BARTRAM 52, FRANKFORD 51
Late in the regular season, Khayri Washington would not have been James Brown's top choice to try a game-deciding shot for Bartram.
"He went through a pretty big slump for about two weeks," the coach said. "Luckily for us, he's been gradually working his way out of it."
Tuesday afternoon, in a Public League Class AAAA playoff semifinal at Frankford, Washington calmly delivered a three-pointer with 13 seconds to go to lift turnover-plagued Braves to a 52-51 triumph over the host Pioneers.
Washington's winner came from the top of the circle. "I was trying to stay positive," the 6-foot, 140-pound senior guard said. "Before I got the ball, I was telling myself, 'I'm going to make the shot. I'm going to make the shot.' "
The come-from-behind victory was secured when Tyree Tucker's driving, right-side attempt missed the mark.
In advancing to Saturday's Class AAAA final against Martin Luther King, Bartram overcame 20 turnovers, including seven in the third quarter.
"We do that a lot, and it usually kills us," Brown said. "Moving forward, our guards have to do a better job of protecting the ball."
In netting 11 points, Washington, who lives near 49th and Parish Streets in West Philly, shot 4 from 13 from the floor (3 for 8 from three-point range). He added six rebounds (three on offense), three assists, and one steal.
"He is the best three-point shooter we have," Brown said. "In the time-out before our last possession, I told him, 'Make sure your feet are planted.' He's pretty good when he gets his feet set."
The Braves trailed by 44-39 at the end of the third stanza. They were down, 48-44, with 2 minutes, 56 seconds to play.
"We kept battling," Washington said. "It was important that we kept believing in ourselves. We had to have faith."
Bartram was also spurred by senior guard Malik Noel (14 points, three assists); junior sub Raul McIlwain (10 points); and 6-4 junior forward James Suber (10 boards, eight points).
Down the stretch, Noel's three-pointer cut the gap to 48-47. Two free throws from 6-5 junior forward Gerald Evariste (11 boards, five points) provided a brief lead.
Tucker, a senior guard, paced Frankford with 14 points. Denzel Turbeville, a 6-4 senior, notched eight boards and sophomore guard Quadire Truesdale handed out six assists.
Bartram 15 15 9 13-52
Frankford 12 13 19 7-51
B: Malik Noel 14, Khayri Washington 11, Gerald Evariste 5, James Suber 8, Raul McIlwain 10, Terrieck Williams 4.
F: Quadire Truesdale 2, Denzel Turbeville 4, Donald Robinson 4, Tyree Tucker 14, Sterling Walker 2, Aaron McFarlan 9, Joe Ricketts 8, Shaquil Rone 2, Andre Coach 6.