POTTSTOWN – The Collegium Charter boys basketball team accomplished many good things this basketball season. The Cougars won the Bi-Centennial League and captured the District 1 4A championship.
But they could not accomplish a PIAA state playoff win. Tuesday night at Strong Gymnasium at Pottstown High School, the Cougars were outrun by a speedy Trinity squad and saw their season end with a 77-63 loss.
The visiting Shamrocks from District 3 (19-6) put four players in double figures and used a fast, up tempo game to run away from the Cougars (22-3). Trinity broke a close game open in the fourth period, outscoring the Cougars 30-23 to go on to the win.
Talik Wall led Trinity with 18 points to go along with 12 rebounds and Julian Garbidon added 17 points. Owen Schragler poured in 15 points and Bryan Skurcenski added 16 in the balanced attack.
K’Mari Smith led Collegium with 22 points while Duce Jackson added a tough 14 points to go along with 13 rebounds.
“We always like to play fast,” Wall said. “We practice that way all the time. We like to roll the ball out and get out on the fast break and score in transition and beat teams down the floor and that is what we did tonight. We knew they like to play fast so we knew what kind of game this was going to be. We got the jump on them in the fourth period and took the lead and made our free throws. And we watched film on them before the game and I felt we were prepared for things.”
With Trinity holding a slim 41-40 lead late in the third period, the Shamrocks got a big boost from Skurcenski, who drained two long three-balls and Trinity had a 47-40 lead over the Cougars after three periods.
But that was just the start for the Shamrocks as Trinity hit their first five shots from the field in the fourth period and shot a torrid 9-for-11 from the field in the period.
Collegium stayed in the game with baskets from Smith and Jackson inside but when Garbidon scored on a three point play, Trinity had a 58-50 lead with 4:10 to play in the fourth period.
“I thought they played with a little more energy than we came out with tonight and maybe a little better focus,” Collegium coach Markel Jones said. “And they played good defense and guarded the three point line well.”
With an eight point lead and under five minutes left to play in the fourth period, Garbidon forced a Collegium turnover and threw down a monster slam for a 64-53 Trinity lead with 3:29 to play.
The Cougars tried to come back but they were not shooting well enough to close the gap. Smith scored in tight to make it a 73-60 Trinity lead with 1:30 to play in the fourth period.
Wall scored inside and Amil Way scored in the lane and the Collegium season came to a close, quicker than anyone expected as the District 3 invaders moved on to play the winner of the Allentown Central Catholic vs West Philadelphia game.
“This hurts tonight but this team accomplished so much this season,” Jones said. “They won their league and won the district and I think they believed in our system and they believed in each other and I am very proud of them.”
Trinity 77, Collegium Charter 63
TRINITY (77) Way 2 0-0 5, Skurcenski 4 5-7 16, Wall 8 2-3 18, Garbidon 7 3-7 17, Schlager 2 9-10 15, Weiland 3 0-0 6. Totals 26 19-27 77.
COLLEGIUM CHARTER (63) Washington 3 3-4 10, Smith 8 6-8 22, Fowleks 1 0-0 2, Jackson 6 2-2 14, Warren 2 2-3 7, Pitt 1 2-2 4, Mack 2 0-0 4. Totals 23 15-23 63.
Trinity 17 11 19 30-77
Collegium Charter 14 11 15 23-63
3-point goals: Way, Skurcenski 3, Schragler 2, Washington, Warren.