLBOROUGH -- Championship basketball games are normally fiercely contested battles between two teams who desperately want to be called champions. More often than not the team that imposes its will down the stretch will be the one celebrating at the end of the game.
At a jam packed Unionville High School on Tuesday, Coatesville took over the game in the fourth period from Great Valley and captured the boys Ches-Mont League Final Four Tournament championship with a thrilling 51-46 victory and knocked the American Division titleists from the ranks of the unbeatens. The Red Raiders return to the Ches-Mont throne after losing to Octorara last season.
Coatesville (18-6) trailed, 30-27, after three, but outscored the Patriots (23-1) 24-16 in the final period, fueled by the sparkling guard play of Chris Jones, who tallied 14 points and Dre Boogs, who had a team-high 16. Coatesville shot 7-for-9 in the fourth after going 11-for-30 in the first three periods.
"We started to play solid defense in the fourth period and stopped reaching," Jones said. "I think we got them rattled and our crowd was great and we just fed off the atmosphere tonight. It means a whole lot to win the Ches-Mont after losing to Octorara last year. We wanted to show people we are still the power in the Ches-Mont League."
The game was played mostly at Great Valley’s pace for the first 24 minutes. After Mike Gregory drained a 3-pointer and Mikal Bridges, who led all scorers with 22 points, threw down a slam, Great Valley led, 30-24, with 1:02 left in the third. Coatesville got closer after Jones scored in tight, got fouled and hit the free throw to make it a 30-27 game after three.
Emmett Hunt had a three-point play to start the fourth and tie the score at 30-30. Coatesville then turned up the pace of the game and the pressure on Great Valley, which had only eight turnovers coming into the fourth, but two very big ones to turn the tide of the game.
Leroy Hoggard used his quick hands to force the first Great Valley miscue and then scored on a layup. Boggs stole a pass and went high above the rim for a monster slam and Coatesville’s crowd erupted as the Red Raiders took a 34-31 lead with 4:23 to play.
"We changed defenses a few times in the fourth period and then Dre got us going with that slam," Coatesville coach Rick Nelms said. "We have a deep team and that really helped us tonight. Great Valley is a very good team."
Bridges knocked down a 3-ball to draw Great Valley to within 37-36. But, Jones came right back and went down the lane for a bucket, Bridges then missed a jumper and Boggs fed Jones for a basket and a 41-36 adavantage with 2:23 to play.
"We started to impose our will on them in the fourth period," Hunt said. "We really wanted this because we lost last year and Nelms let me play a lot this year and I just wanted to help the team. Tonight it was Chris, the last game was Dre and the game before that was Jaquan (Hollingshead). We have a lot of guys just like football. you never know who is going to make a play."
Boggs made the next big play going straight to the rim for a score and a 43-38 advantage with 1:43 to play. Chris Geiss scored for the Patriots to make it a 43-40 game with 1:27 to play.
But, Jones drained two free thorws and Boggs hit one of two while Great Valley missed on two possessions and Coatesville celebrated another Ches-Mont League title.
The loss was the Patriots’ first of the season and with the Class AAAA District 1 playoffs coming up Friday, coach Jim Nolan hopes his team can recover quickly.
"The two turnovers and some offensive rebounds hurt us," Nolan said. "We hope the kids have a little amnesia and forget about this one, but learn from their mistakes and come out ready on Friday."
Great Valley was given the number three seed in Tuesday’s District seeding meeting and will host No. 30 Harry S Truman on Friday. Coatesville earned the No. 10 seed and will entertain No. 23 Kennett.
 
Coatesville 51, Great Valley 46
GREAT VALLEY: Bridges 8 4-4 22, Sherry 2 1-2 6, Geiss 3 1-5 7, Gregory 3 0-0 7, Cohen 1 2-4 4, Ames 0 0-0 0.
Totals 17 8-14 46.
COATESVILLE: Boggs 5 6-10 16, Jones 5 3-3 14, Hunt 3 2-3 11, Hoggard 2 0-0 4, Hollingshead 3 0-2 6, Burke 0 0-0 0, Williams 0 0-0 0, Lewis 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 13-20 51.
Great Valley 4 16 10 16-46
Coatesville 7 8 12 24-51
3-point goals: Sherry, Gregory, Bridges 2, Jones, Hunt.

