By Pat Leonard
For the Inquirer
Girard College and Harrisburg were supposed to play in the second of four high school boys’ basketball games at Sunday's VILLA Holiday Classic.
Instead, the Cavaliers and Cougars competed in an overtime free-throw shooting contest at St. Joseph’s University’s Hagan Arena, with Harrisburg gutting out a dramatic victory, 76-74, on a last-second
tip-in by Cougars senior forward Jawon Chisholm.
Cavaliers’ star guard John Johnson led all scorers with 31 points and made 15 of 22 foul shots. But he also committed a crucial foul on a shooter with 1/2 second remaining in overtime and his team leading, 74-73.
The shooter, Harrisburg senior guard Randy Fulp, made the first of two free throws to tie, then his second shot rimmed out to the right, where Chisholm leapt over Cavaliers forwards Dave Ware and Clifford
White to tip-in the miss.
Harrisburg’s bench stormed Chisholm to the opposite end of the court, leaping in unison, as the Hagan Arena remained raucous in appreciation of great basketball despite local Girard College’s defeat.
The teams combined to shoot 81 free throws, and Girard College won the free throw battle (30 of 43, 69 percent to Harrisburg’s 22 of 38, 57
percent clip) but lost the game. Four players (three on Harrisburg, one on Girard College) fouled out.
Cougars guards Jalen Fitzpatrick (15 points) and Haisheem McIntyre (13 points) led nine scorers on a deep Harrisburg roster.
At the foul line for the Cougars, Fulp (4 of 6), McIntyre (5 of 6) and forwards Bryan Taylor (4 of 6) and Lamar Jones (5 of 6) all took care
The game went to overtime when Taylor made one of two free throws to tie the game at 69, nullifying a terrific fourth quarter for Girard College’s White, who scored seven points in the final period, including 4 of 4 from the foul line, and also made 2 of 2 free throws
Friends’ Central 61, Phelps 55
In the first game, Friends’ Central forwards Dominic Morris and Amile Jefferson scored 19 of their 22 combined points in the fourth quarter as the Phoenix defeated Phelps, 61-55, to open the 3d-annual
Phelps guard Jahmad Saleem’s 3-pointer with 3:42 remaining tied the game at 46, but Friends’ Central answered with a four-point play.
Morris was fouled on a made layup, and Jefferson converted the put-back on Morris’ missed free throw.
“In the timeout beforehand, we talked about rebounding and playing strong defense, and then collapsed on the ensuing possession,” Phelps
coach Matt Scavitto said.
Friends’ Central held the lead thereafter using rebounding and free throws, despite shooting a poor 48 percent from the charity stripe (12 of 25). The exception was Jefferson, who made 7 of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter and finished with a double-double (13 points, 13 rebounds) and six offensive boards.
Morris had nine rebounds, and the Phoenix had three double-digit scorers – Jefferson, Devin Coleman (13 points) and Travis Robinson (12).
Terrance Bailey led Phelps with 12 points, and Renier Riddick had ten. Riddick also had five steals.