Hatters fall to Coatesville in districts
com Sometimes a raucous crowd and an incredible individual performance just aren’t enough to push a team to victory.
Despite Mike Brown’s 30-point outburst, HatboroHorsham fell to 10th seeded Coatsville, 65-57, in the second round of the District One Class AAAA tourna- ment Tuesday.
Clearly a step slower than the Raiders, it was evident early the Hatters would be in for a long night. They played well and did all they could, but at the end of the day the red-hot Coatsville team just had a bit more talent and athleticism on the floor.
“It was tough,” H-H coach Dennis Steinly said. “Things that we needed to do in this game, we just didn’t get done. We could shoot and rebound better. But we only lost by eight. A basket a quarter, we are right there. They are a hot team right now and they have momentum.”
Brown had it going from the tip-off, but H-H’s other stars, Zach nuattro and Ryan Kelly, never really got into the flow on offense. nuattro was limited to just six points, all in the second half, while Kelly did not score at all. To be fair to nuattro, the Hat- ters’ big man picked up two fouls early, which forced Steinly to sit him and therefore disrupting the H-H offense as a whole in the early going.
“Brown put us on his back tonight,” Steinly said. “He tried to get it done and that’s what good players do. They rise to the occasion in big games -- 30 points is impressive. But this was really the first time all year we had to sit Zach for fouls.”
The opening half was filled with three-pointers. Coatsville hit seven of its eight total threes in the first 16 minutes. Every time the Hatters appeared to be inching back into the game, back-to-back threes would come to the Raiders aid and give them some breathing room.
Howard Sellers, who had four threes and 18 points in
the game, was a particular Hatters-killer. It was not just the long-range shooting that hurt the Hatters, but it was also Coatsville’s quickness and explosiveness off the dribble. Andre Boggs, who had nine points for the Raiders, got to the hoop countless times just by quick penetration, something that the Hatters’ front court did not handle as well as they would have hoped.
Brown continued to carry the Hatters in the second half, but no one really joined the party. As in the first half, Coatsville would let H-H back to within eight or nine points, but never closer than that. The Hatters struggled to break through because, quite frankly, the Raiders just kept scoring. Coatsville scored 18 and 19 points, respectively in the middle quarters and their worst scoring period came in the first with 14. H-H’s only bad quarter was the first in which it scored just nine, but the other three were well into the teens. Had Coatsville slowed down a bit, it may have been easier for the Hatters to close in.
The Coatsville quickness on offense translated to the defensive end as well. Only Brown was able to break through, as no other Hatters scored in double figures, while Coatsville had four. The Raiders speed is one thing that H-H does not see very often and that was on display all night. However, the Hatters proved that they can hang with Coatsville, something that can be used as motivation going forward.
Despite a frustrating night at H-H, the Hatters only lost by eight and have the opportunity to stay alive with a playback game on Friday. They will most certainly be ready.
“We have a strong core of leaders and they have goals,” Steinly said. “Their backs are against the wall and we have to come out and play hard. I trust that they’ll have their teammates together and ready to go on Friday.”
Hatboro-Horsham’s Mike Brown takes a shot over Downingtown East’s Marhuaux Gelmine during Friday’s District One Class AAAA playoff game. Brown scored his 1,000th career point in the second quarter.