Dobbins boys edge Gratz in OT in Pub playoffs

By Pat Leonard

For the Inquirer


Dobbins’ locker room door barged open after Saturday's Class AAA Public League final at Ben Franklin. And second-year head coach William Johnson emerged with his red suit jacket soaked with celebration, smiling ear-to-ear.

Behind 21 points and 13 rebounds from 6-foot-7 junior center Jerrell Wright, Dobbins upset Simon Gratz in overtime, 58-57, to win the league’s Class AAA title and earn its first-ever PIAA state playoff appearance.

“It feels great,” said Johnson as he wiped beads of water from his sleeves. “When I started coaching here, I told the guys I wanted to bring the tradition back from 1985, from the past.”

In 1985, Dobbins won its first and only Public League title.

Chasing a second in Sunday's semifinal, Dobbins will face the Class AAAA champ – either Frankford or Bartram – at 4 p.m. at Southern. A win there will put them in the Public League championship game at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Liacouras Center against the winner of Sunday's semifinal between the Class AA and Class A winners.

Next weekend, the Mustangs (16-6, 14-3 Public League B Division) will represent the Public League against the Catholic League champ – either Archbishop Carroll or Neumann-Goretti – to determine who is the No. 1 seed out of District 12 Class AAA.

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