Garrett Miley (@GWMiley)
With the game tied at 37 and the clock winding down the final seconds of regulation, Haverford launched a corner three for the win that bounced off the rim. Derek Mountain secured the offensive rebound for the Fords and put the back back off the glass as time expired to knock off Malvern Prep, 39-37.
“He’s been out for most of the season with a foot injury,” Haverford School coach Henry Fairfax said of Mountain. “I’m happy for him and I’m proud of him.”
Mountain started off hot for Haverford (10-3, 2-0 Inter-Ac), knocking down a 3-pointer and then completing an and-one play to score the first six points of the game for the Fords. After Mountain cooled off from the field, Fairfax then sat his starter, choosing instead to make offense-defense substitutions.
“We won that game when he sat on the bench and showed me he wanted to be in that game,” Fairfax said. “We put him in during crunch time and he makes a heads up play.”
Haverford is a team with a lot of talent. Junior wing Eric Anderson and sophomore guard Shawn Alston are two players who will surely go on to play college basketball at the Division I level, but Fairfax knows he has more than just talent on this year’s team.
“At the end of the day this is what it’s about,” Fairfax said. “Character beats talent. A lot of folks perceive us as a talented team but the thing I’m most excited about with this group is it’s a bunch of high character kids.”
Mountain finished the game with eight points, none of them bigger than the final two at the buzzer. He also added four rebounds in the victory.
His teammate Alston was the most impressive player on the court Tuesday afternoon. Alston finished the day with 15 points and scored his team’s final eight of the first half to tie the score at 23.
Temple head coach Fran Dunphy was in attendance checking out Alston who has been recently getting a lot of attention.
“Temple, Xavier, Penn State, Providence,” Fairfax said about the 6-3 combo guard’s interest. “He’s a player, obviously.”
Anderson finished with 11 points and five rebounds for the Fords, including a brilliant play in the second quarter when he stole the ball in the back court and passed it to his teammate for an easy two points in the post.
“He was at Yale on Sunday, Princeton has been interested, Davidson has offered him,” Fairfax said. “He has a lot of interest from a lot of different schools.”
A pair of Malvern (4-11, 0-2) seniors carried them all game long on Tuesday afternoon. Six-foot-five guard/forward Jimmy Gordon turned in an excellent performance on both ends of the floor against Haverford. He finished with 14 points in the loss. Starting point guard Sam Ramagano finished with 10 points and did all he could to stop Alston on the other end of the floor.
The Haverford School next play at Penn Charter on Jan. 11th, while Malvern Prep takes on Germantown Academy at home on the same date.