CHESTER — In his time at Strath Haven, Jack Edwards has gotten used to feeling out the space that Jaden Jauregui creates around him.
When Jauregui gets going like he did in the fourth quarter Tuesday night against Chester Charter Scholars Academy, defenders naturally gravitate toward the Strath Haven guard. But when they overcompensate or get too preoccupied, Edwards and his teammates are ready to step up.
Jauregui scored 10 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter. But two plays that didn’t directly involve him – a 3-pointer by Chase Nangle and a baseline blow-by from Edwards – ultimately sealed a quality, 61-58, nonleague win for the Panthers.
“Jaden obviously is great off the ball, on the ball, hitting shots,” Edwards said. “So when he drives to the hole and hits a jump stop, obviously other guys on the team can shoot. We did that perfectly tonight: Chase Nangle had some 3s, and Chase hit me for some 3s.”
For a while in the fourth, Strath Haven (7-8) stood back and watched Jauregui work. That’s how they recouped a nine-point third-quarter deficit, a Jauregui triple early in the fourth putting them up 47-45.
A Jauregui 3-pointer with three minutes to play, followed by a Nangle feed to Blayke Reid, put Haven up 56-50. But Chester Charter answered with a quick 6-0 run, JaBryl Bennett hitting a 3-point play, then one of two at the line before a Kevin Miller up-and-under lay-in tied the game with 2:07 left.
What helped separate the Panthers was something literally missing in the early part of the season: Nangle. The senior, who missed eight games, banked home a 28-footer at the third-quarter horn. With the game tied at 56 and the defense shading toward Jauregui in the left corner, Jauregui swung the ball through Liam Szybist at the foul line to find Nangle on the right wing for the go-ahead triple.
Add in a key chase down after a Bennett steal – Nangle thought he got a clean block but instead fouled Bennett, leading to one at the line instead of a momentum-turning deuce – and his impact was clear.
“Chase, he’s a dog. I love his energy,” Edwards said. “If he scores two, four points a game, it doesn’t matter. On the defensive end, he’s always picking up his teammates at all times and always wants to win.”
Edwards, who scored 12 points, answered a floater by Jayden Williams with a strong drive on the baseline off an inbounds to make it 61-58. The teams traded turnovers and a missed front-end by Haven before Jauregui stole an inbounds pass in front of the Sabers bench with three seconds left.
The Sabers (12-2) committed 15 turnovers, which is what Miller and company left their gym lamenting most, especially with them expecting Haven’s 1-3-1 press.
“We practiced that yesterday,” Miller said. “But we had to just come together as a team and make sure everyone was in the right spots for a pass and not going over-the-top passes instead of using more bounce passes.”
Miller led the Sabers with 18 points. Bennett had 12, Williams 11. Azarhis Smith was limited to four points but grabbed nine rebounds, and Samaad Powell paired six points with seven boards.
For a team that has breezed through its independent schedule, Tuesday presented a chance for the Class A Sabers to make a statement against 5A opposition. They made a convincing if incomplete case.
“I guess we got a little too deep into the game and got a little bit selfish toward the end when the game started to get close,” Miller said. “But other than that, I think we played a good game as a team. We’ve got to come back in practice and make it better.”
Jauregui finished with 24 points, nine rebounds, three steals and three assists. Jahi Curtis grabbed seven rebounds to go with eight points, and Nangle paired eight points with a team-best four assists.
That was enough to nab a vital road win.
“We knew that Chester Charter was 12-1, they’re a tough team,” Edwards said. “But these last three practices we had, we’ve been working hard for this game. They were a tough team, but I think we were tougher tonight.”
In other nonleague action:
Marple Newtown 64, Delco Christian 52 >> Matt Gardler went 11-for-13 from the line on the way to 29 points as the Tigers claimed a back-and-forth affair. Steven Tansey added 11 points, and Corrado Fischetti added 10 for Marple, which led 13 after one quarter but saw that Knights rally back to tie the game after three quarters.
Josiah Gaines led DC (7-6) with 13 points. Beau Lyren chipped in 12.
Radnor 50, Holy Ghost Prep 35 >> Jackson Hicke threatened a double-double with 19 points and nine rebounds, plus three steals and three blocks as the Raptors picked up their 14th straight win.
Jackson Gaffney added nine points. Charlie Thornton tossed in eight points.
In the Del Val League:
Chester 73, Interboro 50 >> Terrence Cobb scored 20 points as Chester led wire-to-wire. Dante Atkinson added 13 points, Breilynd White chipped in 12 and Jerry Young paired four points with 12 rebounds.
Dom Gunter led Interboro with 16 points. Nadir Ali added 14, and Josh Lloyd scored 12.
In the Ches-Mont League:
Sun Valley 51, W.C. Rustin 48 >> Noah Griffin had a career night with 29 points as the Vanguards took down a league rival. Bucky Grayston added seven points and eight rebounds.
In the Inter-Ac League:
Episcopal Academy 59, Springside Chestnut Hill 52 >> Kevin McCarthy scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the middle two quarters, in which the Churchmen ran up a 27-17 edge that decided the game. EA also went 10-for-11 from the line in the fourth quarter to preserve the win.
TJ Lamb and Tyler Beaulieu scored 12 points apiece.
Germantown Academy 52, Haverford School 48 >> Luke Rasmussen tallied a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, but the Fords fell. Billy Rayer added 13 points, and Duke Cloran tossed in a dozen.
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