FHS boys moving on
Early in their game against Downingtown East, Freedom certainly had a challenge containing 6-foot-6 post player Andrew King, who made his presence felt with 10 of 19 points in the opening half.
Still, the Patriots were confident of capturing their first and only state playoff game since 1982. In the end, however, their season-long grit and determination didn’t let them down.
Freedom’s pressure defense proved to be difference in the final quarter as the Patriots went on to a convincing 69-50 victory in the opening-round of the PIAA Class 6A state playoffs at William Allen High School Saturday afternoon.
The Patriots (19-8) opened up the game with a 13-4 run at the start of the fourth quarter with their swift-attacking defense that created its share of shots in advantageous positions.
With the win, Freedom met Reading, the district three runner-up, at Pottsville’s Martz Hall Wednesday evening in search of their second-ever state win, the game comes after Press deadline.
“Their competitiveness and their will to win was outstanding,” said Freedom head coach Joe Stellato. “All season long, they have refused to lose and that is one of the things that have brought them this far. Along with that has been their athleticism and their ability to take the ball to the rack and finish.”
It was another indication of the balanced effort all season long that lead them to the East Penn Conference championship spearheaded by the Mims brothers.
Caleb Mims scored a team-high 18 points and his brother Malek had 16. Samir Georges and Ty Montgomery each had 13 and David Barnes added nine.
Overall, the Patriots forced 25 turnovers, many of them in the second half that led to their share of transition points.
Freedom couldn’t get into a flow in the opening half, as it sputtered hitting only two of 14 attempts from the three-point arc.
“We were out of whack in the first half and we weren’t executing,” added Stellato. “We weren’t going with our game plan in the beginning. But we got it together. We can do anything with this team.”
Standing ahead of the Patriots making history into the round of 16 was Reading (19-8), an opponent which surely could match them in intensity and transition.
“Reading is a brand-name school,” said Malek Mims. “It will be a challenge for us, but we will be ready.”