Philadelphia High School Basketball

A Look at Southern's Back-to-Back
Public League Champs in 1985-86 and 1986-87

(25-1 both seasons. Both losses were in non-league games were by one point;
to Roman in a 1985-86 showcase event and to Willingboro (NJ) in a 1986-87

This page includes stories, special lists, record breakdown and recaps of postseason games.

   To provide additions/ Thanks!
   Thanks to Tom Taylor for his help.

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The second of Southern's back-to-back champs.

A reunion of Southern's 1985-86 champs in 2014. Coach Mitch Schneider and, L to R, Kevin Smith, Lionel Simmons, Chris D'Angelo, Jason Waters and Marshall Taylor.


1985-86 SEASON
83 Lincoln 50
81 Neumann 58
82 Olney 73
77 Northeast 67
69 *Sterling (NJ) 67
102 *Kennedy (NJ) 65
65 *Cherry Hill E. (NJ) 57
66 #Roman 67
83 #Carroll 49
  PL Regular Season  
83 Edison 69
76 Mastbaum 60
64 University City 63
78 Penn  41
117 Franklin LC 63
86 Dobbins 74
85 Franklin   55
117 Bodine 30
63 Overbrook 44
67 West Phila. 54
97 Bartram 69
83 Bok 58
91 Lamberton 62
  PL Playoffs  
97 Parkway 49
65 Franklin 49
73 Gratz 71
66 University City 64
2116 Total Points 1528
81.4 Averages 58.8
1986-87 SEASON
75 Franklin 65
97 Franklin LC 54
75 Mastbaum 31
64 Gratz 59
63 Neumann 51
73 Edison 44
60 *Willingboro (NJ) 65
86 *Burlington (NJ) 41
86 *West Catholic 63
  PL Regular Season  
87 Washington 62
97 Olney 61
76 Eng. and Science 31
74 Frankford 59
92 Northeast 51
103 Kensington 44
92 Bodine 58
77 Overbrook 41
76 West Phila. 63
99 Lamberton 40
110 Bartram 60
89 Lincoln 54
79 Bok 57
  PL Playoffs  
95 Edison 59
78 Gratz 71
81 Franklin 69
75 West Phila. 66
2159 Total Points 1419
83.0 Averages 54.6
1985-86 & 1986-87
Tribute Page for Southern's
Back to Back PL Champs

  This story was written in 1986 after the Rams, coached by Mitch Schneider and featuring a roster with only South Philly residents, won the Public League championship (first time since 1946) and finished 25-1 overall. They duplicated the feat in 1987 with only one returning starter, Robert "World" Stokes. He was the hero in the '86 final.

