ROYERSFORD >> The Coatesville boys basketball team had its sights set on making a serious run at the PIAA Class 6A title this season. The talented Red Raiders, though young, had plenty of reasons for optimism. But, sometimes that first step is the toughest to get by.
Coatesville was ushered out of the state playoffs by a energetic Carlisle team and superlative guard Deshawn Millington on Saturday afternoon at Spring-Ford High School. The senior star exploded for 21 points as the Red Raiders could not stay in front of him, and Carlisle came away with a 64-56 triumph ending their season.
“He is a very good and crafty guard who is very strong with the ball in his hands,” Coatesville coach Chuck Moore said of Millington. “We practiced all week on staying with him and I thought for the most part, my guys did a good job on him. We are a very young team and we have overcome that this year, but until you are in the intensity of the state playoffs, you do not really know what it is about. I thought we were a little hesitant on the offensive end.”
The Thundering Herd will face Lincoln, which beat Conestoga in overtime Saturday, in the second round on Wednesday.
Carlisle (19-8) held slim leads of 23-22 at halftime and 36-33 at the end of three, to set up a wild and frantic fourth period. The Herd started going to the basket and Millington and Ki Barnes, who added 14 points, took over the game. Carlisle made seven of 10 fourth-quarter shots from the field, and sank eight free throws to ice the win.
Tione Holmes, who came off the Coatesville (23-6) bench to score six points, put in a follow to trail, 46-42, with 3:38 to play. Millington took a feed from Gavyn Barnes, went strong to the basket and got fouled. He converted both free throws, and it was a 48-42 game. Holmes again came up big putting in another follow with 2:31 to play.
Barnes scored from in tight after a perfect feed from Millington, but Kamau Brickus kept Coatesvile close at 50-46 with less than two minutes to play.
“We held onto the lead with good ball handling and good free throw shooting,” Millington said. “It was a real tough game.”
Millington went strong to the hole again, beating Dapree Bryant off the dribble and hit one of two free throws for a 54-46 lead. Coatesville could not sink enough jumpers to come back, shooting 20-for-61 from the floor for the game, and 12-of-19 from the free-throw line. Jhamir Brickus, one of Coatesville’s better shooters was just four-for-17 from the field, while Bryant was 1-of-9.
After a mad scramble for a loose ball with Carlisle up, 61-53. Carlisle was awarded a time out. This ignited the Coatesville bench, and Moore was assessed a technical foul. Barnes hit both free throws and it was a 63-53 lead with 58 seconds to play.
“I don’t know why I got the technical foul,” Moore said. “Usually if I am going to get a technical, I want them to hear my best material. But, I have to be better at that and it should not have happened.”
Jhamir Brickus buried a three-pointer to make it 63-56, but time ran out on the Red Raiders.
“This loss really hurts right now,” Coatesville guard Hasaan Young said. “But, we have a bright future and we have a lot of guards coming back. Their number 15 (Millington) was a real good player for them and he got them the win.”
After the sudden end to their season the Red Raiders trudged out slowly from their locker room. Junior center Tyrel Bladen was left to sum up the season.
“This hurts, but we accomplished a lot this season,” Bladen said. “We accomplished a lot of things as a team and individually. We won the Ches-Mont championship and got to the district finals. We will be back next year.”
Carlisle 64, Coatesville 56
Carlisle: G. Barnes 2 1-2 5, K.Barnes 3 6-6 14, N. Barnes 4 1-2 9, Houston 2 1-3 5, Mastrangelo 0 0-0 0, Milligan 3 1-2 10, Millington 8 5-9 21. Totals 22 14-22 64.
Coatesville: Bladen 2 1-2 5, Boulware 2 0-0 4, J. Brickus 4 0-0 10, K. Brickus 2 0-2 4, Bryant 1 7-8 9, Clifford 0 0-01 0., Holmes 3 0-2 6, Aa. Young 0 0-0 0, Av.Young 2 0-1 4, H. Young 4 4-6 14. Totals 20 12-19 56.
Carlisle 11 13 12 27 – 64
Coatesville 11 11 11 23 – 56
3-point goals: J. Brickus 2, H. Young 2, Ki. Barnes 2, Houston, Milligan 3.