Phillips powers Shanahan past Coatesville to take command of division

CALN — All it took for Grace Phillips was to read the Coatesville defense.

With Bishop Shanahan and Coatesville tied late in the fourth quarter, Phillips got the ball at the top of the key and was looking for Ciara Forde on the wing.

Forde wasn’t open, so Phillips took the matter into her own hands.

“They were overplaying, so if I caught the ball quick and ripped and I’d be able to get to the basket,’ Phillips said. “Since everyone was faceguarding, there was no help. I had a wide open lane.’

Phillips beat the defender with a quick move and drove down the left side for a layup that gave the Eagles the lead for good with under three minutes to play. She finished with 13 points as Bishop Shanahan survived a missed jumper by Brianna White as time expired to hold on to a 51-49 victory over Coatesville in a Ches-Mont League National Division game Thursday night.

The win gives the Eagles (9-0 league, 16-1 overall) full control of the division with three league games remaining. Shanahan is up two over Downingtown East and two-and-a-half games over Coatesville.

Due to the Eagles sweeping the season series with both teams, a win Tuesday over Avon Grove will clinch the school’s first National Division title.

With the loss, the Red Raiders (5-3 league, 13-4 overall) fall a game-and-a-half behind Downingtown East, a 63-38 winner over West Chester East, for the second and final playoff spot in the division.

Coatesville give Shanahan its best shot at knocking the Eagles from the unbeaten ranks in league play, but could not stop Phillips in the final minutes.

As Shanahan head coach Fran Burbidge put it, Phillips wanting to make those plays was the difference.

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