Bonner-Prendergast rallies for playoff win

If you heard the chant, you might have assumed Tymir Cooper was follicly challenged.

The neatly coiffed hair of the Bonner-Prendergast senior, however, is certainly intact, and on Wednesday night he played as if it was ablaze in the Friars' 65-51 come-from-behind playoff victory against visiting Conwell-Egan.

"Baldy! Baldy! Baldy," the student section of B-P serenaded Cooper several times during an impressive third-quarter stretch that broke the game open.

Surely it was like music to the 5-foot-8, 155-pound point guard's ears.

"I didn't notice," said a quizzical Cooper. "Everyone was chanting my name?"

Justin Gans led the No. 8-seeded Friars (16-7, 7-6 PCL) with 14 points.

The No. 9-seeded Eagles (9-13, 5-8) began the first-round Catholic League matchup with something to prove after the Friars had their way in the teams' first contest, in January.

On Wednesday, Darien Simmons led the Eagles with 16 points.

C-E led, 8-2, early and held on until Gans hit a three-pointer just before the half that gave the Friars a 24-21 advantage they wouldn't relinquish.

Cooper is "quick enough that he can take it the length of the court and finish at the rim, which is huge because you're not struggling to get [points] in the halfcourt every possession," said Friars coach Jack Concannon. "You get a couple easy baskets and it gets everyone's confidence going."

Cooper scored four quick points that eventually led to a 10-point lead that ballooned to as much as 15.

"I just like doing anything to get my teammates rolling," said Cooper, who finished with 10 points. "Whatever it takes."

With the win, on Friday B-P will play Archbishop Wood, home of Cooper's best friend, Tyree Pickron, a junior for the Vikings who grew up near Cooper in North Philadelphia.

That neighborhood is where Cooper picked up the moniker "Baldy."

Around 8 years old, he maintained a close-to-the-scalp haircut by using the No. 1 setting (lowest) on his electric clippers.

And the name has stuck.

"I laugh because my coach [Concannon] even calls me it," Cooper said, smiling. "It's kind of like a nickname that came from my neighborhood. Even [here] when I come out, the announcer even calls me it."

Bonner-Prendergast 10 13 20 22 - 65

Conwell-Egan 14 7 13 17 - 51

B-P: Justin Gans 14, Christian Lane 13, Ajiri Johnson 12, Tymir Cooper 10, Dylan Higgins 10, Michael Perretta 6.

C-E: Darien Simmons 16, Patrick Robinson 11, James Leible 10, Daniel Green 2, Devin Harris 4, Eric Esposito 8.