Imhotep (PA) got off to a great start last night in a 70-53 win over Reading (PA) in the Hoop Group Reading Tip-Off.
The Panthers were very aggressive from the start, hitting outside shots, using their size to get baskets in the paint and also causing a havoc on defense against Reading. Sophomore big man, Donta Scott, was very active in the first half scoring 7 of his 11 points while being a complete threat in the paint on the defensive end. The 6’8 versatile forward is looking to have a breakout season and will be looked heavily upon for rebounding, scoring and defending the post.
What was impressive about the Panthers during the first half was the fact that they kept Reading High star player — Lonnie Walker — from scoring a field goal. The Miami commit, who is a top 30 player in the country, never found his groove in the game finishing with 11 points on the night.
Imhotep backcourt tandem of Daron Russell and David Beatty took control of the second half where the two could be found hitting some outside shots and creating for others in the paint. During the third quarter, the two seniors scored 15 of the panthers 23 points, bringing the lead to 17 at the end of the segment.
Russell — a Rhode Island commit — nailed three treys on the night and also had some sweet dishes that led to teammates scoring easy layups and dunks. The 6’3 Beatty — transfer from St. Benedict’s Prep in New Jersey — was in attack mode during the stretch, breaking down defenders with his slick ball-handling and getting to the basket at ease. The South Carolina commit will bring much needed offense to an Imhotep team that loss in the Philadelphia Public League Semifinals last season.
Also stepping up big time for Imhotep was sophomore Chereef Knox, a 6’5 slashing wing who saw limited action last season as a freshman. What stood out about Knox on the night was his ability to run the pick-and-roll really well which resulted to him finishing on several two-hand dunks.
During the fourth quarter, The Knights began to play with more intensity after some buckets from Walker and fellow senior Isaiah Cook, but not enough to bring the team within a single-point deficit.
Leading the way for Imhotep was Russell and Beatty who finished with 18 and 17 points, respectively while Knox chipped in 10 points on the night.
Reading senior wing Tyrone Nesby led the Knights with 13 points on the night.