By Ted Silary

  Since when can an ankle injury suffered by a starter in the first half- minute of the Public League basketball championship game evolve into a twist of good fortune?
  Since yesterday.
  Southern's Robert Stokes was fearful that his nickname - "World" - had come tumbling down around him at the 26-second mark against University City before a rollicking, reasonably well-behaved crowd of 4,000 at Temple's McGonigle Hall.
  At that juncture, Stokes, a 6-2 wing guard and the Rams' only junior starter, sprained his left ankle while approaching the hoop. Then - talk about the sounds of silence - he hobbled to the bench to the accompaniment of nothing but nervous breathing from Southern's fans.
  "I thought I fractured it. I heard some kind of noise down there," Stokes said. "But then the trainer started taping and each time the tape went around my ankle, it felt better and better.
  "I got up, walked around a little, then I went over to coach (Mitch) Schneider and said, 'I'm OK. Put me back in. I want to win this.' He said, 'OK, OK. Hold on.' "
  Stokes missed two minutes in Southern's 66-64 victory, but seemingly could not miss thereafter.
  Sure, championships are always enjoyed the most by seniors, but nowhere is it written that underclassmen must take back seats in terms of contributions. Stokes sniped 10-for-15 for 20 points and received credit for the decisive field goal with 0:07 remaining when his 10-foot, right-side bank shot was goaltended by Vincent "Butter" Smalls.
  U. City's final possession featured a solo act by guard Eric Kegler, who dribbled over halfcourt, veered to the right side because of defensive
pressure and lipped the rim with an 18-footer from behind the foul line extended at the buzzer.
  "We wanted Kegler to go coast to coast, and have (James) Glass and 'Butter' V-ing to the basket from the sides," said U. City coach Steve Kane. "I told Kegler, 'Try to deal the ball to them cutting in. If that's not possible, you take it. ' Hey, it was in and out."
  As for how Stokes could have been helped by twisting his ankle, you must realize that his chief faults while shooting are rushing and jumping too far toward the basket, thereby disturbing his balance.
  Stokes had trouble jumping at all yesterday, which made him the Public League's first set-shooter since probably the 1950s and enabled the Rams (25-1, 67-66 loss to Roman Catholic on Jan. 4) to win their first championship since 1946.
  "I don't jump that much on my shot anyway," Stokes said. "I feel more comfortable down near the floor. "
  Stokes said he could sense the concern of Southern's fans right after the injury happened. He explained the hush by saying, "Most of them were my family. "
  "There can't be that many people in your family," someone commented.
"I've got nine brothers and sisters," Stokes said, laughing. "And lots of cousins. They were all here today, too. Plus, I've got lots of friends."
  Yesterday, teammate Lionel Simmons confirmed that Stokes was prominent among his buddies. Asked if Stokes was really All-World - the longer version of the nickname can be traced to Robert's penchant for launching shots from World B. Free range on a court at 20th and Tasker - Simmons responded, "He's All-World in my book . . . especially when he makes the winning basket. "
  Simmons, who said he plans to visit Boston College next weekend then choose between the Eagles, Old Dominion, St. Joseph's and La Salle (Villanova has chosen to eliminate itself from contention) in about two weeks, finished his career with 1,539 points. Twenty-one came against the Jaguars on 8-for-15, 5- for-10 shooting, as did 18 rebounds and 3 steals.
  "I had butterflies early," Simmons said. "But once the game started flowing and I could see we had the defense working, I said, 'There's no way we're going to lose. ' We fell behind here and there, but we stayed together and pulled it out. "
  How close the bubble came to bursting, however, will be remembered by everyone in attendance.
  With 1:14 left, a tight shot by Simmons created a 64-64 tie, but the Jaguars (26-2, previous loss also to Southern, 64-63, on Jan. 9) pushed the ball upcourt and Heath Williams made a sharp pass to Smalls cutting in along the right baseline.
  Smalls, who earlier uncorked what ranked as one of the top five slams of the season, again tried to dunk. The ball kicked high off the rim and ''Butter" compounded the problem by not merely hanging on the iron in an attempt to avoid landing on defender Al Baur's head, but by swaying on it one- handed. Referee Caesar Williams had no choice but to call a "T." 
  continued right below . . .


