By PETER DiGIOVANNI
RADNOR -- You know you have established a winning tradition when you are playing for your fourth consecutive District 1 Class A title and you take it like it is another game on the schedule.
That is how Church Farm approached its boys basketball championship with Phil-Mont Christian on Saturday afternoon. The Griffins basically went through the motions except for a three-minute stretch in the Church Farm (23-4) clinches its fourth straight Class A district crown and heads to the PIAA tournament next Friday against Lebanon Catholic, the fifth seed out of District 3, at a site and time to be determined.
The Griffins recorded their 20th straight victory behind by Tyler Ofray's game-high 22 points. Aondofa Anyam had 18 and Mike Mohammed chipped in with 16 points, including two key 3-pointers in the fourth period."We did not play well, in fact it was one of our worst performances of the season,' Church Farm coach Marc Turner said. "But it is good for me because now, I get their attention in practice. In reality, our guys thought it was a game on the schedule because we are here every year. It meant more for Phil-Mont to win their first title, but give them credit, they played very hard today. Our guys play to the level of the competition and we can play with anybody. Not many teams win 20 games in a row.'
The game was a dull affair for the first three periods with the Griffins holding leads from eight to 10 points. They led, 42-38 after three, but the Griffins turned the ball over 14 times in the game and did not shoot well from the outside. The one constant was the defense, which who forced 14 turnovers and contested every shot. As hard as the Falcons played, it never seemed like they would topple the Griffins. And Church Farm turned it up in the final stanza.
The lead grew to 58-48 after Ofray went left-handed down the lane for a bucket. Moments later, Shelton scored in tight for a 60-48 lead and the Church Farm fans and bench started celebrating.
One last memory for the fans was Anyam stealing the ball with less than a minute to play, driving the floor but missing on a slam dunk attempt that still brought the crowd to its feet."I was just trying to have some fun and give the fans that support us something to cheer about,' Anyam said. "This championship means a lot to us because we work so hard every day in practice and we have been through a lot together.'
Church Farm 68, Phil-Mont Christian 60
PHIL-MONT CHRISTIAN: Griffin 9 2-3 20, Thornton 2 0-0 4, Brandenburg 2 2-4 6, N. Baldez 3 4-5 11, M. Baldez 6 3-4 15, Dolton 0 4-4 4, Byrd 0 0-0 0, Steiger 0 0-0 0, Areafaine 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 15-20 60.
CHURCH FARM: OIfray 6 9-11 22, Anyam 7 3-3 18, Mohammed 4 5-8 16, Shelton 4 -2 4 12, Jeffries 0 0-0 0, Davis 0 0-0 0, Holmes 0 0-0 0, Ogunleye 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 17-26 68.
Phil-Mont Christian 14 7 16 23-60
Church Farm 18 11 13 18-68
3-point goals: Mohammed 2, Shelton 2, Anyam , N. Baldez, M. Baldez 2.