Slim to none is the best way to describe the margin for error with which opponents must navigate while trying to beat Imhotep.
And “Slim” hasn’t lived in the Philadelphia Public League for years.
- Tuesday’s Southeastern Pa. roundup: Jordan D’Ambrosio becomes Springfield Delco’s all-time leading scorer in girls’ basketball
- Grace O’Neill and Erin Sweeney power Archbishop Carroll to Catholic League final against Wood
- Tuesday’s South Jersey roundup: Shawnee nails two buzzer-beaters to lift them to 47-44 overtime win against Camden
Tuesday night at School of the Future, the Panthers dominated the decisive second quarter after severe foul trouble made contention untenable for Math, Civics and Sciences.
Imhotep prevailed, 84-64, and will face Constitution for a chance to win a third straight Pub title Saturday night at the Liacouras Center.
In Game 2 of the doubleheader, the Generals outlasted Mastery North, 72-67, thanks in part to Jabari Merritt’s 25 points and 10 rebounds.
For Imhotep, senior Xavier recruit Dahmir Bishop led all scorers with 23 points, including two emphatic second-half dunks that punctuated what had become inevitable.
Attention to detail, said Imhotep coach Andre Noble, who has the Panthers (21-5) poised to compete for an eighth league championship, has been a problem at times when Imhotep gets ahead early.
“But when we’re playing defense, we’re a good team,” said Noble.
The Panthers finished with eight blocked shots and 11 steals.
In contrast, the Mighty Elephants defense got ticketed for fouls 19 times in the first half. The Panthers were whistled just six times. The discrepancy meant the most effective players for MC&S (18-9) became spectators on the bench with foul trouble.
Their absence also meant Imhotep outscored MC&S by 27-14 in the second quarter, which yielded a 49-28 edge at intermission.
Imhotep senior Donta Scott finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, three assists and a steal. Chereef Knox added 16 points, six rebounds and three blocks. Senior guard Fatayn Wesley had 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Nisine Poplar and Tyon Jones led MC&S with 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Instrumental for Consitutition (18-8) were Keshaun “Champ” Hammonds and Quadir Miller, who scored 19 and 16 points, respectively.
Mastery North (19-5) was led by Jahmir Reed’s 34 points and nine rebounds.
Imhotep 22 27 16 19 84
MCS 14 14 17 19 64
I: Damhir Bishop 23, Chereef Knox 16, Fatayn Wesley 15, Sammy Wylie 2, Elijah Taylor 10, Donta Scott 18.
Constitution 11 24 16 21 72
Mastery North 12 21 14 20 67