Matt Chandik (@MChandik26)
DOWNINGTOWN — It’s a hard achievement for anybody.
Beating Coatesville is a difficult task for anyone that the Red Raiders play. Backed by an incredible history of success, Coatesville rarely plays second fiddle to anyone, especially in the Ches-Mont League. Bishop Shanahan is no exception.
Prior to Tuesday night’s game, the Eagles had beaten Coatesville once this decade, an early January win in 2014. When the Red Raiders took a one-point lead with seven seconds to go, it looked like more heartbreak for Shanahan.
Seven seconds, three passes and one layup later, there was a steady stream of students rushing the court to mob Kevin Dodds after his bucket gave the Eagles a 48-47 win over the defending league champions.
“It’s really special. It feels amazing being on this side with our team. It feels great,” Dodds said. “It feels good to finally beat them after three years of losing to them.”
It didn’t come easily, and if you only caught the last minute of the game, it was more than enough to justify the price of admission. The Red Raiders took the lead back when freshman Jahmir Brickus (19 points) cooly sank both free throws with 42.9 ticks to go.
Coatesville looked to have it in the bag when Danny Browne missed a shot with 26 seconds to go, but the Red Raiders’ Kamau Brickus (14 points and four assists) only hit one of his two free throws. '
Given the chance to do it again, Browne went hard to the hoop, laid the ball in and drew a foul. His freebie gave Shanahan a 46-45 edge.
Coatesville was undeterred, though. Kamau Brickus drove to the net and tossed up a shot that missed, but Joe Boulware grabbed his eighth rebound of the night and put it back.
All that did, though, was set up Dodds’ heroics.
A Coatesville defender slipped in front of Joe O’Malley, who zipped a pass to John Kozinski. Kozinski found David Angelo (16 points, including four 3-balls), who made one defender miss before slipping the ball to a wide open Dodds. One easy layup was all it took for the pandemonium to start.
“We were looking for the give-and-go with John Kozinski, but when that wasn’t open, Coach told us to get the ball and work it up, and that’s what we did,” Angelo said. “(The students storming the court) was awesome. It’s easily the greatest basketball memory so far in my career.”
Browne wanted a shot at redemption after his miss, and he wasn’t going to falter a second time when the Eagles needed him to step up.
“I knew I missed that shot earlier, so I knew I had to do something to make it happen as a senior on the team,” Browne said. “We wanted to win that game so badly, so I had to do something. (The miss) was (weighing on my mind) to a certain point, but we had to play 32 full minutes and I knew I could do something at the last second to recover from it.”
Coatesville (11-4, 6-1) got a combined 34 points and six assists from the Brickus cousins, but it couldn’t muster much secondary scoring. DaPree Bryant, Boulware and Tyrel Bladen each tacked on four points, but Shanahan (10-5, 6-1) countered with a diverse attack that featured 10 points from Dodds and Browne and eight from big man Thomas Ford.
With the way they played in their first two matchups, the smart money is on a rubber match with the winner taking home a piece of hardware.