Raw Sports

Malvern Prep advances to PAISAA Championship with win over the Phelps School By: Tyler Harden

BLUE BELL— It was the PAISAA Semifinals, and Malvern Prep was not shocked that they were competing for the chance to make it to the championship. However, the 3-seed Friars did not expect to be playing the Phelps School, who was the 7-seed and had beaten the Friars 77-71 in December. The Lions upset the 2-seed Hill School 54-48 to earn a spot in the semifinals. But Phelps figured since they are in the semifinals, why not go to the championship?

The first quarter started well for both teams, as the lead was traded several times. Malvern Prep eventually got into a rhythm, as Deuce Turner had 9 points in the first quarter. Turner, who is committed to Bucknell, was finding a way to drive and make contested layups to keep the Friars in the lead. But, Danny Dade hit a three for Phelps with only a few seconds left in the quarter to tie the game at 16.

The second quarter is when Deuce Turner really took over. He scored the first 6 points of the quarter for Malvern Prep, which included a contested three. But Phelps always stand within manageable distance, as 6’11” big man, Sam Onu, knocked in a putback layup to tie the game at 26. Malvern Prep responded, as Lonnie White hit a big three, and shortly after dunked off a fast break to give Malvern a 5 point lead. After the Friars went on another run, they went into halftime up 39-29.

Malvern Prep kept their lead into the third quarter, as Spencer Cochran led the way with 9 points in the quarter. Phelps started to rally briefly towards the end of the quarter, as Danny Dade hit back to back threes to bring the Lions within 4.

Phelps knew they had to do one thing coming into the second half, shut Deuce Turner down, and they held him scoreless. That was until the end of the quarter when he hit a buzzer beater three to give the Friars a 12 point lead. And he wasn’t done from there. The Friars were still in front 57-49. “My guys knew early on, get me the ball and see what I can do, and I was able to get a good percentage early,” Turner said, “it opened up for other guys in the second half when they started denying me and were trying not to let me catch the ball.”

Malvern Prep was taking advantage of Phelps missed shots. They got the rebounds they needed and did the rest on offense, eventually building a comfortable lead. The Friars held Phelps to just 7 points in the final quarter, all of which were scored by Devin Butler. Deuce Turner and Spencer Cochran led the way for the Friars in the fourth, as they combined for 12 points. With less than a minute left in the game, the Malvern Prep starters came off the floor, and they left with a 72-55 victory. “It feels good that we got the win,” Turner said, “today was a hard fought game for us, and we got one more win left.”

Deuce Turner led Malvern Prep with 29 points, and Spencer Cochran was not far behind with 21, including 3 threes. Lonnie White added 10 points and Fran Oschell with 9 for the Friars. Devin Butler led Phelps with 15 points, and Sam Onu scored 12, 10 of which were scored in the first half. Danny Dade added 11 for the Lions.

Malvern Prep will play the Westtown School for the PAISAA Championship on Saturday, February 22nd at 7:30 PM at Montgomery County Community College. “We just have to do what we do,” Turner said, “we just have to mentally prepare, we have to go to war with these guys.”