UWCHLAN >> The milestone meant a lot to Coatesville boys basketball coach Marc Turner.
But for a coach with a resume like Turner has, the victory meant more.
In his second year at Coatesville, Turner picked up the 400th win of his Pennsylvania high school coaching career, as the Red Raiders played clamp down defense and handled Downingtown East, 54-41, in Ches-Mont League National Division action.
Turner had a long and successful run as the coach down the road at the Church Farm School before a hiatus from high school hoops and then the job at Coatesville.
Coatesville was in command of Thursday’s game from the first quarter on, and the Red Raiders (2-0 league, 2-1 overall) harassed the Cougars (1-1,1-1) into a 12 for 46 shooting nightmare from the field. East did not help its cause as they missed many layups in tight.
Turner talked about the lofty plateau he achieved after the win.
“All this means is that I have had many wonderful basketball players at Church Farm School and Coatesville,” Turner said. “And also I had many talented and loyal assistant coaches at Church Farm School and Coatesville. I have been very fortunate and tonight we beat John Goodman, who was a long-time assistant for me at Church Farm. I have been very fortunate to have great people around me. Tonight we got to get a lot of people in the game and that is a good thing because we are a young team and they need experience for games later in the season.”
Coatesville was trailing 18-16 early in the second quarter when the Red Raiders outscored Downingtown East 6-0 in a blink of the eye with baskets from Jaeden Brickus, who led all scorers with 13 points, and two baskets from senior Zaire Harley, who finished with six points. Coatesville took a 27-20 lead into intermission, outscoring the Cougars 14-6 in the second quarter. The Cougars were zero for six from the field in the second period.
Things did not really get much better for Downingtown East in the third as the Cougars went scoreless from the field until 1:56 remained in the third quarter. Abdul Sabur Stewart, the heart and soul of this Red Raider team, drained two long 3-pointers and Coatesville took a commanding 38-23 lead late in the period, sending Coatesville to a big 42-28 lead after three quarters.
Coatesville outscored the Cougars 29-14 in the middle two frames.
“I like to bring a lot of energy to the team in practice and during the games,” Stewart said. “And tonight we played real good defense and kept them off-balance. Last game I did not get to bring the energy to the team but tonight I really wanted to be that. We got a big lead and then got a little lazy and we can’t do that. We have to go 24/7 the entire game. And it was a great win for coach Turner. He did not tell anybody about going for 400.”
Sabur-Stewart was talking about Downingtown East clawing to within 42-32 with 4:32 to play in the fourth period. Baskets by Vishal Suthakar and George Bousum cut the Coatesville lead to 10 points. But, after a Red Raider timeout, Duce Jackson scored on a follow and after a Joe Belbin miss, the Red Raiders came down the floor and got a basket by Stewart down low and the Red Raiders righted the ship and went on to the historic win.
“We played very hard and without Jayden Rowe we were trying to mix it up a little,” Downingtown East coach John Goodman said. “And it doesn’t help that the first game after his injury is a good team like Coatesville that played good defense tonight. But, I have to do a better job of helping the kids on the offensive end of the floor.”
Coatesville 54, Downingtown East 41
COATESVILLE (54): Sabur-Stewart 3 2-4 10, Taylor 0 1-3 1, A.Gregg 1 0-0 2, Brickus 6 1-1 13, Marshall 3 0-0 6, Harley 3 0-0 6, McNeil 0 1-2 1, Miller 2 0-0 5, Jackson 4 1-2 10. Totals 22 6-12 54.
DOWNINGTOWN EAST (41): Belbin 2 0-0 5, Datil 1 4-5 6, Shanahan 4 0-1 9, Bousum 2 2-2 6, McClatchy 1 2-3 4, Suthakar 2 3-4 7, Milon 0 1-2 1, Duncheskie 1 1-5 3, Delphais 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 13-22 41.
Coatesville 13 14 15 12 – 54
Downingtown East 14 6 8 13-41
3-point goals: Sabur-Stewart 2, Miller, Jackson, Belbin, Shanahan.