For Beniwal, Garnet Valley, loss to Gratz was fast learning experience


Garnet Valley’s Neel Beniwal, seen in a game with Penncrest this season, scored 20 points but the Jaguars couldn’t hold off the rally by Simon Gratz in a 56-51 loss in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A Tournament. PETE BANNAN – MEDIANEWS GROUP

By Jack McCaffery

A basketball season can be measured in multiple ways. Since one is always to accumulate learning opportunities, coach Mike Brown left Lincoln High Saturday satisfied that his Garnet Valley team had garnered something of value.

Though a tense 56-51 loss to Simon Gratz would end their season in the opening round of the PIAA Class 6A tournament, the Jaguars were more thankful than exasperated by the experience.

“In our league, we don’t face that quickness, that speed,” Brown said. “I told the guys they are so small in the backcourt, so you don’t think it’s a problem. But they are quick. Their hands are even quicker than their bodies. They are jet quick.”

The Bulldogs are also the No. 1 seeded team out of District 12, the class of the Public League, city champions after a victory over talented Roman Catholic. Saturday, it took them a long while, but eventually they showed why.

After trailing at halftime, 31-15, Gratz expanded its defense, began to create live-ball turnovers and uncorked a 22-point fourth quarter to advance to Round 2. The Jags’ season ended at 23-4, a school record for victories.

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