By Anthony Dabbundo
Despite dominating a short-handed Phoenixville team 90-63 earlier this season, Academy Park knew it wouldn’t have it as easy this time around with both teams fighting for their state playoff lives.
With Phoenixville star senior Christian Kelly–who led the PAC-10 with 23.8 points per game–back in the lineup, the Phantoms had enough firepower to match the Knights offensively. Kelly, who missed the first meeting on January 16 due to a hand injury, was back to extend his high school career for at least one more game.
“We knew that with Kelly playing it would be a totally different game, so we actually watched more tape of their other games to get ready,” Academy Park coach Allen Brydges said.
Despite 30 points from Kelly, Academy Park moved one step closer to the PIAA state tournament thanks to 20 points from senior guard Jawan Collins in the Knights’ 71-58 win.
After the first quarter where Academy Park shot just 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) from the field, the Knights used their press and ball movement to generate easy looks in the paint and wear down their PAC-10 counterparts.