As if Kharon Randolph hadn't already done enough for Haverford School Friday evening, the 5-foot-11 junior guard left his imprint late in the fourth quarter against four-time defending Inter-Ac champion Germantown Academy.
With 30.4 seconds remaining and the Fords ahead by seven, Randolph, who admitted he was mostly an offensive player last season, violently swatted an opponent's shot out of bounds.
The defensive effort was emblematic of what coach Bernie Rogers has been asking for and also what helped the Fords prevail, 49-41, during the opening night of league play at the Daniel Dougherty Basketball Tripleheader at Philadelphia University.
"Last year I was pretty much just scoring," Randolph said. "I wasn't facilitating, defending, rebounding. I wasn't a leader. I was learning. This year, he's been on me about it a lot, so I had to adjust, and I'm used to it now."
Randolph finished with 20 points, four steals, and two blocked shots while handing the Patriots their first Inter-Ac season-opening loss since the 2009-2010 season.
"I've been here for two years, and I haven't beaten GA since I've been here, so the magnitude of this win was great," Randolph said. "But it's over now. Don't get too high, too low. We still have nine more to go."
That mentality is part a new leadership role that Randolph is beginning to embrace.
"We've been hard on him just to be a complete player and try to do it all because I think he's good enough to do that," Rogers said. "I think he showed a lot of that today."
The Fords (10-1, 1-0) trailed early but took the lead midway through the first quarter and never gave it back, taking a 30-18 lead into intermission after Randolph hit Jameer Nelson for a layup just before the buzzer.
"My biggest thing is being a leader and just getting everyone involved and picking everyone else up," Randolph said. "That's what it's all about for me right now, and everything else will just come."
Nelson finished with nine points. Christian Ray added 11 more along with six rebounds.
The Patriots (8-4, 0-1) were led by Kyle McCloskey's 18 points and eight rebounds. The team's leading scorer on the season, Evan-Eric Longino (24.5 points per game) finished with seven points and eight rebounds on 3-of-9 shooting.
In a game played sloppily by both teams, GA finished with 23 turnovers. The Fords finished with 11.
Randolph said he's gotten some college interest from Patriot League schools such as Colgate and Lafayette, who have expressed varying degrees of interest in him.
In Game 1 on Friday, Episcopal Academy beat Penn Charter, 62-47, led by Matt Dade's 18 points. Conner Delaney also chipped in 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Churchmen (8-7, 1-0). The Quakers (8-5, 0-1) were led by 13 points from Mason Williams.
In Game 3, Malvern Prep (5-6, 1-0) ran away from Springside Chestnut Hill (6-5, 0-1), 77-52. Freshman Deuce Turner finished with 14 points for the Friars. Ke'Shawn Williams had nine for the Blue Devils.
Haverford School 15 15 9 10 - 49
Germantown Academy 12 6 15 8 - 41
HS: Kharon Randolph 20, Christian Ray 11, Bobby Stratts 7, Gavin Burke 2, Jameer Nelson 9.
GA: Kyle McCloskey 18, Evan-Eric Longino 7, Colten Smith 3, Kahlil Diarra 4, Andrew Towne 3, Cole Storm 2, Josh Brownstein 4.
Malvern Prep 20 17 11 29 - 77
Springside Chestnut Hill 12 11 4 25 - 52
MP: Ray Baran 3, Spencer Cochran 8, Deuce Turner 14, Isaac White 10, Jarod Wade 3, Tommy Wolfe 13, Billy Corcoran 7, Danny Sullivan 4, Tygee Leach 12, Max McCool 3.
SCH: Nick Logue 3, CJ Sweitzer 8, Cole McNeil 5, Jared Sprague-Lott 5, Ke'Shawn Williams 9, Delonce Hines 4, Jack MacDonald 3, Zuri Peyton 9, Sam Gerlach 6.
Episcopal 11 13 17 21 - 62
Penn Charter 6 14 10 17 - 47
EA: Conner Delaney 13, Jack Fitzpatrick 4, Kyle Virbitsky 16, Justin Hershey 6, Matt Dade 18, Jack O'Connell 5.
PC: Mason Williams 13, Ryan Holmes 10, Michael Hnatkowsky 3, Adam Holland 6, Dylan Burnett 6, Will Samuel 9.