Balanced offense carries Academy Park

Go ahead, play a triangle-and-two against Academy Park. The Knights have other players who can offset that junk defense, as AP showed in a 69-54 victory over Great Valley in the playback round of the District One Class AAAA boys basketball tournament Friday night.

“We’re used to it,’ Academy Park coach Allen Brydges said. “Everyone plays a triangle-and-two.’

That’s because the Knights (18-7), the No. 17 seed in the tournament, have a pair of 1,000-point scorers in senior guard Travis Smith and junior guard Jawan Collins. Teams figure the best way to stop them is with the triangle-and-two, which is what Great Valley played.

It didn’t work. The gimmick defense gave Dayjuan Henson and Deandray Covert freedom to roam and the pair took advantage of it. Henson and Covert combined for 33 points to keep the Knights in the hunt for a state playoff berth.

“Henson and Covert stepped up,’ Bridges said. “Covert usually comes off the bench, but he started tonight because we benched one of our starters and he really came through.’

Henson scored 20 points and Covert added 13 to send the Knights into Tuesday’s second round of playbacks against Penncrest — a 58-53 winner over Springfield in overtime. That game will be at Academy Park.

Collins had his usual night. He led AP with 23 points and also had five rebounds, six assists and five steals. Henson chipped in 10 rebounds and the Knights used an 8-0 run at the end of the second quarter to take control of the game.

“We kind of wore them down,’ Bridges said. “They didn’t have anything left by the fourth quarter and that’s when we pulled away.’

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