By Peter Spiewak
PHILADELPHIA - The Kobe Bryant Scholastic Classic brought out the stars from Philly and beyond Saturday, showcased several of the nation's top players and teams at Villanova University.
The Saturday slate featured seven games - here are the recaps:
Pennsbury 63, Neshaminy 30
For the third season in a row, the Pennsbury Falcons have completed an undefeated Suburban One League National campaign behind game MVP Ed DiRugeris. Pennsbury was able to continue its great run and extend its league win streak to 44 games.
Pennsbury’s great defense and balanced scoring allowed the Falcons to cruise to a 33-point win on Saturday. Neshaminy was never in this one, as the Falcons won in dominating fashion. DiRugeris had 10 in the victory.
The Falcons are now 23-1, suffering their only loss to Putnam City (Okla.) in the Bay Ball Classic.
Ursuline (Del.) 57, Germantown Academy (Pa.) 44 (Girls)
Elena Delle Donne, the nation's top female high school basketball player, and Ursuline were too much for the Patriots of Germantown Academy.
Delle Donne scored 33 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Maggie Lucas was a bright spot for Germantown Academy, scoring 18 points in the loss.
Delle Donne, who earlier this season surpassed current St. Joseph's Hawk Jawan Carter to become the all-time leading scorer in Delaware for both boys and girls, will attend the University of Connecticut next fall.
American Christian 78, Academy of the New Church 71
Academy of the New Church was in good shape heading into the final period. The Lions, No. 3 in MaxPreps Pennsylvania rankings, were up 55-45 after three quarters. But in the fourth quarter, the talented guards of American Christian took over, and led the Eagles to a 78-71 victory.
It wasn’t superstar senior Tyreke Evans that brought American Christian all the way back from the 10-point deficit. It was Lamont “Mo-Mo” Jones, the future University of Louisville Cardinal. Jones had 14 points in the final quarter, helping the Eagles climb back into the game, and allowing American Christian to steal the victory.
After Jones sparked the comeback, it was Evans who iced the victory. Evans scored eight of the last 11 points for American Christian. The Eagles outscored the Academy of the New Church by 17 points in the fourth.
Sam Givens, who is committed to Drexel University, achieved the 1,000th point milestone on Saturday. Givens tallied 10 points. The senior’s younger brother, point guard Shannon, had 17 points for the Lions. Clay Penecale led the way for New Church with 19.
Evans, who won his second MVP in as many days, finished with 33 points. Jones finished with 22 points. Jeremiah Kelly, who battled through an injury he sustained on Friday, added seven points in the victory.
St. Anthony (N.J.) 74, Rancocas Valley (N.J.) 50
Tyshawn Taylor, St. Anthony's athletic Marquette-bound guard, helped lead the Friars to an easy victory, as the Jersey City school won big over South Jersey foe Rancocas Valley, 74-50.
Taylor had 13 points, three rebounds and two steals in limited time. Coach Bob Hurley rested his starters for most of the second half.
Hurley’s team is truly a joy to watch. His players are well-coached and disciplined to go along with an extraordinary amount of talent. St. Anthony has six seniors committed to play Division I basketball next season, while junior Dominic Cheek is one of the most coveted juniors in the country.
Mike Rosario’s 15 points were enough to earn MVP honors for the Friars. The 6-foot-3 senior will attend Rutgers University next fall. Also performing well were Cheek and Pittsburgh-bound Travon Woodall, combining for 19 points. A.J. Rogers, who is committed to St. Joseph’s University, was a presence in the paint with six points, three rebounds, and three blocks.
Ridley 65, Lower Merion 60
Greg Robbins’ 23 points were not enough for the Aces of Lower Merion, as Ridley survived the final minutes of this intense league game. The Aces had a chance to tie with less than a minute left, but Robbins’ three pointer rimmed out, and the Green Raiders took the game, and a share of the Central League title.
Dan Robinson led Ridley with 23 points. Ridley’s victory means the Green Raiders are co-champions of the Central League, sharing that honor with Conestega.
Steve Egee added 18 points for Ridley, and Shamar Harris had 19. Egee sunk several clutch free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
Chester 83, Roman Catholic 73
Don’t let the score fool you - Chester’s victory over Roman Catholic was probably the game of the year in Philadelphia. This highly-anticipated battle pitted two of the best point guards in Pennsylvania against one another: Chester’s Karon Burton and Roman Catholic’s Maalik Wayns.
This was the match-up everybody in Philadelphia wanted to see: the fan favorite Burton vs. the Villanova-bound Wayns. Wayns had a game-high 25 points, but it was Burton’s team that came out on top. Chester’s late foul shots gave the Clippers an 83-73 victory.
This was a hotly-contested battle from start to finish. At halftime, Chester led by one at 40-39. The Clippers almost pulled away in the third, but Wayns and sharpshooting Wes Kirkland kept the Cahillites in it.
Kirkland finished with 12 points—all of which came from behind the arc.
Chester didn’t just rely on Burton or stud forward Nasir Robinson to carry the load. Rahlir Jefferson, a junior forward, had a monster game with 16 points and 12 rebounds, earning him the game MVP trophy. Robinson also had a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Senior Mark Burrell stepped up in the absence of injured Russell Johnson. Burrell had 16 points and three boards. Kevin Green-Germany added 14 points in the win.
One of the up-and-coming Philadelphia stars is Roman Catholic sophomore Rakeem Brookins. Brookins had 11 points, and held his own against the experienced Chester guards.
Another great young talent is Cahillite forward Aaron Brown. The 6-4 freshman came up big for Roman Catholic, especially late in the game. Brown provided some clutch baskets and rebounds down the stretch. Brown finished with 16 points and six rebounds.
Gonzaga (D.C.) 69, Neumann-Goretti 46
Coming all the way from Washington, D.C., the Eagles of Gonzaga put on a real show against a talented, but young, Neumann-Goretti team. Forward Ian Hummer tallied 22 points in the victory. Max Kenyi, who is committed to Harvard, used his athleticism and quickness to put up 22 points, as well.
The Saints are still hurting from the departure of point guard Antonio Jardine and big man Rick Jackson, both whom are playing for Syracuse. The Saints have talent, but can not replace the experience lost from last season’s team.
Sophomore Tony Chennault, and senior Shane Irwin fought hard to keep this game close in the first half. After two quarters, the Saints only trailed by six. But the Eagles would run away with it in the second half.
Gonzaga put on a great team performance, cruising to the 23-point victory. The Eagles are currently ranked No. 13 nationally by MaxPreps.
With the victory, Gonzaga improves to 22-1 on the year with its only loss coming against DeMatha (Md.).
Hummer was strong in the paint, using his strength and hustle to dominate the boards. Equally impressive, Kenyi will be a great addition to the Ivy League school.