With 1 minute, 33 seconds left in the first quarter on Friday, Del-Val Charter trailed Life Center, 15-9, at the All-City Classic: Philadelphia vs. Everyone at Ben Franklin High.

By game's end, however, the defending Public League champion Warriors walked away with an 81-28 victory, forced 37 turnovers and finished with 23 steals.

So how did things escalate so quickly?

"We had a slow start in warmups," said senior wing Mahki Morris. "A lot of kids were late because of the traffic and busses."

Morris, who finished with 21 points, five steals and a game MVP plaque, said he was also late because he took the train from his home in Germantown. He arrived about 30 minutes before tipoff.

"It's hard. You've got to get your bones warmed up, and you've got to get in the game mentally and physically," he said. "Once we all got in the game, we got it done."

The avalanche began after the Warriors trailed, 15-9. To that point, Life Center's 6-foot-8 freshman phenom, Lance Ware, matched Del-Val with nine points.

But the Warriors (4-3), turned up their full-court pressure and forced eight consecutive turnovers.

Del-Val parlayed that momentum into a 38-21 halftime edge.

Dion Harris finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and a game-high six steals.

Mikal Sullivan finished with 12 points and five steals, while Amin Dandridge added 13 points and five rebounds against Life Center (1-6).

Ware, one of the nation's top freshmen, finished with 13 points and six rebounds. Only Chayce Smith (nine points) and Malik Bailey (six) also scored for the Burlington, New Jersey-based school. Life Center has four sophomores, two juniors and two freshmen on its roster.

Morris and Antwuan "Booty" Butler are the only remaining starters from the Warriors' Public League title team last year.

The pair's leadership, Morris said, could be a key to any success this season.

Butler, a junior point guard, finished with five point, seven assists and four rebounds.

"Me and Booty . . . have to encourage everyone to step up so we can go back to the Pub [championship]," Morris said.

Del-Val 19 19 30 13 - 81

Life Center 17 4 4 3 - 28

DV: Mahki Morris 21, Antwuan Butler 5, Mikal Sullivan 12, Dion Harris 13, Amin Dandridge 13, Marcus Giddings 6, Jaymir Littles 2, Tyrone Williams 2, Jahiem Patterson 4, Al Williams 3.

LC: Lance Ware 13, Chayce Smith 9, Malik Bailey 6.

@AceCarterINQ