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Panthers Open Season with Offensive Outburst
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2019-11-20

            With four new starters, Perkiomen School's boys basketball team flexed its offensive muscles in a season opening victory Saturday. It posted six double

Gilbert Otoo, a 6-foot-5-inch wing player, drives for a lay-

up during Perkiomen School's season-opening win.  Otoo

scored team-high 21 point.

figure scorers in a 112-63 victory over KOA Prep.

            Head coach Thomas Baudinet doesn't expect the Panthers (1-0) to reach triple figures in most outings. However, he said their offense should be potent.

            According to the coach, this year's roster – which includes eight new players – has the most talent of any in his four years in the job. He said the current team includes nine or 10 players who can contribute every game. Eventually, Baudinet expects that number to include his entire bench.

            "These players have the maturity and toughness and patience to be really good. They're mature and tough, and real hard working. Now they have to prove it."

            William Johnston, a 6-1 guard from Australia, and Gilbert Otoo 6-foot-5 forward from Maryland, each scored a team-high 21 points. Johnston contributed six assists and four rebounds. Josh Odunowo, a 6-foot-6 forward who helped lead his Maryland high school the state title game last season, contributed 16 points and 13 rebounds.

            Andrew Patnode, the team's lone returning healthy starter, registered 14 points and seven boards. Honor Huff, a senior guard from Allentown, contributed 12 points in the second half. Huff finished with five steals, four assists and three rebounds off the bench in the second half.

            "We definitely have a very talented team," Johnston said. "We're close on and off the court, which helps us bond. And we are able to hold each other accountable."

            According to Baudinet, the Panthers are missing three injured players, including Philip Byriel. The 6-foot-8 junior forward, who helped lead them to the second round of the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association tournament, could return from a high ankle sprain in January, the coach said.

            Otoo's initial burst helped the Panthers take an early 10-0 lead. He scored the game's initial eight points on two three pointers. Sam Carrao delivered eight points during the quarter to help them build a 22-7 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

            In the second quarter, Johnson delivered 11 points – including three 3-pointers – to help balloon their lead to 43-18. Otoo posted six points during the second for Perkiomen School, which led 46-25 at halftime.

            Though Johnston might be undersized, he will never be outworked, according to Baudinet. The coach described the Sydney native as a gym rat.

            "Will does a little bit of everything," Baudinet said. "He knows how to play. His toughness and motor are his most impressive attributes."

            Johnston hates seeing other people working hard when he is not. The post graduate said he wants to control what he can. The combination guard says his most valuable assets include being able to read the game, score when he needs to or help feed a teammate on a roll, and play solid defense.

            The combination guard, who was playing in an AAU tournament on the west coast, flew across the country in July to visit the Pennsburg campus last summer after Baudinet discovered him on a recruiting database. Johnston said he welcomed the opportunity to play in the United States with the goal of playing the sport in college.

            "I believe I am a Division I player," Johnston said. "I think (Baudinet) can help me get there."

            For the first time during Baudinet's tenure, the Panthers will play for a league title this season. They accepted an invitation into the Great Atlantic Conference, consisting of prep teams along the east coast. The coach called the six-team conference – which includes Scotland School, Mt. Zion, Patrick School, Olympus Prep and West Nottingham Academy – one of the best in the nation.


 

 

 

 

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