RIDLEY 45, HAVERFORD HIGH 40
Malcolm Strand-Young has bounced around a bit in high school. He started at Ridley, switched to Glasgow (Del.) as a sophomore, and then returned to Ridley this school year.
"I wanted to come back and help the school be successful in football and basketball," said the senior, who is a shifty running back on the gridiron.
On the hardwood Friday evening, Strand-Young's 11 points and four rebounds helped the host Green Raiders pull past Haverford High, 45-40, in a slow-paced, deliberate Central League contest in Folsom.
"That's always the way it goes when these two teams play," the 5-foot-6, 145-pound combination guard said. "It's motion offense, moving the ball around, and waiting on a good shot."
Last month at Haverford, Strand-Young's tip-in in the final second gave Ridley a 36-34 win. In the season opener against Central Bucks East, his three-pointer from the wing lifted the Green Raiders to a 41-40 nonleague victory.
"You have to be tough in those moments, when the game is on the line and your team needs a clutch play," he said. "You have to want to step up and hit the shot."
In beating Haverford for a second time, Ridley (10-6 overall, 6-5 Central) ended a three-game losing skid. Shooting woes, coach Mike Snyder, played a big part in the slump.
"Another thing was that we needed to get back to basics on defense," Snyder said. "Our 'help' defense wasn't very good."
Early on, it looked like it was going to be another long night for the Green Raiders. They trailed, 10-5, late in the first quarter and by 14-8 early in the second.
The hosts rallied with an 8-0 burst made up of Strand-Young's driving layup, a pair of field goals by reserve Julian Wing, and Strand-Young's two free throws. After the break, Strand-Young's trey from up top produced a 19-14 advantage.
The Fords (12-6, 7-5) went 8 minutes, 31 seconds without scoring. They managed only nine points in the middle two quarters, committing seven turnovers in that span.
"We started playing tougher, digging in on defense, and not letting Haverford in the seams," Ridley senior guard Andrew Murphy said. "Because we don't have much size, we rely a lot on our defense."
Early in the fourth quarter, Murphy's right-baseline trey put the Green Raiders in control, 29-19. Strand-Young's triple and Brett Foster's two freebies upped the lead to 34-22.
Foster, a sophomore guard who came in averaging a team-high 17 points, chipped in nine points. Senior forwards Pat O'Neil[CQ] (seven boards) and Isaiah Lester (five boards, two assists) scored eight and six, respectively.
For Haverford, senior Tom Leibig netted 18 points and six boards. Sophomore Jack Donaghy posted all nine of his points in the last four minutes.
Haverford High 10 4 5 21-40
Ridley 8 8 7 22-45
H: Mike O'Halloran 7, Jack Donaghy 9, Tom Leibig 18, Ryan Brown 3, Joe Ghisu 3.
R: Malcolm Strand-Young 11, Brett Foster 9, Pat O'Neil 8, Isaiah Lester 6, Andrew Murphy 5, Julian Wing 4, Ameer Staggs 2.