By Dennis C. Way
Last year Plymouth Whitemarsh High’s basketball team got a taste of the pressure, the pace and yes, the fun of the PIAA District One Class AAAA playoffs.
This year, the Colonials want to see the gold medal.
They moved one step closer Tuesday night with a 53-42 win over Lower Merion in a contest that gave the championship hopefuls a mouthful of what it takes to win it all.
With the victory, the Colonials moved into the district final, where they’ll play the winner of Tuesday’s second semifinal between Chester and Ridley.
And to their credit, the Colonials looked in the face of some early adversity and responded just like a seasoned team should – with calm when it was needed, with explosiveness when it was needed and with the look of a team that knew what it will take.
“Last year, at this point in the season (the Colonials) were still cheering on the bench,” said Colonials head coach Jim Donofrio. “We were happy to be here.
“This year these guys have that confidence. It’s there.”
There was reason for it not to be.
The Aces rattled the Colonials early with full-court pressure, and PW did not respond favorably.
“We were so awesomely bad,” Donofrio said. “When you’re a team that traps and presses, teams tend not to trap and press you.”
But PW would not stay dazzled.
Instead, they overcame their early shakiness, and came back strong, primarily behind the scoring of Xavier Malone.