Abington senior guard Lucas Monroe was terrified.
After he fouled out with less than one minute left in the contest, Monroe watched Coatesville set up on offense with an opportunity to take the lead.
“That was probably the longest seven or eight seconds of my life,” Monroe said.
But after about eight seconds and four shot attempts from the Coatesville boys’ basketball team, Abington coach Charles Grasty felt relieved. Grasty’s Abington squad beat Coatesville, 74-71, in overtime on Saturday at the Liacouras Center to win the District 1 6A championship for the third straight year.
“After Lucas fouled out, nobody hung their heads,” Gratsy said.
“I don’t know if this one meant any more than any of other ones, but tonight we get to celebrate this one,” he added. “We worked our butts off for that. Coatesville’s a very good team.”
Unlike Monroe, Ghosts senior forward Eric Dixon didn’t realize how much was remaining on the clock in the waning seconds of overtime. He also made a clutch block in the final sequence of the game. Dixon, who had four fouls, blocked senior guard Aaron Young as he went up for a shot attempt with about 10 seconds remaining.
Dixon, who had a game-high 38 points, including four in overtime, said he couldn’t think about potentially fouling out with the game on the line.
“To be able to come down here and win for a third time straight is really special,” said Dixon, a Villanova recruit. “I don’t think anybody else has done this for a while here, and for us to be able to get it done is a big deal to me.”
Coatesville junior guard Jhamir Brickus had a chance to win the game for the Red Raiders on the final possession in the fourth quarter, but his layup felt short of the hoop.
Brickus and junior guard Dapree Bryant led the charge for the Red Raiders.
With less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Bryant made a steal that led to a Brickus bucket on the other end. The basket gave Coatesville the lead, 63-61, but Monroe made a layup that eventually tied the game and forced overtime.
In the second quarter, Bryant and Brickus powered Coatesville on a 15-2 run that tied the game, 29-29.
Bryant scored a team-high 28 points, while Brickus tallied 23.
“They got some dogs over there,” Monroe said of Coatesville. “They play hard every single time they’re on the court, and I respect that. There’s mutual respect for the two programs. We don’t necessarily like each other, but they went right at us.”
With the state playoffs looming, Monroe and the rest of the Abington squad know what to expect. He said winning districts was a goal, but they don’t want to be complacent with a potential state tourney run ahead.
“We got a week off to get better, work and get in the gym, then we’re ready for another run,” Monroe said.
Abington: 25 11 16 11 11 -- 74
Coatesville: 12 21 20 10 8 -- 71
A: Eric Dixon 38, Lucas Monroe 18, Manir Waller 8, Maurice Henry 5, Darious Brown 5