Desrocher’s buzzer-beater lifts Downingtown East past downs Boyertown

EXTON >> Boyertown’s Jerry Kapp owned the second quarter.

Downingtown East’s Jaret Cooper owned much of the third quarter.

But it was the Cougars’ Jarred Desrocher who decided the game — in the final second.

Cooper bought Desrocher the moment he’ll never forget Saturday afternoon in a highly competitive PAC-10 vs. Ches-Mont clash. Isolating on the high perimeter as the clock wound down, Cooper drove the lane, drew help defenders, and pitched the ball in the deep right corner to designated shooter Desrocher, a junior reserve who hadn’t scored all day. Desrocher launched a three-pointer with 1.0 second left, and the buzzer sounded just after the ball whistled through the net for a 51-48 Downingtown East victory.

Boyertown (10-7 overall) had defended well in the final minute after the Bears’ Ben Longacre tied it at 48 with two free throws at the 1:06 mark. Cooper couldn’t get free, but once he hit the lane he found Desrocher for the kill shot.

“Their player stepped up and made a shot,” Boyertown coach Mike Ludwig said. “At the end of the game, he hit a 22-foot jumpshot to win it. The penetration was good, we helped out well, and their kid made a shot.”

It was a back-and-forth contest with Kapp and Cooper leading the momentum surges.

Sophomore Kapp scored a game-high 29 points and was particularly lights-out in the second quarter, scoring all 14 Boyertown points in that span. Driving and drawing fouls, he was 9-for-9 from the foul line in the period. He also made a conventional three-point play and a step-back 3 from the key in the quarter, carrying the Bears offensively while aggressive Bears forward Marcus Thomas had some foul trouble and went scoreless the first half.

For the game, Kapp was 14-of-16 from the free throw line.

“He has the ability to do a lot of different things on the basketball court,” Ludwig said of Kapp. “I was glad to see that he got to the basket a little bit more and worked himself to the foul line.”

“I do believe we overcame some things,” Kapp said. “We missed some opportunities we could’ve capitalized on, but having Marcus out, that’s a big deal. He carries a lot weight on this team. At the end we defended and defended, we helped off, and the kid just made a big shot.”

After a slow start that saw Boyertown down 12-8 after the first quarter, Kapp brought them to a 22-20 lead at halftime. It was then Cooper’s turn to assert himself.

A quick, explosive senior guard, Cooper got to the basket numerous times in the third quarter as the Cougars, much as the Bears had strategized for Kapp, ran clear-outs for him.

“He’s a quick guard. Even when you come to help, he has a nice hesitation and can still attack, and he got to the basket tonight,” Ludwig said.

Cooper scored nine of his 22 in the third period and added six in the fourth. Point guard Malik Slay added 12 points for the game for D-East (7-6 overall), whose backcourt carried them while bigs Will Peiffer and Ryan Cahill had foul trouble (Peiffer still managed 10 points).

There were five ties and three lead changes in the second half. Kapp’s pull-up three-pointer in transition, then three-point play on a drive that drew contact put Boyertown down one, 35-34, after three quarters.

Thomas and usually strong-scoring Bear Ben Longacre began making offensive impact in the second half. Along with Kapp, that big three for Boyertown would score all the Bears’ 26 second-half points.

Down six, 41-35, early in the fourth, Boyertown fought back. Two Kapp free throws, and a Kapp trey followed by a Cougar turnover and a steal/three-point sequence by Thomas enabled the Bears to re-take the lead, 43-41, with 4:48 to play.

But Cooper again drove for a bucket, and the Downingtown East bigs got big baskets to counter Kapp and Thomas. Peiffer’s layup off a driving baseline dish from Cahill gave the Cougars a 48-46 lead before Longacre answered with two free throws.

Then came the final answer from a little-used shooter in the deep corner.

“Our team battles, we fight,” Ludwig said. “Even when things don’t go our way, we continue to work. The ball didn’t bounce our way at the end of the game. That happens.”


Downingtown East128151651


10Tom Randall00000
12Eric Spohn00000
14Jack McCloskey11203
15Ryan Meier00000
22Sean Tamasitis00000
23Jerry Kapp61416329
32Ben Longacre23507
33Marcus Thomas33309

Downingtown East

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