By Pat Leonard
For the Inquirer
One day after beating Frankford in a four-overtime marathon for the Class AAAA Public League title, Bartram showed no signs of fatigue in a 75-63 league semifinal win over Class AAA Dobbins at Southern on Sunday.
In fact, the Braves, who will face Class AA champ Imhotep Charter for the Public League title 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Liacouras Center, looked
quite the opposite of gassed.
Bartram jumped all over Dobbins in the first half, shooting 46.6 percent from the floor (14-of-30) and 9-of-10 from the foul line, while committing just two turnovers and building a 39-25 halftime lead.
Where did Bartram’s players find the energy after outlasting the Pioneers just one day before?
“If you think about it, three of our starters fouled out, so they didn’t go the whole [game yesterday],” Bartram coach James Brown said of senior guards Tyrone Garland and Quasim Jones and junior forward
Dijon Wright. “Plus, I made them all go home last night and go to bed. I kept calling the houses [to make sure].”
Garland (game-high 23 points), Jones (14 points) and Wright (eight points, five rebounds) joined senior guard Zaahir Allen (18 points) as the catalysts of what almost turned into a blowout victory.
In Brown’s view, though, the problem with the Braves’ win was they never completely crushed Dobbins’ hopes of a comeback.
“I wasn’t seeing 100 percent effort in trying to close this thing out,” Brown said, referring to Dobbins’ 26-point fourth quarter that closed an 18-point deficit to 11, 67-56, before a few more free throws sealed the deal. “You’ve got to put your foot down and make a
Asked whether the Braves’ players showed conviction in putting the game away, the Virginia Tech-bound Garland said, “We did, but not how [coach] wanted us to.”
Meanwhile, Dobbins 6-foot-7 junior center Jerrell Wright (14 points, ten rebounds) said he believed the game swung for good in the second quarter.
Bartram pulled ahead for its first double-digit lead, 27-17, with 4:42 remaining in the first half. From there, the Braves never looked back and, according to Wright, the Mustangs never looked up.
“The second quarter when we were down by ten, I guess everybody starting putting their heads down like we lost the game,” said Wright, who for the second day in a row had LaSalle University and Temple
University coaches watching from the sidelines.
Garland said the key to gaining momentum against Dobbins was limiting Wright first. On Saturday, the center dropped 21 points and 13 boards on Simon Gratz in the Class AAA title game.
“The game plan was to just contain the big man, play defense and the rest was going to come,” Garland said.
Dobbins junior forward Basir Fulmore, a transfer from Franklin Learning Center, scored a team-high 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Dobbins coach William Johnson said he will attend Monday's Catholic League final at the Palestra, since the Mustangs must face the Catholic League runner-up Friday at Lincoln, time to be determined, to
decide the third and final seed in District 12 for the PIAA Class AAA state tournament.
Bartram is tentatively scheduled to play LaSalle, of the Catholic League, for the District 12 Class AAAA crown on Saturday at Lincoln, time to be determined.
1 2 3 4 F
Bartram 16 23 14 22 75
Dobbins 11 14 12 26 63
B: Zaahir Allen 18, Mike Burton-Young 6, Tyrone Garland 23, Quasim Jones 14, Devin Moore 4, Daryl Robinson 2, Dijon Wright 8.
D: Khalil Curtis 2, Basir Fulmore 21, Courtland Gilliam 5, Fred Jones 6, Walter Lawrence 4, Kevin Norris 5, Kiwuan Trawick 6, Jerrell Wright 14.