West Catholic tops Lansdale Catholic on a buzzer-beater

Posted: February 10, 2014

WEST CATHOLIC didn't win a single game in Catholic League play last season, and expectations were not high for first-year head coach Jasmine "Jazz" Williams' bunch when this season began.

But the Burrs had expectations of their own. Last night, they burst onto the court during warmups clad in white T-shirts that read, "Why not us?"

"It means we don't need anybody to believe in us," junior guard Devonta Peterie said. "We just stay as a family. As long as this team stays as a family, we don't care what anybody else says."

The talk last night centered on an exciting finish. Stefan Jones hit a game-winning jumper from about 10 feet away on the right side with less than a second remaining, which didn't leave visiting Lansdale Catholic with enough time to retaliate.

The result was a 63-61 West Catholic victory and a mini mosh pit near center court.

The final sequence wasn't without controversy. It appeared to onlookers from both sides that Jones might have traveled before he scored. Despite Lansdale protests, all referees' whistles remained silent.

Peterie led the Burrs (10-10, 6-6) with 21 points on 6-for-9 shooting and 3-for-5 from three. The junior southpaw, who lives on 75th and Walnut Lane (near the Cheltenham Mall), was dangerous from three-point range.

One of his two misses from distance was knocked down by the low-hanging ceiling.

"It was gonna go in," Peterie said, smiling. "I saw how the ball spinned. It was going in. That's why I was a little mad about it, but it was going in, though."

Jamil Harris, a 6-4 junior forward, played an excellent floor game and finished with nine points and eight assists.

"I love his game," Peterie said. "I think he's the best passer in the Catholic League to me."

Jones, also a junior forward, scored seven huge points off the bench and was a 3-for-3 from the field (1-for-1 from the foul line). Sophomore forward Josh Townsend added eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Junior Brandon Cole, added 11 big points off the bench for the Burrs.

For the Crusaders (9-11, 4-8) senior Brian Rafferty finished with 20 points and five rebounds.

Peterie, who played at Martin Luther King last season, set up Jones' final shot with penetration after Lansdale's Kyle Pavlick tied the game at 61 with 7.4 left.

"We practice plays like that," Peterie said. "Penetrate and pitch."

Peterie said the T-shirts and the slogan were from assistant coach Larry Strand. So what will it take for the young Burrs to keep it going?

"The way we keep that momentum," he said, "is we enjoy it tonight, and then back to work tomorrow."

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