Rustin overwhelms West for first Ches-Mont crown

Staff photo by Vinny Tennis/Rustin's Adashia Franklyn rises for a layup during Tuesday's Ches-Mont girls basketball championship game at Unionv

By BRAD SPAHR

EAST MARLBOROUGH - To be the best, you have to beat the best.
For quite some time, the Downingtown West High School girls basketball team had been atop the Ches-Mont throne, as the defending league champs had gone 26-1 in league tilts dating back to the 2010-11 season.
West Chester Rustin didn’t just beat them on Tuesday night in the championship game of the Ches-Mont Final Four Tournament, they put on an absolute clinic that showcased team basketball at its finest. The Golden Knights put four different players in double-digits and led from wire-to-wire on their way to a 61-48 victory in front of a packed crowd at Unionville High School to claim their first league title.
West Chester Rustin (19-5 overall), who doesn’t dress a single senior, won its 16th straight game by completely overwhelming a very good Downingtown West (17-6) squad. They forced 17 turnovers while mixing in numerous different defensive looks, and were tremendously unselfish offensively as they continually found the open player for easy inside baskets off cuts. They led 32-21 at halftime and 50-34 after three quarters.
Junior forward Adashia Franklyn netted a game-high 16 points for the Golden Knights and pulled down 11 rebounds as well.
"This means a ton to be the first Rustin team in school history to win the Ches-Mont championship," said Franklyn. "We have a lot of respect for Downingtown West, but we certainly weren’t fazed by them coming in.
"The nerves were there because this was such a big game. We didn’t wanna lose. We wanted this so bad. We played so well as a team, and our unselfishness was key."
West Chester Rustin had four different sophomores all step up in a big way: forward Casey Warley (12 points and eight rebounds), forward Anna Steinmetz (12 points, including eight in the first half), guard Katie O’Hare (12 points) and guard Noelle Powell (nine points).
Powell and Franklyn, two of the top players in the league, were each held to four points in the opening half.
"We thought we would be in good shape if we held those two in check," said Downingtown West coach Dave Johnson. "But they had a lot of role-type players step up in a big way.
"We simply got hit by a hot team tonight. All the credit in the world goes to them. We got beat by a better team plain and simple, and there is no shame in that."
The National Division champion Whippets got a team-high 15 points from senior forward Kayla Feairheller, 10 of which came in the first half. Sophomore guard Maddie Dew added 13 points, including three 3-pointers that helped keep her team in the game. Senior forward Lindsay Galczynski added nine points, and eight boards.
Rustin, the American Division champs were just too much on this night.
Warley, Steinmetz and O’Hare combined for 24 of the team’s 32 first-half points.
"Credit to Downingtown West they came out in a box-and-one on Noelle, and that’s something that she hadn’t seen all year," said first-year Rustin coach Leah Kim. "But we made every extra pass, and I don’t think one single girl was selfish out there for us.
"That’s the kind of team game we are looking for. That has been our goal all year to play that way."
Powell, who had scored a game-high 20 points in the Golden Knights’ 39-31 semifinal win over Downingtown East on Saturday, was just happy to see her team make school history.
"We played excellent," Powell said. "We came out hard and did what we wanted to do right from the start.
"This is an awesome feeling right now to be champs. We wanted this so bad."
West Chester Rustin, who starts four sophomores and a junior, are going to be a scary team in the future. On Tuesday night, though, they showed that their time is now.
"I’m so happy for the girls," said Kim. "I’m a perfectionist and I ask a ton of them every day at practice, and they work so hard and give me everything they have.
"They were so excited for this game all day. I couldn’t be happier for them. They played their hearts out and they deserve this."

W.C. Rustin 61, Downingtown West 48
W.C. RUSTIN: Warley 6 1-3 12, Steinmetz 6 0-0 12, Powell 2 5-6 9, O’Hare 6 0-0 12, Franklyn 6 4-6 16, Hoy 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26 10-15 61.
DOWNINGTOWN WEST: Dew 5 0-0 13, Camden 1 0-0 2, E. Kuhlman 3 0-1 7, Galczynski 3 3-6 9, Feairheller 5 3-3 15, Schanck 0 0-0 0, Supplee 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 6-10 48.
W.C. Rustin 15 17 18 11 – 61
Downingtown West 11 10 13 14 – 48
3-point goals: Warley, Dew 3, E. Kuhlman, Feairheller 2.

