Famous Amos
Basketball 2011-12

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  "Famous" Amos Leak, a former football-baseball player at Dobbins Tech ('05), has earned his degree at Indiana (Pa.) and is enrolled in grad school at  Delaware State with hopes of working in sports marketing and continuing to help young people reach their goals. He has worked for several summers as an intern for the Sonny Hill League.
  Thanks for your contributions, Amos. All the best!
 
Amos may be contacted at amosleak@aim.com.


FEB. 10
INTER-AC LEAGUE
Penn Charter 54  Episcopal 47
  There is always great atmosphere when you can check out a Senior Night basketball game. Penn Charter was the night for me. Penn Charter only had 3 seniors in John Moderski, Grant Shaffer and Nick Lamb, but to show respect to Episcopal, PC would announce the seniors for the Episcopal also. (What a great sign of Sportsmanship). The game would get started and started really quick, as EA would jump on PC from the jump ball. Markuan Stutts (12 pts. 8 rbs. 4 asst. 3 stls. 1 blk), who is a true stud with his high energy and great athleticism, got the ball rolling with a few points and a few assists to Brian Metzler (18 pts. 5 rbs.), who definitely had his biggest game of the season. You could tell early that EA's record does not represent anything close to the effort of how they play the game. EA would lead the entire second half and into the third but John Moderski (16 pts. 3 rbs. 3 asst.) would have other ideas to make sure his day would not be ruined. He leads the Inter-Ac in scoring and he shows his true leadership skills to make plays when needed and he would begin to make shots to get EA's lead down to 2 at half. The even play between the teams would continue in the third quarter and EA would begin to slow down on their ability to get a run away lead and PC took advantage in the fourth. After scoring only 2 in the first 3 quarters, Mike McGlinchey (9 pts. 12 rbs. 2 blks) would begin to get his motor running and get a basket to tie the game up at 5:25 left in the 4th. After a missed shot opportunity on the next possession by EA, McGlinchey would get fouled for 2 shots and miss the first but make the second, which would give PC their first lead of the entire game. Another huge contributor -- and he has done it all season -- was Grant Shaffer (11 pts. 3 rbs. 1 blk), who played with extreme confidence and hit shots when they needed to be hit to extend the lead or get PC close. That lead extender came after a EA turnover and McGlinchey's free throw, and Shaffer would hit a pick and pop jump shot to extend lead to 3. After EA was quiet for 2 minutes, Fresh. Mike Jolaoso (3 asst 2 stls), would penetrate the right side of the floor and kick to the right corner to an open Metzler and he would nail the 3 to tie the game back up. With 17 seconds left, Sean O'Brien (9 pts. 4 rbs. 4 stls.), picked the EA guard's pocket as he tried to penetrate for a game winning layup and go the entire way of the floor, but the ball would slip from his hands and this would go into overtime. In overtime, it was all O'Brien, as he would find Shaffer twice for easy baskets. EA would not quit and came back strong with Fresh. Samir Taylor (6 pts.) & Stutts on a few quick baskets to get the lead down to 5. EA would get the ball ball back with 11 seconds left and would try and go for a quick shot, EA would try & get a shot from the right side of the floor but O'Brien would have other ideas by getting a key block to put away the game at the free throw line with EA only having to foul. 
  On a Side Note: This was definitely a very competitive game and it was great to see all the great fans and family out for the game. EA really shot themselves in the foot with going 6-for-20 from the line for the day, but their record definitely doesn't even come close to showing how good they are. Oh Yeah... Shout Out to Dave Huber, who shared the cookie load, and boy, was it a great batch, made by Mrs. Huber. Great Kid & Great batch of Cookies. 

