The sign of a strong team is the ability to win both games on the road in a weekend—especially after an emotional and hard fought victory. This was our challenge Saturday afternoon at the Wheeler School in Providence following an impressive victory at Hyde Woodstock the night before. A fast start and timely foul shooting at the end allowed the Phoenix to escape with a 72-67 victory over a highly organized and skilled Wheeler side.
The first half was a back and forth affair and it was clear that we were lacking the mental side of the game early on. Turnovers and quick shots allowed the Wheeler Warriors to get comfortable and run their highly effective offense. An adjustment after a timeout allowed the Phoenix to begin to take control of the game, primarily due to the play of Junior forward Gatouch Pan. Pan posted up smaller defenders and served both as a creator and primary scorer. Pan had a double-double in the first half, finshing with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Phoenix led 35-25 at halftime.
The start of the second half featured some of our best play of the weekend. Guards Antoine Montgomery ’16 and Miguel Preito ’17 took control of the game, slicing in the lane, kicking for threes and feeding Pan inside. Junior forward Greg Kidger hit his first high school three pointer in the half—proving that hard work in practice does pay off. The Phoenix were ahead by 20 points with 8 minutes to go…. Here we learned our most important lesson of the weekend. In prep basketball, you can not let up. The home side began to attack the basket, hit open three and take advantage of our fatigue. With one minute left and the Phoenix only up 4, Montgomery and Pan found the dagger. A drive from the point guard found our big man trailing for an open three pointer and sealed an impressive 2-0 weekend.
The Phoenix were paced by a huge game by Gatouch Pan ( 25 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks ), Preito ( 20 points, 5 assists ) and Montgomery ( 17 points, 7 assists ). Next up.. our home opener vs Gould at 3 Pm on Wednesday!