Haverford School basketball nets success in Rogers’ first year

Haverford – Bernie Rogers knew any success he was hoping to have in his first season as head coach of the Haverford School basketball team was going to hinge on his quartet of seniors buying into the coaching staff’s philosophy.

With the seniors – Jack Marshall, Micah Sims, Tom McNamara and Jack Bellwoar – leading the way the Fords progressed throughout before seeing their season end in bittersweet fashion with a 59-53 loss to Episcopal in the quarterfinals of the Pennsylvania Independent Schools association tournament.

“Our kids gave great effort and progressed throughout the year,” said Rogers following the game against Episcopal. “We (the coaches) were fortunate to have a great group led by our seniors who bought in from the beginning. We had some rough patches in the beginning and had to play through some mistakes but it was a good year.”

Sims, who finished with four rebounds and one steal, added, “I thought it was very important we buy into the new coaching staff’s philosophy. The younger kids seem to follow the veteran players and if you seem disinterested then the younger kids may follow that lead. I got together with the other seniors and stressed the importance of buying in. I knew it was going to be a process but if we stuck together I knew we could get things done.”

Coming off of a victory over host Friends’ Central (No. 5 seed) Feb. 19, 12th-seeded Haverford School traveled to Episcopal (No. 4 seed) the following day and gave the hosts all they could handle before eventually coming up short.

With Haverford trailing 36-34 entering the final stanza, Ford freshman Gavin Burke quickly tied the score before EA took the lead for good thanks to a Matt Woods three-pointer. Despite Haverford staying within striking distance, it was the combination of EA’s Woods and Connor Delaney going 12-for-12 from the free throw line to help seal the win.

“As I mentioned, the coaching staff was fortunate to have four seniors who are great kids who wanted to be coached and craved to get better,” said Rogers. “I believe the way we ended our season beating Friends’ Central and playing with EA for 3 ½ quarters will show this team that playing together will let them know they have the ability to play with good teams.”

Haverford sophomore Kharon Randolph, who finished with a game-high 21 points, three points and two steals, added, “We would not be where we are without our seniors. They were extremely important and I could not have asked for anyone better. They were big for our success.”

Although Haverford’s season ended one week shorter than they would have hoped, there is optimism in the air for the Fords, with younger players who gained experience ready to take the reins.



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