Friends’ Central knocks off Perkiomen, 61-40

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Garrett Miley (@GWMiley)

The Friends’ Central Phoenix defeated Perkiomen at home on Friday night 61-40 behind a combined 36 points from their senior backcourt of Billy Cassidy and Karonn Davis.

Cassidy, who will be playing his college ball at Chestnut Hill College next year, scored 17 points for the Phoenix.  He is a prolific 3-point shooter and it showed as he started off hot from behind the arc.  He knocked down his first three attempts from long distance and finished with a total of four three treys.

Davis scored a team high 19 points for coach Ryan Tozer’s team, and made his presence felt on the court at all times. He also contributed six assists in the victory.

Perkiomen’s Tyler Kohl, a sophomore, had a game high 20 points (including 15 in the second half) and scored exactly half of his team’s 40 points in the loss. Perkiomen struggled right from the opening tip to compete with Friends’ Central, as the Phoenix started the game on a 12-2 run and led 19-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Friends’ Central held a 37-11 lead at the half and cruised their way through the second half of play. They maintained their 26 point lead through three quarters of play, 50-24. Midway through the fourth quarter, Friends’ Central cleared their bench and finished with a 61-40 victory over Perkiomen.

The Phoenix have some intriguing players on their roster this season. While none of them are on the same level as 1,000 point scorer and top-30 prospect Amile Jefferson (who is now a Duke Blue Devil), a number of their players will go on to play at the next level.

Cassidy is headed to D-II next season and Davis is drawing Division I interest, according to his coach.

“St. Bonaventure is about to see him,” Tozer said after the game. “Rider has expressed interest, as has Binghamton, Long Island, and Saint Francis. So he has some options.”

6-4 freshman De’Andre Hunter looked impressive at times against Perkiomen. He threw down a couple of dunks in transition for Friends’ Central and he rarely looked lost on the floor.

“It hasn’t been a big adjustment for me because during AAU I was always playing up (an age group) and I’ve been doing that my whole life,” Hunter said.

His head coach loves what he has seen out of the young forward early on in his high school career, both on and off the court.

“His upside is tremendous,” Tozer said. “I think his only weakness right now is his strength. We are playing him out of position because we are playing him down low and he is sort of a perimeter wing, but the sky is the limit for him and he is a tremendous kid. He did great in the classroom first semester and he’s just a sponge and he wants to get better.”

This is just the first year for Tozer at the helm of Friends’ Central. Tozer returned to his alma mater after spending the past few years as the head coach at Rosemont College, a program which he helped build entirely. And while there are obvious differences between the two levels, Tozer enjoys the situation he has at Friends’ Central.

“In college guys will go hard at practice for two hours and at the high school level it seems like you have their attention for an hour and a half,” Tozer said. “The thing I love most about the high school level is being able to teach the skills and developing young players. They’re great kids and they’re fun to be around. We are not PIAA so I can be in the gym with them non-stop; in college you can’t get in the gym until October 15th. Being in the gym non-stop is what I love about being back in high school. Especially at my alma mater.”

Friends’ Central is headed to Greensboro, N.C. next Friday to take on New Garden Friends.

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