By: Luke Grycewicz
Teamwork. Devon Prep’s basketball program has built its culture around that one word. No one’s oblivious to the challenge facing the newest member of the Philadelphia Catholic League. One of the keys to overcoming that challenge is teamwork. The Tide showcased this skill in their 51-41 win over Bishop Shanahan on December 12. After trailing 20-12 midway through the second quarter, the Tide finished the game on a 39-21 run. During that run, the Tide demonstrated their stingy defense by holding their opponent without a basket for nearly 8 consecutive minutes.
In their preparation leading up to the game, the team was warned of the Eagles’ ability to shoot from beyond the arc. Senior captain Fred Rullo accredited some of the Tide’s defensive success in their home opener to the infamous Pit, when he said, “It was great to see everyone there supporting us. We really fed off the energy, especially on the defensive end.” Head Coach Jason Fisher emphasized this by saying the gym was “a great environment for high school basketball.” The Tide played phenomenal team defense with very few lapses, especially after Coach Fisher’s first half time out due to a defensive lapse. Every time the Eagles tried to go to the rack, they were met by a swarm of Tide defenders; sophomore standout Eamon Walsh even took a charge in the first half, his 6th of the year. Walsh said that their defense was enhanced by their ability to control the tempo. Part of this was thanks to sophomore forward Michael “Boat” Ferry’s 10 rebounds. Newcomer coach Matt O’Hara simply said he “rebounded like a monster.” Rullo also had a standout game defensively, as he held Shanahan’s best scorer to just 6 points.
The Tide also showed some sparks offensively; they were paced by junior captain Nick Crowe’s 20. Walsh was the team’s second leading scorer with 11. Overall, they showed teamwork as everyone contributed in some facet to the offense, from shooting a three, to driving, to setting a hard screen.
After this game, the Tide move to 1-2 (0-0) on the year with another out of league home game coming up on Saturday (12/15) at 7 pm vs Pope John Paul II. Devon showed true teamwork in this win against Shanahan; when asked about how the team did, Walsh responded, “This is just the beginning for us, and we’re going to get better after this team win.” Tuesday gave the fans a taste of what’s to come, and the Tide look to carry this momentum into the season. Roll Tide!