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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 »

By TED SILARY
Philadelphia Daily News

silaryt@phillynews.com
Instant replay has come to Public League basketball!

For amusement purposes only.

In retrospect, all on hand yesterday at Pepper Middle School in deep Southwest Philly, hard by the airport, should not have been surprised when a game that was no walk in the park was decided in controversial fashion: by a jumper that appeared to follow a walk in the lane.

The situation: Communications Tech and Strawberry Mansion were tied in a wild Division C contest that featured a little bit of everything and lots of some things, namely intensity and memory-making plays.

As the clock wound down, CT senior point guard Antonio “Gee” Monroe had the ball and, although the general plans called for dish first, launch second, his teammates had little prayer of seeing it.

“As a senior leader, in a situation like that, it’s my job to put the team on my back,” the 6-foot, 180-pound Monroe said. “I wanted to take the shot. Wanted to get my team the ‘W’ . . . I wasn’t passin’. Well, if two guys were on me I would have, but otherwise that last play was mine.”

Monroe made hard penetration into the lane, slightly to the left. He cut loose a flip shot from about 10 feet . . . gooooooood!

CT 59, Mansion 57. No more time on the clock. Many minutes of controversy remaining.

The big question: Had Monroe traveled?

“I think he was fouled first,” CT coach Lou Biester said.

“That was a walk. The game should have gone to overtime,” Mansion boss Gerald Hendricks said.

“Walk? Nah, I got pushed,” Monroe said. “Did it look like I walked?”

“He might have walked,” said Monroe’s father, Charles, a spirited spectator and long a coach/organizer in city hoops.

“I was just hoping he’d pass it,” cracked CT’s center, Lijah Thompson. Read the rest of this entry »

Antonio Monroe showed a flair for the dramatic for Communications Tech in a Public League basketball game yesterday.

Monroe drilled an 11-foot shot at the buzzer and handed the Phoenix a 59-57 win over visiting Strawberry Mansion, handing the Knights their first loss of the season.

Monroe finished the game with 13 points for Communications Tech (4-1, 2-1) and Devonte Newville paced Mansion (5-1, 2-1) with 22 points.

University City came back from a 48-43 deficit to beat visiting Southern, 62-58.

Marcus Holland scored 19 points for the Jaguars.

New Media Charter overcame a 37-point performance by GAMP’s Laron Byrd and beat the Pioneers, 59-53.

Isaiah Clark scored 20 points for the Jaguars. Read the rest of this entry »

The standings in Public D basketball are now officially unbalanced – two more losses than wins.

District 12 chairman Robert Coleman said yesterday that A. Philip Randolph and Science Leadership, first-year Pub members, have been hit with a double-forfeit for playing their first game Dec. 4, a league affair, 1 day before the official PIAA starting date.

According to workers at the Delaware Valley Score Service, which supplies high-school results and box scores to the Daily News, as many as 20 nonleague games involving PL schools were played Dec. 1 through 4.

Coleman said he is currently “combing through schedules” and trying to be determine exactly which schools committed violations. Possible penalties will meted out after a regularly scheduled meeting Jan. 7, he said.

“A to Z. One end of the spectrum to the other,” Coleman said. “They could go from wrist slaps to probation.”

– Ted Silary

IN THE RIDICULOUSLY swollen Public League, which has mushroomed from 35 to 61 teams since 2004, the best basketball is often played below the highest enrollment level.

Don’t expect that to change.

The AA classification was already loaded with Prep Charter, Imhotep Charter and Strawberry Mansion. Now, those toughies have been joined by Communications Tech, which has slid backward from AAA after winning the overall Pub title.

Which one is best? The answer could very well be PC, though coach Dan Brinkley lost three underclass starters to transfer (wing guard Parrish Grant even fled to Imhotep). The good thing is, six more key performers are back and one, forward Ferg Myrick, was considered one of the Pub’s top five juniors in 2007-08.

CT returns ballhandler Antonio “Gee” Monroe and wing whiz Chris Jones and will be looking to make a statement as early as Thursday, when it visits PC.

Mansion, by the way, already blessed with capable guards and forwards, has added 6-9 transfer Bilal Kelley.

Though it’s known for slow starts, Southern will likely emerge as the best squad in AAAA. The chief challenge could come from John Bartram, where point guard Tyrone Garland is likely the league’s best player even as a junior.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Keith Pompey

Inquirer Staff Writer
Call it what you want – the Black and Blue Division or Competition Conference.

You still may not come close to describing the high level of play in the Public League C Division.

“We got Communications Tech and Prep Charter in our division,” Imhotep Charter coach Andre Noble said of the Pub’s 15-team Class AA division. “They are the last two Public League champions. It’s not like you can discount anybody.”

Sure can’t.

In addition to winning the Public title in 2007, Prep Charter won back-to-back PIAA Class AA state championships in 2006 and 2007. Two other division squads – Strawberry Mansion and Freire Charter – reached state championship games in their respective classifications last season.

The Knights finished second in Class AA, while the Dragons were the Class A runner-up. Freire Charter moved up a class this season. Former Class AAA Communications Tech and Ben Franklin both dropped to that classification.

Only three of the league’s teams will qualify for the state playoffs.

“Franklin is a tough team that is not going to be easy to beat,” said Noble, whose squad is coming off back-to-back Class AA state semifinal losses. “And Del-Val Charter is going to be a sleeper. You also have Hope. You will have eight solid games.

“AA is crazy. It should be a real good season.”

Prep Charter coach Dan Brinkley doesn’t have a problem with the league’s competitiveness.

“I think that’s a good thing,” he said, “because whoever comes out of that division will be battle-tested. And you also know that you will have to play your best in every quarter of every division game.”

Even in the most competitive leagues, there’s often one team that separates itself from the pack. Imhotep Charter has that distinction.

The guard-heavy Panthers are favored to win this season’s Class AA state title. The team is also ranked sixth in The Inquirer’s Southeastern Pennsylvania preseason rankings.

“To say that this team does not have high expectations and should not have high expectations is false. We do,” Noble said. “We are not running away from it. We are going to try to make sure we get it done.”

In the process, Imhotep should be fun to watch.

The Panthers will start four guards and a post-player for its up-tempo style. Six-foot-8 sophomore Eric Copes will start down low.

Nobles wouldn’t name his four starting guards, saying that he considers seniors Parrish Grant, Will Adams, Sam Prescott, Kenny Battles and Ivory Wells all to be starters.

Grant, a 6-2 point guard, transferred from Prep Charter. He is attracting Division I interest.

Adams, a 6-4 wing, has orally committed to play at Towson University. Prescott, a 6-3 wing, is headed to Marist. Guards Wells (6-4) and Battles (6-2) are receiving Division II interest.

The Panthers will display a five-guard lineup during key stretches. Even though he’s confident, Noble says he won’t look past any division opponent.

“To me,” he said, “it is by far the best division in our league. This year, you better be ready every time you step in the gym.”

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