Haverford Boys’ Basketball Falls in Battle Against Radnor


Sophia Khan

Junior Googie Seidman steps back to breathe after scoring 7 straight points.

Mason Baylis, Sports Editor

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First place in the Central League was on the line as the Haverford boys basketball team visited Radnor on Friday night with a chance to propel themselves into first place in the league. 

 Entering the game, the Fords were 8-1 on the season, winning eight straight. The Radnor Raptors were perfect with a 10-0 record. Attempting to be the imperfection on Radnor’s record, the Fords rolled out a starting lineup of Seniors J.R. Newman, Nick Colucci, Colin Reynolds, Juniors Googie Seidman, and Tommy Wright.

Starting with the tip-off, things seemed to go Haverford’s way. With two easy baskets by Colucci, and a made free throw by Wright, the Fords jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. As expected of a Haverford boys basketball defense under Coach Heinerichs, the Fords defense stopped the Raptors from finding any easy baskets. After Radnor’s Junior Charlie Thorton knocked down a three with 2:09 left in the first quarter, the Fords scored 5 straight points to end the quarter up 13-5.

The same tenacious Fords defense continued in the second quarter, keeping the Raptors unable to find their rhythm. Whether a Reynolds steal and an and-one or Junior Kevin Gannon getting a block leading to another Haverford basket, the team turned defense into offense. Yet, with 5:52 left to play in the first half, the Ford’s defense started to falter. Radnor outscored Haverford 12-3 for the remainder of the second quarter. Haverford led by only 3 points at halftime, 22-19. 

Resuming play in the second half, the Radnor offense picked up where it had left off, capturing their first lead of the game two minutes into the third quarter, 24-22. A Colucci basket was finally able to break the 9 minutes 57-second drought for the Fords, tying the game at 24 apiece, with 3:55 remaining in the quarter. Afterwards, the Seidman showcase began. Scoring the next seven points for the Fords, Googie Seidman kept the team neck and neck with the Raptors. Ending the quarter with a Radnor basket, the Raptors took the lead 32-31 into the fourth quarter. 

Senior Nick Colucci ties the game 24-24 near the end of the third quarter. (Sophia Khan)

Needing a resurgence of the great Haverford defense of the first half, the team delivered. Forcing four straight Radnor turnovers, the Fords looked to be on their way to first place in the Central League. Yet, an inability to capitalize offensively on the turnovers allowed the Raptors to tie the game 37-37, with 2:43 remaining. Off a Radnor timeout, Thornton once again propelled the home team into the lead, with 1:43 left. With plenty of time, the Fords looked to find an easy basket, but the relentless Raptor defense was ready. After a Colucci miss and an unsuccessful attempt to grab the rebound by Reynolds, the mood shifted. Suddenly with 42.3 seconds left on the clock, Radnor held a two-point lead, with possession. The “turnover magic” that Haverford demonstrated only minutes before disappeared, forcing Seidman to foul the Raptors to the free-throw line with 14.4 seconds left in the game. 

With two good free throws by the Raptors, their lead increased to 41-37. A quick inbound pass to Newman caught the Radnor defense unprepared. Newman drove coast to coast for the basket, and the crucial plus one. With veins that should be checked for ice, Newman knocked down the free throw, bringing the game to 41-40. With 6.7 seconds remaining, the Fords brought Raptor’s Junior Jackson Hicke to the line. Hicke made both free throws, and the Fords were left with only one opportunity to score.

In a seemingly identical play, the Fords inbounded the pass to Newman, and he drove with full steam ahead to the Radnor basket. Driving into the lane, he knew the team needed three points to send the game to overtime, Newman found an open Tommy Wright for three, yet his shot missed the basket, leaving the Raptors celebrating and the Fords forced to watch.

The final score of 43-40 showed how close the game had been. Haverford was in control for the majority of the game. The big difference occurred in the free throw percentage of the two teams. Both Haverford and Radnor were awarded ten free throws; the Raptors made all ten while the Fords were only able to convert on four. 

Despite the outcome of the game, the Central League title is still up for grabs, and the attention for both teams soon will start to shift towards seeding in their respective PIAA District 1 size playoff brackets. 

The Fords will look to bounce back this week before their highly anticipated matchup (1/25) against Lower Merion High School.

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