Down 15, Coatesville comes back to beat West

Crutchfield opens up Coatesville offense to give home team a dynamic attack

By Kyle Carrozza, Staff Writer, The Times


Jaquan Hollingshed drives the lane early. Downingtown collapsed its defense to deal with Coatesville’s strong forward play.

CALN – Sports are not just a matter of accumulating points and trying to score on each individual play. Each game is a narrative constructed over three periods or four quarters.

Coatesville’s late hustle allowed the team to change the narrative on Saturday during a 59-53 comeback win over Downingtown West, in a Ches-Mont National battle, Saturday.

After trailing for most of the game, including a 15-point deficit late in the third quarter, the home team hung on to complete a last quarter comeback for the victory.

“Persistence can turn a failure into success,” Coatesville Head Coach Chuck Moore told his team.

Though Coatesville’s offense got its points early, Downingtown breezed through the first quarter, including three consecutive threes to open the game.

The home team’s inability to establish outside shooting allowed the Whippets to collapse on defense, putting a crowd around star senior forwards Jaquan Hollingshed and Tyler Burke.

On the other end, Downingtown worked the perimeter and isolation plays to open up the middle of Coatesville’s defense. The guards’ ability to spot shooters left open by the double team also helped expand the lead to 23-11 near the end of the first quarter.

But in the second quarter, Hollingshed and junior guard Kevin Crutchfield stepped up to cut the lead. A three point-play from Crutchfield was key in getting his team back into the game.

“Kevin is a go-getter, he’s aggressive,” said Moore.

Though Downingtown clearly looked the better first half team, Coatesville managed to cut the lead to 32-26 by halftime. The home team seemed to adjust to the Whippets’ perimeter passing, which kept the game from getting out of hand.

Moore said that in order to keep his guys in the game mentally, he had to get a bit out of character.

“You see, I have my tie off and my shirt unbuttoned—whatever it takes to provide that spark,” he said.

However, any momentum that Coatesville may have gained at the end of the half seemed to be lost at the beginning of the second half.

Downingtown once again utilized quick perimeter play to create open looks while Coatesville still did not manage to establish its outside shooting. With three minutes left in the third, West was up 43-28.

“Give it to Downingtown, they fought hard,” said Moore.

But going into the final quarter, Coatesville found its own fight. After a couple of offensive rebounds, junior guard Keenan Coleman made two at the line after drawing a foul on a three point shot. A steal on the ensuing inbound allowed Crutchfield to hit a three with 11 seconds left, giving the home team momentum going into the fourth.

“Jaquan kind of led the spark. He was in the huddle screaming at those guys, motivating them,” said Moore.

Crutchfield continued his strong play on the other side of the break, adding a three and assisting on another early in the fourth and then hitting a layup to complete a 20-1 run spanning the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter.

“He’s capable of putting the ball in the basket; I tell him go, go play,” Moore said of Crutchfield, who finished with 20 points.

The run gave Coatesville its first lead of the game, up 46-44 with just under five minutes to go.

After the Whippets’ success exploiting defensive tactics early, the home team began faking double teams and applying the full court press to make the visitors work hard on every possession.

Meanwhile, the interplay between Crutchfield and junior guard Ricky Southcott continued to find success, forcing Downingtown to worry about more than just the forwards.

The teams looked even going down the stretch, but Coatesville’s ability to keep possession put the clock on its side.

Coleman hit four of four foul shots in the closing minutes, allowing the home team to maintain the lead and grab the 59-53 victory.

“They’re going to be persistent. They have to be persistent because there’s going to be bumps in the road. That’s what we preach to these guys,” said Moore.

Though Coatesville has a young team that sometimes shows inexperience, a 3-0 Ches Mont National record is a solid start to the league schedule, and they will look to continue it Tuesday against West Chester East.

At 1-2 in the league, a strong West team will look to bounce back against West Chester Henderson on Tuesday night.

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  1. Michael says:

    Coatesville is going to experience much success as soon as they can learn to mesh with each other. Way too much talent to not return to states. Expect this team to run the table from here on out and be a five or six seed in Districts.

    • Kyle Carrozza says:

      You’re exactly right. Once they get a better idea of where their teammates are going off the ball, I think they’ll be able to work the perimeter and open up outside shots better, and they’ll get rid of some of those unforced turnovers (especially on the fast break).

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