Harriton upsets Coatesville

Harriton's Alex Shippen drives to the basket against Coatesville's Keenan Coleman in the first period. Shippen scored a game-high 29 points.
Harriton's Alex Shippen drives to the basket against Coatesville's Keenan Coleman in the first period. Shippen scored a game-high 29 points. (      BRADLEY C. BOWER / For The Inquirer)
Posted: February 16, 2014

Harriton's one-two backcourt punch, along with a momentum-shifting heave at the end of the first half, trumped Coatesville's inside height.

With Alex Shippen and Detasla Dixon combining for 47 points, including 30 after intermission, the quicker Rams downed the bigger Red Raiders, 73-60, Friday night in the opening round of the District 1 Class AAAA boys' basketball tournament.

Before the break, reserve Jordan Wright found twine from just inside half-court to cut Coatesville's advantage to six. Feeding off that shot, Harriton, which had trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, opened the second with an 8-0 burst.

Shippen, a 6-foot, 175-pound senior guard, sparked the Rams, who rebounded from a lopsided loss to Lower Merion in a Central League playoff semifinal, with a game-high 29 points as well as seven rebounds and three steals.

"There was no shame in losing to Lower Merion," Shippen said. "We still had a lot of confidence coming into districts. We believed in ourselves."

The 5-11, 155-pound Dixon, a senior combination guard, posted 13 of his 18 points in the last 16 minutes. He added four boards and three assists.

"We got off to a slow start," Dixon said. "Once we settled in on defense, packing it in and fronting their big men, that turned things around."

Next for No. 20 seed Harriton (15-9) is a second-round matchup against the survivor of Saturday's contest between No. 29 Kennett and No. 4 Spring-Ford.

"Our whole thing was, we didn't want to say goodbye," Rams coach Jesse Rappaport said. "I told our kids before the game, 'The story can't end here.' "

Shippen shot 7 for 12 from the field (4 for 4 from beyond the arc) and 11 for 14 from the foul line. In the first round last season, his last-second shot produced a 53-51 win over Council Rock North.

Dixon, whose nose was bloodied by an elbow in the second quarter, was 6 for 11 from the field and 6 for 10 from the stripe.

Overall, Harriton went 24 for 34 from the line. The visitors forced 13th-seeded Coatesville (14-10) into 16 turnovers.

Wright, the squad's sixth man, contributed 16 points, including a pair of second-quarter threes.

"He's great at giving us a spark when we need it," Shippen said.

For the Red Raiders, Tyler Burke, who will play football at Maryland, managed 16 points and 12 boards. Their other 6-4 senior forward, Jaquan Hollingshed, was slowed by foul trouble and finished with eight points.

Harriton 8 20 24 21 – 73

Coatesville 13 21 14 12 – 60

H: Detasla Dixon 18, Alex Shippen 29, Sam Schlichting 5, Spencer Dickler 5, Jordan Wright 16.

C: Kevin Crutchfield 2, Jaquan Hollingshed 8, Tyler Burke 16, Keenan Coleman 13, Ricky Southcott 6, Calvin Young 9, John Rodriguez 5, Amir Ealey 1.


robrien@phillynews.com

@ozoneinq

www.inquirer.com/ozone

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