FEB. 9
PUBLIC LEAGUE
FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF
Vaux 63  Freire 52
  Basketball seems to be a game of matchups, skill and will. This game seemed to head down the road of all three of these areas, and it definitely would show itself gearing itself towards the end. Last time I came into Vaux's gym almost a month ago, Rysheed Jordan had a quadruple double and never let up from making sure he was recognized on the floor. Jordan (30 pts. 7 rbs. 7 asst. 2 blks) & Freire's Jahyde Gardiner  (15 pts. 11 rbs. 5 asst. 2 stls.) got the game started in the right direction. They would put on a show by rebounding the ball, passing the ball and doing what they do best -- getting much-needed baskets for their teams. It would definitely come in handy as the quarter would come to a end and Jordan would find himself at half court throwing up a shot that would go straight through the net to take the first quarter 14-13. Vaux and Freire continued to go at it in the second quarter, when James Cole (16 pts. 3 rbs.) & Shahid Adams (19 pts. 2 rbs.) would start to pick up some of the slack for their respective teams. Freire would take the lead at half, 27-26. Starting in the 3 quarter, Vaux would go down low to  Simeon Chaplin (4 pts. 4 rbs. 1 blk) to get some offense going besides perimeter shots, but very few shots would fall for Vaux and Freire would begin their run by pushing the ball up the floor for easy layups and sharing the ball with each other. After Freire's run, at 2:54, a timeout was called and after the timeout was called, Vaux would go on their own run with 2 threes hit by Jordan and Cole to draw within 2 points. Freire would turn over the ball on the next possession and Vaux would tie the game up with a easy layup by Amir Butler (6 pts.) but would trail the end of the 3rd 44-40. In the beginning of the of fourth, Jordan would drop a deep three and it would begin his run to getting the attention of everybody in the gym, to the point people were standing up in the stands and yelling, "KEEP IT GOING, SHEED!!" and you could see it in his eyes: there was no stopping him. He would score the next 8 points, leading into a much needed timeout by Freire, but it wouldn't help, when Jordan would continue to make plays by getting 4 more points and 3 asst. and lead would become 11 points. 
  On a side note: It was interesting to see a Vaux game with injured G Shawn "Skate" Williams not around. He'd been a huge key and part of the team. I heard many coaches talk about his productivity and how they were definitely missing his energy and play today. Another thing interesting was seeing 10 coaches at the game. Gardiner and Jordan seems to be getting a lot of attention and is the future of the city. With being the main focus of the future, especially with Brandon Austin of Imhotep committed to Penn State University, coaches from Rutgers, La Salle, Drexel, Cheyney (2), Villanova, Rutgers Camden, Holy Family, Neumann and Harcum JC were in the building checking out the talent for the day. Great to see the kids getting attention.

JAN. 24
PUBLIC A

Vaux 68, MC&S 53
 
Sometimes we get caught off guard in life, We just don't see it coming. Today MCS had their day. The team known for their great run last year to a state championship had no chance in the world to make it a game from the beginning. The game started off with a 13-0 run in the first 2:50. Coach Dan Jackson called a timeout after looking up and realizing James Cole (22 pts.) had hit two 3-point shots and his team was facing such a quick, large deficit. Nobody in the gym seemed to be shocked because the Vaux people always expect great things with the team they have and the energy they show. Cole throughout the game would find spots around the perimeter, and he scored easy baskets after missed shots by MC&S. (He scored about 5 baskets merely because MC&S wasn't paying attention). After the first quarter, the score was 16-6. Jeremiah Worthem (24 pts. 6 rbs.) would provide the early and only energy for MC&S to keep them within reach while scoring the first 2 baskets of the second quarter and a free throw to get the lead down to 5. But that would be about it. The biggest say-so guy in this game was Rysheed Jordan (11 pts. 10 rbs. 10 asst. 11 stls.). He was just relentless! Catch MC&S off guard again and again. When they thought he was down court, he would steal the ball. When they thought he would score, he would pass the ball. When they thought he was down the floor back on defense, he would grab a rebound. Even though many people know his ability, many people really don't pay much attention to the different things he can do for his team. He showed that today and he did all the right things throughout the game to keep MC&S from getting any closer by stealing the ball and finding his teammates up the floor, waiting for easy plays near the rim or wide open 3 point shots. Another guy who seemed to make plays during the game with him was Shawn "Skate" Williams (12 pts. 5 asst. 4 stls.), who would play tough defense and force turnovers to give his teammates fast break opportunities. The lead would get to 9 at half. Jordan would come out in the second half on fire and get 4 asst in the 3rd quarter to extend the lead to 49-34 but Worthem would continue to fight. Another person I noticed that became very intense for MCS was Malik Starkes (10 pts. 3 asst.). He made plays for his team to keep the energy going, as well as the belief that a comeback was possible. Once the 4th quarter started, Amir Bulter (7 pts) would add his contribution to put the game away.
  On a side note: I asked Vaux coach Jamie Ross after the game what he felt about Jordan getting a quadruple double and he said, "That's what I expect from him." I guess it was no surprise for him. Especially for one of the best talents in the area. He seems to be attracting some really good coaches, as Drexel and St. John's were in the building.

