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Church Farm falls short against Class 2A favorite Executive Education

The Church Farm basketball team knew it was in a very tough spot Saturday afternoon against PIAA Class 2A title favorite and District 11 champion Executive Education Academy.

The Griffins did the one thing they did not want to do as Church Farm got behind the talented Wildcats early and trailed 18-6, at the end of the first quarter. Behind the 14 points from Sonel Jimenz, the 11 points from Reggie Phifer and 10 points from Eli Johnson, the underdog Griffins fought back to make it a game agains the heavy favorites, getting the lead down to five points with three minutes to play in the fourth, but Executive Education pulled away late for the 55-43 win.

“All week we stressed the importance of controlling tempo, transition defense and taking care of the basketball,” Church Farm coach Jonathan Guarente said. “Unfortunately we didn’t do a great job of that in the first period but I thought once we settled in, the kids’ execution improved. Ultimately, the first quarter was our demise, but I was proud of our effort.

“As a first-year coach, getting your team to buy in is the No. 1 thing that has to happen before anything else matters,” Guarente said. “My team has trusted me since the beginning and I can’t thank them enough for that. To begin the year, we had only one returning player with any varsity experience. With four juniors from the starting lineup returning and a whole host of promising underclassmen rising next year, the future is bright at Church Farm.”

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