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Brickus, Coatesville rally past Rustin in Final Four semis

Coatesville 60, Rustin 50 – Jhamir Brickus poured in a game-high 31 points as the Red Raiders extended their winning streak to 16 with the come-from behind triumph over West Chester Rustin in the Ches-Mont League Final Four semifinals Saturday afternoon at Oxford.
Coatesville, the National Division champion and second-ranked team in District 1-6A, pulled off the comeback behind a defensive-fueled 17-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters.
Brickus and backcourt mate Dapree Bryant were the linchpins for a snarling, pressing defense that forced 31 Rustin turnovers. Bryant had seven of his nine points in the third as the Red Raiders took the lead for good at 42-37 after trailing 30-25 at the break. Brickus then keyed the 9-0 spurt that begin the fourth quarter with steals and buckets on consecutive possessions to make it 51-39.
With the outcome secure, things got dicey for Coatesville in the final 2:00 when sixth man Dymere Miller was whistled for two technical fouls and subsequently ejected, drawing an automatic one-game suspension that will send him to the bench for Tuesday night’s title clash with Unionville at Downingtown West. Coatesville coach Fred Thompson was also hit with a ‘T’ during the dispute.
Rustin freshman IV Pettit converted 6 of 7 free throws after the binge of technicals, but it was too little, too late. Pettit finished with 20 points, including 11 in the first half, and sophomore Jacob Barksdale added 11 (9 in first half) for the Golden Panthers (15-8), who were playing without the suspended Taj Asparagus. Asparagus was benched following an altercation in school according to sources, but is expected back for the District 1-5A playoffs.
Jake Nelson, who recently became the career scoring leader in Rustin history, chipped in with 14 in the losing effort.
Rustin (50) – Batchelor 1 0-0 2, Barksdale 4 3-4 11, Pettit 3 11-12 20, Pew 1 0-0 3, Nelson 5 4-8 14. Totals 14 18-24 50.
Coatesville (60) – Young 0 0-2 0, Proctor 3 0-0 6, J. Brickus 11 7-9 31, Holmes 2 3-4 7, D. Brickus 1 0-0 2, Bryant 4 1-4 9, Miller 2 1-2 5. Totals 23 12-21 60.  
WC Rustin          17 13  7 12 – 50
Coatesville         14 11 17 18 – 60
3-point goals: Pettit 3, Pew; J. Brickus 2.
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