PW foot soldiers help win the District war

PHILADELPHIA->>Sure, you’ll look at Friday night’s 68-57 Plymouth Whitemarsh win over Chester in the PIAA District One Class AAAA final at the Liacouras Center and point to the scoring of Xzavier Malone, the cool of Oakley Spencer and the hustle of both Ahmin and Ahmad Williams and figure they were the primary reason the Colonials were lifting the program’s sixth District One trophy.
But while that quartet played no small role in the victory, the likes of Grady Minick, Matt Walker, Kevin Ashenfelter and Naheem McLeod were equally vital to the effort.
Minick came off the bench to stick a pair of jumpers at the outset of the second half, Walker hit a key three in the fourth quarter, Ashenfelter made three-of-four free throws down the stretch in the fourth quarter and McLeod ate some valuable minutes with Mike Lotito in foul trouble, and got himself a fourth-quarter basket.
“We’re a team now and everybody has a role,” said Colonials head coach Jim Donofrio after the celebration died down and he had a chance to congratulate his team in the confines of the locker room. “You start at the beginning of the year and you start to define roles, and these guys know theirs now.
“This is PW and in our good years we’re going to be in the hunt for district and state titles. By now, these guys know what’s expected of them.”
And what’s expected is nothing less than everyone’s best.
“This is a good team,” said guard Oakley Spencer. “We have a lot of depth, and if our top guys aren’t playing well we know we can count on our bench.
”We know we can depend on those guys, and you saw that tonight.”
First up was Minick, who opened the third quarter with a pair of jumpers that kept the Colonials within range.
Next up was Walker, who didn’t hesitate when he had an open look at a three-ball in the fourth quarter.
He swished it, and didn’t blink.
“I was a little nervous,” Walker admitted, “but I knew I might get the call because of Mike being in foul trouble.
“Coach always tells us to do what you do best. The shot was there, and I took it.”
“That’s the way this team is, everybody’s ready when they get the call.”
“In the end, we believe we outlast people,” Spencer said. “We go as hard as we can in practice, and everybody knows their role.”
Friday night, with nothing less than the district title on the line, the Colonials played their roles.
And their success in doing so had a lot to do with the team that got to hug the trophy at the end of the game.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply