To view a complete state tournament bracket, visit the PIAA web site at the following link http://www.piaa.org/assets/web/documents/2009_AAAA_Boys_BB_Brax.pdf. Check back for game action photos.
PHILADELPHIA – A desperation three-pointer by Roman Catholic bounced off the backboard as the final horn sounded in Saturday's electrifying PIAA Class AAAA Tournament opener against Central Bucks South.
Will Barrett looked skyward and smiled. Not far away, Mike Doty raised both fists in the air in celebration. It wasn’t long before Barrett and Doty and everyone else wearing the blue and black of CB South was lost in a mob of jubilant fans.
Looking for a storybook ending? This was it.
A Titan squad that was seeded eighth in District One and had lost three straight going into the state tournament had just done the improbable, sending the District 12 champion Cahillites packing for the season, thanks to its 62-57 win at Archbishop Ryan.
“I tell you what – it was all about getting our guys to believe in one another,” said coach Jason Campbell, a smile glued permanently on his face. “I have seven seniors, the rest of them are juniors and one sophomore, and they believed. They stuck together as a unit.
“I told them, ‘All you have to do is stay together, believe in one another, and good things can happen.”
Saturday’s win went well beyond good. This was extraordinary.
“It feels awesome,” Doty said. “We shocked the world. Now everybody knows who C.B. South is.”
The Titans won on Saturday because they believed but also because they hustled. They were relentless on offense, tenacious on defense, playing as if every loose ball belonged to them.
And on this day, the Titans simply refused to lose.
“From the tipoff to the final horn, we played hard,” South senior Alex Dedeian said. “We came together.
“For everyone who underestimated us, you never know what we’re going to do to surprise people.”
There were too many heroes to count in this win, too many big plays to enumerate. While Barrett (14 points) and Mike Pincus (11 points) led a balanced South attack, everyone who saw action contributed.
Anything less would not have been good enough against a talented Roman squad that featured McDonald’s All-American Malik Wayns, who is bound for Villanova University in the fall, as well as star guard Rakeen Brookins.
“Coach has been saying all week, ‘No one in the whole entire state believes we can win this game except people on the team and the people in the gym,’” Barrett said. “We come into practice every day, beat each other up and worked as hard as we could.
“The hard work finally paid off. It’s the best feeling.”
There were several defining moments in a contest the Titans led from start to finish.
The first came early in the game when the Titans sprinted to a 9-2 lead – an impressive run that was capped by a Barrett three-pointer. The Titans lead grew to nine (16-7) after Barrett found Pincus cutting to the hole for a reverse layup.
“We watched a couple of videos of their games this past week, and we noticed that they weren’t the strongest defensive team,” Barrett said. “If we moved real well without the ball on offense like we did tonight, we knew we would get some open buckets, and that’s what we did.”
Everyone in the house knew the Cahillites would come roaring back, and they made it a 17-14 game by the end of the quarter.
The Titans were unfazed, and after a Roman turnover, Ian Gordon – who was under the weather the last two days - buried a baseline jumper. The Cahilllites trimmed the Titans’ lead to two (23-21) after a Wayns bucket, but in the closing seconds of the half, Barrett drove to the hoop and banked home a tough shot to give the Titans a 25-21 halftime lead.
“We worked really hard all week,” Gordon said. “The real key was our defense – shutting down Malik (Wayns) and Brookins.
“If we keep them out, we win the game. Our guards did a great job.”
The Titans opened the second half with a fast break basket by Doty (Ryan Clark assist). Brookins answered with a trey, but Gordon scored on a tough shot in the low post.
Back-to-back baskets by Roman made it a one-point game, and the Cahillites had a chance to take their first lead when Andre Horne stepped to foul line at the 5:32 mark of the quarter. He missed both, and Gordon answered with a bucket over his defender at the other end.
Two more missed foul shots by Roman set the stage for a pair of Gordon foul shots. While the Titans connected on 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in the quarter, the Cahillites were just 3-of-10.
When Barrett found Dedeian cutting to the hoop for a bucket, the Titans led 40-32. They took a 40-33 lead into the final quarter.
