by Jody Kessler
This reporter learned a valuable lesson Friday night in Malvern: Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
While Malvern Prep did not look very stylish or threatening in warm-ups before their game with Chestnut Hill Academy, things were very different when the ball went up for the tip.
Malvern used a stifling defense to completely throttle the Blue Devils, and won going away, 41-26. CHA could never get inside on the Friars, forced to rely completely on jump shots. Malvern’s D was simply outstanding. CHA drops to 7-9 with the loss as Malvern improved to a fantastic 13-3. They were led by Brendan Kilpatrick, with 11 points while also controlling the rebounding. There really were not offensive stars for either team but Malvern didn’t need them, they had their D.
“I thought the right team won the game,” Coach Bill Dooley said. “They played hard, they were hungrier, they were better. I congratulate them. They did a terrific job, they played hard, they executed, I applaud them. They defended us well, they made us shoot the ball from the perimeter and we didn’t. Any time we did get the ball inside they collapsed and when we kicked we just couldn’t make shots. What happens then it just puts that much more microscope on your defense. Excellent coaching job to them, they deserved to win this game.”
Malik Garner pointed to the shooting.
“We just didn’t shoot well at all,” he said. “We didn’t key in on our plays well at all, we didn’t play hard enough either, it wasn’t like us. We’re a good three point shooting team; we just couldn’t knock them down tonight. It’s all about you come back play hard, same thing, follow the same routine. We’ll bounce back, we always bounce back.”
“It was tough,” said junior guard Bill Dooley. “They kind of came out harder then us at the start. It was hard to come back from that. It was tough, we couldn’t make any jump shots.”
About how they bounce back Dooley said, “We have practice tomorrow at ten, get back in the gym, just try and get back on track.”
Coach Dooley promised that his team would bounce right back.
“We get in the gym tomorrow at ten and we work at it,” he said. “We watch some film we get in the weight room we shoot the ball, we guard and we do what we always do. Make sure we do it in a focused way.”
About how he thinks the team is progressing he said, “we’re kind of back and forth. With this team it kind of depends on how well we shoot the ball. Other nights we’ve shot it well. We’re trying to get better every day. We need to be more consistent, and we’re not that right now. That’s what we’re striving for.”
Malvern’s Kilpatrick was proud of his team.
“We basically out-toughed them today,” he said. “It was about who was going to get some loose balls, 50/50 balls, getting the rebounds. Then it came down to knocking down fouls shots, knocking down shots In the end of the game keep our composure, and not get flustered by their pressure and I think we did a great job with that. Defense was great today. We work on pressure on the ball, help defense. We got it in our heads we can’t mess it up. We work really hard at what we do and it showed.”