  Simmons missed the freebie with 1:01 left, but Southern received possession at midcourt and wasted time until the clock melted under 0:10. Taylor then drove the left side of the lane and passed to Simmons on the baseline. Lionel
drew two defenders and spotted Stokes cutting down the right side of the lane.
Stokes's shot looked as if it might have connected anyway, but the fact that Smalls goaltended will cause never-ending speculation.
  "It was the right call," said Smalls, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds. ''I was just a little too late getting across the lane (to Stokes)."
  Meanwhile, in these times of myriad transfers, Schneider wants to get across the point that Southern's 10-man roster this season was composed entirely of South Philadelphia residents.
  In fact, Schneider claimed only one player he has coached in 12 years ''couldn't walk to our school."
  That would be Truck Butts, who transferred from Overbrook to Southern just before the 1978-79 season only because he envisioned limited playing time on a powerhouse that would go 34-1.
  Would-be franchises of the past often set sail in the other direction. Guard Andre McCarter, a South Philadelphian, led Overbrook to championships in 1970 and '71, and Clarence Tillman, another neighborhood product, helped West Philly take titles in '76, '77 and '78. Even Jerome "Pooh" Richardson lived in South Philly when he entered Benjamin Franklin, although he moved to Logan soon thereafter.
  Whether or not they were induced to leave South Philly, the point is that they did.
  "We want the South Philly kids to stay home. We love 'em. That's crucial to how we want to do things and I have always strived for that," Schneider said. ''We're not going to go out and recruit.
  "The guys who left, I felt, were shortchanging their friends, the school and the community. But I can also understand that kids love to go with a winner. To us, winning with dignity is the only way to do it. And with all of our players being home- grown, we can say we've done that."
  Now that the championship has been won, Lionel Simmons might even summon the courage to discuss with the ever-hyper Schneider how he almost transferred at one point.
  "We were playing Franklin one time and coach Schneider wouldn't let me play," Simmons said. "I had a slight injury. I thought I could play. He said it would be better to sit out. I was real angry and I was ready to transfer.
"But then I said, 'Nah, I'll stay here. ' I'm sure glad I did."
  TITLE TIDBITS: University City forward David Scott had 21 points, seven rebounds . . . Southern lost to Murrell Dobbins Tech, 86-62, in last year's final . . . Lead guard Marshall Taylor had 12 points, six assists. "I knew they'd be tough," Taylor said, "because they felt we beat them by luck the last time." . . . Health problems forced referee Tom DeFelice to the sidelines. Vince Trombetta, who lives two doors away from DeFelice in Southwest Philly, took his place . . . Southern was 64-7 in Lionel Simmons's three-year career and its record in the 1980s is 129-31 . . . U. City, which joined the league for the '74 season, had made the playoffs only in '80 and '84 before this year, losing its first game both times.


 This story was written after Southern captured the 1987 championship . . .

