running back to squeak through the holes in the paint.
The reason he ended up on the losing side of the ledger, though, was Newton, who matched him blow for blow. Newton scored every which way. When his defenders played him tight, he blew by them. When they played the drive, he pulled up for a mid-range jumper. And he hit 10 for his 12 free throw attempts, 14 fourth quarter points, the same number Carroll did as a team that frame.
“Down the stretch, big time players make big time plays,” Newton said. “In order for me and my team to win, I had to make plays. I kind of didn’t play well the Roman (Catholic) game, so this game was pretty important. I focused hard and I practiced hard all leading to this game.”
Newton opened the fourth quarter with an old-fashioned three-point play to tie the score at 44, the last time Carroll would be that close. Quade Green, who had only six points, then ripped off four straight to stretch the spurt to 7-0.
Then, after Carroll fought to climb within one, Newton canned his only 3-pointer of the game with 4:15 left to stretch the lead to 51-47.
“He’s a really great player,” Carroll senior guard Joe Mostardi said. “He gets in the lane, his jump shot is improving. And he makes every foul shot down the stretch. It absolutely kills us. He’s becoming a really complete player, and it’s hard to contain guys like that.”
The offense of Carroll (11-5, 4-2) was disrupted early by Jones’ foul trouble. He was saddled with his second foul with 6:40 left in the second quarter. With the Carroll offense stagnating — going 6:39 between field goals after Jones’ sensation put-back jam put them up 16-9 with 2:37 left in the first quarter — Carroll coach Paul Romanczuk could only afford two minutes on the bench for his star forward.
Jones survived about three minutes on the court before picking up his third on a moving screen just before half and played the entire third quarter with four fouls, but he wasn’t his usual aggressive self.
As the conduit for most of Carroll’s offense, their attack struggled.
“It’s very tough. Derrick is a great player, very athletic. We run a lot of sets through him,” Tilghman said. “And when he’s out, it’s hard to score. He’s the inside presence. I think we have to do a better job when he’s not on the court to run everything and staying calm and get points on the board.”
Mostardi was one of those who stepped up in the third, scoring eight of his 10 points in the frame, including a pair of 3-pointers set up by the dribble-drive threat of Tilghman. But the other sources of offense weren’t consistent enough late. The Patriots shot just 38 percent from the field (22-for57), and though Ernest Aflakpui (13 rebounds) and Jones (11 rebounds) helped dominate the glass, they were left to rue far too many missed putbacks in the paint. They combined for 13 points, well down from their combined season average of 27, on just 6-for-17 shooting.
What Tilghman chalked it up to afterward was an inability for a youthful Carroll team to find the composure needed to weather the storm without Jones … as if that too fell under his purview.
“I have to do a better job in helping the young guys get better at controlling the game and down the stretch,” he said, “having that mindset and have the heart to win the game against Roman.”
“It does (feel good to win), but we’re right back at it tomorrow against Upper Perk,” said Brock, a senior who is now 11-9 on the year with two pins. “I hit a headlock, then he rolled through. Then I switched chest-to-chest and used a half (nelson). It was a close match until then.”
Brock was happy to see the Phantoms score some falls as a reward for all the hard work they put in at the practice room throughout the week prior to and after matches.
“That was definitely a good sign to see,” said Brock. “Pins make us so happy because we work so hard in the practice room. We knew this was a winnable match, but nothing is guaranteed until after the match.”
The wrestling season is coming down the stretch run with coaches and individual wrestlers gearing up for postseason rigors. Brock figures tonight’s match against the Indians will help tell him where he stands going into the postseason.
Hossler took a 4-2 lead in the second period against Luke Genetti before securing a fall in three minutes even. Rosati held a 6-3 lead against Brendan Rau in the second period before gaining his fall at the 2:34 mark.
Meyers closed out the action with a pin at 1:25 against William Heid.
“Forfeits, that’s always the challenge,” said Staples. “Tonight I gave up more than he gave up. But give his kids credit. They got some pins. They picked up some pins where I didn’t think they should have. I thought we might win or lose a decision, but Phoenixville always throws headlocks. You have to be ready for it, and we weren’t ready for it.”
Phoenixville’s D.J. Brock pins Pope John Paul II’s Vinnie Togno in the 145 match.