Hershey, Pa. - Roberts Vaux reached the summit Friday afternoon, beating District 9's Johnsonburg, 83-63, at the Giant Center for the PIAA Class A boys' basketball championship.
With a target date of April 15 for his announcement, Rysheed Jordan, the Cougars' star guard, is expected to commit to Temple, St. Johns or UCLA.
"I really love all those schools," the senior said after netting 32 points, five steals, and four assists in 31 minutes versus the Rams.
With Vaux set to close in June, several non-seniors, including sophomore combination guard Sammy Foreman and 6-foot-8 junior Trayvond Massenburg, will have to leave 23d and Master and find another school to call home.
One option for Foreman, who posted 22 points and six assists against Johnsonburg, which is located in the northwestern part of the state, is to return to Haverford School, where he started his high school career.
"The kids, with the help of their parents, will decide where they want to go next," Cougars coach Jamie Ross said. "They each have to pick a place that's comfortable for them. If they need or want my input, I'm certainly willing to help."
The other top players from Vaux (24-8) who have to relocate are junior guard Karon Sneed and sophomore guard Khalief Tinley. Both, with their on-the-ball defensive skills, aided the Cougars' drive to statewide glory.
Tinley contributed five third-quarter points against Johnsonburg. His layup, off a feed from Jordan, produced a 49-46 lead. His right-wing three-pointer made it 59-50.
The speedy Foreman notched 16 points in the second half. He had six points in Vaux's 18-4, third-quarter explosion.
"Sammy is one of the toughest kids around," Ross said. "He's not going to let you do something to him without coming right back at you."
What's next for Ross, who was joined on the Vaux bench by Randy Miller?
"I love being around the kids and I love teaching," he said. "I hope people saw a change in my kids from the beginning of the year to the end of the year."
Battle-tested. Imhotep Charter, no doubt strengthened by its rigorous nonleague schedule, topped District 12 rival Archbishop Carroll, 54-45, Friday night for top Class AAA honors.
In its drive to the title, the Panthers, 28-5 and ranked No. 2 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, defeated No. 7 St. Joseph's Prep (61-56), Brooklyn's Abraham Lincoln (72-61), Erie's Cathedral Prep (74-47), and No. 3 Lower Merion (64-61).
Andre Noble's squad also took on top-ranked Chester in a holiday showcase at Widener. It twice led by 11 in the second half before falling to Rondae Jefferson and the vaunted Clippers, 63-61.
Patriots' catalyst. Against Imhotep, in his final appearance for Carroll, senior lead guard Yosef Yacob totaled 10 points and four assists.
In 29 appearances this season, Yacob, a Binghamton commit and four-year contributor for the Patriots (23-7), averaged 13 points and drilled 35 treys.
"He gave us everything all the time," Carroll boss Paul Romanczuk said. "He also showed the young guys the way. It was a joy to coach him the last four years."