JAN. 12
PUBLIC A

Imhotep 49, Constitution 45
 
When you have 2 of top considered teams in the "Pub", there always seems to be a place in my heart to check it out. Imhotep is known for their ability to find ways to win. They have come up big in the last couple years with City and State Championships and players who have continued on to Division 1 Colleges. Constitution has made their mark by arising as a new powerhouse with great up-tempo play and players with exceptional talent. Put these 2 teams together and you would expect a game in the 70s. Didn't seem to be that way in one. The game started off slow in the first quarter with Imhotep leading 9-7. In the second quarter, Khyree Wooten (17 pts. 7 rbs.) & Kamani Jordan (14 pts. 3 stls.) would get started on a strong night with a few pull shot and keep steals to fast breaks. They led Imhotep to a 16-4 run to close off the half. With a comfortable lead, Imhotep would seem to let up and Constitution would take advantage and push the tempo with Daiquan Walker (19 pts. 3 rbs.) continuing what he started in the first half to keep Constitution in the game. With Savon Goodman (14 pts. 8 rbs.) starting off slow because of Imhotep swarming zone defense, where he would be doubled and even tripled team, Walker would have to keep his engine going and find ways to get to the rim and hit a few jump shots in the act. Goodman was called on in the fourth quarter to help the team cut down the lead further after being down 10 into the 3rd quarter. After going up and down with the lead it would get to 11 points with 3 minutes left and for 2 minutes, Goodman would unleash a wrath that people were looking for. He would increase his intensity on defense a got a few steals and it would lead to a transition dunk and few fouls to the rim, that led to easy free throws. After that act and a deep 3 by Akeem King (6 pts), Constitution would find themselves within 4 points with a minute to go. Both teams would go turning over the ball and missing shots in the next 48 seconds. With 12 seconds left, Walker would take an inbound the full length to easy right hand layup to put them down 2, but the clock would not stop and it would run all the way down. But there would have seem to be a timeout by Coach Moore that was taken at 6 seconds left in the game. Imhotep would inbound to Wooten and he would knock down 2 free throws to put them back up 4 with 5.2 seconds left and that would be all that was needed to win the game. 
  On a Key Note: Brandon Austin (6 pts. 6 rbs. 4 blks) wasn't a great offensive threat tonight, but his length and ability to keep the ball away from other team was crucial. He played great defense with blocking shots and getting key steals throughout the game. It was great to see a few coaches in the gym tonight checking out the talent. By the way, I really like the idea of the strength of conferences. The games have really jumped to another level from the competitive standpoint.

