CB West puts clamps on Ply­mouth Whitemarsh

The Colonial - - OPINION - By Rick Kauff­man

It was a game where ev­ery sin­gle pos­ses­sion mat­tered so much to each team. Ev­ery missed layup, turnover, un­forced foul or missed free throw left the game in the bal­ance for both Ply­mouth Whitemarsh and Cen­tral Bucks West.

All sea­son long, the Colo­nials con­tin­u­ally dic­tated the pace of the game de­fen­sively. Yet on Tues­day evening, it was the Bucks who came out and forced the Colo­nials to play their game, and in the end the Bucks walked out of Colo­nial Mid­dle School vic­to­ri­ous.

Cen­tral Bucks West de­feated Ply­mouth Whitemarsh 37-35.

“We just seem to be gelling at the right time,” said C.B. West coach Adam Sher­man. “We’re just happy to be in states.”

With the win, Cen­tral Bucks West earns a trip to the state tour­na­ment while also con­tin­u­ing the cam­paign in the District One Class AAAA tour­na­ment. Ply­mouth Whitemarsh, mean­while, will move to the play-in bracket to earn an in­vite to states.

Jared Kelly was the dif­fer- ence maker for the Bucks. His 16 points — 13 points in the first half — gave CB West at 19-12 lead at the break af­ter the Bucks held PW score­less in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Tak­ing the early lead, the Bucks were able to force the Colo­nials into an un­com­fort­able sit­u­a­tion. Play­ing against the Bucks’ matchup zone de­fense proved in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult, es­pe­cially in the sec­ond quar­ter. At one point, PW did not score a field goal in more than 10 min­utes.

Kelly beat An­dre Mitchell on

three back­door cuts in the first half, and then the Bucks be­gan the third quar­ter with yet an­other.

The Colo­nials made it a game in the third quar­ter when they fi­nally broke the ice and then went on a 10-0 run to bring the score to within three prior to the start of the fourth.

Tied at 28-28, TJ Mine­tola went to the free throw line and missed both, while Kelly re­sponded at the other end with yet an­other layup. PW at­tempted to re­spond with Mitchell find­ing Cameron John­son in the paint, but the for­ward lost his grip on the ball and turned it over. That hurt.

Jimmy Mur­ray caught fire in the fourth, drain­ing three three­p­oint shots in a three-minute span to give the Colo­nials their first lead since nail­ing a shot at the buzzer to end the first quar- ter. The turn­ing point came af­ter Mur­ray hit his third to give the Colo­nials a 31-30 lead, but then Kelly found CB West point guard Kyle Salvitti in the cor­ner who re­sponded with a trey of his own.

PW had a prayer with just seven sec­onds re­main­ing in the game, but Mur­ray passed on a dou­ble-con­tested shot in­side the key, dish­ing to Manuel Herezi, whose base­line jumper rimmed out at the buzzer.

Donofrio looked to 2009, the year prior to his state cham­pi­onship run as head coach with the Colo­nials, when the team lost in the state semi­fi­nals. He re­ferred to it as “trial by fire” in which the play­ers had learned what it took to be cham­pi­ons by virtue of fall­ing short, but “not get­ting burned too badly.”

Re­fer­ring to this game as the matchup be­tween the im­mov­able ob­ject ver­sus the ir­re­sistible force, Donofrio said he was forced to turn his team up to an im­pos­si­ble pace to get the Colo­nials back in the game.

“Down six points to West with three min­utes left in the third, you might as well be down 15 or 16,” Donofrio said.

The full-on full-court press gave the Colo­nials a win­ning chance, but far too many mis­takes down the fi­nal stretch, the stretch in which the Colo­nials had the op­por­tu­nity to seize, doomed their chances to ac­com­plish an ugly win.

“It was trial by fire. We looked like un­der­stud­ies out there, ner­vous in the mo­ment, this was the kind of game you hope you grow and steal the win,” Donofrio said. “Teams that go deep in the play­offs have gone through the trial by fire.”

Mont­gomery Me­dia staff photo / BOB RAINES

Ger­man­town Academy’s Devon Good­man fires a pass in front of Ship­ley’s John Parker dur­ing PAISSA tour­na­ment ac­tion onf Fri­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.