Hat­ters fall to Coatesville in dis­tricts

The Willow Grove Guide - - OPINION - By Nick Iuele

ni­uele@mont­gomerynews.

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.”

Mont­gomery Me­dia / SCOTT RO­MAN

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.

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