Quinn scores ca­reer-high 34 in Phan­toms’ OT win over Fal­cons

The Phoenix - - SPORTS - By Owen McCue om­c­[email protected]­tu­ry­media.com @Owen_McCue on Twit­ter

KJ Quinn knew he had scored a lot. How much? He wasn’t quite sure.

When Quinn found out he fin­ished with a ca­reer-high 34 points in Phoenixville’s 90-81 over­time win over Pottsgrove on Jan. 5, the Phan­toms’ se­nior guard couldn’t quite be­lieve it.

The clos­est he’d got­ten to a 30-point out­ing was a 26-point ef­fort for the ju­nior var­sity team as a sopho­more. A 22-point game last sea­son was his ca­reer mark at the var­sity level en­ter­ing the game.

“Def­i­nitely my team­mates got me the ball,” Quinn said of the rea­son for his big out­ing. “Lately, I haven’t been shoot­ing well, but it’s all about get­ting to the rack and see­ing the ball go through the bas­ket. Once I hit my first three, I felt hot and it just kept go­ing in and go­ing in through­out the game.”

Phoenixville (4-1 PAC Fron­tier, 6-4 over­all) en­tered the game at the top of the divi­sion stand­ings, while Pottsgrove (2-3 Fron­tier, 7-5) came into Satur­day with a chance to tie for first place with a win.

Com­ing off an upset loss to Up­per Perk on Thurs­day, the Phan­toms pre­pared with an ex­tra fo­cus.

“We came into that (Up­per Perk) game so lightly, but this game we were so an­gry, we just wanted to rip their heads off,” Quinn said.

Pottsgrove’s Justin Robin­son did all he could to waste Quinn’s ca­reer night. The Fal­cons’ se­nior guard poured in 35 points of his own, scor­ing 12 points in the fourth quar­ter to force over­time.

Com­ing out of a time­out with less than a minute and a half re­main­ing, Quinn drilled a three to put Phoenixville ahead, 73-71. It looked like the shot might be the big­gest of the game after free throws from Phoenixville ju­nior Steven Hamil­ton and a bucket by se­nior Dy­lan Clark put Phoenixville up by six points in the fi­nal minute.

A few missed free throws, a Phoenixville turnover and eight Robin­son points later, the 6-foot-2 guard was send­ing the game to over­time at 79-79 with a con­tested layup at the buzzer.

“I know (Robin­son) per­son­ally,” Quinn said. “I’ve played him in AAU, in the sum­mer, all these leagues. He’s a great player. He’s tough to guard. He’s hit­ting clutch shots. That half court buzzer beater was in­sane. He’s a great player.”

While Quinn scored 13 points in the first half, the Phoenixville bench was the big story early in Satur­day’s game. Clark and Hamil­ton came off the bench and rarely left the game after en­ter­ing the con­test.

Both play­ers, who fin­ished with 22 points each, helped the Phan­toms build a 41-28 ad­van­tage in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Phoenixville coach Eric Bur­nett said he put ju­nior Ig­na­cio Or­tiz in the start­ing lineup in fa­vor of Clark to ex­ploit some matchups he thought his team might have. Hamil­ton has found suc­cess com­ing off the bench as of late, so Bur­nett has kept him there.

“With Steven (Hamil­ton), you see his po­ten­tial, and he’s def­i­nitely some­body we rely on not just scor­ing, but re­bound­ing and mak­ing game-win­ning plays,” Bur­nett said. “He’s in a groove com­ing off the bench right now.”

After the Phan­toms built up their 13-point ad­van­tage, mo­men­tum swung the other way. Robin­son helped put the Fal­cons up, 52-44, with a 24-3 run at the end of the sec­ond and start of the third quar­ter. The stretch in­cluded Robin­son’s heave from be­yond half court to beat the buzzer in the first half and two threes from Pottsgrove se­nior Gabe Ap­ple­bach, who fin­ished with nine points.

Phoenixville an­swered with a 13-1 run of its own, in­clud­ing eight points from Quinn, to re­take the lead and head into the fourth quar­ter up 59-57. Both teams had shares of the lead be­fore Robin­son’s hero­ics at the end of reg­u­la­tion. How­ever, when the game went to over­time, the Phan­toms were too much.

With Khaliym Smith, who fouled out with 18 points, and Manny Clark, who fin­ished with 11 points, on the bench, the Fal­cons made just one bas­ket in the ex­tra pe­riod. On the other side, Quinn, Clark and Hamil­ton com­bined for 11 points to se­cure the win.

“What you saw out of KJ tonight, that is kind of defin­ing of him,” Bur­nett said. “That’s the kind of kid he is. He works for these types of mo­ments. He works ob­ses­sively, and I’ve seen that over the course of his ca­reer where he’s the first one in the gym at 6 a.m. work­outs. All that stuff that goes into these types of mo­ments, came to fruition to­day for KJ.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.