CONCORDVILLE - Eric Wallace calmly drained a last-second trey from the right corner to give Phoenixville a one-point halftime lead against host Glen Mills Saturday afternoon.
However, that dramatic shot did not tell the story of the second half of the District 1-AAAA quarterfinal boys basketball playoff contest.
The visiting Phantoms ran into a buzzsaw in the form of a 19-0 run by the Battling Bulls in the fourth quarter that triggered a 60-41 Glen Mills victory over Phoenixville.
Marcus Howell scored 15 points with one trey, but the seventh-seeded Phantoms still saw their season come to a halt at 11-13 overall at the hands of the second-seeded Battling Buills (14-9).
Glen Mills dominated the backboards to the tune of 53-26, and the hosts used many of those second and third shots to muster their big lead at the end of the game.
“That 19-0 run,” said Phoenixville coach Randy Reber afterwards.
Howell made a drive to the hoop at the outset of the fourth period to cut Glen Mills’ lead to 38-35 with 7:45 remaining in regulation time.
But Phoenixville did not score again until the 1:32 mark of the fourth on a basket by Mike Anthony. In the meantime, Glen Mills constructed a 57-35 lead at the 1:44 mark
following a basket by senior guard Marcus Smith.
“We played as hard as we could and we executed as well as we could, but we were up against a very tough team,” said Reber. “we started to miss shots and they fed off that. They didn’t leave the offensive end of the court until they scored.”
Sophomore forward Quadir Jones scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead a balanced Glen Mills onslaughts. Senior forward Khafese Jones followed with 14 points and 13 rebounds, and senior guard Marcus Smith finished with nine points and 16 rebounds to help Glen Mills advance in the tournament.
Senior guard Jah-bree Alleyne and senior guard Shiheem Spencer each tallied eight points in the winning cause. Glen Mills advanced to the semifinals Wednesday night at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School.
Phoenixville shot 15-for-54 from the field and 7-for-8 at the free throw line.
Glen Mills ended the day at 26-for-63 from the floor and 6-for-15 at the foul line.
Quadir Jones scored eight first-quarter points as Glen Mills took an 18-11 lead after one quarter.
Howell had six first-period points and C.J. Lindsay a trey for three points in the opening period.
The Phantoms outscored the Battling Bulls 14-6 during the second quarter to take the 25-24 halftime lead. Wallace and Lindsay canned triples in the second quarter while DeAndre Gadsden had four markers, Howell one field goal and Greg Hughes two free throws. Phoenixville shot 9-for-30 from the field during the first half and 6-for-24 during the second half.
Khafese Jones scored eight third-quarter points to headline the Glen Mills offense at that stage of the contest. Glen Mills won the battle of the boards 15-4 during the third quarter. Phoenixville held a 33-32 lead at 3:20 of the third after a jumper from the ledft side by Hughes. But Jones scored the final six points of the quarter on three inside buckets to give Glen Mills a 38-33 lead heading into the final quarter.
Gadsden had six rebounds for the Phantoms while Hughes had five, Howell and Ian Harrigan four apiece and Wallace three. Lindsay had a pair of steals while Harrigan, Wallace and Anthony each made one. Gadsden blocked one shot against the taller, athletic Battling Bulls.
“They got on the boards and it got away from us,” said Reber.
Reber praised the effort of his five seniors in leading the way this winter as the Phantoms challenged for a Frontier Division title in the Pioneer Athletic Conference and wound up making the PAC-10 Final Four playoffs and taking undefeated Methacton to the limit in the semifinal round prior to securing the district playoff berth.
“I am really proud of them,” said Reber. “The game hurts and the coaches too. This is my 40th year. I hate it in the locker room after the last loss. But the guys can be proud. We wanted to have no regrets left on the court and give it all we had. They just had more firepower than we did.”
Reber hopes this year’s underclassmen use the season as a foundation for more bright things to happen in the program in the future with the boys basketball program at Phoenixville.
“Our seniors are good kids, and we lost a lot of close games so I am proud of them,” said Reber.