Huge third quarter puts Phoenixville past Souderton

PHOENIXVILLE — Phoenixville and Souderton were familiar with one another heading into Friday night’s opening round of the District 1-AAAA boys basketball playoffs.

The two squads had met each other frequently during summer league tournaments. This time, though, the stakes were bigger.

And in an intense contest from start to finish, the 15th-seeded Phantoms eliminated the 18th-seeded Indians, 64-56.

Phoenixville (18-6) advanced to the Sweet 16 where the Phantoms will face another familiar foe, Pioneer Athletic Conference champion Methacton, Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

Souderton saw its season come to an end with a 13-10 overall mark following a 9-5 run through the SOL.

Christian Kelly paced the Phantoms with 21 points while DeAndre Gadsden had 15 and Marquise McDuffee scored 14 with a pair of 3-pointers.

Evan Slone led Souderton with 17 points while Austin Eberhart had 14 and Tracy Simsick 13.

The game was tied at 21 at halftime.

The Phantoms then outscored the Indians 21-14 during the third quarter to take a 42-35 lead into the final stanza.

McDuffee buried two huge threes in the third and also turned a steal into a two more points at the other end of the court.

“Pressure defense was our number one key for all four quarters,’ said Phoenixville first-year head coach Eric Burnett, whose team moved up to Class AAAA this year. “The kids were non-stop. They knew what we were up against.’

The Phantoms pressured the Indians into 14 turnovers while turning it over just nine times themselves.

Phoenixville shot 19-for-44 from the field and 21-for-27 at the foul line.

Souderton shot 22-for-48 from the field and 8-for-17 at the foul line.

“We turned the ball over a little too much, and we missed some shots we usually make,’ said Souderton coach Pete Chimera. “They were physical and they put a lot of pressure on us.’

He said McDuffee drained some shots they did not expect and that Kelly is an outstanding player who has improved through his basketball career.

Chimera felt especially bad that his solid group of senior players couldn’t find a way to advance past the first round of districts. His group included Tim Markow, Slone, Steve Sosnowicz and Ben Wonderling.


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