By Ted Silary
  Freeze frames of special moments linger in everyone's mind, of course, but Will Scott's collection is smaller than he would have preferred.
  It is exactly one year ago today, and Southern is scrambling past University City, 66-64, for the Public League basketball championship at Temple's McGonigle Hall.
  Click! . . . With 1:14 left, a tight shot by Southern's Lionel Simmons (21 points, 18 rebounds) creates a 64-64 tie.
  Click! . . . At 0:07, Robert "World" Stokes scores the decisive basket as his 10-foot bank shot is goaltended.
  Click! . . . At 0:00, Southern's fans storm onto the court and the players take turn savaging the nets.
  Three clicks, three indelible freeze frames.
  What a shame that Will Scott, who twice was briefly a member of Southern's 1985-86 varsity, wasn't there to snap away, then place the memories in his mind's scrapbook.
  "I wasn't here," Scott recalled yesterday at McGonigle Hall, after this year's edition of the championship game, which Southern won over West Philadelphia, 75-66. "I listened to part of the game on the radio, then I went outside and played some ball. I walked around a little, too. Really, I was just trying to clear my head.
  "I was mad at myself for not being part of things, for not playing (the entire year). Everybody said I had the talent. It just didn't work out."
  Scott began his yo-yo of a junior season with the varsity, then was shipped to coach Fred Campisi's JV for missing a practice. After abusing JV competition in man-against-boys fashion, Scott returned to coach Mitch Schneider's varsity.
  Mostly because he failed to cope with limited playing time, Scott approached his duties halfheartedly (that's one thing you don't do at Southern) and soon was asked to leave.
  "All I could do was look ahead," Scott said. "I knew this would be my year to play, whether we won the championship again or not."
  Southern again won the championship, all right, and the 6-3 Scott - the city's most exciting player and one of its most prolific leapers, he enjoys brushing his head against the net on spread-eagle dunks - was as imposing as anyone.
  Not just yesterday, when he donated 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks to the cause, but throughout the season.
  Wing guard Stokes (as a starter), center Kevin Smith and lead guard Jason Waters (as backups) were returning known quantities, but Schneider had no clue what to expect from Scott and small forward Nelson Brown, who never had played school basketball.
  What he got was dual excellence.
  In spite of his flair (he wears a sweat suit with "Air Scott" and "Human Highlight" stitched on the front and back, respectively), which could have rubbed his teammates the wrong way, Scott won respect early and kept it throughout the season.
  Along the way, Scott also decided his tentative plan to forego college in favor of getting a job with the U.S. Postal Service was a mistake.
  "How many people told me I should go to college? Too many. I couldn't even count them," he said, laughing. "Everybody's telling me I've got the ability, the heart, the courage and everything else to play college ball, and that's what I want to do.
  "I've been watching a lot of college games to see how I'd fit in. I think I'd fit in fine. I'm ready for the other (academic) part, too. Before, I couldn't picture myself going right to college after pushing hard through high school. I'll just gear myself to do it, that's all."
  As for Brown, Schneider realized immediately that the 6-1 senior's dangerous jump shot would be the perfect andidote for packed-in zones. But the Rams, a.k.a. Team Transition, hardly ever had to face them, so Brown kept his right arm under wraps, waited, and bided time with the little things.
  Thursday, Brown shot 7-for-12 for 16 points in an 81-69 semifinal win over Benjamin Franklin. He came back yesterday with 18 points, sniping 8-for-12.
  "At our first practice," Stokes said, "all these shots started going in the basket from the outside. We were looking around like, 'Who's that guy? ' We said, 'What's your name? You might be able to start. ' He was saying, 'Nah, I don't think so,' but a jump shooter was all we needed. If he's open, it's money in the bank."
  In the first half, West Philly did a masterful job controlling the tempo and working the ball for shots as close to the basket as possible. With 6-2 forward Mike Monroe (14 of his 26 points) leading the way, the Speedboys even received an unexpected bonus in the form of a lead, 30-29.
  "We played great for the first 16 minutes," West coach Joe Goldenberg said. "I wish we could have left right then. "
  The Speedboys didn't leave, but they did disappear for a while.
  Southern scored the first 14 points of the second half, inducing its rooters to chant, "Back to back, we gotta like that," and everyone played a part. The scoring plays, after Kevin Smith's free throw, were a smorgasbord of selflessness: Stokes from Smith for a layup; Smith from Brown for a layup and a three-point play; Stokes for a layup after a steal by Brown; Scott from Stokes for a dunk; Brown from Waters for a wing jumper; and Brown from Waters for another wing jumper.
  Meanwhile, West was going 0-for-7 and committing two turnovers.
  "We were afraid they'd make that kind of spurt," Goldenberg said.
  "We got caught up in a (fast-paced) flow and nothing would fall," Monroe noted.
  "We were a tentative in our man-to-man," Schneider said, "so we tried some 1-3-1 halfcourt to try to speed things up. But we weren't able to do it and Joe (Goldenberg) had the game his way. In the second half, we decided to crank up the man-to-man again, but with no gambling. We wanted good, hard, work-to-death man."
  West caused some consternation with 3:46 left when Eric Williams made a layup to cut the score to 53-48, also drawing Smith's fifth personal. But Southern proceeded to shoot free throws as if it were tossing coins in a fountain.
  The Rams made 10 straight, all in one-and-one situations, before Stokes finally broke the streak. No problema - Brown scored on a follow for a 67-57 lead at 1:36.
  "I was scared to death because we're not great foul shooters," Schneider said. "The interesting paradox was, they beat us at what we feel is our strength, rebounding, and we knocked down the free throws, which is their strength."
  Only four schools in the Public League's 88-year basketball history - Central, West, Overbrook, Southern - have been strong enough to win back-to- back championships. The Rams last did so in 1945 and '46. Overbrook last managed the feat in '79 and '80, while West won five in a row beginning in '74.
  Central? Would you believe 1910 and '11?
  "For me, this championship is better," Stokes said. "Now I know what it feels like to win the championship in your final Public League game. That has to be the best possible feeling. I wanted this one. I wanted to take another one home."
  TITLE TIDBITS: Southern put six players in double figures . . . The Rams have gone 73-4 in the last three years, but the hot streak will be difficult to maintain. Mitch Schneider's first eight players were seniors . . . Southern lost to Franklin (non-league) and Dobbins (championship game) in 1984-85, to Roman in the Pepsi Challenge last season and to Willingboro in a Cherry Hill (N.J.) East quarterfinal this season . . . Will Scott says he knows that Textile and Coppin State are recruiting him and has "heard" that Delaware State and La Salle are interested . . . Schneider, relenting to compare the championship teams just a little: "Last year's was more physical. This year's is quicker." . . . Schneider again, on when he began to believe a championship was possible: "After we beat Franklin in our opener. I said, 'Hey, these kids can play. ' I just didn't know if we'd be able to maintain the same kind of tempo all season. You have to be in superb condition to play 94 feet of man-to-man defense game after game." . . . Joe Goldenberg: ''Mike Monroe is one of the most underrated players ever to play for me."


