Austin, Imhotep rout Comm. Tech
Brandon Austin probably didn't need any special accessories to attract extra attention on the basketball court Thursday.
But if anyone needed a reminder that he was the player to watch for Imhotep Charter, his fluorescent pink sneakers served notice. So did his dominant play in the second half.
Austin scored 11 of his 18 points in the third quarter to lead Imhotep past Communications Tech, 66-40, in the Public League boys' basketball semifinals at Southern.
Imhotep (22-4), The Inquirer's seventh-ranked team in Southeastern Pennsylvania, will go for its fourth league title in five years against Vaux on Sunday at the Liacouras Center.
"It hasn't gotten old to me yet," Austin said.
In the regular-season meeting between the teams, Imhotep opened a big lead and fended off a desperate fourth-quarter rally to win, 45-42.
After taking a nine-point lead into halftime, Austin made sure there would be no repeat scare.
The Providence-bound guard scored Imhotep's first eight points of the second half, including a free throw that gave him 1,000 career points. Austin also had seven rebounds and two blocks.
"One thing I love about him is that he loves to win," Imhotep coach Andre Noble said. "If you told him 'thousandth point or a third Public League title,' he'll take the title any day of the week."
Austin's bright shoes - for breast cancer awareness, he said - belied the aggression with which Austin and the Panthers played.
In a playoff loss to Communications Tech last year, and in their first game this season the Panthers thought Communications Tech (18-7) pushed them around a bit.
"We emphasized this all week: We're going to be physical, we're going to be aggressive, we're not going to let them intimidate us," Noble said. "I thought our guys didn't really allow them to intimidate us today."
Late in the first, Abraham Massaley delivered a hard foul to deny a fastbreak layup. Imhotep outscored Communications Tech, 14-6, the rest of the half.
"We wanted to come out and set the tone and keep the tone," Austin said. "We came out and initiated it first."
Communications Tech 7 5 12 16 – 40
Imhotep Charter 9 14 19 24 – 66
CT: Briheam Anthony 6, David Johnson 18, Terrence Brown 5, Samir Doughty 3, Keith Griffin 2, Mohamed Sherif 6.
IC: Brandon Austin 18, Nigel Grant 5, Abraham Massaley 7, Jakwan Jones 2, Deion Evans 6, Jalil Myers 6, Basil Thompson 12.
Contact Tim McManus at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @ByTimMcManus.