Gordon’s jumper at buzzer lifts Downingtown West over Downingtown East


DOWNINGTOWN >> George Gordon knew he did not have a lot of time to get the shot off.

After all, Downingtown West inbounded the ball under the Downingtown East basket with just 5.6 seconds to play in a tie game Thursday night. But, the Whippets’ Wayne Anderson did a great job bringing the ball up the floor with the Cougars’ Malik Slay right at his flank.

Anderson crossed half court, spotted Gordon to the left of the lane, hit him with a perfect pass and Gordon banked in the game-winner, sending the Whippet bench spilling onto the court and giving the Whippets a thrilling 44-42 Ches-Mont League National Division win, much to the delight of most of the fans at Wagner Gymnasium.


“To tell you the truth, I was playing pretty bad tonight,” Gordon said. “But Will Howard, Wayne Anderson and the rest of my teammates picked me up and the coaches did too. I was just thinking I had to get the shot up in a hurry and it went in. Wayne did a great job getting me the ball. It is great to beat East but we take things one game at a time and now we have Academy Park on Saturday. And we want to get into the Final Four and the district playoffs so this really helps.”

Gordon scored 10 points to go along with eight rebounds, but his shot might have saved the Whippets’ postseason hopes. The win puts the Whippets (5-3 Ches-Mont, 9-7 overall) into the top 12 in the Class 6A playoff race and keeps their Ches-Mont Final Four hopes alive. The loss was Downingtown East’s (4-3, 11-4) fourth in the last five games and drops the Cougars into third place in the National Division race behind Coatesville and Bishop Shanahan.

The game was a see-saw event from the start, with both teams going at each other hard for the entire 32 minutes. No team had a lead larger than six, and after three periods West had a slim 30-27 advantage. The Cougars’ efforts were fueled by freshman Andrew King, who led all scorers with 17 points and he also hauled in 10 rebounds. Slay had 15 points for the Cougars.

Freshman Will Howard came off the West bench and chipped in with 13 points to lead the Whippets.

The fourth quarter was a classic as East outscored the Whippets 15-14 and the teams dove for every loose ball and contested every rebound like rabid dogs going after fresh meat. Slay went strong to the basket to cut the West lead to 38-36 with 3:54 left. After a West miss, Slay was fouled and hit one of two free throws to make it a 38-37 West lead. West then turned the ball over, but the Cougars Wills Montgomery misfired on a 3-pointer and Matt Carson scored in tight for a 40-37 Whippet advantage.

After Ryan Cahill sank a free throw for East, the Whippets turned the ball over and Slay scored to make it a 40-40 game with 1:38 to play. Carson missed a jumper and East brought the ball down the court before Gordon fouled Slay, who hit both free throws for a 42-20 lead. Gordon took a feed from Anderson to score in the lane to tie the game at 42, setting up the West heroics. But first East had a possession, and Slay drove the lane out of control and the ball went out of bounds under the East basket, leading to a timeout by Whippet coach Stu Ross.

“We drew up a play for Matt Carson but when they dropped a man back we told the kids to just look for the open man,” Ross said. “I am very emotional right now because these kids have given me everything since I took the job in May. They are a great group and to beat East like that is very emotional.”

Anderson, who had six points and six assists on the night, talked about the last play when he drove the ball hard up the floor and found Gordon for the game winner.

“I still had three seconds when I hit half court so if no one was open I was going to take the shot myself,” Anderson said. “But, I saw George and he got it done. We needed this win becasue East beat us in the first game and we did not want to be the first West team to lose twice to them.”

Notes >> West shot 17 for 38 from the field while the Cougars shot 15 for 43.

Downingtown West 44, Downingtown East 42

DOWNINGTOWN EAST: Slay 5 5-6 15, Montgomery 1 0-0 3, Desrocher 1 0-0 2, Mujica 0 2-2 2, Cahill 1 1-2 3, King 7 2-2 17, Hernandez 0 0-0 0, Wetzel 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 10-12 42.

DOWNINGTOWN WEST: Anderson 2 1-1 6, Carson 3 1-1 7, Gordon 5 0-0 10, Barton 2 2-2 6, Reardon 1 0-0 2, Howard 4 4-4 13, White 0 0-0 0, Lattanzi 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 8-8 44.

Downingtown East 12 4 11 15 – 42

Downingtown West 9 13 8 14 – 44

3-point goals: Montgomery, King, Anderson, Howard.

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