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Boys Basketball: Radnor’s Danny Rosenblum finds GV’s weak spot in overtime

Radnor's Danny Rosenblum shoots against the defense of Lower Merion's Demetrius Lilley in the second half of the Central League final Monday. Lower Merion won, 59-49. (PETE BANNAN - DAILY TIMES)

CONCORD — Ten games – and 10 wins – into the 2022-23 season, Radnor entered Saturday without yet having been required to summon much in the way of late-game execution.

To get win No. 11, in the hostile environs of Garnet Valley, that ability was finally tested.

The verdict was good enough for a 56-51 overtime win in a battle of Central League elites, if not yet to the level that the Raptors aspire.

“These are the type of games that we play for,” point guard Danny Rosenblum said. “These are the games you get most excited for and get most ready for.”

It required some steeliness from a veteran-laden group, plus a pair of Jaguars fouling out early and a 6-for-15 day at the free throw line for the hosts to send the Raptors to 11-0.

But also conjured in those final minutes was enough wherewithal from the tight core that has turned Radnor into one of District 1’s top 5A teams. There was a 4-for-5 shooting performance at the line in OT, including two makes from Charlie Thornton in the final minute. A steal (his game-high fourth) and fastbreak dunk (his second) from Cooper Mueller. And a star turn from Rosenblum, whose and-1 with 56 seconds to play made it 51-46 and fouled GV’s Jake Sniras out of the game.

Rosenblum was the one to step up. Jackson Hicke scored 16 points and nine rebounds. But an outstanding defensive effort by the sophomore Sniras (11 points, four blocks) meant Hicke shot just 5-for-16 from the field.

Enter Rosenblum, whose drive in OT was emblematic of a take-charge mentality. He scored 19 points, getting to the rim to create or finding his mid-range spots to nail jumpers.

“I just focused on getting into the middle,” Rosenblum said. “They threw a different zone look at us in the beginning of the game and we found that weak spot in the middle. And when we got up at the end of the game, it forced them to come out on me, so I thought I could get past them off the dribble.”

Thornton was quiet offensively for three quarters before scoring eight of his 12 from the fourth quarter on. He added nine rebounds. Mueller sat most of the first half with foul trouble and had five points to augment his dogged defense.

Garnet Valley (9-3, 5-2 Central) evinced offensive rhythm in spurts. Logan McKee hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the first half … then picked up three fouls by half, a fourth early in the third and fouled out on an offensive push-off with 6:19 to play. He had eight points.

Max Koehler scored 10 points, including a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left to tie the game at 46. But he attempted just six field goals. That triple was his first 3-point attempt of the night.

“I think we can all score and we can play with the ball in our hands,” Koehler said. “From that perspective, it’s not difficult. But it is very difficult on the glass. Logan’s our biggest guy, he’s a great paint defender. And Jake gets steals and is a great rebounder. They’re both very good scorers, as well.”

For GV, Sniras led the way with 11 points, but on 4-for-14 shooting. Quinn O’Hara, a midseason transfer from Salesianum, scored nine points, but attempted just two field goals. Jack Krautzel had seven points and six rebounds, and Ryan Faccenda six points and three assists. Fifteen turnovers did little to help.

Radnor missed 10 free throws, including the front end of a one-and-one with just over a minute left in regulation. Hicke drained a jumper on the first possession of OT, allowing the Raptors to get a winning start to a week where they hit the thick of the Central League crossover slate – first Garnet, then Conestoga and Haverford.

“As a team, we always tell ourselves we want to get one percent better every day and every practice,” Rosenblum said. “Our coach has been preaching that to us. We know our opponents are going to get better, and we have to do the same. Staying where we are now isn’t going to help us reach the goals we have at the end of the season.”

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