Max Rapoport, Wissahickon turn the tables on Cheltenham

Cheltenham’s Domanik Pope (center) is fouled by Wissahickon’s Max Rapoport (left). Rapoport ended with a game-high 22 points.

While Max Rapoport has the makings of a Division III or even Division II basketball player, he plans to enroll at Penn State and focus on studying business.

“I’m trying to encourage him to stick with the sport, but it seems like he has his mind made up,” Wissahickon coach Kyle Wilson said.

With his hoops career likely in its final stages, Rapoport turned in a strong performance in a Suburban One League American Conference matchup at Cheltenham on Friday night.

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound senior drilled four three-pointers on the way to a game-high 22 points as the hot-shooting Trojans downed the out-of-sync Panthers, 73-66, in Wyncote.

“As a team, we live on ball movement,” Rapoport said. “We’re always looking to find the open shot.”

Rapoport, a third-year starter, shot 6 for 10 from the field (4 for 6 from beyond the arc) and 6 for 8 from the line. He added five rebounds, two steals, and an assist.

“Last year, I was pretty much a spot-up shooter,” he said. “I’m scoring more off the dribble this season.”

Reversing a 77-61 home loss to Cheltenham on Jan. 9, Wissahickon improved to 14-6 overall and 9-3 in the American Conference. The visitors shot 6 for 11 from three-point land in the second half and 9 for 17 overall.

“Those guys shot the heck out of the ball,” Panthers coach John Timms said. “Sometimes, you just have to tip your hat to good shooting.”

Zach Reiner, a 6-4 senior forward for the Trojans, contributed 11 assists, nine points, and seven boards before fouling out with just under two minutes remaining in the game.

“Max and Zach are just great kids, and they’re team guys,” Wilson said. “ All they care about is winning. And if you call for a 9 a.m. Saturday practice, they’ll both be there at 8:30.”

Rapoport and Reiner were supported by junior guard Eddie Fortescue (20 points, with two second-half treys); 6-1 senior forward Anthony Lawrence (seven points, six boards ); and 6-4 sophomore wing Carmen Ostroski (two third-quarter treys, two blocks).

Cheltenham (13-6, 9-2) has been trying its best to overcome the loss of senior leader Jack Clark. The 6-7 combination guard and La Salle recruit is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered on Jan. 7.

“The biggest adjustment was getting some guys to play more minutes,” Timms said. “They had to increase their stamina and readiness.”

Senior lead guard Ahmad Bickley (four assists) and 6-3 senior forward Amir Lewis (11 boards) each netted 14 points for the Panthers.

Rapoport, whose brother Blake is a sophomore baseball player at Lehigh, is averaging 16.8 points and has buried 63 threes this season.

Wissahickon          14    21    16    22  –  73

Cheltenham          16    14    10     26  –  66

W: Max Rapoport 22, Eddie Fortescue 20, Zach Reiner 9, Anthony Lawrence 7, Cole Hirsch 5, Donovan Oliphant 3, Carmen Ostroski 7.

C: Ahmad Bickley 14, Domanik Pope 2, Kyin Healey 7, Amir Lewis 14, Tim Myarick 10, Zahree Harrison 13, Jaelen Mclone 6.