Around this time of year you just never know. Opening round PIAA tourney games can be well, unpredictable? John Bartrum a relatively unknown .500 Philadelphia public league school, vs Berks Catholic, the well oiled machine from Berks County. A long and traffic delayed drive to almost a home game for the Saints. No chance for the Braves you say, well not so fast my friends. John Bartrum did not know they were an underdog. John Bartrum played a very emotional style of basketball. John Bartrum gave everything they had…but fell just short. Berks Catholic’s experience and execution proved to much down the stretch. The Saints came away with a hard fought 47-43 win over John Bartrum at the Geigle complex in Reading Friday Night
Tre Dabney led the Saints with 12 points. Off the bench, Jack Hagelbarger with 8 points and Luke Painton’s 7 were big reasons why the Saints came out on top. Khyree Lloyds had 13 for John Bartrum.
The game had a lot of action to start, but very little scoring. Halfway through the first quarter it was 6-2 Saints. BC kept up its good defense the rest of the quarter and led 12-7 after one. A key development in quarter one was Keba Mitchell picking up two fouls. Mitchell would be on the bench the entire 2nd quarter. Luke Painton picked up where Mitchell left off in quarter two. Luke and Jack Hagelbarger off the bench and Tre Dabney gave BC a spark. The Saints needed something as they were cold from the field and Bartrum was ruling the glass. The Saints led John Bartrum 24-18 at the break.
The third quarter, well lets just say it was not one of BC’s best. But lets give some credit to Bartrum The Braves 94 foot pressure defense took the Saints out of any kind of offensive rhythm. BC held a slim 26-24 lead going to the fourth. In the fourth quarter things finally began to click for both teams. Saints Coach Snip Easterly shifted to a hi-low post offensive set with Keba Mitchell down low. This paid dividends in a hurry with three Keba Mitchell slams. But Bartrum did not back down. The Braves matched BC bucket for bucket. Bartrum tied the score at 43 with :15 seconds to play. On the ensuing inbounds Bartrum inexplicably fouled BC. Luis Garcia calmly sank both ends of the one and one. 45-43 Saints :05 left Another Bartrum foul after a missed field goal. Garcia makes the front end, misses the 2nd 46-43. Bartrum got the board but a huge steal by Tre Dabney and his free throw made the final BC 47 John Bartrum 43.
Its Tuesday night time for BC in the PIAA tourney next.