There’s no mercy rule in high school basketball. For a Math, Civics & Sciences’ 75-33 thrashing of Kensington, it might have been a good idea to put one in.
The Mighty Elephants, led by 6-foot-6 forward Jeremiah Worthem, 6-foot-7 forward Quadir Welton and 6-foot-6 forward Jeffon Powell, started off the 2012-2013 season by overwhelming an undersized Tigers squad that featured 6-foot-4 sophomore Kendale Brisbon as their tallest player.
“They’ve been working hard all season, all off-season,” Mighty Elephants coach Dan Jackson said. “We still need to become a better boxing out team, but today they crashed the boards pretty well, they finished around the basket and they got our transition game going on. Whenever we play like that, good things are going to happen.”
Worthem (committed to Robert Morris), Welton (committed to St. Peters) and Powell, having their way with the Tigers in the low post, scored a combined 39 points while grabbing 24 rebounds. The Mighty Elephants rode multiple runs, which included runs of 12 and eight, to a 48-17 lead at the half, a margin that only increased as the second half wore on and as Kensington started to force shots.
The Mighty Elephants used a couple more runs in the second half, mainly an 11-1 run that spanned most of the third quarter. On top of performances of Worthem, Welton and Powell, junior guard Malik Starkes added eight points and a steal, despite two fouls early in the first quarter, while senior guard Maurice Stevens chipped in five points, two rebounds and two steals.
On the defensive end, Kensington had two players in Jamie Betancourt and Julius Van Guine score to make an impact on the scoreboard, as the two Tigers contributed 14 points and eight points, respectively. It was the rest of the team that failed to put any significant points up on the board. The next leading scorer, senior Robert Baldonado, only scored four points.
While it was Math, Civics & Sciences’ first game of the year, it was also the first game for Britton Lee in a Mighty Elephants’ uniform after transferring from Roman Catholic. Lee, who committed to play with Worthem at Robert Morris, finished with 10 points, four steals, three assists and three rebounds in a complete game. Jackson, however, was most impressed by can’t be measured by a stat sheet.
“Great defender. I couldn’t ask for a better guy on defense,” Jackson said. “He didn’t really get it going offensively, but when you lead the team defensively like that, he lets other people get opportunities to score and gives us an advantage that we wouldn’t normally have if he wasn’t playing defense the way he played it.”
After such a complete game, one where the Mighty Elephants grabbed 32 rebounds and collected 12 steals, it’s easy to get caught up and let a couple games slip away. But Jackson, after a year where he says he coached a couple games like that, wants his team to continue to work and get better as the season progresses.
“We have to continue to work on our fundamental skills,” Jackson said. “Just because we can beat a team like Kensington, a team that plays hard, they play tough, but they just didn’t have the talent or ability, we need to continue working in practice to become a better team and a better unit.”
After the dominating performance, Math, Civics & Sciences will stay at home for a game against Strawberry Mansion on Monday. Beyond that, the Mighty Elephants will participate in the Villa Classic that pits high schools from New York and Philadelphia. They will play South Shore at Arcadia University on Saturday, December 15th.