Redeeming victory for PET's Thurman

JOSEPH KACZMAREK / FOR THE DAILY NEWS Larenz Thurman , of Philadelphia Electrical and Technology, has sights set on beating Holy Ghost, which featured a enthusiastic crowd.
JOSEPH KACZMAREK / FOR THE DAILY NEWS Larenz Thurman , of Philadelphia Electrical and Technology, has sights set on beating Holy Ghost, which featured a enthusiastic crowd.
Posted: March 13, 2014

THERE ARE FEW chants that athletes at any level want to hear sung in their direction.

"You let the whole team down!" has to near the top of that list.

So, there was Larenz Thurman, standing at the free throw line in last night's Class AAA second-round playoff matchup, being serenaded by the boisterous faithful from Holy Ghost Prep.

Thurman, a senior point guard for Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter, had just gone 1-for-2 at the line with less than a minute to play in regulation to give the Chargers a two-point lead that left the door ajar for the Firebirds.

Holy Ghost's Zaire Watkins (11 points) scored a layup that tied the game and treated those at the Colonial Elementary School (behind Plymouth-Whitemarsh High) to bonus basketball.

"I let my teammates down by not hitting that last free throw in the fourth quarter so I knew I had to get it back," Thurman said. "I was just thinking, 'Man, I have to get this win for us.' "

Then, with redemption on his mind in overtime, Thurman again went 1-for-2 at the line with 1:13 remaining to put PET ahead, 51-50.

After Matt England (20 points, five boards) gave the No. 1-seeded Firebirds from District 1 the lead with a short bucket, Thurman had his chance. And PET coach James "Flames" Lewis didn't hesitate.

"We told them if they scored, we weren't going to call timeout," Lewis said. "You have the ball in your point guard's hands and he was having a pretty good game after a really good game last game. So as a coach you have to trust point guard with the ball."

After some clock-chewing, Thurman finally emerged with the ball on the right wing with about 30 seconds remaining. A foot-feint to the right and a quick burst left and Thurman was at the foul line, hoisting the game-winning step-back jumper.

When England's deep and desperate three with Thurman in his face misfired, PET celebrated the 53-52 victory.

And the redemption tasted sweet.

"Yeah, it felt good," Thurman said with a smile. "I know at practice tomorrow I'm going to get some extra free throws up! But it just felt good to come back and get that shot to go in."

Thurman, who lives with his grandparents (Leon and Mimi Medley) in Overbrook, finished with 18 points (5-for-13, three triples and 5-for-8 on free throws). Junior guard Devante Truitt was also huge, knocking down several jump shots in regulation that kept Holy Ghost at arm's length. Truitt finished with 14 points (7-for-16) and five steals. James Suber, a senior forward, finished with nine points and nine rebounds to go with three blocks. Sophomore forward Nysir Marshburn grabbed seven boards, while junior guard Jihad Barnes added four steals.

Joe Braun added 11 points and 11 boards for HGP.

In Friday's quarterfinals, District 12 No. 2 PET will face District 12 No. 3 Archbishop Carroll, which dispatched Abington Heights, 59-55, last night.

As for Thurman, a transfer from Wilmington Friends School in Delaware, he reports looks from low-level Division I schools and some mid-majors with his sights set on accounting.

And about those free throws . . . Maybe it would be easier with a defender in his face at the line?

"I would say so," he said. "Because when it's just me on the line, I'm thinking, 'I have to make this.' But when a defender is on me, it's much easier."

On Twitter: @AceCarterDN

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