Coatesville falters in fourth quarter as District 1-6A title slips away against Abington

RADNOR >> Dreams die hard and fast on the hardwood, and Coatesville’s dream of a District 1 Class 6A boys basketball title went up in flames Saturday night at Villanova, compliments of a furious fourth quarter surge by Abington, as the Ghosts downed the Red Raiders 57-51 in a thrilling district final.

Abington (23-4) outscored the Red Raiders 24-18 and started the period on an 11-0 run to break the game open. Abington senior Robbie Heath had a sensational game with 30 points and six assists as he ignited the surge with 12 fourth quarter points.

Coatesville was led by Jhamir Brickus with 12 points, while fellow freshman Dapree Bryant added 10 points. Coatesville (23-5) limited Abington’s sophomore big man Eric Dixon to just 10 points, less than half his season average of 21, as Joe Boulware and Tyrel Bladen worked hard to blanket the Ghosts’ star.

“This is a great feeling,” Heath said. “They were double teaming Eric and it opened some things for me. Our intensity really picked up in the last period.”

The Ghosts shot 20 for 41 on the night, compared to the Red Raiders’ 20 for 44, but Abington was a red hot six for 11 in the final period, while Coatesville went five for 15 in the fourth. The teams were tied at halftime and at the end of the third quarter, but fourth-quarter turnovers did in the Red Raiders.

“It feels great to win this title for the community,” Dixon said. “We picked up the intensity in the fourth period and got some easy baskets.”

Abington celebrates with the trophy after defeating Coatesville in the District 1 Class 6A title game on Saturday, March 4, 2017. (Sam Stewart/Digital First Media)

An alley-oop from Heath to Joe O’Brien started the fourth period and ignited the near-capacity crowd at the Pavilion. That was followed by the first of five Coatesville turnovers in the period. Heath scored on a run out to make it a 37-33 game and Abington seized the momentum of the game right there.

Coatesville missed its first seven field goal attempts in the fourth and the Ghosts assumed control. Heath stole an inbound pass, drove he floor to score, got fouled and converted the free throw for a 40-33 lead.

“We are a young team and we may have panicked a little there,” Coatesville coach Chuck Moore said. “I maybe should have done a better job managing the clock in the fourth period. We took bad shots and they scored on run outs.”

Coatesville did not quit, however, and when Avery Young hit one free throw, it was a 48-39 Ghost lead. But the night belonged to Heath, who promptly drove to the basket and scored, as Abington cruised the rest of the way toward the title.

The young Red Raiders now look forward to the PIAA tournament, where they will face Carlisle next Saturday at a time and place to be determined.

“We just turned the ball over in the fourth period,” Jhamir Brickus said. “ And that led to them getting some easy baskets. But it was still a great feeling playing for the district title in my freshman year.”

Abington 57, Coatesville 51
Abington: Young 1 1-2 3, Heath 10 9-11 30, Brown 0 1-2 1, Dougherty 0 1-2 1, Monroe 2 2-4 6, O Brien 3 0-0 6, Dixon 4 1-4 10. Totals 20 15-25 57.
Coatesville: Bladen 3 2-2 8, Boulware 3 0-0 6, K.Brickus 3 1-2 7, J. Brickus 5 2-4 12, Bryant 4 2-2 10, A.Young 0 1-2 1, H.Young 1 2-2 5, Holmes 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 10-14 51.
Coatesville    13    9    9    18 – 51
Abington    11    13    9    24 – 57
3-point goals: Heath, Dixon.

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