First-round District 1 basketball matchups

Here are the matchups for the District 1 basketball playoffs, with local teams in bold. All games will be  at the site of the higher seed.

Boys
Class AAAA
First Round
Thursday, February 14
(19) Wissahickon at (14) Central Bucks South, 7 p.m.
Friday, February 15
(32) West Chester Rustin at (1) Chester, 7 p.m.
(17) West Chester Henderson at (16) Strath Haven, 7 p.m.
(25) Harriton at (8) Council Rock North, 7 p.m.
(24) North Penn at (9) Upper Darby, 8 p.m.
(29) Plymouth Whitemarsh at (4) Norristown, 7 p.m.
(20) Cheltenham at (13) Ridley, 7 p.m.
(28) Oxford at (5) Abington, 8 p.m.
(21) Perkiomen Valley at (12) Penn Wood, 7 p.m.
(31) Conestoga at (2) Lower Merion, 7 p.m.
(18) Spring-Ford at (15) Penncrest, 7 p.m.
(26) Downingtown East at (7) Hatboro-Horsham, 7 p.m.
(23) Kennett at (10) Coatesville, 7 p.m.
(30) Harry S. Truman at (3) Great Valley, 7 p.m.
(19) Wissahickon at (14) Central Bucks South, 7 p.m.
(27) Bensalem at (6) Methacton, 7 p.m.
(22) Pennsbury at (11) Souderton, 7 p.m.
Second round scheduled for Feb. 19, Quarterfinals and Consolations Feb. 22, Semifinals and Consolations Feb. 26, Championship and Consolation March 1.
Ten teams advance to states
Class AAA
First Round
Friday, February 22
(6) Lower Moreland at (3) Pope John Paul II, 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 23
(8) Octorara at (1) Holy Ghost Prep, 7 p.m.
(5) Pottstown at (4) Upper Moreland, 7 p.m.
(7) Phoenixville at (2) Glen Mills, 3 p.m.
Semifinals scheduled for Feb. 27, Championship March 2.
Two teams advance to states

Girls
Class AAAA
First Round
Friday, February 15
(25) Great Valley at (8) Central Bucks West, 7 p.m.
(24) Springfield (Delco) at (9) Upper Darby, 6 p.m.
(21) Bishop Shanahan at (12) W.C. Rustin, 6 p.m.
(26) Wissahickon at (7) Boyertown, 7 p.m.
(19) Perkiomen Valley at (14) Abington, 6 p.m.
(22) Central Bucks South at (11) Souderton, 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 16
(32) William Tennent at (1) Spring-Ford, 7 p.m.
(17) Norristown at (16) Downingtown West, 7 p.m.
(29) Penn Wood at (4) Neshaminy, 6 p.m.
(20) Pennsbury at (13) Council Rock South, 7 p.m.
(28) Council Rock North at (5) Methacton, 1:30 p.m.
(31) Bensalem at (2) Mount St. Joseph, 1:30 p.m.
(18) Central Bucks East at (15) Conestoga, 1:30 p.m.
(23) Downingtown East at (10) Garnet Valley, 1:30 p.m.
(30) Ridley at (3) Upper Dublin, 1:30 p.m.
(27) Upper Merion at (6) North Penn, 1:30 p.m.
Second round scheduled for Feb. 20, Quarterfinals and Consolations Feb. 23, Semifinals and Consolations Feb. 27, Finals March 1, Consolations March 2.
Nine teams advance to states
Class AAA
First Round
Tuesday, February 19
(1) Villa Maria, bye
(9) Gwynedd Mercy at (8) Upper Perkiomen, 7 p.m.
(4) Lower Moreland, bye
(12) Phoenixville at (5) Sun Valley, 7 p.m.
(2) Radnor, bye
(10) Merion Mercy at (7) Villa Joseph Marie, 7 p.m.
(3) Pope John Paul II, bye
(11) Nazareth Academy at (6) Chichester, 7 p.m.
Quarterfinals scheduled for Feb. 22, Semifinals scheduled for Feb. 26, Chapionship and Consolation March 2.
Three teams advance to states

