Something had to give Wednesday night as South Western High and William Penn squared off.
The Mustangs entered the boys' basketball game on a nine-game winning streak and William Penn had won 11 straight.
The Bearcats' speed and athleticism helped them get out to a 13-4 lead, one they would not relinquish en route to a 61-53 win, clinching the YAIAA Division I title for William Penn.
William Penn's full-court pressure held South Western off the scoreboard until 2 1/2 minutes into the game and the Mustangs quickly found themselves in a 13-4 hole.
"William Penn is very high energy and high paced, and we knew that coming in," senior Parker Bean said. "We started off a little slow and that got us off a little in the beginning."
The Bearcats forced South Western into four early first-quarter turnovers before the Mustangs settled down. Trailing by nine, South Western mounted a comeback to cut the lead to just one with just over a minute remaining.
William Penn got off to another quick start in the second quarter as it scored the first eight points and again held South Western scoreless over the first 2 1/2 minutes of the quarter. Down 23-12, Bean scored the Mustangs' next eight points, including a 3-pointer, his first of four on the night. The Bearcats' Ramel Stephens matched Bean shot for shot, also finishing the second quarter with eight points.
South Western came out with more intensity in the second half, but was unable to chip away at the Bearcat lead and found itself down 15 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs scored the first six points of the fourth quarter, highlighted by Bean's two-handed slam on a transition basket to make it a nine-point game. After Stephens' two free throws, South Western freshman Brock Geiman drained a three, teammate Mike Duffy went 2-for-4 from the free throw line and Bean had a putback to cut the lead to four at 52-48.
That was as close as the Mustangs would get as Derek Wilson stole a Mustang pass and took it the length of the court and threw down a thunderous one-handed slam to extend the lead that proved insurmountable for the Mustangs.
Bean led all scorers with 29 points and Tavon Parker led the way for William Penn with 17.
The Bearcats face-guarded Duffy all night, limiting his outside shots and forcing him to penetrate to find his shots. Duffy still finished the night with 12, but only had two field goals.
"It is frustrating being denied shots," Duffy said. "I just need to work harder to score. It is on me, but (Dixon) worked his butt off stopping me and he earned every stop and I earned every trip to the foul line. I just have to finish a little bit better and we will be good."
For Bearcats coach Troy Sowers, stopping Duffy was a top priority.
"When you play a team like South Western, you have to try to eliminate Duffy and Bean, but they are so good," Sowers said. "Last time we played, Duffy only had three points and he is too good of a player to keep at that total. I thought Stephen Dixon and Derrick Wilson did a great job on him. Bean was just on fire. Last time we played, he only had eight points. Tonight he goes out and drains four threes. This was a good win."
The loss eliminates the Mustangs from the division title, but they hope to get another shot at the Bearcats.
"We played well. Mike had a good game getting to the basket and we played with a lot of intensity in the fourth quarter," Bean said. "I thought we played more relaxed at the end. We held them at 52 points for a while, but we just fell a little short. I am hope that we get to see William Penn again."
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WILLIAM PENN (61)
Derek Wilson 5 0-0 11, Jahaire Wilson 2 1-2 5, Ohsajid Beard 3 1-2 7, Stephen Dickson 1 2-4 4, Tavon Parker 6 4-8 17, Ramel Stephens 4 5-7 13, DaiQuest Casiano 2 0-2 4. Totals 23 13-25 61.
SOUTH WESTERN (53)
Austin Cook 2 2-2 6, Parker Bean 10 5-8 29, Jordan Smith 0 0-0 0, Scott Hess 1 0-0 2, Mike Duffy 2 7-13, Spencer McKercher 1 0-0 2, Brock Geiman 1 0-0 3. Totals 17 14-23 53.
William Penn 15 18 17 11 -- 61
South Western 12 11 12 18 -- 53
3-point goals -- William Penn 2 (D. Wilson, Parker); South Western 5 (Bean 4, Geiman).
JV score -- William Penn, 56-43.