Kehler on Hoops: Philly Public Championship: Imhotep 55 Abraham Lincoln 47

Written by: on Saturday, February 26th, 2022



The Philadelphia Public League championship game was intensely contested on Saturday afternoon at Temple University, with defending champion Imhotep Charter defeating Abraham Lincoln 55-47. Imhotep Charter led by a dozen points at halftime, but Lincoln mounted a furious rally in the fourth quarter to tie the game twice, at 39 and then at 42. However, Imhotep pulled away in the final minutes of the game to claim another league title.

The game was close in the first quarter, and there were three lead changes in the first frame. Imhotep forged ahead late in the opening quarter on drive by junior Rahmir Barno and a reverse layup, on an assist from Barno, by sophomore Makye Taylor. Imhotep led 11-8 at the end of the first frame, and they expanded that lead to 17-8 at the outset of the second quarter on a three pointer by junior Justin Edwards, a free throw by Edwards, and a power move inside by Taylor. A three point play by 5′ 7″ Lincoln junior Rashan Locke-Hicks cut Imhotep’s lead to 17-11, but Imhotep quickly responded with a free throw by Taylor, a hoop by Barno, and a putback dunk by Taylor. That gave Imhotep their first double digit lead of the game, 22-11. Another putback by Taylor, just before halftime, extended Imhotep’s lead to 24-12. Imhotep played man-to-man defense in the first half of the game, but Lincoln did not drive to the hoop when in their half court offense, shooting jumpers instead. Lincoln’s shooting accuracy from outside was poor, however–they made only one of 15 field goal attempts in the second quarter. Imhotep’s offensive rebounding was also a major factor in their first half success. Imhotep had 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, while Lincoln had 12 defensive rebounds in that span.

Lincoln played better in the second half. Imhotep seemed to be in a matchup zone at times, and Lincoln actually outscored Imhotep in the second half. Lincoln hit the offensive board hard in the third quarter and they forced four Imhotep turnovers during that frame. Tamir Powell, a 6′ 6″ Lincoln senior had a strong third quarter, scoring six points in the frame, including Lincoln’s first three pointer of the game. His teammate, 6′ 6″ sophomore Naseem Wright, added six points in the third period, all on free throws. Still, Imhotep led by nine points at the end of the third quarter.

Paced by an outstanding fourth quarter by 6′ 5″ senior Khrys Murray, Lincoln got back into contention. Murray scored 12 points in the final frame. With 4:38 left in the game, Barno put Imhotep up 39-35. Then Lincoln tied it at 39 on a couple of free throws by Locke-Hicks and a steal and layup by Murray. Imhotep came back with a three point play by Taylor, and Lincoln tied it at 42 on a three point play by Murray. There was 2:35 left in the game. Imhotep sealed the win with a 7-0 run comprised of a drive by Barno, a three pointer by senior Mo Abdullah, and a fast break dunk by Edwards. Lincoln couldn’t recover.

Imhotep out rebounded Lincoln 45-39. Imhotep committed 19 turnovers, and Lincoln had 12 miscues. Imhotep was nine of 15 from the free throw line, and Lincoln was 15 of 21. Each team made two three pointers. There were two ties and three lead changes. Perhaps the key statistic in the game measured Lincoln’s field goal inaccuracy: they were 15 of 57 from the field.

Imhotep Charter scoring: Makye Taylor 16, Justin Edwards 14, Rahmir Barno 14, Ronny Raphael 4, Mo Abdullah 3, and Ahmad Nowell 2.

Abraham Lincoln scoring: Khrys Murray 14, Naseem Wright 11, Tamir Powell 8, Rashan Locke-Hicks 7, Aymere Thomas 4, and Jameer Troutt 3.

Abraham Lincoln 8 4 14 21-47
Imhotep Charter 11 13 11 20-55

Next up for these teams: Imhotep Charter will play Archbishop Ryan for the PIAA District 12 Class 5A championship, and Abraham Lincoln will play Roman Catholic for the PIAA District 12 Class 6A championship. Both squads have qualified for the PIAA state championship tournament.

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