“Ladder boys” lift Coatesville to win over Penn Wood, claim state berth

Red Raiders junior Emmett Hunt bombs lead way to the state tourney with win over Patriots  By Dave Conard  Sports Editor, CoatesvilleTimes.com

Coatesville junior Emmett Hunt hits one of his (3) three pointers as he led the Red Raiders to a district win.

COATESVILLE—Every team has them, you know, those guys that bust it everyday in practice, never complain about playing and no matter what happens seem willing to do what ever it takes, including drive the team bus, to help the squad win.

The biggest difference between most teams and Coatesville head coach Jim Smith’s 2012 collection of Red Raiders, is that when they take to the hardwood of Ross Kershey Gymnasium every player truly feels like a starter, regardless of who is announced prior to tip off.

There has never been a more shining example of what a team is all about, than what the hundreds in attendance witnessed Tuesday night when the “Ladder Boys” led the way to a rousing come from behind 71-62 win over 2009 PIAA state champion Penn Wood in the PIAA District One playoffs.

“We all feel like starters,” said junior forward Emmett Hunt, who along with Andre Boggs, Chris Jones and Tyler Burke comprises the “Ladder Boys”. “We all work hard everyday in practice, and know that we have to be ready to go. We call ourselves the “ladder boys” because we all do the grunt work that’s needed to help the team that doesn’t usually get talked about.”

In a lightning fast paced first quarter the Patriots refused to buckle under the constant pressure for the Red Raiders offense as it took a buzzer beater by Tymeir Miller to give the hosts a 20-18 lead after one period.

Penn Wood junior guard Jerry Price, who recorded a game high 17 points, was on fire early on, as he posted seven points in the first five minutes of the game but following his third foul was relegated to the bench for almost the entire second and third quarter.

“That was huge for us,” said Tymeir Miller. “He was lighting it up but he really took himself out of the game when he got three that fast. Our bench did what it has all year, we are a team and no one player is more important than an other and we really needed the spark that Tyler (Burke), Emmett (Hunt) and Dre’ (Andre Boggs) gave us tonight, that was a very good team we played.”

Coatesville head coach Jim Smith got a wrok out Tuesday night as his Raiders battled.

At the midway point of the second period Coatesville found itself trailing to a pesky Penn Wood squad that would not go quietly into the night by a score 27-24 before sophomore Tyler Burke enter the game and started to turn the tide by doing the work on the glass, claiming five rebounds (3 defensive, 2 offensive) in the span of ninety seconds while posting five points to help the home team escape the first half with a 32-29 margin.

The Patriots seized control momentarily after the intermission by posting an 11-4 run to start the second half, forcing Smith to call a time out with six minutes to play in the third quarter trailing by four.

“All I told our guys is that they needed to believe in themselves,” said Smith. “I told them right now this is your moment, believe in yourselves and this is what we have done all the work we have to ready for this, I was very proud of the way they responded.”

The combination of Boggs, Burke and the outside shooting of Hunt was just what the doctor ordered and too much for the Patriots as the Raiders trio combined for 35 points including 10-of-14 from the line to help Coatesville build a 15 point lead by starting the final period on a 10-0 run, fueled by three bombs from beyond the arc by Hunt.

“It’s awesome when the crowd is so loud,” added Hunt who posted team high 13 points. “I usually like to go to the basket but tonight my teammates were finding me outside and I had good looks so I was able to hit a few threes. I love being part of this team; we all look out for each other’s and feed of each other’s success. Tyler did a great job inside and Andre was huge when they came back on us.”

Penn Wood did not win the state title two years ago by packing it in when the game looked out of reach and Tuesday night they drew on that experience as the Patriots had the home crowd, which erupted with every three pointer knocked by Hunt, puckering up a bit as they went on a 14-2 run of their own, cutting the Red Raiders lead to five at 61-56 with just over three minute left in regulation.

Coatesville's Andre Boggs drives the lane for two of his 12 points.

Again it was Burke (6, 4-7, 10 pts, 12 rebounds) who helped snare the momentum as he fought for two offensive boards recording a put back and a six- footer to stop the bleeding for Coatesville.

Leading by nine with less than two minutes to play, the Red Raiders finally started to take the air out of the ball by using some game clock on each possession, preserving a 71-62 win.

“It’s hard for us to slow the ball down,” added Tymeir Miller. “We are used to running the floor and attacking the basket, we needed to slow it down there but it was hard with the adrenaline going and the crowd so into it.”

Coatesville (22-4) now advances to the “Elite Eight” round of the District One bracket against Abington, who defeated Great Valley 62-51 Tuesday night, at home Friday night at 7pm. The win also guarantees a PIAA state playoff berth for the Red Raiders.

“It’s awesome getting to states, it’s been a while,” added Miller (6, 6-9, 12 points). “We have some work to do yet, but getting to states was one of the goals we set for ourselves to start the year. We will get back to work at practice and get ready for Abington, it will be great to play them at home on front of our crowd, which has been great all year.”


Inside the numbers– # 3 seeded Coatesville held a 29 to 16 free throw advantage, which was one of the differences in the game. The Red Raiders bench outscored the #14 seeded Patriots by a 37-14 margin.


Penn Wood            18            11            13            20            -62

Coatesville            20            12            17            22            -71


Penn Wood (62)

Price 9, 8-9, 17; Foster 5, 2-2, 7; Bynum 6, 1-1, 7; Holbrook 4, 0-0, 4; Richardson 15, 0-0, 15; Sesey 8, 0-0, 8; Auguste 0, 1-2, 1; Mincy 2, 1-2, 3. Totals 50, 12-16, 62. Three point FG- Price, Foster, Mincy.


Coatesville (71)

Nixon 0, 2-4, 2; Miller 6, 6-9, 12; Hoggard 8, 0-0, 8; Hunt 13, 0-0, 13; Burke 6, 4-7, 10 Boggs 6, 6-7, 12; Jones 2, 0-0, 2; Miller 4, 2-2, 6.  Totals  51, 20-29, 71. Three point FG-Hunt(3).


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