Results and Southern's Leading Scorers
Opponent Sou Leading Scorer(s) Pts
Lincoln 83 Lionel Simmons 23
Neumann 81 Lionel Simmons 35
Olney 82 Lionel Simmons 26
Northeast 77 Lionel Simmons 32
Sterling (NJ) 69 Lionel Simmons 25
Kennedy (NJ) 102 Lionel Simmons 17
Cherry Hill East (NJ) 65 Lionel Simmons 27
Roman 66 Marshall Taylor 16
Carroll 83 Lionel Simmons 40
PL Regular Season      
Edison 83 Lionel Simmons 29
Mastbaum 76 Lionel Simmons 31
University City 64 Lionel Simmons 22
Penn  78 Lionel Simmons 34
Franklin LC 117 Lionel Simmons 33
Dobbins 86 Robert Stokes 23
Franklin   85 Lionel Simmons 32
Bodine 117 Lionel Simmons 56
Overbrook 63 Lionel Simmons 34
West Phila. 67 Lionel Simmons 40
Bartram 97 Al Baur 21
Bok 83 Lionel Simmons 31
Lamberton 91 Lionel Simmons 36
PL Playoffs      
Parkway 97 Lionel Simmons 27
Franklin 65 Lionel Simmons 26
Gratz 73 Lionel Simmons 29
University City 66 Lionel Simmons 21
Results and Southern's Leading Scorers
Opponent Sou Leading Scorer(s) Pts
Franklin 75 Kevin Smith 20
Franklin LC 97 Robert Stokes 25
Mastabum 75 Kevin Smith 18
Gratz 64 Will Scott 17
Neumann 63 Smith/Scott 14
Edison 73 Robert Stokes 28
Willingboro (NJ) 60 Kevin Smith 14
Burlington (NJ) 86 Robert Stokes 21
West Catholic 86 Kevin Smith 34
PL Regular Season      
Washington 87 Robert Stokes 26
Olney 97 Kevin Smith 26
Eng. and Science 76 Stokes/Scott 17
Frankford 74 Will Scott 24
Northeast 92 Robert Stokes 23
Kensington 103 Will Scott 22
Bodine 92 Stokes/Scott 23
Overbrook 77 Robert Stokes 19
West Phila. 76 Kevin Smith 25
Lamberton 99 Robert Stokes 24
Bartram 110 Robert Stokes 28
Lincoln 89 Will Scott 29
Bok 79 Will Scott 29
PL Playoffs      
Edison 95 Robert Stokes 23
Gratz 78 Robert Stokes 26
Franklin 81 Will Scott 23
West Phila. 75 Nelson Brown 18


  The 1985-86 Daily News All-City Team .  . . along Boathouse Row.
Clockwise from front: Dennis "Dink" Whitaker, Gratz; Lionel Simmons, Southern; Barry Bekkedam, Carroll; Ivan "Pick" Brown, Bonner; Brian Shorter, Gratz. . . Photo by Loie Grossmann (These guys were also the top five guys on the DN All-Area Team; pic taken to accompany that squad.)

