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Brickus dazzles yet again with 52 points as Coatesville buries Chester

ROYERSFORD >> At halftime of Saturday’s state quarterfinal showdown between Pennsylvania powerhouses, Coatesville led Chester by a single point.

Sorry, scratch that. 

One single, solitary Coatesville player led Chester by one point.

Coatesville star Jhamir Brickus outscored the entire Chester team, 27-26, in the first half, pouring in an absurd 52 points on the afternoon and carrying his Red Raiders to an emphatic 96-82 win at an overflowing Spring-Ford High School.

The Red Raiders will face District 10 powerhouse Kennedy Catholic in Tuesday’s PIAA Class 6A semifinal at a site and time to be determined.

“I was really feeling it today,” Brickus said. “I hit my first couple of shots and the basket just seemed to get bigger and bigger. This is great going to the final four because it has been a long time since Coatesville has been there.”

Coatesville’s (2) Jhamir Brickus shoots in the third quarter as Chester’s (15) Zhmir Carroll defends in the quarter finals of PIAA state playoffs at Spring-Ford Saturday. Coatesville prevailed to advance to the semi-finals Tuesday. (PETE BANNAN – MNG)

Brickus, who was 16-for-28 from the field and is now averaging 42 points per game in the PIAA Tournament, hit five 3-pointers and helped Coatesville blow the game open in the second quarter. At the break, Coatesville led, 43-26.

Twenty-seven of Coatesville’s 43 points game from Brickus, who added 25 more in the second half.

“Chester is a good team and we knew they would make a run at some point,” said Coatesville coach Fred Thompson. “I just told the kids to relax and we will weather this storm. And the kids responded. We are a very tough team that can deal with things like this.”

The last time the Red Raiders (29-2) were in this position was in 2001, when they finished things off and won the state title. Coatesville shot 32 for 63 from the field and they matched the taller Clippers, 38-38, in the battle of the boards. 

With Coatesville having a 17-point lead at halftime, it looked like the game was over. Coatesville was moving the ball around quickly to combat the Chester (22-7) zone defense, and when the Raiders were were not getting to the basket, Brickus was doing something marvelous.

But Chester made a run in the third quarter to make Coatesville squirm a little bit. The Clippers went on a 12-2 run early in the period period to draw within seven at 45-38. 

Coatesville’s (2) Jhamir Brickus is all smiles after hitting a basket despite getting knocked to the floor in the second half of quarter-finals of PIAA state playoffs against Chesterat Spring-Ford Saturday. Brickus had 52 points as Coatesville prevailed to advance to the semifinals. (PETE BANNAN – MNG)

Michael Smith, who led Chester with 25 points, started things off with a long 3-pointer. The Red Raiders turned the ball over four straight times down the floor, leading to the Chester comeback. When Javan Graham put in a follow, and it was suddenly a seven-point game, Thompson called timeout.

After that, the Red Raiders were able to keep it together, and finish off the athletic Clippers.

John Proctor, who tallied eight points for Coatesville, went baseline for a 48-39 lead. Chester came down the floor and turned the ball over, one of 15 Chester committed on the day. Coatesville got its bearings and started to assert itself on the glass. Tione Holmes put in two follows and Coatesville had a 52-41 lead that became a 64-44 lead after three quarters, putting the Red Raiders firmly in control.

“We played Coatesville basketball and every time they tried to pressure us, we came back harder,” Coatesville guard Dapree Bryant said. “We just took the life out of them.”

To the Clippers’ credit, they did not quit in the fourth quarter. Chester actually outscored Coatesville, 33-32, in the final frame, but could not get any closer than 16. The Red Raiders went on an 8-0 run midway through the final quarter, with Brickus and Bryant getting two baskets apiece.

“We just turned the ball over too much,” Chester coach Keith Taylor said. “And we did not block out under the boards, missed some free throws and they were the better team today.”

Coatesville 96, Chester 82

COATESVILLE (96): D.Brickus 0 1-2 3, J.Brickus 16 15-19, 52, Braynt 9 4-6 22, Holmes 2 0-0 4, Miller 1 1-2 4, Proctor 2 4-4 8, Santiago 1 0-0 2, Young 1 1-2 3. Totals 32 26-35 96.

CHESTER (82): Camacho 1 0-0 2, Smith 9 5-7 25, Carroll 4 1-3 9, Dejarnette 5 3-4 14, Gilbert 4 1-2 9, Graham 3 1-2 7, Masena 0 1-2 1, Taylor 6 3-5 15. Totals 32 15-25 82.

Coatesville 17 26 21 32 – 96

Chester 13 13 23 33 – 82

3-point goals: J.Brickus 5, Miller, Dejarnette, Smith 2.

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