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PENNSYLVANIA HIGH SCHOOL HOOPS IS BACK!! NOTHING BUT CLASSICS.. by: James Nelson Stewart

PENNSYLVANIA HIGH SCHOOL HOOPS IS BACK!! NOTHING BUT CLASSICS.. by: James Nelson Stewart
WOW!!!
Over the last 2 days (3/17/17 & 3/18/17), I have been fortunate enough to watch not 1 but 2 CLASSIC High School basketball games, by 4 absolutely great teams (Plymouth Whitemarsh, Pocono Mountain West, Carlisle and Emmaus). On Friday, I traveled to Bethlehem Freedom High School and watched an epic battle between PW and Pocono Mt West. PMW started the game on a 8-0 run and kept the lead the whole 1st half as Jalen Vaughns (more on him later) dominated the 1st half for PMW with 16 pts and 10 rebounds as the PMW led 33-27 at the half. The runs that both teams made in the 1st half had me excited for an exciting finish.  Cheo Houston and Ahmad Williams (more on him later) kept PW within striking distance. Even though PMW had the lead, they only had 3 people score while PW had a more balanced scoring effort. PW never had a lead in the 1st half but you had a sense that a run was coming because of their relentless passion for playing. PMW has 3 great players in Vaughns, Isaiah Wiggins, and Lance Singh. Singh is a 6-5
long limbed guard who can put it on the floor and rise up plus he will guard you 94 feet. Vaughns is a 6-5 wing (more of a forward right now) who can put it on the floor and get to the hole where he is dangerous. Then with Wiggins, you have a 5-11 blur with the ball who can elevate at any time. He attacks the basket with no fear and will try to posterize you if you try to jump with him. He, quite possibly, is the fastest guard in the state with the ball in his hands. All 3 players have eclipsed 1,000 points in their HS careers. But PW might be the most determined team in this field. Led by “TWINS” Ahmad and Ahmin Williams, PW will not back down to anyone. A double digit deficit does not affect this team in the least. Now Ahmin Williams has suffered an injury before the playoffs that has sidelined him, he still has a huge effect on PW’s games. He cheers with the same tenacity that he plays. So when PW came back from halftime, their confidence
did not waver. So the 2nd half starts and it pretty much the same as the 1st half with PMW and PW exchanging scores, but the source for PMW has changed. In the 1st half, PW had problems with Vaughns. In the 3rd quarter, Wiggins starts taking over for PMW. Now PW is countering with Ish Horn who is warming up a little.  There is always a turning point for each game.  This highly aggressive game got its turning point at 2:14 left in the 3rd quarter with PMW up by the score of 46-41.  Singh and Ahmad Williams had a little flare up with some jawing but it seemed to give PW the boost they needed.  It also
set the stage for the biggest turning point of the game. At 1:06 left in the 3rd quarter, Singh and Williams started jostling again and was called for a double foul.  Well that was Singh 5th foul and he was
disqualified for the rest of the game with PMW up 48-46. From that point on PW went on a 7-2 to end the quarter punctuated by a half court shot by Ish Horn to end the 3rd quarter with PW up 55-50.  The 4th quarter was like an old west duel between Wiggins and Horn, back and forth they battled.  One shot Wiggins made was a pull up off the backboard in 3 point range.  But it seemed like every time PMW would cut the lead, Ish Horn would respond.  Just like when PW couldn’t make free throws, they missed 4 in a
row to try to seal the game.  Ish Horn grabbed the rebound and created a new opportunity for his teammates.  It’s plays like that allowed PW to escape with a 66-63 victory. Pocono Mountain West had only 3 people score Wiggins had 28 points (20 in the 2nd half), Vaughns 24 points (16 in the 1st half) 14 rebounds and Lance Singh had 11. Ish Horn paced PW with 20 points (18 in the 2nd half), and Ahmad
Williams 16 points.
After the PW/PMW game which was a CLASSIC High school game, The Carlisle/Emmaus game had a lot to live up to.  It lived up to it and more.  This game had so many ebbs and flows.  So many noteworthy performances and outstanding plays that words will not do this game justice.  This game was a CLASSIC!!!! And that word may not be strong enough for what we were able to see tonight.  Ben Milligan, Ethan Houston, Nate Barnes, Gavin Barnes, Nikhi Barnes and Deshawn Millington left it on the hardwood for Carlisle and the “TWINS” the Kachelries Brothers of Emmaus put on a performance that nobody will ever forget at the Geigle Complex.  “Heart of a Champion” “Nobody deserved to lose” are phrases that instantly came to mind as I watched the game. This game NEEDS to be viewed to understand the magnitude
of the game. The crowds of both teams left me in awe of what community involvement should be. Raw Sports gives you a different perspective as we are fans (and former players) so we like to give you that feel of the excitement in the gym. Games like these, there are truly no LOSERS. The communities that these players come from are brought together from games like these.  People are traveling over an hour to see
young men give everything they have for the name in front of their jersey. The Carlisle faithful says this run is making them feel like the “Billy Ball” era. (Billy Owens era when Carlisle won 4 straight state titles).
Emmaus faithful look at the “TWINS’ and realize how special they have been to their community and program. This game MUST be viewed to understand the chants like “21”.  WOW!!! is all I could say as we left the gym realizing that I got to cover a game so spectacular that spectators will be talking about it for years to come.  This is what a State tournament should feel like.  Please take time to watch this classic game on RAWSPORTS TV. I guarantee you that you will thank US later.  (Note:  WATCH GAME NOW IN THE “GAME CENTRAL” SECTION OF THE WEBSITE)

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