Playing in his final game for Reading High at the Geigle, senior Myles Grey made sure to go out with a bang.
The 5-11 All-Berks guard was electric as he tied his career high with 30 points and made eight 3-pointers to lead the Red Knights to a 74-43 win over Haverford in a PIAA Class 6A boys basketball first-round game Saturday afternoon.
“It feels great,” Grey said, “especially with this being my last game here, to pack it up on a performance like that, I can look back and be proud. It’s definitely something that I’m proud of.”
With the win, Reading High earns another 32 minutes of basketball and will take on Upper Darby, which defeated Bethlehem Liberty 66-64, in the second round on Wednesday, time and site to be announced.
For Red Knights (28-1) coach Rick Perez, Grey’s lights-out performance is the culmination of an unrivaled work ethic.
“Fantastic performance by that young man,” Perez said. “He’s the last one in the gym every day and it showed today.”
In addition to Grey, two-time Berks Player of the Year Ruben Rodriguez scored 19 points and made three 3-pointers for Reading High. Rodriguez also had 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Rodriguez and Grey each made two 3s in the first quarter to help the Red Knights open up a 22-15 lead after one quarter.
Reading High finished with 12 3-pointers as fellow All-Berks senior Aris Rodriguez made one 3 while scoring nine points.
“That’s what he does,” Ruben Rodriguez said. “Eight is a lot but he’s put up more so it’s not surprising. That’s what he can do, and he finally just let it loose on everyone. He’s been working really hard, staying in the gym, trying to get his groove back, and I really feel like he’s got his groove back.
“He did a great job today; the whole game in general, not even just shooting. It just shows the character he has; he was meant for a game like this.”
Indeed, Grey got it done on both ends of the floor and his defense early on helped establish a 40-22 lead for Reading High at the half.
The Red Knights forced 13 turnovers in the first half and recorded 12 total steals, which led to numerous fastbreak points. Grey recorded five of those first-half steals and also led the Red Knights at the half with 15 points.
Though he ended with a team-high 27 points for the Fords (14-14), Googie Seidman was limited to just eight points in the first half. No other Haverford player finished in double figures, and the Fords never got back within 20 points of the lead after a Ruben Rodriguez field goal made it 42-22 a few seconds into the second half.
“We knew that No. 4 (Seidman) was their best player, so we wanted to get the ball out of his hands,” Grey said. “Knowing the game plan, knowing the personnel, we just have a knack for those things.”
Grey converted four 3-pointers in the third quarter during which Reading High outscored Haverford 26-8. While the crowd certainly knew he was hot at that point, Grey said he believed he would have a big game from the onset after a strong week of practice.
“I’ve been putting in shots all week,” Grey said. “I’ve been continuing to work on my jump shot and I knew that I would come in today and just be able to light it up. I knew from warm-ups, I knew from shooting before the game, I knew from that first shot I took that it was going to be a big day.”
In total, Grey was 8-of-10 from beyond the arc. He and Ruben Rodriguez got the Red Knight faithful going early in the first quarter when a steal from Grey led to a fastbreak dunk for Rodriguez.
After the game, Ruben Rodriguez was swarmed by fans young and old hoping to get an autograph or to deliver well wishes. He said earning a dominant win in his final home game was like a dream come true.
“I’m really happy but sad at the same time,” Rodriguez said. “When we were coming out for warm-ups, it was hitting me that this is the last time. I’ve loved playing here, this has been my dream since I was younger. So to be able to finish on a great note like this, it’s a dream come true.”