In one of the game’s biggest defensive plays, Pincus stole the ball from Wayns near midcourt and beat the All-American to the hole for a bucket and a 42-34 Titan lead.
When Barrett found Greg Johnston streaking to the bucket for an easy deuce, the Titans led 44-34 with 5:20 remaining in regulation. That’s when the baskets started coming fast and furiously for both sides.
Wayns – who scored eight of his 16 points in the frame - began to work his magic, scoring on a drive. A South turnover resulted in a Brookins’ bucket that made it a 44-38 game.
The gym was rocking with chants of ‘CB South, CB South, CB South,’ and the Titans responded.
Doty scored on a drive, but eight seconds later, Wayns scored at the other end. It took the Titans 20 seconds to respond, and this time Doty kicked it out to Dedeian, who buried an outside jumper to make it a 48-40 game.
“It gets to a point when you make a shot, you’re going to the other end to play defense, and your whole body feels like it’s on a cloud,” Dedeian said. “When the crowd gets into it, the place just erupts.
“We have a nice student base that really comes out and supports us. We have fans everywhere. It’s great to have.”
With the Titans holding a 51-44 lead, Roman coach Chris McNesby was whistled for a technical.
The Titans made it hurt.
Pincus sank one-of-two from the foul line, and the Titans cashed in on their ensuing possession when Pincus found Doty cutting to the basket for an easy two points, giving South a 54-44 lead with 2:05 remaining.
Five straight points from Wayns made it a 54-49 game, but Johnston – after winning a scramble for a loose ball – buried a pair from the foul line to stretch the Titans’ lead back to seven.
The Cahillites trimmed that lead to four with 41 seconds remaining, but Barrett finished off a fast break with a no-doubt-about-it dunk to put the Titans on top 58-52.
“All fourth quarter we were winning, and I was telling myself I could make up for the dunk I missed at the beginning of the game,” Barrett said. “I knew if I had an opportunity to put it away, I would and it would change the momentum of the game, and that’s what happened.”
With 14 seconds remaining, Roman’s Kawaun Chavis sank a trey, trimming South’s lead to 58-55. The Titans misfired on a pair of foul shots, but a leaping Doty came up with the long rebound.
“They have a lot of great players who could tie it with a three-point shot,” Doty said. “I didn’t want overtime because I knew we were struggling with foul trouble.
“I just wanted to get that ball.”
With 10 seconds showing on the clock, Pincus buried a pair. Brookins, who scored a game-high 21 points, answered with two foul shots of his own. Pincus, who was fouled on the inbounds, sealed the win by burying a pair.
“I felt like I was walking on air,” Barrett said. “To see ourselves coming from a 1-2 team at the beginning of the year, working our butts off in the summertime and ending up at this point – we always believed in each other. Now it’s finally come true.”
South (21-6) will need another heroic effort on Tuesday night when it takes on William Penn - better known as York High - in a second round game at Coatesville High School at 7 p.m. York (28-1) suffered its only loss of the season to Central Dauphin East in the District 3 title game.
CENTRAL BUCKS SOUTH 62, ROMAN CATHOLIC 57
Central Bucks South (62) – Mike Pincus 2 7-13 11, Mike Doty 4 2-4 10, Will Barrett 5 3-4 14, Ryan Clark 1 1-2 4, Ian Gordon 4 2-2 10, Alex Dedeian 3 0-0 6, Greg Johnston 2 2-2 6, Nick Joerger 0 1-2 1. Totals 21 18-29 62.
Roman Catholic (57) – Malik Wayns 6 3-6 16, Rakeem Brookins 5 9-11 21, Dennis Regan 0 0-0 0, Kevin Regan 2 0-0 4, Anthony Mayo 0 0-0 0, Kawaun Chavis 1 0-0 3, Andre Horne 3 2-8 9, Koron Reed 2 0-2 4. Totals 19 14-27 57.
Central Bucks South 17 8 15 22
Roman Catholic 14 7 12 24-57
Three-point goals: CB South – Will Barrett, Ryan Clark. Roman – Rakeem Brookins, Malik Wayns, Andre Horn, Kawaun Chavis.