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UPPER DARBY — With four seconds remaining before halftime, Upper Darby coach Bob Miller threw his arms up, put his head down and headed for the locker room.

That was the way Friday night’s game went for the Royals: Plenty going on, but nothing worth watching.

The Royals stayed with Conestoga, Southeastern Pennsylvania’s lone unbeaten team, for 10 minutes. Fortunately for the Pioneers, regulation games last 32 minutes and the visitors cruised past the Royals, 65-45, to sweep the Central League season series.

Upper Darby (13-5, 11-3) took the lead two minutes into the second quarter, then Conestoga (20-0, 14-0) outscored the host, 40-16, over the next 16 minutes to take control for good.

The outlandish scoring spree was enough to send both sides over the edge. Players from Upper Darby and Conestoga began issuing shoves in the second half. Two technical fouls were issued to the Royals.

Even the post-game receiving line was uncivil, as additional pushing took place halfway through the handshake procession.

“There’s no bad blood between the teams,” Miller said. “At the end of the game, when you get beat up and down — and I don’t mean physically, I mean on the scoreboard — we lost our poise and we lost our control. I think it started in that second quarter.”

Senior Khayri West knocked down a jumper at the top of the key and gave the Royals their first lead, 14-12, with 6:42 to play in the second. It was the Royals’ last basket until the third quarter. The Pioneers went on an 18-2 run to close out the half, prompting Miller to leave the Royals’ bench.

There were a number of incentives for Upper Darby in this one. Aside from playing an undefeated team on senior night, a win would have solidified their District One Class AAAA tournament resume.

Additionally, a win would have created the need for a four-team Central League championship tournament, which will be tabled if Conestoga finishes the season unbeaten.

The Pioneers’ lead ballooned to as many as 24 points, at 52-28 in the third quarter, and the tension grew more severe as the game wore on. The Royals scored 12 of the next 14 points, and both teams responded by increasing their levels of physicality. Read the rest of this entry »


By Keith Pompey

Inquirer Staff Writer

After a year of waiting and weeks of buildup, Chester and Roman Catholic played one of the most eagerly awaited boys’ basketball games in Southeastern Pennsylvania last night.
The result?

Chester, ranked first in the area by The Inquirer, defeated second-ranked Roman Catholic for the second consecutive season.

This time, the Clippers’ Maurice Nelson scored 24 points to lead his team to a 61-47 victory in the Primetime Shootout at Villanova’s Pavilion. Teammate Rahlir Jefferson added 19 points en route to being named his team’s MVP of the game.

Last night’s victory enabled Chester to improve to 17-2.

The Cahillites, playing without McDonald’s all-American candidate Maalik Wayns, dropped to 13-6. Roman had its nine-game winning streak snapped.

Wayns, a senior point guard, will be sidelined for about three weeks with a meniscus tear in his right knee.

Junior guard Rakeem Brookins led the Cahillites with 22 points. He was named Roman’s MVP. Senior forward Koron Reed had 17 points and seven blocks.

Roman Catholic 9 13 14 11 – 47

Chester 15 18 7 21 – 61

RC: Rakeem Brookins 22, Kawaun Chavis 3, Andre Horne 5, Koron Reed 17.

C: Kareem Robinson 1, Laquan Robinson 9, Maurice Nelson 24, Alvin Tinch 2, Dymere Crews 5, Keyon Staples 1, Rahlir Jefferson 19.

One big quarter and one big outing by Rahlir Jefferson was all Chester needed.

The senior forward scored 22 points, hauled in 11 rebounds, dished three assists and had three steals in the Clippers’ 61-51 win over Glen Mills Thursday night.

The Clippers (10-1, 4-0), the Del Val League’s only undefeated team, remained perfect by outscoring the Battlin’ Bulls, 28-13, in the third quarter. Chester received nine-point efforts from brothers Kareem and Laquan Robinson and eight more from Maurice Nelson.

Glen Mills, which lost its second straight contest, made 31 turnovers in a game it trailed, 25-21, at halftime before falling away in the third. Aaric Murray scored a team-best 14 points and Tyrik Gass tossed in 10 more for the Bulls (9-4, 2-2).

In other Del Val action:

Chichester 55, Interboro 28

The Eagles (8-7, 2-2) received 19 points from senior forward Dan Clapp and 11 from fellow senior Malik Carter as they held the Bucs (7-6, 0-4) to their season-low point output.

Clapp knocked down a trio of 3-pointers in the game. He posted nine of his points in the second quarter, when Chichester went on a 12-3 run to put away Interboro.

Charles Bolger led the way for Interboro, dropping in 11 points. Rich Irwin scored eight in the loss.

