By Caroline Sweeney
The men’s basketball team lost their fourth game of the season 74-50 against the Northampton Spartans at home on Nov. 17 at the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP). The Phantoms are now 0-4 on the season.
Starting guard Justin Grans led the Phantoms offensively, scoring 15 points. Following Grans, forward Nazir Gossette scored 11 points and forward Ketquan Gatewood scored eight points.
Three other Phantoms contributed offensively. Guards Mike Mallon and De’Andray Covert scored seven points and forward Jack Yost scored two points.
“I think my team played well today,” said Larry Yarbray, Sr. Phantoms head coach. “We played the best team in the league and the defending champs. We competed at a good level. At times we struggled on offense, but our defense did a really good job.”
Both teams had a slow start to the game, neither team scoring until about halfway through the first half. The Spartans opened with a basket. Northampton had a strong offensive game while the Phantoms struggled to keep up with the scoring power of the Spartans.
Despite being consistently behind in the first half, the Phantoms did not give up. The Phantoms ran a quick offensive and capitalized on the fouling of Northampton by shooting well at the free throw line.
The Phantoms fell behind early in the first half and struggled with their offensive rebounding. Northampton had 16 offensive rebounds as opposed to DCCC’s eight.
At halftime, the Spartans were leading, 19-35 Northampton.
The Phantoms excelled in defense, keeping a team that would normally score 90+ points to 74 points.
At the beginning of the second half, the Phantoms came out faster and with a sense of urgency that they did not seem to have in the first half.
The Phantoms, with their better ball movement, slowed down the game to a steady pace. They scored 31 more points in their second half than in the first. But it was not enough to curve the Spartans offense, who scored 39 points in the second half.
Despite the improvement in the Phantoms game, they still struggled against Northampton.
As the second half progressed, the Phantoms started to rush, only taking jump shots.
“We moved away from the type of game that we normally play,” Yarbray said. “We settled for some jump shots instead of baskets inside that paint or any kind of inside presence.”
After several turnovers by the Phantoms, Northampton continued to extend their lead significantly.
With a final score of 74- 50 Northampton, the Spartans handed the Phantoms their fourth loss of the season.
The lack of offense took a toll on the team’s statistics as well. The Phantoms made about 29 percent of their field goals, only 15 percent of their three-point shots and 52 percent of their free throws.
These stats have dropped since their last game, a 97-79 loss against CCP.
“Total team effort, everyone gave what they had,” Yarbray said. “But hopefully we learned something. [The team is] starting to believe in one another.”
The Phantoms next game will be away on Nov. 29 against Burlington County. The next home game will be at Widener University’s gym on Dec. 1 against Montgomery County.
Contact Caroline Sweeney at firstname.lastname@example.org