Cheltenham ends long losing streak against PW
The last time Cheltenham defeated Plymouth Whitemarsh in a boys’ basketball game, it was the 2006 playoffs and Cheltenham had a different head coach.
Six years later and in Brian Johnson’s seventh year at the helm, and the Panthers were finally able to accomplish that feat again.
For the first time in seven seasons, the Panthers man- aged to figure out a way to beat the Suburban One American Conference powerhouse Colonials, as senior guard Aaron McGlawn led the way with 16 points in a 48-38 Cheltenham win at PW on Tuesday night.
The Panthers (3-3, 1-1F used a 10-1 run to open the third quarter to build a seven-point lead and eventually come out with the rare victory over the host Colonials.
“We just sat and watched PW battle it out with Archbishop Wood and we saw how good PW was and how special and athletic their kids are,” Johnson said. “We knew it would be a tough task, but we have a young group and every game, we’re learning something about ourselves and what we have. And we just beat PW and any time you beat them, it’s special. That’s a great program.”
Early on, it appeared that Cheltenham’s head-to-head losing streak with the Colonials might continue, but things quickly changed.
PW (3-2, 1-1F opened the game by going up 7-2 and managed to hold a lead for most of the first half, but led by only two, 22-20, at the half.
In the third quarter, Cheltenham’s defense came up big, not allowing the Colonials to score a field goal until only 36 seconds remained in the period, when PW senior forward Dee Bennett hit a layup. It would be the Colonials’ only basket until the fourth.
“It was real big for us to open the second half the way we did,” McGlawn said. “It was even better for us to fin- ish the game the way we did. PW has a lot of good players and it was important for us to get off that start. I had never beat PW before and this was one of my goals. It feels great.”
In the fourth, PW managed to cut the deficit to three points, but a huge defensive effort from Guy Henderson and John Howard helped Cheltenham to hold onto the lead and build on it until the end, with McGlawn knocking down five of his final six
free throws to open the Cheltenham lead.
With Cheltenham clinging onto a two-possession lead, Howard came up with two huge blocks in the final 90 seconds to help the Panthers secure the win.
McGlawn added three assists and three rebounds to his game-high 16 points, while Henderson finished with 13 points (while hitting 5 of 6 free throws) and seven rebounds before fouling out. Howard added eight points and five rebounds, while Aaron Burton added nine points.
The Colonials were led by seniors Michael Reddick and Anthony McKie, who finished with 10 and nine points, respectively. Sophomore Cameron Johnson recorded four points and brought down 10 rebounds.
PW coach Jim Donofrio was unavailable for comment after the game.
The Panthers, who were able to even their overall record at 3-3, will face Upper Dublin on Friday in another American Conference matchup.
“This win was huge, but we have another big game on Friday,” Johnson said. “Our conference is unbelievably tough and everybody in our conference goes to the playoffs. I’d put our conference up there with any other in the state. This was a great win and beating PW is always special, but we have to turn around and get another one on Friday.”