Haverford >> When Haverford School senior guard Kharon Randolph joined in the on-court celebration Friday evening following the host Fords’ 83-58 win against Malvern Prep that clinched a share of the InterAc boys’ basketball title, he felt a sense of vindication.
“Last year, EA celebrated its title clinching on our court,” said Randolph, whose Fords finished 7-3 in the Inter-Ac last winter, a game behind league co-champs Episcopal Academy and Germantown Academy. “It was great to see our crowd celebrate on our court, and on Senior Night. It’s unbelievable to be sharing this with all of my teammates tonight.”
Randolph, who scored 26 points by the end of the third quarter Friday, knows the Inter-Ac job isn’t over yet for the Fords (17-5, 8-0).
“We have a chance to make history this season,” said Randolph. “Our last Inter-Ac title was in 1999, when we were 9-1. But we haven’t gone undefeated in the Inter-Ac since 1927, and we still have two Inter-Ac games to go (Feb. 6 at home against Sprinside Chestnut Hill, Feb. 9 at Penn Charter). Our season is nowhere near over.”
Earlier this season, Malvern (14-7, 6-2) had been the toughest foe for Haverford to conquer. Every one of Haverford School’s Inter-Ac wins this season have been by double digits, except for a 62-57 victory at Malvern Prep Jan. 19.
Malvern stayed within striking distance during the first half Friday, trailing 39-34 early in the third quarter after guard Deuce Turner hit from the outside (he had 19 points by then).
Haverford School then fired up its defense, outscoring the visitors 25-7 for the remainder of the third period.
“Our defense made the difference in the third quarter,” said Haverford School head coach Bernie Rogers. “Malvern was capable of scoring in bunches, but our guys were all pretty locked in during the third quarter. They stayed focused, kept contesting shots, and didn’t allow Malvern to finish drives.”
Randolph scored 12 points in the third quarter, frequently penetrating inside but also nailing a couple of open threes from the corner after receiving well-placed passes.
“Kharon was really locked in offensively,” said Rogers. “The ball was coming out of his hand pretty good tonight.”
Haverford junior guard Christian Ray chipped in with 24 points, Ford freshman guard Christian Clover contributed 13 and teammate Asim Richards added nine.
Since it was Senior Night, all seven Haverford School senior hoopsters (Randolph, Tom Bagnell, Joe Dignazio, TJ Malone, Nasir Smith, Bob Stratts and Will Yoh) were introduced before the game. With 3:01 left and Haverford School holding an 80-53 lead, Rogers sent out an all-senior lineup, then 13 seconds later, Randolph came out to a rousing ovation. When Bagnell hit a trey from the left side with one minute to go, the toga-clad Haverford School student section let out a spirited roar.
Haverford School also paid tribute to Malvern’s two seniors (Brady Devereux and Billy Corcoran) before the game.
For Malvern, Turner was the high scorer with 19 points and freshman Fran Oschell added 17.
Malvern Prep head coach John Harmatuk said, “We were able to cut Haverford’s lead [to 39-34] but then it got away from us. We were outcoached and outplayed. We weren’t ready offensively or defensively.”
Haverford School 83, Malvern Prep 58
MALVERN PREP (58): Wade 0 0-0 0, Cochran 1 1-2 4, Hicks 1 2-2 4, Turner 4 9-9 19, Leach 1 2-4 4, L. White 1 0-0 3, I. White 2 2-4 7, Leyden 0 0-0 0, Corcoran 0 0-0 0, Oschell 7 3-5 17, Totals 17 19-26 58.
HAVERFORD SCHOOL (83): Ray 9 5-8 24, Randolph 8 8-11 26, Richards 3 3-4 9, Burke 2 0-0 6, Clover 4 4-4 13, Seward 0 0-0 0, Stinson 0 2-2 2, Stratts 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Malone 0 0-0 0, Dignazio 0 0-0 0, Yoh 0 0-0 0, Bagnell 1 0-0 3. Totals 27 22-29 83.
Malvern Prep 12 18 11 17 – 58
Haverford School 23 16 25 19 – 83
3-point goals: Cochran, Turner 2, L. White, I. White, Ray, Randolph 2, Burke 2, Clover, Bagnell.
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