|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.