PHOENIXVILLE - Two schools seeking their first Pioneer Athletic Conference boys basketball victories of the season collided Thursday night in Phoenixville.
The host Phantoms entertained Upper Perkiomen in a Frontier Division matchup, and it was Phoenixville which came away with a 57-40 victory over the Indians.
Marcus Howell scored a game-high 19 points for the Phantoms with six markers coming in the first quarter and an additional 13 during the second half. Howell punctuated the effort with six rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Greg Hughes also finished in double figures for the hosts with 11 points, and he grabbed seven rebounds.
Phoenixville (1-2, 2-3) turned an early 9-6 deficit into a 15-13 lead after one period and never yielded the lead the rest of the way.
Robbie Hinson delivered 12 points with a pair of treys for the Tribe, and Joey Marinelli also reached double digits with 10 points, including one triple. Josh Wynder chipped in with nine points for the Indians (0-4, 2-5).
“It (victory) is something we really needed and we got it,” said Phoenixville coach Randy Reber.
“Upper Perkiomen has played better this year than they did tonight. They have been competing very hard against some teams so to beat them we had to force ourselves on them. In the beginning of the game, they dictated with their pace
with their tempo. We like up tempo. We have got to go fast, even if it is sloppy at times, with runouts to get the other team to hurry. We defended and did a much better job in the second half.”
Phoenixville carried a 28-22 lead into intermission and extended the cushion to 44-31 by the end of the third stanza.
Victor Bozzelli and C.J. Lindsay each scored seven points for the Phantoms with Bozzelli nailing one trey in the second quarter when he tallied all of his markers. Eric Wallace finished with six points on two treys. DeAndre Gadsden had six rebounds, four points and two blocked shots.
Phoenixville shot 22-for-48 from the field and 10-for-14 at the foul line. The Phantoms had a slight 32-30 rebounding edge.
Upper Perkiomen shot 15-for-53 from the floor and 6-for-9 at the foul line. The Indians committed five of their 12 turnovers in the initial quarter. The Phantoms had 11 miscues.
“Very disappointed,” said Upper Perkiomen coach Bruce Schmidt. “We didn’t come to play. Not to take anything away from Phoenixville, they played very well. They executed. They took the ball to the basket hard and they made shots. They did everything.”
Schmidt felt his own ballclub only showed brief spurts of good basketball during the night. Marinelli, Chandler Junk (six points) and Wynder each retrieved six rebounds while Hinson had four.
There was also the important case of ballhandling.
“One of our keys every game is limiting turnovers,” said Schmidt. “Tonight we did a very poor job of handling and passing the ball. Our shot selection was not good at times. That leads to runouts and they were able to stretch their lead.”