WEST GOSHEN – Basketball is a game that is usually won by the team that plays at a tempo that is comfortable for them. Monday night at West Chester East High School, Pottstown shook off a first half that saw West Chester East slow the game down and take a one point lead into the locker room at intermission.
It was apparent that the Trojans were not comfortable in the half court game.
The second half was a far different tale as East shot too many 3-pointers and suffered through a 2-for-13 shooting nightmare in the third period. Pottstown upped the tempo, started to get out on the floor, ran and outscored the Vikings 18-6 in the period.
The Trojans went on to a 64-57 nonleague win over the Vikings. Pottstown was led by Rich Duvivier’s 26 points and Bryant Quill’s 23 points and eight rebounds.
“We talked at halftime about getting out on the floor and playing our game,’ Quill said. “We like to play up tempo and in the first half we played their game. In the second half we wanted to push the ball and they couldn’t keep up with us. And we don’t get tired because we run an awful lot in practice.’
Evan Anderson led the Vikings (2-3) with 29 points and Dom Steifel chipped in with 10 for East. In the first half, the Vikings shot 11-for-23 from the field, but most of those shots were from in tight and after a nice mixture of passes from a half court set.
East controlled the first half tempo and got 16 first half points from Anderson and some good inside play from Tyrone Richardson and Zae Murray. Anderson and three 3-balls in the half and East looked like they were going to beat the more athletic and taller Trojans.
But in the second half, East started to jack up more outside shots and the Vikings, a small team could not get the offensive rebounds and the Trojans (3-3) got out on the break, beating the East defenders down the floor. A nice alley-oop to Quill made it a 32-28 Trojans lead early in the third period. But, Steifel went strong to the hole to cut the lead to 32-30.
Pottstown followed with an 8-0 run to make it a 40-30 lead.
Quill swooped in from the left side for a layup to start the run. Jayce Beasley scored in tight and then hit two straight 3-pointers. One from Quill and one from Duvivier, who had four 3-pointers on the night, put the Trojans up 40-30.
Pottstown ended the third quarter with a 45-34 lead and had control of the game. The Trojans were beating the Vikings badly on the boards behind Quill and Beasley, who had nine rebounds for the game.
“We talked about not taking bad shots and penetrating to the basket at halftime,’ East coach Eric Anderson said. “And then two out of our first three shots in the third period were three pointers. We are a small team and long shots lead to long rebounds because we do not have that big horse inside to get the rebound.
“I think the guys got caught up in the game and lost sight of what we were trying to do tonight. And Pottstown is long and athletic and they got out on the floor and ran and a one point lead turned into a big deficit in no time.’
East did not quit however. Behind Anderson and Stiefel, the Vikings clawed their way back to 63-55 with just 28 seconds to play.
But Quill hit two free throws and the Trojans held the lead safe and came away with a nonleague win over a former Ches-Mont rival. Pottstown hurt their cause by turning the ball over six times in the fourth period but held on for the win.
“We have played four games in five nights, but we are in great shape and it was good to get the win the way we played tonight.’ Quill said.