Penn Wood 74, Academy Park 39

Chris White came off the bench to score a team-best 18 points, on 6-for-7 shooting from 3-point range, to pace the Patriots (12-1, 3-1).Tyree Johnson and Aaron Brown each tallied 11 points for Penn Wood.

White entered the game in the second quarter and hit his first five attempts, all from beyond the arc, to give Penn Wood a 37-19 edge heading into halftime.

Devon Cain led the Knights (6-9, 1-3) with 12 points. He was their only double-digit scorer.

Bicentennial League

Delco Christian 64,

Calvary Christian 37

Jordan Sbraccia led all scorers with a personal-best 24 to lead the Knights (6-7, 5-2). He also converted four 3-pointers in DC’s third win in four games.

Rob Pittman registered 11 points and seven assists and Will Ressler contributed eight points (and two treys) to the winning cause

savon goodman

Savon Goodman (Photo Credit: Charles Fox)

Versatile Savon Goodman, with 18.3 points a game, is “making quite a name for himself .”
By Keith Pompey

Inquirer Columnist

Spencer Pulliam is convinced.
The founder and publisher of the Generation Next basketball recruiting service watched Savon Goodman enough to know.

So when asked about Goodman’s potential, high praise came out of Pulliam’s mouth.

“He’s making quite a name for himself over there at Academy of the New Church,” he said.

Very few people can argue with the recruiting analyst.

The 6-foot-6 freshman forward averaged 18.3 points through the Lions’ first seven games. Extremely versatile, the 15-year-old can play the shooting-guard, small-forward and power-forward positions.

Pulliam lists him as the nation’s ninth-best college prospect in the Class of 2012.

“Even if he doesn’t grow any more, his ceiling is still pretty high,” Pulliam said. “He has the best composure and some of the best court presence in that class.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Paulsboro boys’ basketball program is mourning the death of sophomore DeVon Green, who passed away on New Year’s Day.
According to Paulsboro coach Byron Dixon, the cause of Green’s death is still unknown. A funeral was held Friday at the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Mullica Hill.

“It’s a tragic situation, and the players were close to him,” Dixon said.

Green, 17, started the first two games of the season and scored 16 points in each contest.

During Paulsboro’s first game after his death, on Jan. 3, the Red Raiders sent only four players on the court at the start against Washington Township as a symbolic gesture.

Washington Township coach “Bob Byatt was very gracious and allowed us to do that,” Dixon said. “We called a time-out right away and then sent the fifth man on the court.”

Dixon said that the team would carry Green’s jersey with it each game, as another way of keeping his memory alive

Westampton Tech continuted its impressive early-season play, using a balanced attack to knock off visiting Willingboro, 68-54, last night in Burlington County League boys’ basketball.
The Panthers (6-1) led from the start as Brent Foster collected 18 points and four rebounds, Brandon Smith scored 15 points, Derek Johnson had 14, and Brandon Belton pulled down eight boards.

Willingboro (3-4) was led by Jarvis Perry’s 17 points.

Also in Burlington County, sophomore Napolean Blamon and senior Mark Tumas each deposited 21 points to account for most of Cinnaminson’s offense in a 67-47 triumph over visiting New Egypt.

Colonial. Balanced scoring by Wyatt Polk (15), Peter Bell (11) and Kevin Davis (9) helped Haddonfield offset a 29-point game by Haddon Heights’ Michael Wilson and beat the host Garnets, 63-59.

Collingswood’s 80-63 success against Overbrook featured Tyrone Mann-Barnes’ 17 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Cameron Walker’s 16 points, including nine in a 27-9 first-quarter.

Sterling got 10 rebounds each from Kevin Walsh and Greg Visconti, and Jack Lomas held West Deptford’s A.J. Greenwald to eight first-half points as the host Silver Knights prevailed, 63-41.

Olympic. Bobby Harris had 26 points for Eastern, which watched a 10-point fourth-quarter lead disappear before beating visiting Washington Township, 80-73, in overtime. Eastern started OT with a 4-0 run, then made 9 of 12 foul shots in the extra period.

Logan Marro hit half of Cherry Hill East’s eight three-pointers and scored half of his 12 points in the fourth quarter to secure a 59-51 win over visiting Cherokee. Chris Santo paced East with 25 points and eight rebounds.

Shawn Valentine scored all of his 10 points in Winslow Township’s 21-9 first-quarter run, igniting a 66-49 win at Triton. Phillip Walker, a 6-foot-6 senior center, led all scorers with 22 points. Read the rest of this entry »

Beating Gratz in boys’ basketball is becoming old hat for Roxborough.
For the second straight year, the Indians dropped the Bulldogs after possibly not beating Gratz twice in the last century, as has been the fate of so many Public League teams.

