The Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials will finish the 2016-17 season as the third ranked team in PIAA D1, 6A boys’ basketball after a 68-60 victory in the consolation game over the Cheltenham Panthers.
This was the third time the Colonials and Panthers faced each other this season, with Plymouth Whitemarsh winning both of their regular season matchups.
In their first meeting, Plymouth Whitemarsh defended their home court and defeated Cheltenham 74-59. Three weeks later, they defeated the Panthers’ on their home floor in a closer 56-51 victory
Both of those games took place back in January and final season standings weren’t on the line.
Plymouth Whitemarsh was the second seed in the tournament but fell to third seeded Abington in the semifinals in a close 71-67 game. It was their second straight loss to Abington after facing them just two weeks ago and losing 70-66.
Eighth seeded Cheltenham pulled the biggest upset of the postseason when they knocked off the top seed Perkiomen Valley in the quarterfinals, but they were not able to get past fourth seed Coatesville in the Semis.
Cheltenham opened the game with a 6-0 run and looked as though they were out to avenge their two losses to the Colonials.
Plymouth Whitemarsh answered back and regained the lead at the end of the 1st quarter and never trailed again.
The Colonials offense was led by junior guard Ahmad Williams, who led all scorers with 23 points. Senior guard and captain Matt Walker added 16 points in his final high school game.
A 2nd quarter injury scare quieted the crowd when Colonials sophomore center Naheem McLeod came down hard after his shot was blocked by Panthers’ senior guard and captain Trevonn Pitts. McLeod stayed down for several minutes but ended up walking off unassisted. Fortunately, he came back into the game in the 3rd quarter.
Pitts and junior guard Rodney Carson led the offense for Cheltenham with each scoring 16 points.
The Plymouth Whitemarsh’s lead grew to as many as 13 points as they entered the 4th quarter with a 49-36 lead. A late run by Cheltenham cut the lead to single digits but it was a little too late as the Colonials hung on for the victory.