Plymouth Whitemarsh Boy’s roll over Central Bucks East in District 1 AAAAAA Basketball Playoffs
Led by a 19 point performance from junior guard Ish Horn, the Plymouth Whitemarsh High School boy’s basketball team picked up a 62-43 home win over CB East High School in the District One Playoff Second Round on Tuesday.
With junior guard Ahmin Williams out due to an injury, Horn stepped up to fill the void for the Colonials, scoring 13 of his points in crunch time of the second half.
“Ish does not have that year and a half of experience [Williams has], but what he does bring, different, he’s figuring it out. What he does bring is a speed that is lightening quick,” Plymouth Whitemarsh head coach Jim Donofrio said after the game.
Horn made several big baskets down the stretch for Colonials, most notably an emphatic slam at the 2:30 mark in the third quarter, giving his team a 39-29 lead. The dunk was a momentum swinger that sparked an 8-0 run for the Colonials at a time in the game where it appeared the CB East Patriots were climbing back into contention.
“Good teams make those plays, especially at home. You have to have them,” coach Donofrio said.
Despite the final 19-point gap between the two teams, the game was tight early on. CB East won the tip-off, and it was clear from its first possession that its game plan was to keep the pace of play slow. The first basket of the contest was not scored until the 4:32 mark in the first quarter, when Patriots’ senior guard Matt Pattyson scored a layup in the paint.
By the first quarter’s 2:29 clip, CB East was clinging to a 6-2 lead. Despite his team’s inability to dictate the pace of the game in its opening stages, coach Donofrio was not concerned.
“We figure teams out, you got to be patient. So sometimes that’s a good thing. When a game starts out and its four to two, or six to four, after one, you’re not within foul trouble,” said coach Donofrio.
The Colonials certainly figured things out, as junior guard Ahmad Williams, twin brother of Ahmin, led Plymouth Whitemarsh on a 5-0 run in the final two minutes of the first, giving his team a 7-6 lead by the periods end.
Ignited by Williams, the Colonials dominated the early parts of the second quarter by applying defensive pressure to the Patriots’ half court offense.
“We have an ability to send traps up, but they’re not really traps. We just try to cause, try to feel where its at, and I thought the kids figured it out enough,” Coach Donofrio said. His team outscored CB East 20-14 in the second quarter and took a 27-20 lead into halftime.
After an and-one by Williams on the opening play of the second half, CB East trailed by the Colonials by 10. However, the Patriots refuse to fade away without first putting up a fight. CB East scored layups on back-to-back possessions, which cut Plymouth Whitemarsh’s lead to 30-24.
It was at this time that Horn began to emerge. With his team in need of a spark, Horn hit a pull-up jumper on the right baseline to extend the Colonial’s lead to 32-24. On the ensuing possession, CB East junior Collin Stein drained a three-pointer from the corner to cut Plymouth Whitemarsh’s lead down to five. However, Horn responded with a three-pointer of his own, once again giving his team an eight-point advantage.
“The kids have a look in their eye that they believe in themselves. I’m very hard on them this year. Ish had to say to himself I know I’ve got a breakout moment in me somewhere,” coach Donofrio said.
Pattyson followed up Horn’s three by making a layup on the Patriots’ next offensive set, but Horn once again answered by getting a put-back layup, making the score 37-29 in favor of the Colonials. Then, after Pattyson missed both of his free throws, Horn cut down the lane on the fast break and stuffed the ball through the iron, setting off a dynamite reaction by the home crowd. From that point on, the Patriots were unable to recover.
Much to coach Donofrio’s pleasure, the Colonial’s took care of business in the fourth quarter, where they outscored the Patriots 19-12
“You had the lead, be smart. So the kids had a chance to grow up tonight in a sophisticated way. So on paper it looks like, okay, the two seed won a home game, that’s supposed to happen, but it’s a lot trickier than that. That’s credit to our kids concentrating against them,” coach Donofrio said.
While Horn ended up as the leading scorer, Williams finished the game with 12 points of his own. Colonials’ senior Kareem Breeden finished the night with ten points. On the other side of the box score, Pattyson led the Patriots with 17 points and senior Elijah Seger scored a team second high 11.
With the win, the Colonials improved to 21-4 on the season and advanced to the district quarterfinals, where they will play at home against Conestoga High School at 7 pm on Feb. 24.