WHITEMARSH >> It started with a block.
Plymouth Whitemarsh senior Alan Glover swatted a 3-point attempt by Neshaminy’s Danny Bodine at the top of the arc and was off to the races. Bodine was able to chase down Glover, but only caught a piece of the Colonial forward’s arm, picking up his fourth foul early in the third quarter. Neshaminy had to go small and PW started to feast inside.
Glover and junior center Naheem McCleod combined for 49 points and scored 20 of PW’s 22 third quarter points as the Colonials controlled the paint in an 88-54 win Saturday evening.
“We have a connection,” McLeod, who scored 30 points, said. “I work with Alan every day, I love him, we call each other brothers and I just work off him.”
A night after dropping 32 in a comfortable win over Springfield-Montco, McLeod continued to own the low blocks on Saturday and showed the work he’s done in improving his play is starting to pay off. The 7-foot-2 center shot 14-of-17 from the floor and caught nearly everything his teammates threw up to him, turning most of them into dunks.
Glover posted 19 points to go with 12 rebounds, three assists and three blocks, two of them on perimeter jumpers. The 6-foot-4 energizer felt his swat 30 seconds into the third frame was what really allowed PW to open things up.
“That was the key part of the game,” Glover said. “After that, they went small and it had a huge effect on Nah. It was dunk after dunk after dunk. When they cheat off him because they see me in the high post, he’s open and it’s just natural high-low action.”
Neshaminy’s Charles Dominick hit a three to pull the visitors within 47-37 with 6:42 left in the third, then it was all PW. The Colonials (17-0, 10-0 SOL American) scored the next 20 points over the next six minutes with McLeod dunking a couple of lobs and Glover finishing off looks from his teammates.
The run was so dominant that Neshaminy (9-8, 3-4 SOL National) had to put the 6-foot-8 Bodine back in to try and stop it, but he picked up his fifth and final foul with 1:50 left in the quarter. McLeod and Glover split their 20 points in the frame evenly and McLeod pulled down 13 rebounds with two blocks for the game.
“We do it a lot in practice and keep working reps of it,” McLeod said. “If I have a smaller defender on me, they know to throw it up and I can go up and finish it.”
Certainly playing against undersized defenders helped, but it was a good showing from McLeod given some of his past struggles catching passes around the rim while being guarded. His size is drawing the attention of college coaches, but the towering junior is still an unfinished product.
“I’m just playing as hard as I can,” McLeod said. “I watch film every day and see I have to do this, or make this move and just keep going up after it.”
PW started the game well thanks to a yeoman effort by guard Ahmad Williams. The senior scored 19 of his 21 points prior to halftime and shot 7-of-8 in the opening two quarters. His 10 first quarter points helped the Colonials build a 23-15 lead, which they needed.
Given that Chris Arcidiacono was on the other side of the court and his plethora of shooters, PW couldn’t expect to just walk to a win. Arcidiacono scored 17 to lead Neshaminy despite being guarded for spells by Ahmad and Ahmin Williams, Ish Horn and even Glover on occasion. The senior was hounded all game, but did manage to get Ahmin and Horn in foul trouble in the first half.
“That’s a great game for us to play because Arch is a seriously talented guy and dangerous,” Colonials coach Jim Donofrio said. “They know how to play well together, they have spot-up three shooters and they forced us to concentrate the entire game. As long as Arch and any of their other two or three main guys, we had to concentrate defensively. That’s a district second or third round type of matchup.”
Neshaminy made 20 field goals in the game, with 12 coming from behind the 3-point line. Dominick connected four times from deep while Anthony Papeo buried three. Arcidiacono had 14 in the first half, with Neshaminy trailing just 45-34 at the break.
After Neshaminy broke the PW run in the third, the Colonials opened the fourth on a 10-2 run, all but sealing up the outcome.
Donofrio credited Ahmin Williams for his defensive play in the second half and noted the senior was mad when PW took him off Arcidiacono in the first half, but was able to guard through his fouls in the second half.
He also couldn’t deny what his starting frontcourt did in the second half.
“Alan and Nah, their timing together is really getting interesting and fun to watch,” Donofrio said. “Naheem’s development lately with his hand, he had a play in the first half with two defenders on him, he owned the ball. He bobbled it but reached and grabbed it, in the past he wouldn’t have won that 50-50 fight, but he not only won it, but went up and dunked through two guys.”
Donofrio said the center is running the floor well and sealing his defender off almost every time down, it just comes down to his hands and if he can win contested passes. After missing his first two attempts of the second half, McLeod made the next eight shots he took.
“More and more, he’s catching with two hands, and from there it’s a pivot and a dunk,” Glover said. “That’s had a huge impact on the season. If he can keep that up, then know knows what could happen.”
PLYMOUTH WHITEMARSH 88, NESHAMINY 54
NESHAMINY 15 19 6 14 – 54
PLYMOUTH WHITEMARSH 23 22 22 21 – 88
Neshaminy: Chris Arcidiacono 7 1-2 17, Pat Campbell 1 0-0 3, Anthony Papeo 4 0-0 11, Danny Bodine 1 0-0 3, Charles Dominick 4 0-0 12, Mike Murray 2 0-0 4, Ian Deduro 0 1-2 1, Damon McGovern 1 0-0 3. Totals: 20 2-4 54.
Plymouth Whitemarsh: Naheem McLeod 14 2-10 30, Ahmad Williams 8 3-5 21, Alan Glover 8 3-7 19, Ish Horn 2 1-2 5, Ahmin Williams 3 2-2 8, Danny Cooper 0 2-2 2, Caelin Peters 1 1-2 3, Jason Cherry 0 0-1 0. Totals: 36 14-31 88.
3-pointers: PW – Ahmad Williams 2; N – Dominick 4, Papeo 3, Arcidiacono 2, Campbell, Bodine, McGovern.
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