JAN. 1
PHILLY VS. NYC
Constitution 80 Cardozo 72
  Did you feel you have something to prove? That was what I asked Coach Rob Moore. He replied with, "Of course. We still need a lot of work to get where we need to be, but this is a great team and we are always trying to prove we belong with the best." Constitution was 2-4 and just had came back from some tough loses in Florida at the City of Palms Classic. Savon Goodman (46 pts., 18 rbs. 3 asst. 3 stls. 2 blks.) would have the stat line of all stat lines. He didn't quit on any play and it would show as they started off with quick buckets in the first quarter to start things off right. Cardozo would put the pressure on Constitution and Daiquan Walker (17 pts. 12 asst. 4 rbs.), would have a huge say-so in what would take place during the game. Walker would have the first layup of the game & it would seem, he would be the scorer of the game, but as he got into the second quarter, it was all facilitating with his game. Between him and Tamir Bolger (10 pts. 7 asst.), they would make it easy to keep the lead during the game. Constitution would lead 37-28 at half and Goodman would have 16 pts. and 11 rbs. as a halftime stat line. Jermaine Lawrence (12 pts. 4 rbs.) & Omar Williams (17 pts. 3 stls.) would be the guys to help keep Cardozo close with their up tempo offense and ability to get Constitution to make a lot of mistakes. But along with Goodman having a early game reverse dunk that would take the level intensity up, it would continue with highlight alley oops from Walker and Bolger to Goodman. Goodman would continue on to score huge in the fourth quarter as he would knock down 9-12 free throws and make it known that he was here to make a strong power move in the nation and wants to have a great year. 
  Side Note: What an atmosphere, with Ben Franklin being the site. Wale showed up and put on a great performance. People were a little upset to not see Meek Mill, but people definitely enjoyed the play from all the games. Imhotep & Vaux both lost but showed that they have some promise in their own respective games. Khyree Wooten was huge for Imhotep and showed some great reverse layups and highlights. Good to see him do great.  Also, shout out to Daiquan Walker, whose birthday is on New Year's Day. What a great way to have a Birthday with a win in front of family and friends and thousands of others. Last but not least, Fajion Jones (Constitution) was huge for his team with 5 pts. and 9 rbs. He seemed to be great for extra possession. I give this kid credit. He should get some really good D2 looks.

DEC. 19
NON-LEAGUE
Paul VI (NJ) 59, Roman 51
  I walked into Philadelphia University thinking this game would definitely be what I expected: A good one between powerhouse programs. Paul VI is widely ranked as the second best team in South Jersey and Roman Catholic has true basketball tradition in its veins. This all changed when I realized there was something missing in the layup line of Roman Catholic. Not just one huge piece of the team, but TWO. One of the biggest pieces missing was Shafeek Taylor, who said he was out because a small injury but will be back when Roman travels to Boston for an upcoming tournament. The next big piece was Rip Engel, who just had decided to transfer to Council Rock North. This would be a huge hit to the team, especially playing against a fully loaded & well-rounded Paul VI. Paul VI would start off the game being led by Roosevelt Cubbage (12 pts. , 8 rbs. & 2 blks.) He grabbed 4 rbs. in the first quarter, and that led to some quick buckets for his team, along with layup-producing outlets. Paul VI would seem to have the right defense & offense to stay composed and keep Roman Catholic from getting any lead this game. Chris O'Conner (15 pts., 5 asst., 4 rbs. & 4 stls.) would be huge for Paul VI to keep giving the team a lift every time Roman would try and make a run. Roman's runs started when they got close to half when they would get the lead down to 4 with easy layups & a deep three by Shep Garner (11 pts. 4 asst. 2 stls.), which would be his first basket in the game with 9 seconds left in the half. Britton Lee (14 pts. & 4 asst.) was definitely the most consistent player during the game for Roman. He would manage to hit a few shots to put the team in close positions to cut the leads down. Lee would get some help from Secean Johnson (11 pts., 4 rbs. & 2 stls.), who matched the intensity of Paul VI at times and helped Roman get with in 3 with 4 minutes lefted in the 3rd quarter. That would be it for Roman as Ron Curry (18 pts. 5 asst. 3 stls.) made the clutch plays for Paul VI, including going 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter when Roman tried to play the foul-'em game. It just wasn't enough as Curry closed up the game.

