Coatesville batters Upper Darby, 76-43

Red Raiders set to enter state playoffs with momentum

By Kyle Carrozza, Staff Writer, The Times


Coatesville’s Jaquan Hollingshed tips a rebound back in for two, en route to the Red Raiders’ 76-43 win, Friday night over Upper Darby. Though Coatesville did not miss many shots Friday night, they did well on the offensive boards when they did.

DREXEL HILL – Sports are a proving ground, a place where statements are asserted and stakes are claimed. In their 76-43 win at Upper Darby Friday night, the Red Raiders made a statement that they were a better team than their fifth place District 1 finish suggests.

Coatesville dominated both ends of the court, playing aggressive defense to come up with steals and converting those steals into points.

After losing to second-seeded Lower Merion last week to fall out of contention for the District 1 Championship, 10-seeded Coatesville beat Methacton on Tuesday to get the chance to compete against Upper Darby for fifth place in the final standings.

From the tipoff, Coatesville showed how much better they were than the home side.

Especially due to the efforts of senior guard Howard Sellars and senior forward Emmett Hunt, Coatesville played an impenetrable defense, hustling to double team whoever had the ball and quickly filling the gaps.

“We played on defense,” said senior forward Leroy Hoggard, whose size and range allowed him to challenge in the paint and beyond the three point line. “Our coach said not to reach, and keep moving your feet.”


After a steal, Coatesville’s Howard Sellars beats the Upper Darby defense down the court to layup for two, Friday. The aggressive defense came up with steals and allowed the Red Raiders to punish their opponents with fast break points.

Hustled by the active defending, the Royals were forced to make desperate passes that often ended up in turnovers. Even when they found an open shooter, a Red Raider always closed quickly enough to force a difficult shot.

This defense allowed Coatesville to come up with steals and push the ball for fast break points or Upper Darby fouls. Upper Darby’s confidence clearly suffered because of it.

Midway through the opening quarter, Coatesville blocked a shot on defense to allow junior Jaquan Hollingshed to score two on the other end and draw the foul. He missed his free throw, and the Royals came up with the rebound, but Sellars was right there to make a steal, which he turned into two more points. The basket came in the middle of a 17-0 first quarter run.

“Once our defense got started, our offense got started, and once that happens, no one can play against us,” said Hoggard.

Those points were followed up with a Hunt three, a Hoggard steal that he converted into two made free throw, and then a Sellars steal, which he turned into two on the break.

At the end of the first quarter, Coatesville led 27-11 and never looked like allowing Upper Darby back into it.

A couple of Coatesville turnovers to begin the second quarter made it seem like the Royals had recovered from the shock, but the illusion was short lived.

A minute in, Hollingshed grabbed and offensive rebound but missed his close shot. Even so, Hunt was there to grab that miss and draw a foul. He sank two to open up second quarter scoring.

“We wanted it more on the boards, so we crashed hard,” said Hoggard.

Senior guard Chris Jones followed it up with a steal on the other end and laid up for two more.

The Red Raiders exuded authority, asserting themselves as better than the placements show and defied their opponents to challenge them. With the Royals unable to answer, Coatesville went on another run, this time for 14 points, not allowing Upper Darby to score for six minutes of the second quarter. The lead was 44-16 at the half.

Though the Red Raiders eased up a bit, the balance did not change in the second half. Coatesville continued making life difficult and forcing turnovers on defense, but the team seemed content to slow the game down and play a half court offense, rather than pushing for fast break points.

The slower pace meant that there was no large run, but methodical offense—much of which stemmed from Hunt’s distribution—allowed the superior side to get open shots and take advantage of Hollingshed’s dominance in the paint.

Up 63-29 at the end of the third, Coatesville was able to rotate players in and coast to the victory.

The duo of senior Aaris Parker and sophomore Kevin Crutchfield, in particular showed hustle on the ball and commanded the offense well.

Ten different Red Raiders scored on the night, displaying not just high ability but depth as well.

The victory means that Coatesville finishes fifth in District 1, going 4-1 in the playoffs. The team will look to prove itself again in state playoffs, which start Saturday, March 9.



Emmett Hunt – 21

Howard Sellars – 15

Jaquan Hollingshed – 12

Chris Jones – 7

Leroy Hoggard – 6

Vinny Williams – 4

Aaris Parker – 4

Dre Boggs – 3

Kevin Crutchfield – 2

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