La Salle punches ticket to state tournament

PHILADELPHIA — The La Salle boys basketball team entered Thursday night’s game against George Washington knowing that it needed a win to earn a trip to the PIAA Class-AAAA state playoffs.

The Explorers took care of business and cruised to a 73-44 win at Southern High School in Philadelphia.

It took La Salle the entire first quarter before it really got going. As the final seconds of the first frame ticked off, the Explorers defense forced a turnover and guard Shawn Witherspoon hit a three-point runner to turn a four-point deficit into a 17-16 game through eight minutes.

From that moment on, it was La Salle’s game. The Explorers outscored the Eagles 16-10 in the second quarter, with all the points coming from Witherspoon, Dave Krmpotich and Najee Walls, 21-10 in the third and 19-7 in the fourth.

Krmpotich scored a game high 21 points, Witherspoon added 17 and Walls tallied 13.

Quadere Allen paced George Washington with 12 points, Asante Ali scored 10 and Elmange Watson added nine.

The Explorers led by as many as 31 before the final seconds ticked away in the fourth, a quarter that saw eight different La Salle players score.

In the third, George Washington was still hanging around, trailing by seven, 40-33. Krmpotich made an acrobatic reverse layup and Witherspoon followed with back-to-back baskets to extend the lead to 13.

A few possessions later, the Explorers lead grew further. Ryan McTamney made only two baskets in the game, but they were back-to-back third quarter threes that put La Salle ahead by 17, its largest lead at the time.In the opening quarter, the Eagles opened the game on a 7-2 run. Ali made a basket, Watson a three and Charles Brown a jumper to get the game started. La Salle called for time and less than a minute later the teams were tied at seven.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply