(The team's season could continue should they earn a berth in the upcoming District playoffs.)
By JASON FEATHER, Phoenix Sports Editor
Coach Bill Detweiler and his troops should be commended for their success this season after overcoming unforeseen adversity - the loss of their own home court during their playoff push.
Due to a water main break above the gym floor that left large amounts of water on and under the hardwood surface, the Phantoms were unable to have home games or use a floor for practices in preparation for their games. The main break also forced a postponement of the Phantoms game that evening with Boyertown.
After some long hours of searching, adjusting, juggling and figuring out the schedules, acting Athletic Director Joanne Doherty came up with a deal with Spring-Ford's Athletic Director Mickey McDaniel that the Phantoms could play their games at the Rams' home facility.
With the difficulties of not having a home court, Mother Nature also attempted to block the Phantoms' postseason shot with some snow and wintry mix on a couple of occasions. The Phantoms had no choice but to play four games in five days, and a fifth in seven after having to play the game with PV on Thursday.
The loss of point guard Drew McCall also left the team a bit undermanned, but senior Alex Johnson stepped up and took over the lead guard role and performed tremendously.
Teammate Ryan Thomas - The Phoenix's Male Athlete of the Week - also picked up his offensive production. Freshman Jon Hogga moved from coming off the bench into a starting role, and did a fine job. Inside, starters Paul Lewis and Chris Ellis, along with reserve Jeff Ward, continually gave the Phantoms second chance opportunities and limited the other team's possessions with solid rebounding.
So, with all the issues that transpired over the last month of the season for Phoenixville, it is amazing that they were able to maintain their focus and finish their season the way they did. Sure the loss on Thursday leaves a bitter taste in their mouths now, but the experience of playing in a big game - the experience of overcoming the adversities of the season - for this young team can only make them stronger and better next year and in the future.
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Phoenixville's girls team also suffered through the same types of adversity that the boys' team did as well.
Of course the loss of their home floor was there, but more importantly, the Phantoms lost their lone senior and team leader Whitney Sharp to a stress fracture in her leg.
When Sharp was diagnosed and told to hang up her sneakers for the rest of the season, the Phantoms had won three out of four games, and were finally making some big strides in improvement from the beginning of the year. There was no way that their season would have ended the way it did had Sharp not gone down with the injury.
Coach Bob Heck played a freshman, two sophomores and two juniors the rest of the way. They obviously took their lumps, but it can only make them a better team for the next couple of years.
Finally, does anyone get the sports injury phrase of "he's day-to-day"?
Aren't we all?
Jason Feather is the Sports Editor of The Phoenix. He can be reached at 610-933-8926 (x623) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.