Plymouth Whitemarsh turns up defense to beat Upper Moreland

WHITEMARSH >> Plymouth Whitenarsh basketball coach Jm Donofrio hasn’t quite figured  out his team this season.

But he knows one thing — the Colonials play defense like a hungry bear pursuing  a steak.

Surprisingly down three points to visiting Upper Moreland Friday night, PW clamped down, turned up the heat and by game’s end had a 59-49 win that kept them unbeaten in Suburban One League American Conference play and in the running for yet another SOL American championship.

“Our season, so far, has centered around our high-paced defense heat,” Donofrio said after the Colonials rallied behind Matt Walker’s 16 points and 14 and 13 points, respectively, from Ahmad and Ahmin Williams. “I think the only thing that separates us from the rest of the league is that we have another gear we can go to defensively.”

And Friday night, they needed it.

Up comfortably throughout the first half, PW hit a rut to open the second half, and the Bears made a run, eventually taking a three-point lead midway through the third.

But from that point, the Colonials found that next gear defensively.

“We gave up around four or five good looks,” Donofrio said, “and that cut into our lead.

“But you can win a lot of games just by playing shut-down defense. Just ask Chester.”

“We were doing a nice job of spacing them out,” said Upper Moreland head coach Matt Heiland. “But they hit a couple of tough shots and did a good job off the boards.”

The Bears, who got a team-high 16 points from Shane Stone and another 12 from Ryan Coyle, on this night that extra gear defensively was too much for the Bears to overcome.

A Walker three-pointer extended the Colonials lead to 43-37, and the Bears wouldn’t get closer the rest of the way.

“That’s the one thing the kids are terrific at, they can defend.

“And tonight that won us the ballgame.”

Plymouth Whitemarsh 59, Upper Moreland 49
Upper Moreland 10 12 16 11 – 49
Plymouth Whitemarsh  16 10 17 16 – 59
Upper Moreland: Casey Decker 0 0-0 0; Damian Washington 2 2-2 7; Ryan Coyle 5 2-3 12; Shane Stone 6 4-6 16; Jake Villanueva 3 2-2 8; Brett Brossman 2 0-0 6; Anthony Green 0 0-0 0; Christian O’Donnell 0 0-0 0   Totals 18 10-13 49.
Plymouth Whitemarsh: Matt Walker 6 0-0 16; Ahman Williams 6 1-2 14; Ahmad Williams 6 1-2 13; Cheo Houston 1 0-0 2; Naheem McLeod 1 0-2 2; Ish Horn 0 0-0 0; Jason Paul 1 0-0 2; Kareem Breeden 2 0-0 4; Danny Cooper 0 4-4 4.. Totals 23  6-10 59.
3-pointers: Walker 4; Ahman  Williams; Brossman 2; Washington.

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