“There’s no reason to go anywhere when we have all these great teams and games right here in our backyard,” said Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials head coach Jim Donofrio. Well, his group is definitely one of those great ones. Matched up against a heretofore unheralded Monsignor Bonner/Archbishop Prendergast Catholic Friars squad, the Colonials came into the final game of the Pete and Jameer Nelson Classic, put on by Jeremy Treatman of Scholastic Play by Play on December 29, undefeated.
Plymouth Whitemarsh entered the game with an earlier win over highly ranked Archbishop Wood in the “Battle of the Giants.” The Colonials have an imposing starting lineup which features 7’2” (and still growing) junior Naheem McLeod, who gets better every game, especially in these tournament settings. They also have a great backcourt consisting of identical twins Ahmad and Ahmin Williams, along with Ish Horn.
The Friars, on the other hand, are being led by Isaiah Wong, who transferred in from the private school Notre Dame in Lawrenceville, NJ. Wong is a very special player with outstanding leaping and ball handling skills. He is also unselfish, including all teammates in the flow of the offense. His outside shot seems to have some quirks in it (SFBN’s “Three in The Key” will consult Herb Magee’s shooting technique book about this), but he can use it effectively especially with his superior leaping ability.
Also firing up the Friars is 6’9” Tariq Ingraham, just a junior. Featuring a fully developed body and high athleticism, he is a quiet presence who plays good defense and can step up in the clutch, as was witnessed at the buzzer of regulation when he banked in a 12’ shot to throw this highly competitive and exciting contest into a first OT, which was then followed by a second. Ingraham again scored the final bucket in the first OT, doing it on an offensive rebound and follow with five seconds left. A desperation heave by Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Ahmin Williams, for the win, just missed.
Plymouth Whitemarsh entered the final OT with three players carrying four fouls (Ish Horn, Alan Glover and center Naheem McLeod), while the Friars also had three with four (Tyreese Watson, Ajiri Johnson and Isaiah Wong). The score after the first OT was 56-56.
The Colonials took the tip in the final stanza and Ahmad quickly found his brother Ahmin with a crisp pass and layup for a deuce. Both teams were missing foul shots at a high rate, and this continued. McLeod put Plymouth Whitemarsh up 62-58 with a big dunk. After a loose ball at 14 seconds remaining, Tyreese Watson was fouled and hit both shots of the double bonus to make it 62-60. Plymouth Whitemarsh called its last time out. An outlet pass to Ish Horn ended with a thunderous slam, giving Plymouth Whitemarsh the lead with a score of 64-60. A desperation shot by Wong didn’t catch iron. The Friars fouled at the buzzer to end this energetic affair. This was a great showing for both squads and the fans were treated to an intensely played game with lots of D1 talent on display.
Wong led all scorers with 18, while Ingraham had 15 for the Friars and 6’8” Ajiri Johnson chipped in with 10. The Colonials were led by Ahmad Williams with 15, Ish Horn with 14 and McLeod with 12.