Omens are good. Making plays is better.
Haverford School outlasted visiting Malvern, 93-90, in overtime to remain undefeated and claim sole possession of first place in the Inter-Ac League on Friday night.
Senior La Salle recruit Christian Ray, despite three first-quarter fouls, led all scorers with 36 points. He also added 15 rebounds.
Fellow senior Jameer Nelson Jr., who missed the first 15 games of the season with a knee injury, added 14 points, including a two-handed dunk in the second quarter that gave the Fords (17-0, 5-0) momentum after the Friars seized early control.
“Credit to both teams,” said Fords coach Bernie Rogers. “Both teams had it, didn’t seal it but didn’t give up, either.”
The omen that portended victory for the Fords was a “Cody Parkey” chant late in the fourth quarter as Malvern was at the foul line with a chance to extend its lead with less than 30 seconds left.
Parkey, of course, was the kicker who missed the last-second field goal that gave the Eagles their NFL playoff win over the Chicago Bears.
Malvern’s free throw bounced off the front of the rim.
On the ensuing Fords possession, Nelson made a driving layup with less than 10 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
Later, Ray, who was honored before the game for scoring his 2,000th career point, grabbed an offensive rebound on a missed Haverford School free throw late in the overtime that helped secure the victory.
Malvern was led by senior Deuce Turner’s 25 points. Fran Oshell was huge late and finished with 22. Rahdir Hicks and Spencer Cochran scored 18 and 17 points, respectively, for the Friars (17-6, 4-1).
Haverford School 20 24 21 18 10 -- 93
Malvern Prep 24 20 19 20 7 -- 90
HS: Christian Ray 36, Jameel Brown 15, Jameer Nelson Jr. 14, Tyler Seward 11, Gavin Burke 7, Asim Richards 10.