Gabe Thomas picked up 18 points and David Melton added 17 points as Roxborough stunned the visiting Bulldogs, 58-52, in a Division B game.

Jared James and Terrell Allen sparked the Indians (6-3, 4-3) by scoring 5 points each in the third quarter when Roxborough was taking a 41-31 lead on Gratz (5-4, 4-2).

Kenny Bey-Brown’s jumper with 2 seconds left gave Ben Franklin a 76-75 win over host Lamberton.

Brown scored 8 points and teammate Melvin Dixon chipped in with 26 points for the Electrons.

Hassan Jones scored 19 points for Bok as the host Wildcats held off Mastery Charter South, 58-57.

Quasim Jones sank a pair of free throws with 3 seconds left to hand Bartram a 49-47 win over host Overbrook.

Jones finished the game with 19 points.

Germantown used a balanced scoring attack to get past host Martin Luther King, 65-61.

Five Bears reached double figures including Ramadan Abdullah and Anthony Green who scored 14 points each.

Braheim Dixon scored 7 of his 13 points in the final quarter as William Penn got past host West Philadelphia, 60-56. Read the rest of this entry »

Philadelphia Daily News

Once he gets to Drexel University, basketball commit Shannon Givens will have nooooo trouble recognizing his roommate.
Not only is Samme his brother, he’s more like a twin since their birthdates are only 11 months apart and their personalties are so similar, Shannon can’t think of any big contrasts.

“No need for discussion. It was automatic that we were going to room together,” Shannon said. “We did that at ANC.”

ANC is Academy of the New Church, in Bryn Athyn, Montgomery County, and it’s where the Givens Guys starred last winter under their coach/father, Kevin.

After withdrawing from ANC in late fall over a personal matter, Shannon now attends Samuel Fels. He’s adjusting quite nicely, thank you, and yesterday the 5-10, 195-pound point guard guided the Panthers past visiting Northeast, 64-59, in a Public A game.

“It was real hard to leave my dad, especially with my senior season coming up,” Shannon said. “It didn’t take long to fit in. Went faster than I thought. I made some good friends in [teammates] Donavan McIntosh and Isaiah Staton, and they really helped me.

“The style of basketball is a lot different from the Friends League. And it’s weird having a schedule with just Public League teams. I’m used to playing prep schools, private schools, being in tournaments and showcases.”

In 19 minutes per game, the 6-5 Samme is notching just under seven rebounds per game for Drexel. In this win, Shannon contributed 16 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and even six rebounds and received help from star football wideout Malik Jackson (11 of his 16 points in a 21-14 third quarter). Dan Patriarca’s three treys kept Northeast in the neighborhood.

By the way, we used “even” in front of Shannon’s rebound total because his vertical isn’t what it used to be.

A stress fracture in his left foot sidelined Shannon – the family is based near 2nd and Cheltenham – for much of last summer. He picked up some pounds just from the inactivity, then added more once he eased into football season (quarterback-cornerback).

“That’s one thing I have to do for college – slim down,” he said. “I put on 15 to 20 pounds. Have to work on my jump shot, too.

“Whatever season I’m in, that’s the one that’s my favorite. There was a thought of maybe trying football for college since a lot of my relatives have played that. But my main thought was always basketball and my mom [Betty] and dad helped me decide to go with that. It’ll be fun playing on the same team with Samme again.”

Yeah, but back in the dorm, will restful sleep be available?

“He does snore,” Shannon said, laughing. “Well, I do too, but I’m kind of off and on with it.” *


Delaware County newcomer Episcopal Academy is undergoing a youth movement.

Because of injury and illness, coach Dan Dougherty has one senior in his starting lineup. That seems to be working for the Churchmen (7-3), who have won four straight games, including a pair in the Garnet Valley Holiday Tournament earlier this week.

“What we’re trying to do with this year’s team is find pretty good balance,” Dougherty said. “We have to, because of some guys going down.”

Junior Omari Grier is the county’s fourth-leading scorer at 18.8 points per game. Cory Goodman, EA’s lone senior starter, puts in 16.2 points per game.

Outside of that duo, it’s all fresh-faced underclassmen.

Sophomore Isaiah Baker is third on the team in scoring. Freshman Brian Metzler got a call-up after a handful of games. And Dan Mengel and D.C. Gaitley, undersize 10th-grade forwards on other teams, have filled in nicely, too.

