Slow start dooms Upper Darby in playbacks against Coatesville

It took a half of basketball for Upper Darby’s shooting touch to come around. When it finally did Tuesday, it was too late for the Royals.

No. 8 Upper Darby trailed by as many as 16 points in a 64-55 setback at fifth-seeded Coatesville in the District 1 Class 6A fifth-place playbacks.

The loss sends the Royals (17-9) to the district’s seventh-place game against Norristown, which lost to Pennridge, 61-51. Despite the losing streak, the Royals have already qualified for the PIAA tournament.

Magd Abdelwahab heated up to hit four 3-pointers and score 16 points. Diby Keita canned two triples to tally 10 points. Mamadou Toure added 12 points, and Jalun Trent contributed 11. Upper Darby shot just 9-for-16 from the line.

Jhamir Brickus led No. 5 Coatesville with 22 points. Dapree Bryant chipped in 14, and Tyrel Bladen added 14 for the Red Raiders.

Upper Darby beat No. 7 Norristown, 75-43, in December. The winner of the seventh-place games gets the District 2/District 4 sub-regional champ in the first round of the state tournament, while the loser gets the District 12 winner.

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