Parker Kelley comes through for shorthanded Bristol boys basketball

Bristol senior Parker Kelley scrambles for the loose ball in Warriors’ win over DelCo Christian in Dick Dougherty consolation game Dec. 28 at Bensalem High School.   (Steve Sherman – 21st-Century Media)

BENSALEM – Here, his team was trailing DelCo Christian by seven points in the fourth quarter of the Dick Dougherty consolation game and all Bristol senior Parker Kelley could do was sit. That’s because the 5-10 shooting guard sustained his fourth foul 20 seconds into the fourth quarter.

When Kelley came back into the game, however, he got down to business, scoring seven of his team’s final nine points in regulation to send the skirmish to overtime. In the extra session, Parker came down with three defensive rebounds and a pair of steals, helping the Warriors to a 41-36 triumph in overtime Wednesday night, Dec. 28 at Bensalem High School.

“For his size, he’s still our best rebounder,” said Bristol head coach Matt Gasper. “He boxes out and he wants the ball.

“That really helps our team out because we don’t have any big bodies.”

With the graduation of 2016 center Dom Sica, Bristol doesn’t have a dominant presence in the low post. And in this game, senior Ronnie Garrison – the only Warrior over six feet tall – was held out of the lineup after tweaking his left ankle in the tournament opener with Bensalem.

“That’s my thing; that’s what I’m known for on this team – the rebounder,” said Kelley. “I just always hustle – diving for loose balls.

“I have a thing in my head – I know where the balls going to be. I get it, kick it out to my brother (Carter), he takes off for a fast break.”

Bristol got out to a 13-9 lead after one period but had trouble scoring in the second and third periods, recording just 11 points in the middle two periods. That helped the Knights take a 28-24 lead into the fourth quarter, an edge they built to 32-25 before Kelley re-entered the fray with five minutes left in regulation.

Parker got to the line on his first touch, then hit for three field goals, tying the game at 34-all on a fast-break layup with just 5.4 seconds remaining in regulation. In OT, the senior seemed to have his hand on every possession.

“He wants to be that dirty player to get every rebound and dive on the floor to get loose balls,” added Gasper. “He knows that’s our best chance of winning and he buys into that, which is great for us and great for the team.”

For its part, DelCo scored just four points in the final nine minutes of the contest including the four-minute overtime. The Knights didn’t help by missing four of six shots from the foul line in the extra session and 11-of-22 for the game.

“We were down and we put more pressure on them. They missed free throws towards the end and we got a lot of loose balls.

We were able to control the game a lot better. Early on (we had) a lot of turnovers. In the fourth quarter, we slowed ourselves down and that allowed us to inch back into the game.”

Still, with 15.4 sends left in overtime and his team trailing 39-36, DelCo head coach Don Davis called a timeout in order to give his team one last chance at a tie that would send the duel to a second extra session. But it was not to be.

DC junior guard T.J. Tann – who hit for five field goals in the third and fourth quarters, combined – missed on a 3-point attempt and of course, Kelley came down with the rebound.

“We knew they had three players that were going to shoot so we played off the other two,” said Kelley. “We put Ron (Garrison) on the shooter, I played on the help man and we played terrific defense.”

Parker tossed the ball up the court to Garrison who took in in for an open layup and the final score for the Warriors.

While Kelley notched 12 points in the contest, Bristol junior Dayeshawn Cortez led the Warriors’ scoring effort with 18 points including 12 in the first half. Entering the contest with 1:25 left in regulation, Garrison notched four of Bristol’s seven points in overtime.

Nursing a sore ankle, Garrison wasn’t even supposed to play in this one. He was much-needed however when senior Samir Brisbon fouled out in the fourth quarter.

“He told me he was ready to go and he definitely stepped up in the fourth quarter and overtime,” said Gasper, of Garrison. “There’s no chance we win this game if Ronnie doesn’t step up.”

Sophomore Carter Kelley was named all-tournament for Bristol while DC senior Jordan Parks received the nod for the Knights. Bensalem toppled Philly Public League rival Ben Franklin in the nightcap to win capture the tournament crown for the second straight year.

Contact Steve Sherman at or @BucksLocalSport on Twitter

Dick Dougherty Tournament

Bristol 41, DelCo Christian 36

(Dec. 20 at Bensalem)

BRISTOL — Carter Kelley 1, Samir Brisbon 4, Parker Kelley 12, Dayeshawn Cortez 18, Ronnie Garrison 4, Kevin Buck 2; TOTALS — 15 11-22—41.

DELCO — T.J. Tam 11, Jordan Parks 11, Tyler Penley 7, Jacon Bronkema 5, Tyler Smith 2; TOTALS — 13 9-20—36.

3-POINT GOALS: B — none; DC — Penley.

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