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Kellman’s Return Rallies Perkiomen School to Consecutive Wins
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2019-01-17

            Keeshawn Kellman missed seven games after suffering a broken right thumb in December. During that stretch, Perkiomen School's boys basketball team lost five out

Titus Wilkins shoots between two defenders during Perki-

omen School's victory over West Nottingham Academy.

Wilkins finished with 12 points.

of six games, including a three straight defeats. Since the 6-foot-8 center's return, the team has won consecutive games.

            "Our other post players are pretty good," Head coach Thomas Baudinet said. "But they can't do what he does. Keeshawn rebounds, he attacks the rim and protects the basket. He's a force    inside."

            Kellman and Chris Arcidiacono helped the Panthers breeze to a 75-40 non-league victory over West Nottingham Academy on Tuesday. They converted their initial seven shots from the field. Chris Arcidiacono hit a pair of 3-point shots during the early flurry.

            Arcidiacono scored 17 of his game-high 26 points in the first half, finishing with eight 3-point baskets. He added eight rebounds. Kellman delivered 10 points and added seven boards. Both ran the floor effectively. Baudinet called it his team's most complete performance on the season, by far.

           "Our guys started with real good energy, intensity and focus," he said." Plus, we're able to hit our shots, helped keep us rolling. Sometimes, when the shots don't fall and it can be deflating. But they fell, and it really fueled us."

           Titus Wilkins delivered eight of 12 points before halftime for Perkiomen School (10-8). Niels Lane registered nine of his 11 points in the initial 16 minutes, and Kellman registered seven before halftime. The Allentown native delivered seven early points, including a three-point play with 3:33 left in the first quarter to put them ahead 20-6.

            Despite 34 points from Arcidiacono, the Panthers lost 87-77 to nationally ranked Scotland Campus Sports on Saturday, Jan. 12. Arcidiacono poured in 27 points in the second half and finished with seven 3-point baskets. Tautvydas Kupstas, Lane, and Kellman all finished in double figures. 

            On Wednesday, Jan. 9, Perkiomen School posted a 62-43 victory over the Academy of the New Church. Arcidiacono finished with a game-high 18 points. Lane finished with 15 points while Wilkins added 14 points.

            Baudinet said he believes the team is turning the proverbial corner following the difficult stretch. Since halftime of a loss against Peddie School on Jan. 5, the team has made significant strides, according to the coach. 

            "The losses built up some frustration," Baudinet said. "The goal is to peak in the end of February. But since we have so many new guys, and have suffered so many injuries, it's going to take some time to get this group to play up to its potential."

            Kellman was forced to watch his team struggle. The Panthers missed his presence around the basket, according to the coach.

            During his time away from the game, Kellman maintained his fitness, according to the coach. The player said his basketball IQ improved by watching the games. Additionally, he worked continuously on dribbling and shooting with his left hand. 

            The coach described Kellman, a postgraduate from Allentown Central Catholic, as a late-bloomer of sorts. A nine-inch growth spurt between ninth and 12th grade helped make him attractive to college coaches.

            As a freshman, with a height of 5-foot-10, and as 6-foot-2 sophomore, played JV for the Vikings. In 11th grade, at 6-foot-4, he averaged approximately 10 minutes a game on varsity off the bench. As a senior, he shot up three inches.

            "Everything changed for me the first day of my senior year," Kellman said. "Everyone was looking up at me like I had two heads."

            As a senior, he helped lead Allentown Central Catholic to a 25-5 record and a pair of victories in the PIAA Class 5A playoffs.

            Kellman received eight Division I offers to play college basketball, but chose to continue his basketball career at Princeton University next season. He has the ability to blossom into an all-Ivy League performer, according to Baudinet.

            "His ability and basketball IQ are improving daily," the coach said.


 

 

 

 

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