WESTTOWN >> One familiar foe down. Another to go.
Fourth-seeded West Chester Rustin was already a slight favorite heading into Tuesday night’s District 1 Class 5A playoff game against No. 5 Bishop Shanahan. But with the Eagles missing seven varsity players due to COVID-19 protocols, it was up to a pair of Golden Knights seniors — Jacob Barksdale and Griffin Barrouk — to keep the Golden Knights focused on the task at hand.
Barksdale had 20 points and Barrouk had 17 as Rustin took down depleted Shanahan, 60-46. The win puts the Golden Knights into Friday night’s semifinal, where they will host a second Ches-Mont foe in No. 8 Unionville, which upset top-seeded Upper Moreland on Tuesday.
“I am so proud of every guy that played and every guy that did not play,” said Bishop Shanahan coach John Dougherty. “We are building a program here and these kids play for each other and not themselves. But, Jacob and Griffin are special players and I think they had 24 points at halftime. Keith (Cochran) does a great job with this team but I am really proud of our effort. We just did not hit enough shots tonight.”
Barksdale scored eight points down low in the game’s first three minutes, and it was clear the Eagles (9-4) were not going to be able to handle the Golden Knights’ (10-5) big man inside.
“Coach Keith told us to come out early and establish ourselves and dominate inside,” Barksdale said. “And he put in a great gameplan for me that put me into some good one-on-one matchups.”
Rustin jetted out to a commanding 34-19 lead at halftime, shooting 15 for 22 from the field in the first half, and the Eagles had to claw their way back into the game. But, Bishop Shanahan outscored the Golden Knights, 14-9, in the third quarter and they cut the Rustin lead to 43-33 after three.
But Barksdale opened the fourth quarter with a pretty pick and roll, and the Golden Knights had a 45-33 advantage. Roman Alexander then drained a long 3-pointer for the Eagles, but after a Bishop Shanahan miss, Barksdale took a long pass from Barrouk to score inside and it was a 52-38 Rustin lead.
The Eagles got the lead down to 52-42 on two nice inside baskets by Will O’Loughlin, but after a Golden Knights miss, the Eagles misfired on two 3-point attempts. The Golden Knights then salted the game away as Barrouk scored on a dribble penetration and Barksdale scored again in tight, and it was Rustin moving on to Friday night’s semifinal against fellow Ches-Mont foe Unionville.
“We came out early and played well, especially Jacob, “ Cochran said. “And I thought our defense was good. As a coach you are never totally satisfied but tonight I was pretty happy. Give Shanahan credit. The did not have some of their guys and haven’t played in 14 days. We have not played in seven days but they really battled us tonight.”
West Chester Rustin 60, Bishop Shanahan 46
BISHOP SHANAHAN (46): Ziegler 3 2-5 8, Dougherty 1 0-0 2, Smyth 4 2-2 10, O’Loughlin 3 2-3 8, Alexander 2 0-02 6, Strohm 1 0-0 2, Corcoran 4 1-2 10, Boyle 0 0-2 0. Totals 18 7-18 46.
WC RUSTIN (60): Barrouk 5 5-5 17, Barksdale 8 4-5 20, Mercy 0 0-0 20, Shoup 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 0-0 0, Shivers 0 0-0 0, Reinheimer 0 2-5 2, Freney 3 1-2 7, Chobani 1 0-0 2, Sproul 2 1-2 5, Seelus 0 2-2 2, Giunta 1 3-4 5, Sleschinger 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 18-25 60.
Bishop Shanahan 12 7 14 13 – 46
WC Rustin 16 18 9 17 – 60
3-point goals: Barrouk 2, Alexander 2.