1985-86 Postseason Honors . . .
Daily News All-City
  First Team -- Lionel Simmons, Player of the Year
  Third Team -- Marshall Taylor
Daily News All-Public
  First Team -- Lionel Simmons
  Second Team -- Marshall Taylor
  Fifth Team -- Robert "World" Stokes
Coaches All-Public
  First Team -- Lionel Simmons
  Second Team -- Marshall Taylor
  Third Team -- Robert "World" Stokes

1986-87 Postseason Honors . . .
Daily News All-City
  First Team -- Robert "World" Stokes, Will Scott
Daily News All-Public
  First Team -- Robert "World" Stokes, Will Scott
  Fourth Team -- Kevin Smith
Coaches All-Public
  First Team -- Robert "World" Stokes, Will Scott
  Second Team -- Kevin Smith



  This story was written in 1986 after Lionel Simmons and Southern earned a tough win at University City . . .

By Ted Silary
  His playing style usually resembles that of a bull, and an inner rage is apparent when the situation warrants.
  But to Lionel Simmons' credit, if a butterfly needs to be imitated, he's not too proud to flutter.
  Some high school superstars, even if covered by three defenders, would feel the macho need to somehow burst through and risk having their arms chopped off for the sake of a rim-wrecking dunk.
  Lionel Simmons, in that same situation, is more inclined to flick a pass to a wide-open teammate for the simplest of layups.
  Simmons wasn't the only reason visiting Southern squeezed past University City, 64-63, in a Public League game yesterday that gave off an odor for three quarters, then sparks in the fourth. Like always when the Rams (10-1) win, however, he was one of the prominent reasons.
  The 6-6 Simmons, who is spending more time on the wing in preparation for college, shot 8-for-14 and 6-for-7 for 22 points. He grabbed just 3 rebounds, but had 6 assists and 4 steals.
  Also, when Southern played man-to-man in the first half, Vincent "Butter" Smalls, University City's inside terror, shot only 1-for-6 and scored just three of his 13 points.
  It was Smalls who attempted the last shot, an 8-foot banker from the left side that bounced a bit too hard off the glass as the buzzer sounded.
  That ended one game (basketball) and started another (trying to pin down Simmons, as subtly as possible, on his college destination).
  Simmons, who already has made official visits to La Salle, St. Joseph's and Old Dominion, said chances are "70-30" he'll remain in the city. He also said he intends to follow through on his plans to visit Boston College and Wake Forest and to not announce his decision until after the season.
  "I had planned to make up my mind after the Christmas tournament," Simmons said. "But my coach (Mitch Schneider) thought it would be better to go ahead and enjoy all my visits because it's something I'll never get to go through again. "
Those close to Simmons, noting that he rarely leaves South Philadelphia, let alone the city, are convinced La Salle and St. Joe's are the only schools with a legitimate chance. The others are involved merely for show, they say.
  "Going away could be an adventure. I think I'd like to stay home . . . for the most part," Lionel said with a chuckle. "Philadelphia is a basketball city. I like being a part of that. To get me to go away, it would have to be a school with great academics and great basketball - above all, a winning school. "
  How, someone asked, would you compare La Salle and St. Joe's?
  "Oooh, that's 50-50 straight down the line," he said.
  Except for a tendency to misfire on almost as many chip shots as a golfer struggling to make the PGA Tour, Simmons is generally pleased with his play this season.
  And, sorry, he says, everyone will have to wait until next year to see him extend his range.
  "In games, we're looking for good shots, and, say, an 18-footer wouldn't be appropriate in our halfcourt offense," said Simmons, who regularly sticks his jumper from distance in warmups, as if merely to prove he can do so. "As our biggest guy, I shouldn't be way out there. I should be trying to score in the paint.
  "When I get the chance, though, I work on (perfecting) a nice, decent- range jumper. "
  Even if Simmons did not have the dexterity to put the ball in the basket from the top of a stepladder, or the wherewithal to rebound his own misses practicing alone in a schoolyard, he would remain one of Schneider's favorite people.
  Theirs is a relationship that began because of basketball, but has gone way beyond, and flourished.
  "He has been a close personal friend and I would hope my children would grow up to be like him," Schneider said. "Get ready, because I'm going to repeat that very often this season. That's from the heart, it really is. We have fun together. "
When Simmons made a steal and three-quarter-court drive for a breakaway dunk with 1:34 left, Southern appeared to be in great shape at 62-59.
  But after matching turnovers, Smalls capped a wild sequence with an inside basket at 0:19, then recovered the ball when James Glass deflected Al Baur's inbounds pass. Smalls gave to guard Eric "Spud" Kegler (14 points, seven assists), whose miss on a drive was successfully followed by Glass.
  Next, Baur (6-for-8, 14 points) fired a baseball pass the length of the court to lefthanded guard Marshall Taylor, who used his right hand to flip in a layup. Smalls was fouled by Clarence Jackson (12 points, seven rebounds) while maneuvering for a shot, but with the bonus not in effect, the Jaguars (led by forward David Scott, with 18 points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals) had to inbound from the right side.
  As hard as they tried to shut him off, the Rams were still at Smalls' mercy when he went up to shoot.
  A little less oomph and University City's fans would have exploded onto the court. Instead, they strolled on, pointing fingers at Southern's players and shouting the likes of, "You dudes are lucky. We had you. And you know we had you. "
  "That was one of the best games I've played in in a while. Exciting," Simmons said. "Coach said we'd have to use two men to control Smalls, to front him and look for weakside help. We lost track of him a few times in the zone and that's when he was able to get in there for follows. We knew that was coming. All those guys crash the boards. "
  Lionel Simmons can crash the boards, too. But his is an overall game, one that doesn't leave people bored.

