Kehler On Hoops: IMHOTEP CHARTER DEFEATS WEST CATHOLIC 64-56

Written by: on Wednesday, February 9th, 2022

 

In a game between two of the best teams in Pennsylvania on Tuesday night, Imhotep Charter built a big early lead then repelled a furious fourth quarter rally by visiting West Catholic.  The final score before a capacity crowd at Imhotep’s smallish gym was 64-56.  The view from here is that these teams will win PIAA state championships next month, Imhotep in Class 5A and West Catholic in Class 3A.  Both teams are deep, and quick, and able to score both from outside and close to the hoop, and strong defenders.

 

Imhotep Charter was spectacular at the beginning of the game, making six of their first seven field goal attempts and forcing three West Catholic turnovers in the first three minutes of action.  Trailing 14-5, West Catholic called a timeout and switched to a zone defense.  Imhotep quickly responded with two three pointers, and West Catholic went back to man-to-man defense for the rest of the game.  Attacking from both inside and beyond the arc, Imhotep led 24-11 at the end of the first quarter.  Imhotep led by 17 points midway through the second quarter, 35-18, and the lead widened to 20 points twice in the third frame.  West Catholic was having great difficulty scoring on Imhotep’s man-to-man defense.  Imhotep’s defense was designed to stop drives to the hoop.  Imhotep defenders rarely switch, but they collapse on the ball when the opponent penetrates.  On the rare occasions when West Catholic was able to get the ball inside, the ball handler was surrounded by aggressive Imhotep defenders.

 

A lesser team probably would have given up.  West Catholic trailed by 20 points going into the fourth quarter, and they hadn’t been able to get any offensive momentum going in the first three frames.  Through the first three quarters, West Catholic had been out rebounded 29 to 24.  However, gritty and determined West Catholic opened the fourth quarter with an 11-0 run, and they trailed by nine points, 59-50, with 2:41 left in the game.  Although West Catholic managed to hold Imhotep’s powerful offense to just five points in the fourth quarter, the Catholic League squad’s rally fell short.

 

Imhotep’s leading scorers were sophomore Ahmad Nowell with 24 points, junior Rahmir Barno with 12, junior Justin Edwards with 11, and senior Mo Abdullah with 9.  West Catholic’s top scorers were junior Aaron Clark with 18 points and juniors Shemar Wilbanks-Acqui and Zion Stanford both with 12 points.

 

Both Imhotep Charter and West Catholic had 35 rebounds in the game.  Imhotep committed 13 turnovers, and West Catholic committed nine.  Imhotep was five of 12 from the stripe, and West Catholic was 14 of 22.

 

West Catholic 11 14 14 17-56

Imhotep Charter 24 13 22 5-64

 

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