THORNBURY >> For one half Thursday afternoon, Ja’Qualyn Kelly and his Glen Mills frontcourt mates didn’t get much work on the offensive end. It was a good problem to have, watching their fellow Battlin’ Bulls sink six first-half 3-pointers against Chichester.
But the tide invariably changed, dictated by Glen Mills’ control of the game. And Kelly was ready to capitalize.
Kelly scored 16 points, 14 in the second half, as the Bulls adroitly executed the high-low game to net a 64-53 Del Val League win.
Having a team that shot 6-for-12 from 3-point land in the first half attempt a scant four triples in the second may seem imprudent. But Thursday’s was largely a case of Glen Mills reading the defense and reacting accordingly.
In the first, with Chichester tardy closing out shooters, James Timmons and Zhayre Knox — the latter making his first varsity start — had a field day with three made triples each. Knox, in particular, provided an unexpected boost.
“He’s a good player,” Timmons said of Knox. “He played a good game. He’s a good shooter. Even if you put a hand up, he’s still going to knock the shot down. … He just knows when he’s open, he’s shooting. Even if someone’s in his face right away, he can pull it.”
Once Chi (3-11, 0-4 Del Val) adjusted by stretching the defense beyond the perimeter, Kelly and company exploited the fissures around the basket. Without top scorers Myron Sanders and Kenyon Cooper providing their usual offensive punch, Kelly emerged. He hit six of 10 shots in the second half and punctuated the game by soaring in for a slam in the final minute.
“It feels great,” Kelly said of the dunk. “I like seeing my coach laugh, and it makes my teammates smile. So it’s great.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Chichester vs. Glen Mills
Glen Mills (8-5, 3-1) was able to take advantage in part because of its superior ball movement. The Bulls dished assists on 15 of 25 made baskets, led by Cooper with six, including some pinpoint dimes in traffic in the lane to Kelly and Wanya Smith (eight points).
“He’s a good point guard,” Timmons said of Cooper. “He’s a good passer. He sees everything before it happens, so if he sees me open, he’s going to pass the ball to me and I can knock the shot down.”
Ja’Qualyn Kelly for 2. Glen Mills up 51-46 pic.twitter.com/nFhLoRLiUV
— Matthew De George (@sportsdoctormd) January 19, 2017
Add in the edge on the boards fostered by Kelly (11 rebounds), and Glen Mills showed the proficiency to get the better of Chi in an array of ways.
Timmons tallied 16 points, a dozen in the first half to stake Glen Mills to a 10-point edge. His four fourth-quarter points came in the post, showcasing his back-to-basket moves. Knox scored 14 points.
Where Glen Mills discovered a variety of ways to score, Chi was too often left with just DaQuan Granberry and Mike Davie. Granberry poured in 26, though on 8-for-22 shooting, while Davie needed 11 field-goal attempts to register 12 points, fending off foul trouble.
With Granberry, the Bulls repelled the dynamic scorer’s sorties into the lane, force jump shots rather than allowing him to drive to the rim at will.
“It was kind of hard to get to the basket because they have small guards swiping down at the ball, so I couldn’t drive in front of them,” Granberry said. “I had to go into the low post and try to get the ball from there.”
When others got involved on the offense in the fourth quarter, Chi started to chew into the deficit. The Eagles pulled to within three at 55-52 with just over two minutes to play on a smooth Granberry jumper.
In the process of the ill-fated comeback, Trovel Lennon scored four of his six points. Adam Sayed, in his first action of the day, hit a 14-foot jumper, while Jamese Lundy-Bird made a dash for a lay-in.
Bank open for Kenyon Cooper. Glen Mills up 7. 3 minutes left. pic.twitter.com/ywWFOwWVi6
— Matthew De George (@sportsdoctormd) January 19, 2017
But two straight empty possessions under the two-minute mark offered Timmons and Kelly time to cushion the lead with baskets in the paint and Kelly the chance to apply the exclamation point … which impressed many who weren’t Timmons.
“It’s regular,” Timmons said. “Every day at practice, I tell him, ‘Every game, try to get a dunk. It’s easy. You’re tall. You’re supposed to dunk like that.’”
In other Del Val action:
Penn Wood 67, Interboro 27 >> Javon Lindsey-Terrell drained four 3-pointers to score 12 points as 12 Patriots scored.
Sharif Goff added 10 points and Rashaad Anderson chipped in eight for Penn Wood (8-5, 3-1).
Ethan Herko canned four 3-pointers for a career-high 14 points for Interboro (0-12, 0-4).
Chester 55, Academy Park 39 >> Jamar Sudan went off for 29 points and 13 rebounds, contributing 11 points to a 21-4 edge by the Clippers in the decisive third quarter.
Ahrod Carter added eight points for Chester (11-3, 4-0).
Nasiem Harley did most of the damage for Academy Park (7-6, 2-2) with 20 points. Shermik Lofton added 12 points.
In the Ches-Mont League:
Sun Valley 52, Unionville 48 >> Sun Valley Vinny DeAngelo scored 17 points and Shahir Brown-Morris added 11. Marvin Freeman chipped in 10 points, and Dino Karros added six points and 12 rebounds for the Vanguards (4-10, 2-6).
In the Bicentennial League:
Valley Forge Military Academy 61, Delco Christian 37 >> T.J. Tann scored a team-high 14 points, but the Knights (8-7, 6-6) made just nine baskets on the night to see a five-game winning streak snapped.
Tyler Penley added nine points on three 3-pointers. Valley Forge’s 6-foot-10 center Abraham Deng led all scorers with 21 points.