Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)

Jackson hits milestone as Collegium edges Rustin

- By Peter DiGiovanni pdgiovanni­07@gmail.com @PeteDLN on Twitter

WEST WHITELAND >> The truly special players leave lasting memories on those who are fortunate to observe them perform.

Wednesday night at Winters Gymnasium, Collegium Charter star forward Duce Jackson had a night that many will remember for a long time. Not only did Jackson hit the career 1,000-point mark early in the first period, he dominated a good West Chester Rustin team to lead the Cougars to a 75-70 victory, 75-70, in a thrilling nonleague clash.

Jackson scored a gamehigh 37 points to go along with 13 rebounds and four assists as the Cougars (1010) got out to an early lead in the second quarter, then had to withstand a furious rally from the Golden Knights (11-11) to secure the win.

“To hit the 1,000 point mark is truly special and a great feeling,” Jackson said. “When I think about being young and starting to play basketball and the support of my family, it is really a great feeling to do something that is not done by many people. I did not play well in our last game and I wanted to come out and lead my team against a real good team.”

Collegium bolted out to a 32-27 halftime edge courtesy of Jackson’s 18 first-half points and the rebounding and inside scoring of senior Trevon Mack, who had 14 points to go along with 13 boards as the Cougars owned the glass against the smaller Golden Knights.

The third quarter was a frantic one. The Cougars got out to a 47-34 lead before Ian Schlesinge­r downed a three-pointer for Rustin to help cut into the lead. The Golden Knights hit on 10 threes for the game.

Chase Hatton and Schlesinge­r led the latequarte­r charge as Hatton drained a long three and Schlesinge­r, who led the Golden Knights with 19 points, hit another three. Sam Sproull banked in a three the buzzer to slice the lead to 51-48 after three.

The two squads battled back and forth in the fourth with the Cougars continuall­y getting second and third chances and making the Golden Knights pay for not rebounding the ball. Rustin was heating up and took a 70-68 lead when Tyler Giunta scored in the lane with 1:18 to go.

“We knew they were a good shooting team and we knew we would have to rebound the basketball tonight,” Jackson said. “I thought we were a little tougher and more physical on the boards. That was a big part in the win.”

Jackson bailed out the Cougars again as he followed a miss to score to tie the game 70-70 with 1:05 left. The Golden Knights would not score another point however as they missed three shots in the final minute.

Mack followed a miss to re-take the lead, 72-70, with 54 seconds to play. Rustin could not convert and Jackson hauled in the rebound, hit two free throws after he was fouled for a 74-70 advantage.

Schlesinge­r missed on a three. Mack came away with the rebound and the Golden Knights’ chance to move up in the District 1 5A playoff standings went up in flames.

“Duce is just such a competitor and he really wants to win,” Collegium coach Markel Jones said. “Tonight, we knew they could shoot the ball and our guys did a great job on the boards. We are getting tougher as the season goes on and we are getting together at just the right time. Rustin is one of the better teams around and they are

going to the Ches-Mont Final Four, so this was a big win for us.

“Duce and the rest of the guys want to show people that our success last year was not a one-off and we are a good program.”

Collegium Charter 75, WC Rustin 70 WC RUSTIN: Nochumson 3 1-2 8, Giunta 4 0-0 10, Hatton 5 3-5 15, Schlesinge­r 8 2-4 19, Crispino 0 0-0 0, Sproull 4 0-0 10, Davis 0 0-0 0, Taross 3 0-0 8. Totals 27 6-11 70. COLLEGIUM CHARTER: Schinitus 4 00-0 10, Woolfolk 0 0-0 0, Jackson 14 6-8 37, Pitt 3 2-4 9, Mack 7 0-0 14, Kiley 2 0-0 5. Totals 30 8-12 75. WC Rustin 18 9 21 22-70 Collegium Charter 14 18 19 24-75 3-point goals: Schinitus 2, Jackson, Pitt, Kiley, Nochumson, Giunta 2, Hatton 2, Schlesinge­r, Sproull 2, Taross 2.

 ?? PHOTO COURTESY OF COLLEGIUM CHARTER ?? Collegium Charter’s Duce Jackson poses with his teammates after Wednesday’s game with West Chester Rustin to celebrate him passing the 1,000-point mark.
PHOTO COURTESY OF COLLEGIUM CHARTER Collegium Charter’s Duce Jackson poses with his teammates after Wednesday’s game with West Chester Rustin to celebrate him passing the 1,000-point mark.

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