The Phantoms and Tide battled for the Radnor Tip-Off Tournament championship.

Phoenixville won, 67-55, but there were a lot of fouls called (and not called) in the heated contest.

Unfortunately, some games turn out this way. There is a fine line between physical and aggressive play and personal fouls.

Phoenixville coach Bill Detweiler and Devon Prep coach Mike Troy both spend a lot of time working with their teams. But kids are still kids and sometimes get carried away in their actions.

At times, coaches get carried away, too, and Detweiler was pointed in his remarks about the officials. He said he was going to report one of the referees to authorities for the first time.

The game became overly physical. Phoenixville point guard Drew McCall was poked in the eye and could barely see after the game.

Phantom forward Paul Lewis received a technical foul and ejection for going after a Devon Prep player with a knee to the groin late in the second quarter. That meant an automatic suspension from Tuesday's Pioneer Athletic Conference opener at Pottstown's Strom Gymnasium.

Troy also said a report on that incident would be filed with the PIAA, which could make the punishment worse.

Both sides could have good seasons so it is a shame to have a start like this.

Incidentally, Devon Prep's starting point guard, junior Ryan Pauley, is the son of former Phoenixville and Lehigh University star guard Tom Pauley. His backcourt mate, junior Tom Ingelsby, is the son of former Villanova University star guard Tom Ingelsby.

It is important for coaches to coach, players to play and referees to officiate.

My uncle, the late Earl "Yogi" Strom, officiated NBA basketball for 32 years and was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. He heard a lot of abuse in working his way up in high school games, college contests and finally the professional ranks.

It is not an easy job.

But it is not easy trying to coach and play under pressure, either. Everyone should try to be at their best, especially in the biggest games.

The Phoenixville-Devon Prep game was also a difficult game for me to chart with all that transpired with fast action.

Chalk it up to an experience for all concerned.

Barry Sankey covers a variety of sports as a staff writer for The Phoenix. He can be reached at

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