By Pete DiGiovanni
West Chester Rustin came into Thursday night looking up at two teams in the Ches-Mont League American Division standings.By the end of the night, the Golden Knights still sat in third place … but the race to the playoffs will likely be a photo finish now.
A contentious battle between the host Golden Knights and Ches-Mont American leader Sun Valley saw Rustin hold on for a hard-fought, 57-48 victory that put the Golden Knights a half-game behind Unionville for second place in the American and just a step and a half behind previously unbeaten Sun Valley.
Rustin (4-2 league, 10-5 overall) went to the free throw line 37 times, compared to just 12 for the Vanguards (5-1, 11-4), a fact that angered Sun Valley coach Steve Maloney, who was assessed a technical foul with three minutes left in the fourth quarter.
“We did not get a call all night and I thought the officiating was bad,” Maloney said. “And we still made it a game. But give Rustin credit. They were fighting for their lives in the Ches-Mont and they hit shots and killed us in the paint.”