WESTTOWN — If you're a team playing in the District 1 Class AAAA playoffs, you really want to be playing your best basketball at this time of the season. Wednesday night, the West Chester Rustin boys basketball team played a near flawless game against 30th-seeded Wissahickon. No. 14 Rustin dominated the game at both ends of the floor right from the opening tip.
The Golden Knights shot the ball well, moved the basketball, hit the open man, moved without the ball and played tough defense. You really can't do more than that, and it added up to a convincing 73-41 triumph over the Trojans. The win puts Rustin into the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs and moves them into the District 1 quarterfinals, where they will host Central Bucks West either Friday or Saturday at a time to be determined.
Rustin (16-8) put four players in double figures, shot a torrid 24-for-38 (63 percent) from the floor and drained eight 3-pointers on the night. Andrew Chobany led the way with four 3-balls and led all scorers with 21 points.
"We played really well tonight, I don't know about playing perfect,' Chobany said. "We wanted to get better as the season went on and the coaches always preach that to us. Tonight, we played great and it is a great feeling to make states. We hit our shots tonight and played the kind of defense that our coaches have wanted us to play all season.'
Chobany got things going early, hitting two corner threes on feeds from Ethan Ridgeway in the first period. Rustin missed just three of 11 shots in the first and jumped out to 19-7 lead after one.
Tyler Blake and Dane Anderson had big offensive rebounds for the Golden Knights, who looked quicker than the Trojans right from the outset.
Rustin continued the onslaught in the second, effectively putting the game away with a 33-14 halftime advantage. Matt McCarrick came off the bench to hit two threes and finished with 10 points as Rustin ended up shooting 12-for-19 in the first half, while Wissahickon was 4-for-19. They would wind up 12-for-43 (28 percent for the evening.
"We played almost a perfect game tonight,' Rustin coach Keith Cochran said. "We really moved the basketball and hit our shots when we had good looks. And defensively, I thought we were solid. We have tried to get them to play tougher defense all year and tonight, the kids came through.'
With Rustin having a large advantage, edge most of the suspense was drawn out of the game. But to the Golden Knights' credit, they kept playing crisp basketball. Rustin ended up outscoring the Trojans, 40-27, in the second half and finished the night with the starters on the bench and the crowd roaring its approval."We wanted to get better as the season went on and it looks like that has worked out for us,' Cochran said. "Tonight was a real good win and now we get ready for C.B. West.'
Ethan Ridgeway finished with 16 points to go along with six assists and ran the floor game well and controlled the tempo for the Golden Knights, helping create open looks for his teammates.
Cochran also heaped praise on Chobany.
"Andrew had a big game and he has had big games for us,' he said. "He is just a basketball player, almost a throwback type of player. I am very happy with him.'
A spot in states is still available to the Trojans, who now fall into the playback round, where they will face Suburban One League rival Plymouth Whitemarsh on Friday. After their stunning upset of No.3 seed Great Valley in the first round, a dejected coach Kyle Wilson said he could see bad things coming Wednesday.
"We picked a real bad time to play a ugly game,' Wilson said. "But give them credit. They played very well. We did not hit shots, free throws, anything. We had a terrible practice yesterday (Tuesday), and they say you play like you practice and we did that tonight.'
West Chester Rustin 73, Wissahickon 41
WISSAHICKON: Wilson 4 7-14 15, Vila 4 0-0 10, Pace 1 0-0 2, Driscoll 1 0-0 2, Carradorini 2 1-1 6, Reed 0 4-6 4, aloia 0 1-2 1, Bentley 0 1-2 1, Holcomb 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 14-26 41.
W.C. RUSTIN: Chobany 7 3-4 21, Ridgeway 4 8-8 16, McCarrick 4 0-0 10, Richardson 3 3-4 10, Blake 3 0-0 6, Matthews 2 0-0 4, Ammerman 1 0-2 3, Halverson 0 1-2 1, Reichert 0 0-0 0, Anderson 0 2-2 2. Totals 24 19-22 73.Wissahickon 7 7 13 14-41
W.C. Rustin 19 14 17 23-73
3-point goals: Chobany 4, Ammerman, McCarrick 2, Rchardson, Carradorini, Vila 2.