  This story was written after Lionel Simmons scored 56 points to break Southern's record . . .

By Ted Silary
  The breaking of records doesn't necessarily have to result in the breaking of spirits.
  At halftime of a Public League game yesterday, with Southern already leading William Bodine by 56-13, Southern coach Mitch Schneider approached counterpart Ralph Rice and asked permission to allow superstar Lionel Simmons to make a bid for Southern's one-game individual record.
  To soften the blow, if you will.
  "Sure, I talked to (Rice) about it and he said I could," Schneider said. ''Do you think I would have just done that? No way. "
  When the smoke had cleared from the singed nets, Simmons - despite not playing at all in the second quarter and leaving with 3:30 left - had sniped 23-for-35 and 10-for-14 for 56 points in the Rams' 117-32 victory.
  Erased as a school record was the 52-point effort of Jim Muldoon in 1954. Also, the total gives Simmons 11th place on the all-time city leagues list, which is headed by Wilt Chamberlain's 90-point eruption in 1955.
  "I love the kid. I felt he deserved a chance to go for it," Schneider said. "You should have seen how into it the other kids were. They couldn't get Lionel the ball fast enough. When we didn't have the ball, they couldn't get it back fast enough.
  "Lionel has sacrifcied so much in three seasons and they were only too happy to sacrifice for him. "
  "I had no indication what was going on until the fourth quarter," said Simmons, last year's Public League scoring champ (26.3 average). "Mr. Schneider told me I was close and when he asked the team about keeping me in, they all agreed.
  "The first eight or nine times downcourt in the fourth quarter, my teammates were giving me the ball in the open court and I kept finishing things off pretty well. Bodine had three guys on me in the fourth quarter, but there was nothing dirty. I thanked them after the game. "
  "My boys played hard. They just didn't have the height or the talent to match up against that squad," said Bodine's Rice.
  "Schneider was nice about it, though. And so were his kids. They were gentlemen. We have no animosity.
  "Sure, to a certain degree it's tough to digest. But when you don't have talent and another team does, you have to face situations like this. "
  The 6-6 Simmons, who is a strong candidate to win the Markward Award as the city's top senior player, said he continues to be recruited heavily by La Salle, St. Joseph's, Wake Forest, Old Dominion and Boston College.
  Rumors have circulated the past few weeks that Villanova will make a run for his services; also, that Temple has been asked to recruit him by a Southern administrator who greatly admires coach John Chaney.
  "Temple? I haven't heard a thing from them," Simmons said. "Villanova was recruiting me early, but then they stopped coming around and they notified me they wouldn't be recruiting me anymore."


