PA­TRI­OTS

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - SPORTS -

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.

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