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Boys' Notebook

Looking to return. The Prep Charter boys' basketball team could have received keys to City Hall 12 months ago.

Looking to return.

The Prep Charter boys' basketball team could have received keys to City Hall 12 months ago.

Today, the Huskies will be hard-pressed to get even a handshake. Once the crown jewel of the city, Prep Charter is trying to shake the label of underachiever.

It wasn't too long ago when the Huskies celebrated back-to-back PIAA Class AA state titles in 2006 and 2007. Back then, they were praised for winning the Public League's and District 12's first, second and only state titles.

But then came last season.

The whispers started after Prep Charter failed to reach the state playoffs. The whispers turned to screams after standout guards Parrish Grant (now at Imhotep Charter) and Jesse Morgan (Olney) left the school.

When the duo left, so did the bandwagon.

That's why the Huskies have chips on their shoulders.

"The year the enthusiasm will be the difference," said Prep Charter coach Dan Brinkley, whose squad is ranked eighth in The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania preseason rankings.

The Huskies are out to prove that they are still one of the state's premier Class AA programs.

One glimpse at Prep Charter's frontcourt may make you a believer.

Junior center Shaquille Duncan stands 6-foot-9. Senior power forward Tyree "Chuck" Harris is 6-8, while senior swingman Ferg Myrick is 6-6.

"We have the biggest front line in the city," Brinkley said.

Those are not the only positions at which the Huskies could cause matchup problem.

Sophomore point guard Ameen Tanksley is 6-5. Freshman Akir Frazier, Tanksley's backup, stands 6-3.

"We collectively as group fell short of our goal," Brinkley said of not reaching the state championship last season.

This season, they are determined to make it back. And who know? Folks just might get back on the Huskies bandwagon.

Worth the price of admission.

That's what being said about Bartram point guard Tyrone Garland. The junior averaged 17.8 points last season while driving past opponents.

Unfortunately for his Public League opponents, the Division I prospect is said to be even better this season.

Two to keep an eye on.

Garland won't be the only guard fans should keep an eye on.

Franklin Learning Center's Denzel Yard and Fels' Shannon Givens are two other headliners.

Givens, who signed with Drexel, transferred to Fels from the Academy of the New Church last month. The senior combo guard was an all-Friends Schools League selection last season. He was also a major reason the Lions finished the year with a 26-2 record and ranked 22d nationally by USA Today.

Despite being undersize, Yard is often the best player on the court. The 6-foot, 170-pounder averaged 15.8 points last season. The senior will play at Siena next season.

Pioneers have talent.

After losing all-Pub swingman Malik Tinsley to graduation, some assumed Frankford would struggle this season.

Pioneer coach Ben Dubin is not one of them.

"I think we have some talent," said Dubin, whose squad was last season's Public League runner-up.

The coach points to Frankford's three key returning contributors: junior guards Harold Hicks and Jerline Harris and junior forward Dehaven Brown.

- Keith Pompey