The scoreboard told one story. The calendar told another.
Imhotep Charter survived an upset bid from the Haverford School on Sunday, escaping with a 38-35 victory in the first game of the All-City Classic doubleheader at Archbishop Wood High.
Freshman point guard Rahmir Barno was named Imhotep Charter’s most valuable player after scoring 11 points, including a key jumper for a 37-33 lead with 1 minute, 40 seconds on the clock.
Senior forward Kamrohn Roundtree added eight points with eight rebounds and senior swingman Elijah Taylor, a Notre Dame recruit, contributed five points with six rebounds and three blocks as Imhotep Charter (12-5) won its eighth game in a row.
“We just had poor execution,” Taylor said of the Panthers’ play. "This was not us and we recognize that."
Senior Matt McKenna was named the Haverford School’s MVP after scoring 12 points. The Fords controlled the game’s pacing with a sagging zone defense that collapsed on Taylor and Roundtree and a patient offense in which they continually passed up open shots in pursuit of better looks.
“The kids did a great job of executing the game plan,” Haverford School coach Bernie Rogers said.
Down 37-35 with possession after a timeout with 0:15 on the clock, Haverford missed an open three-point attempt, grabbed the offensive rebound and missed a jumper inside the arc before Imhotep Charter’s Sammy Wylie grabbed the rebound.
Wylie made one free throw at the 0:00.9 mark for the final points.
“We got a good look at a three by a good three-point shooter with 10 seconds left,” Rogers said. "Then we scooped up the rebound, stayed composed and got a good look at a 15-footer to tie it.
“You can’t ask for more than that.”
Haverford has lost its last three games by a total of nine points. “We’re playing well,” Rogers said. “We’re just snake-bit. We have to play through it.”
Noble pointed to the development of Barno as the key to the team’s improvement since a 4-5 start. Imhotep Charter is 8-0 in 2020.
“He’s made some super strides and he’s asserting himself as our point guard,” Noble said.
With Imhotep Charter protecting a 35-33 lead, Barno snaked into the lane and pulled up for a 12-foot jumper that doubled the Panthers’ advantage to four.
“He’s coming into himself,” Taylor said of Barno, who was 6-for-6 from the foul line.
Noble noted that his team will finish regular-season play this week before starting the Public League playoffs followed by the state tournament.
“It was a great to have game against a team like Haverford because we see teams like this in the state playoffs,” Noble said. "We have to get better and we don’t have a lot of time. We’ve been talking about developing this team and growing game by game, but it’s getting late.
"We’re up and down. It’s tough winning a championship being up and down because you have one down day and you're home.
“We’re still working to improve. But it’s getting late.”
Imhotep Charter 10 12 7 9 -- 38
Haverford School 8 9 5 13 -- 35
IC: Rahmir Barno 11, Sammy Wylie 8, Elijah Taylor 5, Kamrohn Roundtree 8, Ronny Raphael 3, Yahmir Satterfield 3.