1986  G Pts PPG   1st Qtr Semi Final
SOUTHERN         Pky Fkn Gtz UC
Coach - Mitch Schneider                
Record - 13-0, 25-1                
Lionel Simmons 13 427 32.8   27 26 29 21
Marshall Taylor 13 78 6.0   10 2 16 12
Al Baur 13 131 10.1   16 9 10 4
Clarence Jackson 11 95 8.6   6 8 6 1
Robert "World" Stokes 13 170 13.1   19 13 8 20
Key Subs                
Kevin Smith 7 54 7.7   6 7 3 8
Demetrius Butler 9 54 6.0   2   1  
Chris D'Angelo 8 28 3.5          
Tony Austin 2 20 10.0          
Gerald Blackman 6 24 4.0   6      
Jason Waters 8 24 3.0   5      
Will Scott 1 2 2.0          
  13 1107 85.2   97 65 73 66
SOUTHERN 1986-87                
SOUTHERN  G Pts PPG   Edi Gtz Fkn West
Coach - Mitch Schneider                
Record - 13-0, 25-1                
Will Scott 13 260 20.0   22 21 23 11
Robert "World" Stokes 13 236 18.2   23 26 12 12
Kevin Smith 11 179 16.3   9 12 17 10
Nelson Brown 13 116 8.9   16 12 16 18
Jason Waters 12 69 5.8   6 1 6 12
Key Subs                
Terrance McDuffie 12 59 4.9   2 4 4 12
Greg Wright 9 49 5.4   6 2    
Marcel Boyce 10 58 5.8   7   1  
Lou Myers 8 32 4.0   4   2  
Jerry Richardson 6 28 4.7          
Ty Bradley 9 28 3.1          
Don Ralls 6 24 4.0          
Paul Lewis 4 23 5.8          
  13 1161 89.3   95 78 81 75


Recaps of Public League playoffs . . .

Southern 97, Parkway 47
  Lionel Simmons scored 27 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dealt eight assists. Robert “World” Stokes (19) and Marshall Taylor (10 assists) helped. Andre Ward (11) paced Parkway.
Southern 65, Franklin 49
  Lionel Simmons had 26 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and four blocks. Robert “World” Stokes added 13 points. Franklin’s Randy Woods scored 16 points.
At William Penn
Southern 73, Gratz 71 (OT)
  Brian Shorter shot 14-for-15 from the floor for 33 points, snatched 17 rebounds and created a 63-63 tie by converting a rebound basket with 0:02 left in regulation. And then, with 0:02 left in OT, he was fouled while shooting. He missed the first free throw badly, missed the second on purpose and Al Baur rebounded for Southern. Lionel Simmons led Southern with 29 points, 20 rebounds and four blocks. Marshall Taylor added 16 points, seven assists. Gratz’s Dennis “Dink” Whitaker had 12 assists.
At Temple's McGonigle Hall
Southern 66, Univ. City 64
With 21 points and 18 rebounds, Lionel Simmons led Southern to its first title since 1946. Robert "World" Stokes (20 points) and Marshall Taylor (12 points, six assists) were the other key contributors. Stokes won the game with 0:07 left when his 10-foot banker was goaltended by Vincent "Butter" Smalls (12 points, 11 rebounds). Eric Kegler then dribbled the length of the floor and lipped the rim with an 18-footer. UC's David Scott had 21 points.

Southern 95, Edison 59
  Robert “World” Stokes (23 points, 14 rebounds) and Will Scott (22, 16) sparked Southern. Joe Jefferson (21) led Edison.
Southern 78, Gratz 71
  The passing of Jason Waters (eight assists) enabled Robert “World” Stokes (26) and Will Scott (21) to carry the scoring load. Gratz’s Eddie Savage had 22 points and 11 assists.
At Gratz
Southern 81, Franklin 69
  Senior Nelson Brown, who’d played only recreation and playground ball through his junior year, collected 16 points, five rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Will Scott (10-for-14, 23) and Kevin Smith (17) also starred. Randy Woods (22) led Franklin.
At Temple's McGonigle Hall
Southern 75, West 66
Six players scored in double figures for Southern, led by Nelson Brown (18). The Rams trailed, 30-29, at halftime, then scored the first 14 points of the third quarter. For West, Mike Monroe had 26 points and 13 rebounds.