Tredyffrin >> Devon Prep’s 67-51 basketball win against Father Judge, punctuated by plenty of passing and 10 treys by the hosts, was a typical effort for the Tide (8-3) this season.
“We try to share the ball as much as possible,” said Devon Prep basketball head coach Jason Fisher. “We’re not as tall as some of the other teams we play. We try to spread them out and take advantage of that, get into the paint and look for a teammate.”
This season, the Tides have featured a lineup full of guards – 6-3 senior Eamon Walsh, the school’s all-time leader in charges taken (104); 6-2 senior Chris Patton, who averages a trio of treys per game; 6-2 junior IV Pettit, a career 1,000-point scorer who is averaging 17 ppg this season; 6-4 sophomore Lucas Orchard, who is in the top 10 in the Catholic League for rebounds (6 rpg), steals (2.5 spg) and assists (3 apg) and is averaging 9 ppg; and 5-8 freshman point guard Ty Mishock, the Tides’ floor general.
Since Wednesday’s contest was the last home game of the season for the Tide, Devon Prep started all three of its seniors – Patton, Walsh and Michael Ferry. As an added bonus, a small group of spirited Devon Prep seniors were in the stands for the first time this season to cheer on the home team.
“This year we haven’t had any fans to our home games,” said Fisher. “When Pennsylvania changed its [COVID] restrictions, we decided since this is our last home game, to allow the seniors [about 15-20 of them] to come in. It was nice to give those guys the opportunity to see their seniors play.”
The Tide surged to a 17-7 first quarter lead, getting scoring from six different Devon players. Tide junior Allen Cieslak, who came up with a couple of key drives late in the first period, led the opening quarter scoring with five points.
Devon Prep increased its lead to 33-18 by halftime with the help of four second-quarter treys, from four different players – Patton, Walsh, Mishock and sophomore Jacen Holloway (who finished with 10 points). In the first half, eight Devon Prep players entered the scoring column.
“We do a great job of sharing the ball,” said Walsh, a fourth-year starter who played at St. Norbert’s before coming to Devon Prep. “There’s no one guy on our team that will go 1-on-1 every single time. “We share it, we penetrate and we get wide-open shots. We’re an unselfish team, and that’s why we’re successful.”
In the third quarter, Father Judge exploded for six treys of their own, scoring 24 points for the period and cutting the hosts’ lead to 52-42. Early in the fourth quarter, the Tide missed several outside shots and their lead was down to eight points at 52-44.
Fisher said, “There were times that we got a little tired today; we didn’t have our full lineup (Pettit is out for a week after hurting his ankle). Later on [in the fourth quarter], our players got mentally focused on what they had to do.”
Walsh said, “We stress in practice that defense wins games; [lead] with the defense and the offense will follow. We were a little slow today [in the third quarter] on the double-teams, but we came back for a 16-point win.”
With a 52-44 lead, the Tide rallied for an 8-0 run in the next four minutes. Holloway hit a trey form the left corner to make it 55-44; then, following a Judge turnover, Devon Prep junior Jake Kenney drove in for a score. A minute later, following a Crusader miss from the outside, Patton hit a three-pointer from the right corner (his fourth trey of the day) to give the hosts a 60-44 lead with a little over three minutes to play.
Patton led the Tides’ balanced attack with 17 points; Mishock tallied 15, Holloway added 10, Kenney eight and Orchard seven.
“Overall, I thought our whole team played well,” said Fisher. “They were enthused, they were into the game for the most part, and it was a good team win.”
NOTES: The Tide still have a shot at advancing to the PIAA District 12 3A tournament, a single-game tourney that will pit one Catholic League team against one Public League squad. The teams are chosen by record in head-to-head league play in Class 3A. There are four Catholic League teams in Class 3A – Devon Prep, West Catholic, Conwell Egan and Bishop McDevitt – and Devon Prep is 2-1 in head-to-head play, having defeated West and Egan and losing to McDevitt. If McDevitt (2-0 as of Thursday) loses to West Catholic on Friday evening, the Tide will be tied with McDevitt and tiebreakers will determine whether Devon Prep or McDevitt advances to the District 12 3A tournament.
Devon Prep 67, Father Judge 51
Father Judge 7 11 24 9 – 51
Devon Prep 17 16 19 15 – 67
Father Judge (51): Johnson 7 2-2 21, Blythe 2 1-2 7, McCusker 3 0-0 8, Flowers 3 0-0 7, Lilly 1 1-4 3, Rheinhart 1 0-0 2, Brennan 1 0-0 3, Totals 18 4-8 51.
Devon Prep (67): Cieslak 2 1-1 5, Orchard 3 0-0 7, Patton 5 3-4 17, Holloway 4 0-0 10, Mishock 4 5-6 15, Kenney 4 0-0 8, Ferry 1 0-0 2, Walsh 1 0-0 3, Totals 24 9-11 67.
Three-point field goals: FJ – Johnson 5, Blythe 2, McCusker 2, Flowers, Brennan. DP – Orchard, Patton 4, Holloway 2, Mishock 2, Walsh.