Your source for Lancaster-Lebanon League Boys Basketball

George Defeats Malvern Prep 72-51: Kehler on Hoops

George Defeats Malvern Prep 72-51: Kehler on Hoops

Written by: Dell Jackson on February 2, 2023


George Defeats Malvern Prep 72-51

Very talented George never trailed on Wednesday afternoon against visiting Malvern Prep in a non-league matchup between two non-PIAA teams. George had too much height and offensive firepower for Malvern Prep in a 72 to 51 victory. George, located in Bucks County, is a member of the Friends Schools League, and Malvern Prep is a member of the oldest high school sports league in America, the Inter-Academic League.

The game was tied three times in the early going at 2, 4, and 6, then George hit 3-pointers on two consecutive possessions, the first by 6’ 10” senior Kachi Nzeh and the second by 6’ 3” senior Carson Mastin, to put their team up 12 to 6. Malvern Prep responded with a 3-pointer by senior Andrew Phillips, cutting George’s lead to 12 to 9. George then launched a 9 to 0 run on a hoop inside by 6’ 11” sophomore Luke Bevilacqua, a fast break layup by 6’ 4” junior Christian Bliss, a hook shot by Nzeh, and another 3-pointer by Mastin to make it 21 to 9, George. Malvern Prep never recovered.

Both teams used multiple defenses in this game. George had an answer for every defense that Malvern Prep tried, which included a box-and-one and some zone. Wherever Malvern Prep concentrated their defensive focus, George would find offensive production elsewhere. George’s offensive versatility and unselfishness is impressive, and four George players scored in double figures in this game.

Although George led 32 to 22 at halftime, the first half of this game was very well played, with few fouls and few turnovers by either side. Both coaches—Ben Luber of George and Paul Romanczuk of Malvern Prep—are outstanding, and the teams are well schooled.

After a 9 to 0 George run early in the third quarter gave them a 44 to 25 lead, the game had a looser feel, and both squads liberally substituted in the fourth quarter. Both teams’ ball security slipped a bit in the second half.

These two teams will contend for the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state championship in a tournament, beginning later this month, for private schools that aren’t members of the PIAA. George is a leading contender for that title this season. Two of George’s three seniors have committed to play college basketball next season—Nzeh at Big East power Xavier and 6’ Dante Weise at Division 2 St. Rose. At least two George underclassmen are likely to play college basketball at a high level. Junior Christian Bliss has at least 10 Division 1 scholarship offers, including offers from Villanova, Xavier, and St. Joseph’s. It is virtually certain that rapidly improving George sophomore Luke Bevilacqua will receive considerable attention from college recruiters.

In Wednesday’s game, George had a 36 to 31 rebounding advantage. George committed 14 turnovers to 10 for Malvern Prep. George was seven of 13 from the free throw line, while Malvern Prep was 12 of 14. George made seven 3-pointers in the game, and Malvern Prep made five. There were three ties and no lead changes.

George scoring: Kachi Nzeh 21, Christian Bliss 19, Carson Mastin 11, Luke Bevilacqua 10, Luke Melniczak 5, Dante Weise 3, and Ivan Ryabov 3.

Malvern Prep scoring: Ryan Williams 11, Andrew Phillips 10, Rowan Miller 7, Hayden Pegg 5, Andrew Davis 5, Tague Davis 4, Bernard Blakey 4, Jimmy McElwee 3, and Achilles Tucker-Turner 2.

Malvern Prep 12 10 7 22-51
George 21 11 22 18-72

On Twitter: @david_kehler


Follow LLhoops on Twitter @LLhoops

Fifty Years of Lancaster-Lebanon League Boys Basketball
LL Hoops Livestream