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Delco Christian edges Dock Mennonite on Kees’ buzzer-beating 3

TOWAMENCIN >> As the final seconds ticked away, Earle Greer could not get an open look at the basket. But the Delco Christian boys basketball junior saw someone who did.

“I pumped fake and I saw Jace (Kees) in the corner of my eye and just threw it,” Greer said.

Greer sent a crosscourt pass to the left wing to a waiting Kees, who put a 3-pointer over an out-coming leap of a Dock Mennonite defender and hit nothing but net with two seconds left in regulation. The clock ran out before the Pioneers could inbound the ball, and the visiting Knights claimed a 47-44 victory.

“All of us are just shooters so I was going to pass it to anybody if they were in that situation,” Greer said. “I don’t care who it was, because we’re just a team full of shooters. That’s what we do.”

Kees’ buzzer-beater sent Dock (11-6) to its third straight loss, but Pioneers coach Mike Fergus liked the spark his team competed with as it completes in remaining regular-season schedule and gets ready to face the District 11 champ in a PIAA Class 3A subregional March 17.

“Tonight, we had motivation cause it was Senior Night and it was our archrival and we played well tonight,” Fergus said. “But that’s what it’s been, we’re just playing games. And they don’t mean a whole lot. And sometimes for us, with my kids anyway, I didn’t feel like we have motivation until tonight. Tonight we played much better.”

Playing for the second time in five days – Delco taking the teams’ first matchup last Friday 69-64 – Tuesday’s non-league contest with tight throughout the second half while a few late calls left Dock a bit frustrated.

The second of two foul shots with 2:02 left in regulation looked to have Dock level at 41 but the free throw was waved off due to a shooter violation. The Pioneers, however, took a 42-41 lead on a Steve Martin steal and fast-break layup.

After a Delco Christian miss, Dock forced a jump ball in the corner, the possession arrow favoring the Pioneers with 1:18 left. Martin, however, was called for a technical foul following the play for his fifth and final foul.

The Knights (10-4) missed both technical free throws, but Josh Dell’Arciprete drained a corner 3-pointer off a Josh Parks assist, putting Delco Christian up 44-42 with 1:03 remaining. Tomir Johnson pulled Dock even in the final minute, driving the baseline then cutting in from a hanging layup.

Delco Christian brought the ball into its half of the court and called timeout with 10 seconds. Dock used a foul with seven seconds, setting up a baseline inbounds. Greer sent the ball into Parks, who passed it back to Greer – the junior taking a dribble past a defender but could not get completely free, instead finding Kees on the opposite wing for the game-winner and his only three points of the night.

“You got to give those kids credit for hitting big shots on the road,” said Fergus of DC’s late threes. “But if you’d of told me that those two were taking the shot at the end of the game and not the others, I’d of took that anytime. And the one shot was contested – Roman (Kuhn) was right up on him. The one at the end of the game was semi-contested.”

Greer scored a game-high 21 points – collecting nine in the second quarter then added another seven in the third.

“Couldn’t really hit that many 3-pointers so decided to just drive, see if I could get a couple fouls, and I got a couple,” Greer said.

Dell’Arciprete hit three 3-pointers in registering nine points while Parks chipped in nine points for Delco Christian, which has won six of seven. The Knights are first in the District 1 Class 2A power rankings with the top two teams playing for the district title March 10.

“We’re trying to win states” Greer said. “We’re trying to win everything we can win – BAL, districts, even states. We’re not going to stop. It’s a perfect time.”

Martin had 11 points to pace Dock Mennonite, which visits Holy Ghost Prep 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Teddy McAllister and Nathan Lapp both finished with nine points – McAllister connecting on a trio of 3-pointers in the first half.

“I feel like tonight we came back and played the kind of game, the defensive game that we’re capable of playing,” Fergus said. “And that’s a good team, they’re going to the district final and they’re a big rival of us so I felt like tonight even though it was a hard loss, it felt like we played better than we’ve played in the last three games.”

Both teams got off to slow offensive starts, the Pioneers scoring the last seven points of the first quarter to lead 10-4 after a McAllister triple.

Martin’s jumper and a Hoyt Bultje basket put the Pioneers up 22-13 before Delco Christian ended the first half with an 8-0 run. Greer made two free throws at 1:03 then converted a three-point play after his putback with 34 seconds. Dell’arciprete corner three just before the buzzer made it 22-21 at halftime.

“Usually when we play people we backdoor people all over the place and they just played off of us so much and dared us to shoot threes,” Fergus said. “And we kind of settled early for too many threes and as the game went on we started driving better.”

The Knights stretched the run to 12-0 with baskets from Jordan Mitchell and Greer to open the third had the visitors leading 25-22. However, Dock regained the lead with a 7-0 burst – the last five by Martin on a 3-pointer and jumper that made it 31-27 Pioneers.

Parks’ basket on a dive had Delco Christian down 33-32 at the end of the third. A Dell’Arciprete’s trey and two more from Parks put the Knights up 37-33 early in the fourth.

A Greer three-point play on a baseline drive had the DC advantage at 40-35 with 3:39 remaining. But Dock answered with a 7-1 run – Martin Eurostepping his way to a layup after steal, giving the home side its final lead at 42-41.

Delco Christian 47, Dock Mennonite 44
Delco Christian 4 17 11 15 – 47
Dock Mennonite 10 12 11 11 – 44
Delco Christian: Earle Greer 7 6-8 21; Josh Dell’Arciprete 3 0-0 9; Josh Parks 4 0-2 9; Jordan Mitchell 2 1-2 5; Jace Kees 1 0-0 3; 17 7-12 47.
Dock Mennonite: Steve Martin 5 0-0 11; Nathan Lapp 3 3-4 9; Teddy McAllister 3 0-0 9; Hoyt Bultje 3 0-0 6; Roman Kuhn 2 0-0 5; Tomir Johnson 1 0-0 2; Rodney Willis 1 0-2 2; Totals 18 3-6 44
3-pointers: DC-Dell’Arciprete 3, Greer, Kees, Parks; DM-McAllister 3, Kuhn, Martin.

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