Downingtown East holds off Garnet Valley in second half to win opener

By Steve Moore

With just above four minutes left in the fourth quarter Friday night, Downingtown East guard Malik Slay approached the free throw line in hopes of taking the lead back from Garnet Valley. The Jaguars had just taken the lead for the first time with a pretty back-door pass and layup from Austin Laughlin to Greg Vlassopoulos.As Slay received the ball from the official, he acted out his best Kevin Durant impression. Two dribbles, a deep breath, another dribble and a shoulder shake before letting the ball fly. The first shot allowed Slay to tie the game. Once the second shot came down, it gave Downingtown the confidence to close out the game.

The Cougars went on to beat Garnet Valley 61-56 in the season opener for both teams.

“We knew the run was coming,” said John Goodman. “This is a team that can score in the 80s and we held them to five points in the first quarter. I just flat out said at halftime they are going to start making threes. I think Laughlin had one point in the first half. He’s a thousand-point scorer and we knew he was going to make a couple. I think we responded well. We lost the lead, but we came down, scored and got it back.”

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