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Sports Article
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Perkiomen School Dominates Pennington
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            As the regular season winds down, Perkiomen School's boys basketball team looks to tune up its game for the state tournament, which begins next weekend. Head

Ibrahima Bayu goes in for a layup in Tuesday 

night's game against Pennington.

coach Tom Baudinet says the squad needs to display the same intensity it showed during the middle of the season.

            "We need to get back to playing the right way," said Sam Carrao, a senior post player from Salford Township.

            According to the coach, the Panthers showed improvement in a 63-51 road loss to the Hun School. On Tuesday, they made additional progress in an 87-39 victory over Pennington Prep.

            "Now is the time to start playing good basketball," the coach said. "The last three-and-a-half weeks have been that time of the year when the players are tired and beat up."

            Perkiomen School (18-5) placed five players in double figures against the Red Raiders. Andrew Patnode and Honnor Huff each posted a team-high 14 points. Ibrahima Bayu and Steve Payne both delivered 13 points. Gilbert Otoo registered 12 points. Carrao added seven points off the bench.

            Even without two of their best players – Philip Byriel and Josh Odunowo, a pair of seniors nursing nagging injuries – the host Panthers dominated Pennington Prep. They extended a 9-7 lead late in the first quarter by scoring 17 consecutive points.

            Six different players scored during the flurry, which staked Perkiomen School to a 26-7 lead early in the second quarter. The team grew its halftime advantage to 39-13. Payne, Patnode and Otoo each posted eight points in the first half. Bayu, a 6-foot-6 sophomore forward from the Netherlands who added seven points, displayed his athleticism with multiple dunks.

            "(Bayu) is definitely on the right trajectory," the coach said. "If he continues to progress, he's going to be a very good player."

            According to Baudinet, the Panthers displayed improved focus and defensive intensity. He said they have struggled in those aspects in recent weeks.

            "We played better today," the coach said.

            Perkiomen School concludes its regular season at home Thursday against Rocktop Academy and Saturday on the road against St. Benedict's Prep before the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state tournament, which begins Friday, Feb. 14.

            "If we're at full force, and everyone is doing their part, we can (win the title)," Baudinet said. "We can do it, but it will be a tough road. There are some good teams in the field, but we have a real good shot."

            According to Carrao, the team needs to revert to the same form it showed in a 94-79 victory over Northfield Mount Hermon on Dec. 14 in the Scholar Roundball Classic at Babson College.

            "This team can be really good," Carrao said. "If we play to our full potential, we can win a state title. But it won't be easy."

            Baudinet says his team's rotation in the state tournament, which features a deep bench, will likely be determined by the opposition. According to the coach. Carrao has relied on a high basketball IQ and a solid work ethic to remain a viable option off the bench.

            This season, the player – who has committed to attend Washington College, which competes in the Centennial Conference – has focused on improving his foot quickness and focus. Carrao said competing against Division One prospects every day has helped home his skills.

            "Sam has improved his reaction and defensive rebounding skills," the coach said.






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