GAR’s season comes to an end in second round of states


GAR’s Andrew Campbell passes to a teammate against the West Philadelphia defense.


Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

GAR’s Keyshawn Palmer drives to the basketball ahead of the West Philadelphia defense.


Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

GAR’s Keyshawn Palmer dunks the ball after a steal against West Philadelphia.


Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

GAR's Will Johnson, center, fights for position between West Philadelphia defenders Maxwell Brown, left, and Malik Lorenzano in a PIAA Class 4A boys basketball second-round game at Liberty High School in Bethlehem on Friday night. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader


Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

GAR’s Andrew Campbell buries his face in a towel in the waning moments of the Grenadiers’ 76-60 loss to West Philadelphia in a PIAA Class 4A boys basketball second-round game at Liberty High School in Bethlehem on Friday night.


Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader


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    BETHLEHEM — Will Johnson and Andrew Campbell opened Friday night’s game with consecutive 3-pointers for GAR.

    Three days away from the gym because of Winter Storm Stella didn’t seem to affect the Grenadiers. At least not at first.

    Once West Philadelphia turned up the heat on defense, GAR showed signs of the layoff. The result was a 74-60 West Philadelphia victory and an exit from the PIAA Class 4A boys basketball playoffs for the Grenadiers.

    Senior center Keyshawn Palmer scored 20 points to pace District 2 runner-up GAR, which finished its season at 19-8. Sophomore Will Johnson (13), senior Andrew Campbell (12) and junior Herman Suazo (10) also scored in double figures.

    D12 fourth seed West Philadelphia (15-9) also placed four players in double figures, headed by Cyrie Coates with 21. The Speedboys will play D2 third seed Nanticoke on Sunday in the quarterfinals. The site and time will be announced Saturday, but considering Nanticoke defeated Conwell-Egan 62-54 a short distance away then the Lehigh Valley area is a likely location.

    GAR jumped to a great start despite not practicing since Monday. The Grenadiers were 8 of 11 from the field in the first quarter, taking a 22-11 lead.

    “We came out and shot the ball very well,” GAR coach Jerry Altavilla said. “In the first half, we did a good job controlling the tempo. It was the tempo we wanted. I think midway through the second quarter, they started controlling the tempo.”

    Then came West Philly’s pressure defense and plenty of GAR turnovers.

    The Speedboys used nine GAR turnovers in the second quarter to eventually surpass the Grenadiers, 31-30 on a 3-pointer by Coates with 1:25 left until halftime.

    GAR led just two more times — on a runner by Campbell late in the second and after a pair of free throws by Johnson to start the third. But the Grenadiers continued to be plagued by turnovers, making six more in the third quarter as West Philly extended its lead to double digits.

    “They put a little bit of pressure on and at first we weren’t ready for it until we settled down a little bit,” Altavilla said. “By that time we were down by 10 already.”

    The Grenadiers fought back and used an 11-2 run — paced by Palmer — to move within 54-51 late in the third. West Philly, though, responded and pushed the lead to 63-53 by midway through the fourth.

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    PIAA 4A Second Round

    West Philadelphia 74, GAR 60

    GAR (60) — Keyshawn Palmer 8 2-4 20, Will Johnson 4 4-4 13, Andrew Campbell 5 0-0 12, Herman Suazo 4 0-0 10, Khalil White 0 1-2 1, Anthony Hawk 2 0-0 4, Mufee Burney 0 0-0 0, Tyler Young 0 0-0 0, Jared O’Day 0 0-0 0, Ismeal Lake 0 0-1 0. Totals 23 7-11 60.

    WEST PHILLY (74) — Maxwell Brown 5 0-0 14, Cyrie Coates 9 1-3 21, Malik Lorenzo 2 1-2 5, Latrell Carroll 4 5-5 13, Dymeir Shackleford 1 2-2 4, Aaron Harrison 4 4-6 14, Ray Burnett 0 0-0 0, Zaire Laroda 0 1-1 1. Totals 26 14-19 74.

    GAR`22`10`19`9`—`60

    West Phila.`11`22`23`16`—`74

    Three-point goals — GAR 7 (Palmer 2, Johnson, Campbell 2, Suazo 2). WP 8 (Brown 4, Coates 2, Harrison 2).

    GAR’s Andrew Campbell passes to a teammate against the West Philadelphia defense.
    http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_GAR-WestPhillyBB_2.jpgGAR’s Andrew Campbell passes to a teammate against the West Philadelphia defense. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
    GAR’s Keyshawn Palmer drives to the basketball ahead of the West Philadelphia defense.
    http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_GAR-WestPhillyBB_3.jpgGAR’s Keyshawn Palmer drives to the basketball ahead of the West Philadelphia defense. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
    GAR’s Keyshawn Palmer dunks the ball after a steal against West Philadelphia.
    http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_GAR-WestPhillyBB_4.jpgGAR’s Keyshawn Palmer dunks the ball after a steal against West Philadelphia. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
    GAR's Will Johnson, center, fights for position between West Philadelphia defenders Maxwell Brown, left, and Malik Lorenzano in a PIAA Class 4A boys basketball second-round game at Liberty High School in Bethlehem on Friday night. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
    http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_GAR-WestPhillyBB_5.jpgGAR's Will Johnson, center, fights for position between West Philadelphia defenders Maxwell Brown, left, and Malik Lorenzano in a PIAA Class 4A boys basketball second-round game at Liberty High School in Bethlehem on Friday night. Bill Tarutis | For Times LeaderBill Tarutis | For Times Leader
    GAR’s Andrew Campbell buries his face in a towel in the waning moments of the Grenadiers’ 76-60 loss to West Philadelphia in a PIAA Class 4A boys basketball second-round game at Liberty High School in Bethlehem on Friday night.
    http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/web1_GAR-WestPhillyBB_1.jpgGAR’s Andrew Campbell buries his face in a towel in the waning moments of the Grenadiers’ 76-60 loss to West Philadelphia in a PIAA Class 4A boys basketball second-round game at Liberty High School in Bethlehem on Friday night. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader

    By John Erzar

    [email protected]

    Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

    Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

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