By Pat Leonard

Penn Wood harassed Academy of the New Church for 28 turnovers and a 53-41 victory before about 1,500 fans at Widener University Monday,  highlighting five boys’ basketball games played on day three of
the Jameer Nelson/Pete Nelson Scholastic Play by Play Classic.

Senior guard Will Brown led Penn Wood with 13 points and three steals, and junior forward Darian Barnes had 12 points and nine rebounds, as the Patriots, ranked No. 4 in the Inquirer’s preseason rankings, bested the No. 5 Lions.

“We don’t look at rankings. We just look at matchups,” said Brown, who was named Penn Wood’s tournament MVP. “This was a tough game on paper, but we played defense and ran our offense, and everything worked out.”

Academy of the New Church 6-foot-9 junior forward Rakeem Christmas and sophomore forward Savon Lloyd-Goodman scored 10 points apiece, but Christmas committed three fouls before halftime and sat down while Penn Wood built a 39-30 lead by the end of the third quarter.

“We felt like we could pressure them a little bit, but we didn’t expect 28 turnovers,” Penn Wood coach Clyde Jones said.

Patriots junior swingman Aaron Brown added 11 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Tyree Johnson (seven points) manned the point, and 6-foot-9 junior center Shawn Oakman fouled out but not before scoring eight
points and making life difficult on Christmas and ANC’s other low-block presence, 6-foot-11 junior center Malcolm Gilbert (five points).

“We expected them to be able to handle pressure, and we were just trying to get them to play a little faster because they’re great at running their sets and at finding your weak spot and getting their big [players] touches,” Jones said. “And we felt if we could pressure them on the perimeter, maybe it would limit how many touches came down inside and how many touches Savon got along the wings and the baseline.”

Twenty-eight turnovers and 15 points from two near-seven-footers. Sounds like Jones’ plan worked.

Neshaminy 63, Lower Merion 58

In the opening game on day three of the Nelson Classic, Neshaminy sophomore forward Ryan Arcidiacono hit four three-pointers and scored 21
points as the Redskins handed the Aces (3-1) their first loss of the season.

Arcidiacono, a do-it-all 6-foot-3 swingman, made 7 of 9 foul shots and handled the ball down the stretch. Redskins junior forward Dwight Williams (16 points) and junior center Mike McGarry (14 points) also stepped up, while Lower Merion got 13 points apiece from senior forward Aaron Staley and junior forward Mike Buchwald.

Neshaminy (5-1), of the Suburban One National, led after every quarter. Arcidiacono scored nine in the third.

Lower Merion hails from the Central League, and started 3-0 in league play before falling to Neshaminy Monday, despite hitting seven three-pointers. Lower Merion plays again in the Nelson Classic on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., against Atlantic City (N.J.) at Gwynedd-Mercy College.

Neshaminy faces Ridley in Holy Ghost Prep’s Jack Schott Tournament tomorrow at 6 p.m. The Redskins’ only loss this season was a 79-59 defeat to preseason No. 3 Plymouth Whitemarsh on Dec. 12th.

St. Joseph’s Prep 62, Marple Newtown 42

Prep senior guard Joe Nardi scored 23 points on 7-three pointers, giving him 34 total points for the tournament, as the Hawks finished 2-0 in this year’s Nelson Classic with a convincing win over the
Tigers of the Central League.

St. Joseph’s, of the Catholic League Red division, also defeated Wissahickon, 57-44, Sunday at Gwynedd-Mercy College.

Marple Newtown junior center Ryan Hanley led the Tigers with 15 points and 11 rebounds (seven offensive), but St. Joseph’s senior center
Connor McIntyre added 13 points and 11 boards, including five on the offensive end.

And there weren’t many to go around. St. Joseph’s shot the same percentage from three-point range (12 of 28, 42.9 percent) that it hit from the floor (24 of 56).

The Hawks’ Nardi grabbed seven rebounds to go with his game-high scoring. St. Joseph’s sophomore guard Gene Williams had five points and six assists.

Marple Newtown senior guard Soutiri Sapnas scored 11 points and dished four assists.

Life Center (N.J.) 79, Atlantic Christian (N.J.) 55

Life Center senior forward Stojan Gjuroski scored 22 points, senior guard Chris Thompson added 17, and Syracuse-bound senior guard Dion Waiters had 14 points as the Warriors finished 2-0 in this year’s
Nelson Classic.

Life Center also defeated Friends’ Central, 56-49, on Saturday on the same court at Widener University.
The Warriors have to be considered one of the most impressive teams, in this year’s tournament, along with Plymouth Whitemarsh, St. Joseph’s and Penn Wood.

In defeat, Atlantic Christian was led by junior guard Deshon Minnis (14 points).

Bartram 72, Chester 65

In the Monday finale, senior guard Tyrone Garland scored a game-high 27 points, giving him 53 in two games for the Nelson Classic, as the Braves handed the hometown Clippers and sophomore forward Erikk Wright (22 points) their second loss in this year’s tournament.

Bartram won a close game after losing one Saturday on the same court, 60-57, to Archbishop Carroll.