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Panthers Basketball Seeking State Title
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2018-11-15

            A few key additions should help Perkiomen School's boys basketball team compete for a state title. Winning the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic

Thomas Baudinet, Perkiomen School's head basketball coach,
watches a player take a shot during practice. The team opens
play Friday against Rocktop Academy in the Westtown 
Boys' Basketball Tournament.

Association State Tournament title is one of the team's goals, according to head coach Thomas Baudinet.

            "I think this group has the ability to do it if everyone buys in," he said. "We have the talent, but this group is going to have to improve in a number of areas. At the end of the year, we should be in the hunt to win it all."

            The coach is counting on two post-graduate transfers, Chris Arcidiacono and Keeshawn Kellman, to help the Panthers capture their first state title. They open an ambitious 31-game regular season at 2 p.m. Friday against Rocktop Academy in the Westtown Boys' Basketball Tournament. 

            Baudinet described Arcidiacono, a 6-foot-3 guard who graduated from Neshaminy High School earlier this year, as a great shooter who can really score. The player averaged just under 27 points per game last season and led the Redskins to a pair of victories in the PIAA Class 6A playoffs, highlighted by a 51-point performance in an 88-87 double-overtime win over Lower Merion in the second round.

            Arcidiacono – whose older brother Ryan helped lead Villanova University to the National Championship in 2016 and currently plays for the Chicago Bulls – spurned at least six scholarship offers from several Division I mid-major universities. According to Baudinet, Chris Arcidiacono wanted another year to develop and see if he could earn an offer from a top-tier school.

            "Chris may not pass the initial eye test," the coach said. "But wherever he goes, he will be the right fit. He's a great shooter and he really knows how to play, plus he really works at the game. Any school willing to take a chance on him will be rewarded, in my opinion."

            Kellman, a 6-foot-8 forward who has committed to attend Princeton University, led Allentown Central Catholic to the District 11 championship and the quarterfinals of the Class 5A playoffs in March. Baudinet described him as a high level rebounder who can protect the rim on defense.

            "Keeshawn is very strong and athletic," the coach said. "He's got a great frame. His offensive game is developing."

            Two additional transfers could see significant playing time. Philip Byriel, a 6-foot-8 sophomore from MMI Preparatory School in Luzerne County, and Andrew Patnode Saratoga 6-foot-7 power forward from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., will likely shore up Perkiomen School's back court.

            Several returning members from the team that reached the state tournament's Final Four last season and posted an 18-6 overall record will play important roles, according to Baudinet. They include Tautvydas Kupstas, Sam Carrao, Conner O'Brien and Titus Wilkins.

            Kupstas, a Kaunas, Lithuania native and the team's second leading scorer in 2017-18, has emerged as the team's top leader, according to the coach. "Kup continues to improve every day," Baudinet said. "He's a tough kid."

            Carrao – a 6-foot-6 forward from Telford who is repeating his junior year – is a hard-working, high IQ player. O'Brien, a guard senior who did not play much during his initial two years with the team, has made a "big leap since last spring," according to the coach. He said Wilkins, a sophomore point guard from Easton, has displayed maturity and growth on the court with an increased effort and focus on a daily basis.

 


 

 

 

 

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