Imhotep's Andre Noble tops area coaches

Imhotep coach Andre Noble has been named the Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania boys' basketball coach of the year

Imhotep Charter made national news when it traveled to Florida in late January and excelled in a prestigious showcase tournament.

After soundly defeating Rainier Beach (Wash.) and Windermere Prep (Fla.), the Panthers capped their trip by beating powerhouse Montverde Academy in the final.

Imhotep's 57-48 victory snapped the host Eagles' 55-game winning streak. It also ended Montverde's five-year run of winning its own tournament.

That was one of several highlights for Andre Noble's squad this season.

The Panthers went 31-2 overall, captured the Public League title, earned the PIAA District 12 Class 4A crown, and brought another state championship trophy back to 6201 N. 21st St.

Imhotep closed 2016 by notching four victories by an average margin of 19.3 points and taking first place in the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Panthers fought past Evanston (Ill.), 78-76, in the final.

For his role in an incredibly successful campaign, Noble is the Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania boys' basketball coach of the year.

Noble, who rotated 10 to 12 players throughout the season, guided Imhotep to its first state championship since 2013 and fifth overall. The team won in Class 3A in 2013 and 2A in 2009, 2011, and 2012.

Behind electric playmaker Daron Russell, who is headed to Rhode Island, the Panthers won five state playoff games by an average margin of 29.2 points.

In 13 seasons with the Panthers, Noble, also the school's athletic director, has compiled a 312-76 record (.804 winning percentage). He has won six Public League titles in the last nine years.

Game of the year. In a back-and-forth thriller between Inter-Ac League rivals Haverford School and Germantown Academy, the host Patriots outlasted the Fords, 100-98, in five overtimes.

The difference was Evan-Eric Longino's six-foot, left-side bank shot with 0.4 seconds left in the 52-minute marathon.

Rookie of the year. Malvern Prep freshman guard Deuce Turner averaged 19.3 points, 2.3 steals, and 1.9 assists. He drilled 47 three-pointers.

The 6-foot Turner poured in 38 points, with 21 in the first half and 17 in the second, in a 102-89 nonleague triumph over host St. Joseph's Prep.

Best defender. With his footwork and instincts, senior wing guard David Beatty's lockdown defensive skills were key to Imhotep's banner season.

The 6-3, 180-pounder, who is bound for South Carolina, posted seven steals as the Panthers downed Audenried, 70-51, in a PIAA Class 4A quarterfinal.

Best shot-blocker. Neumann-Goretti's Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree, a 6-8 senior forward, averaged 3.5 rejections per game. The Villanova recruit totaled 361 career blocks.

Best long-range shooter. Math, Civics, and Sciences senior guard Malik Archer nailed 95 three-pointers in 31 games.

Sixth man of the year. Wood's Andrew Funk averaged 8.4 points off the bench. The junior guard chipped in 10 points, including two treys, in the Vikings' 73-40 rout of Meadville in the Class 5A state final.

robrien@phillynews.com

@ozoneinq