By Barry Sankey
PHOENIXVILLE - Pottstown showed no signs of fatigue on the boys basketball floor Jan. 28.
The Trojans, while playing back-to-back Pioneer Athletic Conference games, ran past Phoenixville, 79-60, in a Frontier Division contest.
Denzel Harvey knocked down a game-high 24 points with four 3-point field goals, and Bryant Quill followed up with 23 markers and two treys as the Trojans took a 12-2 lead at the outset and controlled the game from there on. Pottstown held a 26-20 lead after one quarter and went into halftime with a 45-32 cushion.
Marleke Lear added 11 points to the balanced cause and Shamir Edwards finished with nine and Rich Duvivier eight for the Trojans (5-6, 9-10), who fell to Methacton Monday night.
Christian Kelly (15), Marquise McDuffee (13) and James Jackson (10) closed in double digits for Phoenixville (2-9, 5-13).
“They (Trojans) had a good effort tonight after a tough one last night,” said Pottstown coach Cal Benfield. “I follow Randy (Phoenixville coach Randy Reber), and I was talking to (assistant coach) Matt Fabian on the bench, ‘They are coming back; they are coming back.’ “
Indeed, the Phantoms did make a run at the Trojans during the third quarter after Reber lifted his five starters en masse with his team down, 53-32, with 6:39 showing in the period. Reber sent in a unit of seniors Jackson and TreShawn Rebalsky, sophomores Kelly and Isaiah Johnson and freshman Phil Meszaros in an attempt to generate more energy and intensity.
The plan worked as Phoenixville reduced the Pottstown lead to 54-43 with 2:12 on the clock following an inside basket by Kelly.
Pottstown regrouped at that point and ended the quarter with a 60-45 lead. Edwards hit a layup with an assist by Dave Smalls, and then Edward converted the first of two free throw attempts. Quill made a turnaround basket into a three-point play to put the visitors at the 60-point mark with 55 seconds left in the third quarter.
“They (Phantoms) went from down 20 to down 10 and they did it with young players,” said Benfield. “That was very impressive. We made some silly mistakes, but they played hard. It’s never safe against Randy’s team. They did it against Pope John Paul. They did it against Boyertown, all these teams. The future is bright for Phoenixville.”
“Playing time is not given,” said Reber. “It is earned. There are two ways to do that. You play the way we expect you to play and you play hard.”
Reber said he received even mre than expected from the second group. He applauded the way that group competed and the effort those Phantoms gave.
Lear grabbed nine rebounds, Harvey eight and Duvivier seven. ... Kelly tallied 10 of his points in the second half and also had five rebounds and three blocked shots. ... Jackson, a guard, hit a third-quarter 3-pointer and also had two rebounds and a steal during the Phantoms’ surge. ... Rebalsky canned a trey to go along with seven points, two boards, a block and an assist. Meszaros, another guard, picked up six rebounds in a hurry. ... Phoenixville won the junior varsity game, 41-36.
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