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Public League Round of 16/Class AAAA Semifinal
Central 68, Washington 55
This one had the feel that all games should have. Central’s gym was packed full of animated fans who were involved in the action with spirited support for both the home Lancers and the visiting Eagles. Also, Central had their pep squad and their band on hand. From the opening tip both teams played very hard. Central received some inspired play early from senior forward Rafiq Johnson. Johnson had six points and four rebounds in the 1st quarter and the Lancers and the Eagles were tied at 10 when the quarter concluded. Second quarter and Central’s star 6-7 center Christopher Bing began to score inside. Bing had seven points and four rebounds in the quarter as Central took a small lead at 28-24 with a minute to go in the half. Then Central junior forward Kahlil Williams got the crowd loud with a nasty two-handed dunk over a George Washington player. (Trust me it was highlight film material!) The Lancers led at the half by the score of 30-26. Second half and Central never relinquished their lead (they were tied for a short stretch.) The Lancers received more inspired play from Williams and Bing; also junior guards Gregory Holdsman and Tyler Jefferson. Washington got within one with five minutes and ten seconds left after Khyree Hunt-Hawkins buried a three-pointer off of an Asante “Redz” Ali (9 points, 7 assists) pass. Central answered promptly with a Holdsman trey. George Washington was able to get another three-pointer, this time from 6’4 senior guard James Cottrell (13 points). Central answered them again with a trey from Jefferson. Both Johnson and Jefferson finished with ten points. A Bing follow-basket with two minutes and forty-one seconds remaining made the score 56-53, Central on top. Bing would finish with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Central made a key steal on the next G-Dub possession and Williams was able to register another dunk to give them a five point lead. From there on the Lancers held off the Eagles at the free-throw line. Williams went six-eight from the line in the 4th quarter and finished with 21 points. As Central was making their free throws at the game’s conclusion a loud chant was heard from their student section – We Want King!!
Table Talk – Lots of people in attendance: Pub Hoops Chairman Ben Dubin, former Washington Coach Calvin Jones, Allen Rubin from Hoopscooponline, Lonnie Lowry from Team Philly AAU, Assistant coaches from Arcadia University and Rosemont College. .. George Washington was without arguably their top player because of an academic issue…Washington forward Jerome Blume had 13 points and 9 rebounds.
PUBLIC LEAGUE B
Delaware Valley Charter 71 South Philadelphia 48
This was an interesting game between two teams in the Public League’s B Division. Delaware Valley Charter exploded with a 25-13 advantage in the 3rd quarter to turn their six point halftime lead into an eighteen point advantage and they coasted home from there. Delaware Valley Charter is a team that does not feature a main scorer as they used balance scoring throughout their roster to provide their points. The top scorer for the Warriors today came off the bench in the person of Karl Lewis, who contributed 17 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. Lewis went high into the atmosphere three times for skyscraping jams. Two of Lewis’s dunks were alley-oops in the third quarter when the Warriors were making their game deciding run. Lewis, a junior, does not appear to possess ball skills but at 6’4 he is an active and energetic athlete who can finish at the rim. In addition to Lewis, another scorer came off of the Delaware Valley bench in junior wing sniper Bariq London, who made four three-pointers and finished the game with 16 points. The Warriors received solid play from 6’1 guard Shahid Adams, who had 10 points and 3 assists. Southern did not really get into a “flow” on offense. Their top performer was 5’9 point guard Kahsiaan Kay, a promising sophomore who had 18 points. Kay seemed to display some poise at the point amid pressure defense applied by Del Val. Kay’s backcourt mate junior Latrelle Wilson was able to add 13 points.
Table Talk- Not a large crowd on hand but among the spectators were two former Public League coaches in George Anderson (Southern) and Terrell Burnett (Roxborough). Also on hand was Sonny Hill League coach Joe McCann.
PUBLIC LEAGUE C
Central 42, Olney Charter 36
PUBLIC LEAGUE A
Constitution 63, Imhotep Charter 53
This was an intense matchup between two of the Public League’s top programs. Early on, the Generals were able to establish a small lead with some solid play coming from junior small forward Ahmad “J.R.” Gilbert and junior point guard Kimar Williams. Constitution led by four after the 1st period with the score 14-10. In the second quarter, the Panthers responded with some inspired play coming from energetic junior forward Devin Liggeons. Liggeons crammed eight points into the second period, mostly by working hard on the baseline. The second stanza was also a good period for Gilbert. Gilbert, who is a silky smooth outside shooter with ultra nice step-back moves, scored ten points in the period. The Panthers, who are an active, hustling squad, were knotted with the Generals at 30. Second half and more solid basketball coming from both teams, and the Generals were able to get some inside scoring from 6’5 inside bulwark Raheem Liggins. The Generals had a five point lead before Imhotep senior Jakwan Jones buried a trey right before the third quarter horn. Imhotep would get within one after a Deion Evans steal and lay-up with exactly six minutes remaining. The Generals then received a boost from reserve senior point guard Lincoln Kpokuyou, who provided good defense on the Panthers’ guards and scored six points in the 4th quarter. Constitution took firm control of this one when Liggins scored off of a post move with two minutes and fifteen seconds remaining, thus giving them a 58-49 lead. Gilbert led ConHigh with 20 points and 10 rebounds, Williams added 15 and Liggins registered 10. Liggeons led Imhotep with 12 points. The Panthers were without senior forward Basil Thompson (St. Francis) who sat out with an injured finger. Also, Sean Lloyd was mired in foul trouble; he finished with only 7 points and 5 rebounds. These two squads meet in ten days at Imhotep for a rematch.
Table Talk – Nice crowd and basketball atmosphere on a rainy day in Philly… Imhotep has two VERY promising guards in sophomore Jaekwon Carlyle and freshman Daron Russell….ConHigh is currently 3-0 in the Public League's much vaunted Division A….Lots of faces in the crowd. Among them: Greg Harris of Whistletopps Network and Jaime Boyer from 8 EYE Media.