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Men’s Basketball Eyes Return to Playoffs
(Delaware and Chester Counties, PA • November 7, 2019)—Winning is the name of the game for the Delaware County Community College men’s basketball team this season. After finishing on the outside looking in the last few years when it came to playoff time, the Phantoms aim to earn a return invitation to postseason play in 2019-20.
Larry Yarbray, Sr., in his third year at the helm of the program, believes this defensive-minded group, marked by its quickness and basketball IQ, is up for the challenge.
“This year we are looking forward to finishing in the top half of the conference and making it to the playoffs,” Yarbray said. "We will have to continue to build our team chemistry and play as a disciplined group of guys with one common goal.”
Sophomores Mike Mallon and Steve Willis provide essential veteran leadership to Yarbray’s squad. A 6-foot-3 guard/forward from Penncrest High School, Mallon averaged 13.2 points per game last year and was one of only three players to see action in each of the team’s 24 games where he shot over 35 percent from behind the arc.
An infusion of young guard talent will help lift the Phantoms back to the upper echelon of the conference. Key newcomers at the guard spot include 6-foot Joshua Grant (Freire Charter), 5-foot-11 Yohance Garner (Monsignor Bonner), 6-foot-3 Javan Graham (Chester High School), 5-foot-11 Javan Lindsey-Terrell (Penn Wood High School) and 5-foot-9 Ladell Williams (Upper Darby High School).
Brimming with potential, the backcourt excites Yarbray and the rest of the coaching staff.
“We have a very talented group of guards who played for good coaches and high school programs that have had great success over the years in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Yarbray, who spent nine seasons as head coach of the boys basketball program at Chester High School before arriving at Delaware County Community College.
Yarbray will lean on two Upper Darby High School graduates in 6-foot-6 first-year player Shawn Mendez and the 6-foot-3 veteran Willis to stabilize the frontcourt.
“Shawn and Steve will provide the backbone and physical presence down low that we need to have a successful season this year,” Yarbray said.
The season-long journey that will hopefully culminate in a spot in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XIX playoffs begins with a non-conference tilt at host Cheyney University on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. before the demanding Eastern Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (EPAC) slate gets into full swing. The Phantoms open the home portion of the schedule at Penn State-Brandywine against Lehigh Carbon Community College on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. Find the full schedule at www.dccc.edu/mens-basketball.