High School Boys Basketball:
Wednesday, March 1, 2000
By Art Redd
What an amazing season the Cherokee Chiefs are having this year. Being recognized as one of the top teams in the area, they were ready to take on the Rancocas Valley Red Devils in the second round of the South Jersey Group 4 boy's basketball playoffs. Chiefs' starting center Pat Deveney scored thirteen points in the fourth quarter, including his two to send the game into overtime, defeated the Red Devils 71-66. The Chiefs outscored Rancocas Valley 10-5 in overtime to advance to the next round.
Before a jammed packed gymnasium, the Rancocas Valley fans were witnessing something special. Cherokee's coach Ron Powell has been a part of the Red Devils success as their head coach in the past. Rancocas Valley's present head coach Jeff Coney was Powell's assistant for many years and now was playing against his friend in this Group 4 playoff meeting.
Dan Trump had the hot hand in the first quarter for the Red Devils as he was 5 for 6, including 2 for 2 from the three point arch to help erase an early Chiefs' lead. Trump had the task of going up against the 6'8" senior center Deveney with success early. The Chiefs continued to work the middle with Deveney as the teams went into the locker room separated by one, 31-30. The Red Devils only managed nine second quarter points.
With the Chiefs starting center riding the bench most of the third quarter, the Red Devils scored a balanced attack to open the largest lead of the game. But right back to work went Deveney who scored 13-points in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. Mike VanKline's basket with just under a minute remaining put Rancocas Valley up by four and a 61-57 lead. Kyle Cuneo cued the Chiefs as his basket with thirty-six seconds remaining pulled them within two. A key steal by Brian Ehrhart set the table for Cherokee. Deveney gained position in the paint to receive the pass and sent this exciting game into overtime.
The Red Devils would take the slim one point lead in overtime, 66-65 with 2:39 remaining. Mike Scanzano's free throws put Cherokee up for good as they face Highland in the next round of the playoffs. Deveney finished with a game high 25 points, Doug Cusick added 14 points and Kyle Cuneo dropped in 12 points for the Chiefs. Jerome Joseph and Dan Trump both added 16 points and Lionel Bolen finished with 10 points for the Red Devils.
Photos by Art Redd
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