DEC. 13
NON-LEAGUE
Constitution 61 C.R. North 53
 
Highlight games are sometimes hard to come by in high school, but they come easier when you have 2 teams like Constitution and C.R. North. I was given the privilege to see 2 teams who refuse to quit, and they would make highlights in bunches. It was a great crowd and people stayed focused in the game until end. It started off with Savon Goodman (24 pts. 14 rbs. 3 asst.), who got started early with 6 quick points after missing the first 2 layups. I asked him after the game about that and he told me “I put it right there. It wouldn’t fall for me and I was definitely upset about that." They would go on a 10-3 run in the first 5 minutes until a timeout was made. Then came C.R. North with their play by Aaron Morgan (14 pts. 4 asst. 2 stl.), who scored 5 points of his own and excited the crowd by how deep he could shoot through the game. He lacked minutes this game because of foul trouble and it surely would show throughout the game when Constitution would play hard defense and get some key turnovers to keep C.R.N. away from taking the lead at all. Constitution would continue to lead with the play of Fajion Jones (15 pts. 4 Rbs.), who came in handy when it came to getting offensive rebounds and put backs. With Morgan on the bench for C.R.N. , they would look to the rest of the team to try and find some form of offense. That offense to try and keep them close came from Alex Jordan (9 pts. 5 rbs. 3 asst.) & Aaron Goodman (13 pts. 6 rbs. 3 asst.), They would pass the ball around to each other & make the necessary adjustments to keep the team with a few shot margin. Starting in the second half, after a little slow start in the first half on the scoring side, Daiquan Walker (9 pts. 10 asst. 2 rbs.) would begin to make moves with his ball handling skills and get to anywhere on the floor. He would use his extremely impressive instincts to make the right passes and shots on the floor to extend lead. The lead grew to 15 after 3 quarters but C.R.N. would not quit, especially with Morgan coming back into the game going in to the fourth. Savon Goodman would start the quarter off quickly with a “LeBron James” type windmill on a fastbreak but Morgan would start to catch heat hitting 3 quick deep 3 point shots (NBA Range) & with about 1:11 left in the game. C.R.N. found themselves down 5, but that’s as far as it would get as Walker would make the next 2 plays to put them up to 9 and it would be all fouls from there to put Constitution on the line and they won 61-53. On a side note: I like Kyle McCloskey (10 pts. 2 rbs.) and Craig "Poppy" Slade (7 pts. 4 rbs.). They really stayed active with each other and you could tell they wanted to battle for everything to make sure their team had all the help. Especially with the rotations not being as deep.

DEC. 6
NON-LEAGUE
Penn Charter 59, Germantown Friends 32

  There is always something great about the beginning of December…Full throttle for the high school basketball season. I am getting ready to complete my master’s degree, but I really think it’s about that time to get a few games in this year & there couldn’t have been a better place to start at thn the first high school ever started in Philadelphia. I walked into the gym and happened to see some of the students, fans and parents getting ready to watch the game and I noticed this was a big deal. Penn Charter has gone in a new coach direction and it happens to be Lynard Stewart (Gratz '94, City Player of the Year), who not so long ago was overseas playing basketball. Starting this game off was a 10-2 run by Penn Charter. It would seem as though, both teams would be young and have made major mistakes such as missed free throws and too many turnovers. Penn Charter was led early by John Moderski (9 pts. 4 rbs.) & Nick Lamb (11 pts. 3 asst.), who made obvious plays on the floor to stake their team to a lead of 26-13 at half. Ray Leon (10 pts.) & Will Randell (2 pts. & 6 rbs.) were the horses for Germantown Friends through the game. Clay Tairbanks (8 pts. & 3 rbs.) provided a huge lift for his team until a unfortunate slight injury in the third quarter. He would grab key rebounds and attack the rim along with being a great leader. It just wasn’t enough lift, and Penn Charter began to take advantage as Grant Shaffer (12 pts. & 10 rbs.) made plays all over the floor that would excite the fans because of ability to never quit. Penn Charter would cruise the rest of the way to a 59-32 win.
  Side Note: Mike McGlinchey, a 6’8” 250 lbs. big man for the team, had 11 pts. & 7 rbs. He’s extremely athletic and has the ability to really stretch the floor. He can do many different things in the game, including passing the ball from the post. I hear he has a huge target on his back for football. It seemed that way because Boston College and Syracuse were in attendance to check him out. For Basketball? Not sure why, but if it’ll help on the football field, he’ll be just fine. With just being a Jr. He’ll have a great career at Penn Charter.