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Great Valley boys shake off Warriors' upset bid

Staff photo by Tom Kelly IV/Great Valley's Mikal Bridges rises for a jumper during Saturd

By PETER DiGIOVANNI

CALN - This time of the season, you do not get any extra points for style. It is just survive and advance. And that is exactly what the undefeated Great Valley boys basketball team did Saturday evening in the semifinals of the Ches-Mont League Final Four Tournament at Coatesville High School.
The Patriots used another superlative performance from junior Mikal Bridges, who had 23 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots, and a solid 14-point game from senior Brad Sherry to keep a game West Chester Henderson squad at bay, 54-46.
Great Valley (23-0) shot only 12 of 24 from the foul line and did not rebound the ball as well as they usually do, but the Patriots led from start to finish to advance to Tuesday’s final against National Division champs Coatesville at Unionville High School at 7:15 p.m.
"We got the lead early and that helped us," Sherry said. "We really did not come out to play like we usually do and we struggled at times. But, with the confidence we have built up over the seaon it allowed us to make it through when they made their runs.
"Henderson played very hard and they were without Jason (McCormick) and they really battled. We did not shoot fouls well at all and that is the first thing coach (Jim) Nolan said to us after the game. We are going to do some soul searching and get to a gym and shoot some fouls."
Great Valley used the 3-point shooting of Sherry, who had three 3-balls on the night, and the inside play of Bridges to forge a 20-15 halftime lead. Great Valley jumped out to a 10-2 lead early before Henderson got its feet on the ground.
The Warriors (15-8) were getting the usual great game from guard Chas McCormick, who scored 23 points, and solely tried to will Henderson to the upset.
Sherry hit a long 3-pointer to put Great Valley up 32-24 late in the third period, but McCormick drove the ball right at Bridges and scored to make it a 32-26 game. Bridges came right back and went strong to the hole to make it 34-26, but McCormick would not go away as he scored on a driving layup to cut the lead to 34-28 after three.
"Chas McCormick had a great game for us as he always does," Henderson coach Chris Bruno said. "We did not have Jason due to illness, but that’s basketball. These kids bring their heart every game and tonight was no different. And that Great Valley team may be the most disciplined team in the district, if not the state."
The start of the fourth looked like Great Valley would put on one of its runs and win going away. Bridges made a nice feed to Chris Geiss for a layup and a 36-30 lead. A Bridges follow made it 38-30, but here came Henderson again.
Colin Costello went strong on the baseline to cut the lead to 38-32. The advantage never got above eight points and Henderson got it down to five late in the game. McCormick put on a one-man show to keep the Warriors close, but it was not enough.
Great Valley spread the floor with a little over three minutes to play, when Nate Cohen made a strong baseline move to make it 38-30 with 1:58 left. McCormick drove the lane again, got fouled and made both free throws to cut the lead to six with 1:43 to play.
Henderson got it down to 51-46 after Costello went strong to the basket with 1:21 left. But, the Patriots hit two free throws to stave off Henderson’s game upset bid.
Great Valley shot 19 for 38 from the field and handled the ball well, but Nolan pointed out the things his team did not do well, according to him.
"We did not rebound well or shoot fouls well at all," Nolan said. "But, we have won a lot of games this year and that allows up to play at a higher level when we have to and that got us through. Give Henderson and Chris a lot of credit.
"He had them ready to play us and they played at a very high level even without Jason McCormick. they play very inspired basketball."
 
Great Valley 54, W.C. Henderson 46
GREAT VALLEY: Bridges 9 4-8 23, Sherry 5 1-2 14, Geiss 3 2-3 8, Cohen 1 1-3 3, Gregory 0 3-6 3, Ames 1 1-2 3, Alston 0 0-0 0, Bucholz 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 12-24 54.
W.C. HENDERSON: C. McCormick 9 5-5 23, Costello 2 4-5 8, Kane 1 5-8 7, Vermeil 0 2-2 2, Cullinan 1 2-2 4, DiMatteo 1 0-0 2, Goldfine 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 18-22 46.
Great Valley 10 10 14 20-54
W.C. Henderson 6 9 13 18-46
3-point goals: Sherry 3, Bridges.