Injuries and illness haunted EA early. Sean Toner, who started the first eight games, is suffering from flu-like symptoms. Allen Heggs, another of EA’s starters, is in a walking cast after breaking his foot in the season’s fifth game.

The Churchmen have dealt with a lack of experience before. Dougherty once paired two underclassmen in the same frontcourt six years ago with Gerald Henderson and Wayne Ellington, who are playing at Duke and North Carolina respectively. That seemed to work out fine.

“When we’ve had people who have been considered good scorers, we always try to find a supporting cast around them,” Dougherty said.

The rafters in Chester High’s gymnasium are not bare by any means, but a certain banner is notably missing.   <!–more–>

The Clippers have yet to hang the one to commemorate their 2007-08 PIAA Class AAAA state championship. Coach Larry Yarbray confirmed this week that the banner has been ordered and is being produced.

No timetable has been established for its unveiling.

“I’ll have to get on Randy (Legette, Chester’s athletic director) to make a call,” Yarbray said.

One Clippers’ game next week would seem like an appropriate time to hang the banner.

“What game? Against Interboro?” Yarbray said.

Well … not exactly. Yarbray wanted to avoid discussing the Clippers’ game with Penn Wood Thursday, a battle of the top two teams in the Daily Times’ Super 7. He wants to focus on the Clippers’ Del Val League opener Tuesday against the Bucs.

“That’s priority No. 1,” he said. “We’re just trying to get a win and get that banner up on the wall, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing.”

Upper Darby hasn’t been hurting while Khayri West has been, but the Royals could use a healthy West in their lineup.

The guard averaged 11.7 points per game before spraining his knee in a Dec. 16 win over Garnet Valley. West missed two games and has returned, but has scored 15 points (a 5.0 per game average) in three games since.

“It was the first time I’d ever heard him say, ‘I can’t go,’” Royals coach Bob Miller said.

The Royals (8-2), ranked sixth in the Super 7, have ridden the offensive potency of Chase Peterson (10.4 ppg) and Montrail Talford (9.5) while West tries to regain the hop in his step.

Marple Newtown’s Soutiri Sapnas did all he could to claim MVP honors in the Tigers’ holiday tournament. He scored 41 points Tuesday, but lost to Phoenixville in the title game.

A former Delco player – junior power forward George Harper – claimed the tourney’s MVP trophy. Harper spent last season at American Christian before the school folded in June.

A top-150 player in the Class of 2010, Harper has drawn interest from Big East Conference teams Georgetown and Seton Hall, as well as La Salle.

Game of the Week: Penn Wood at Chester, Thursday.

The Patriots, ranked No. 30 by ESPN/Rise Magazine, go into the home of the defending league, district and state champions.

Maalik Wayns hit five three-pointers on the way to 28 points in Roman Catholic’s 79-40 Catholic League boys’ basketball victory over visiting Cardinal O’Hara yesterday.

Included in those 28 was a free throw in the third quarter that gave him 1,000 points for his career. He moves into 13th place on the school’s all-time career list, with his sights set on overtaking No. 12, 1973 grad Jim “Chico” Singleton (1,227), soon.

The Cahillites (4-4 overall, 2-0 league), who survived a brutal December that included a two-point loss to the then-No. 1 team in the country, Mater Dei (Calif.), also got 14 points from forward Anthony Mayo.

Wayns also chipped in with seven rebounds.

In other league games:

Archbishop Carroll rallied from a deficit at the start of the fourth quarter to hang a 57-47 defeat on host Conwell-Egan. The Patriots (10-0) outscored the Eagles, 23-12, in the final quarter. Juan’ya Green led Carroll with 17 points.

Rob Holloman’s 18 points led host West Catholic past Lansdale Catholic, 65-59. The Crusaders got a superb game from Brendan Stanton, who had 30 points and seven rebounds.

La Salle outscored host Archbishop Ryan by six in the fourth quarter to come away with a 67-59 win. The Explorers (7-4, 3-0) got 16 points from Malik West and Eddie Joyner-Mitchell chipped in with three fourth-quarter steals during a 26-20 run to close out the game. The Raiders got 28 points from football quarterback Rus Slawter, 13 in the final quarter. Ryan’s top offensive threat, Anthony Keiter, was held to six points, but had five rebounds.

Mike Terry, a 5-foot-11 guard, scored 17 points and made five of his seven shots from the field, to lift North Catholic to a 71-54 win at rival Father Judge. Terry also made six of his eight free throws and the Falcons as a team hit 25 of 31 from the line.

Beach Ball Classic. At Myrtle Beach, S.C., despite 27 points from Dalton Pepper, Martin Luther King (Calif.) salted away a 52-48 third-round win over Pennsbury.

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