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READING TAKES DOWN PLYMOUTH WHITEMARSH & ADVANCES TO 6A FINAL FOUR by: James Nelson Stewart

READING TAKES DOWN PLYMOUTH WHITEMARSH & ADVANCES TO “CLASS 6A FINAL FOUR”  by: James Nelson Stewart  (photos by Gian Peta)

This game was to see who would be the last team to get to the 6A Final Four. It matched Reading, the 3rd seed of District 3, against Plymouth Whitemarsh, the 3rd seed from District 1, but these are not your regular #3 seeds, they are both tough hard nosed teams.  Both of these teams go about 8 to 9 deep with their playing rotation.  This game had the potential to be a very close game coming down to the last moments and that is exactly what happened.  This was an exciting game with both teams making runs because neither team wanted this to be their final game of the 2016-2017 season.  This has been PA’s
equivalent to the NCAA’s March Madness.  So many close games, so many big time players making big time plays. This game was no different. Reading is known to get off to slow starts. In the 2 games prior to this game, Reading has been trailing after the 1st quarter and this game was no different but Tyrone Nesby Jr. can not be blamed for that as he scored the 1st 11 points for Reading.  Plymouth Whitemarsh countered that effort with Ahmad Williams and Ish Horn combining to match Nesby’s 11 points as PW led 16-13 after 1 quarter.  Reading is known for their runs that they can unravel on an opponent that changes the
position of the teams.  The 2nd quarter saw Reading, with the help of their energetic crowd, started on one of their patent runs using defense and outright effort to will themselves to the lead.  Leading that effort was Jose Genao, who scored 12 points in the quarter and McDonald’s All American added 8 points in the 2nd quarter as Nesby dealt with foul trouble.  But PW is a resilient bunch and never let Reading get too far away from them.  Ahmad Williams (8 points in the 1st half), Ish Horn (7 points in the 1st half) and Jason Paul, who came off the bench and had 5 big points in the quarter to keep PW within striking distance with Reading leading 37-32 at the half.  In the third quarter with Plymouth Whitemarsh needing a spark, they turn to Sr guard Kevin Tilghman who gave them a huge spark.  His effort pulled PW as they headed to the 4th quarter.  Reading fans looked a little concerned as their All American Lonnie Walker seemed to go down with injury.  So with the score of 50-50 and their star player hurt, Reading looked to be losing momentum. But in true Reading style, someone else stepped up and Lonnie Walker played like Lonnie Walker…. and saying all that, PW had their chance to win this game.  In fact with 1:57 left in the game, PW went up 61-59 and that’s when it all went down hill for the Colonials.  PW could not get the ball inbounds 2 straight times and turned the ball over 2 other times and Isiah Cook, Tyrone Nesby and Lonnie Walker
made them pay as they scored the final 11 points of the game and pulled away for a 70-61 victory. Walker and Nesby each had 20 points leading Reading, Genao had 12 and Cook added 11 big points for Reading. Ahmad Williams led PW with 15 points and played outstanding defense, Tilghman had 13 points and Horn added 9 points in a losing cause.

So now the 6A Final Four is set with Ryan vs Reading and Carlisle vs Pine Richland.  If those games are half as exciting as this round of games, then the winners will be the fans.  Good Luck to All and Congrats to the young men who have played their last games of their High School careers.

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