Author: Ahmad Graves-El
Released: February 25, 2017
The Cumberland County College Men's Basketball Team advanced to the second round of the Region XIX playoffs, winning a heart-pounding game over the Delaware County Community College Phantoms, 85-78.
Kyle Philo had a monster game scoring 24 points, while dishing out 6 assists with 6 steals. Four other Dukes players also scored in double-figures, including Haashim Wallace (12 points and 11 rebounds) who put on an impressive aerial display, including an earth-shattering, one-handed dunk off a feed from Philo.
The way the Dukes played in the first half, they appeared to be on their way to a blowout.
CCC made the Phantoms offense disappear, as they went on a 28-5 run, culminating with Philo hitting an open 3 at the buzzer, for a 44-26 halftime lead.
To their credit, the Phantoms didn't completely fade, as they fought back to tighten the game aided by numerous buckets from Sean Havink. The Dukes, who were up by as much as 20 points, saw their lead dwindle to 68-65 with 8:21 left in the game.
"Our transition defense was really good," said Wallace, "[but in the] second half, we layed off the gas." Jordan Aikens (10 points) stopped the bleeding with a layup, then after a 2 pointer by DCCC, Philo made back-to-back buckets, including a three-point play the old-fashioned way to push the lead back to seven, 75-68.
The teams traded baskets the rest of the way, resulting in the seven point differential at the end of the game. Surprise starter Eddie Jacobs played a positive part in the win, scoring 17 points while adding 13 rebounds. Taylor Clarke rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11 of his own.
Although the Dukes won this engaging battle, they know they can't rest on their laurels. "[We're] excited and looking forward to working harder in the second round," said Philo.
CCC will travel to Passaic to face the number 1 seeded Panthers on Tuesday, February 28th at 6:00 PM for a crucial second round showdown. Passaic, the nation's second ranked team, won both meetings between the two teams during the regular season.