After transferring from Boys' Latin, Fred Taylor was usually the second or third player off Archbishop Ryan's bench last season.
"His attitude has been great ever since he got here," Raiders coach Joe Zeglinski said of the 6-foot-8, 190-pound senior center. "He patiently waited for his opportunity to make a real impact, and he's doing that now."
With Taylor playing a crucial role, visiting Ryan pulled away from Germantown Academy late in the third quarter of Friday night's nonleague matchup and left Fort Washington with a 63-49 victory.
Taylor netted 11 of his 15 points in the second half, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked two shots as the Raiders, ranked No. 7 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by the Inquirer, stayed perfect at 6-0.
Taylor's putback and fastbreak dunk, off a nifty feed from Chris Palantino, highlighted a 9-2 run and gave Ryan a 47-33 advantage heading into the final frame.
Overall, Taylor shot 7 for 8 from the field and 1 for 2 from the line against the Patriots.
"I had to make my presence known," the big man said matter-of-factly.
Ryan triumphed even though 6-8 senior Matiss Kulackovskis sat out six minutes of the second half after picking up his fourth foul.
Taylor is hearing from East Stroudsburg, Gwynedd Mercy, Holy Family and West Chester. East Stroudsburg head coach Jeff Wilson was on hand Friday to watch Taylor and Kulackovskis.
Senior guard Izaiah Brockington, a New Jersey Institute of Technology recruit, paced Ryan with 22 points, six boards, four assists, and four steals.
"He's a high-caliber, Division I player," Taylor said. "His athletic ability is amazing."
Kulackovskis, who is averaging 17.3 points and has nailed 13 three-pointers, posted eight of his 10 points in the first half and made three steals.
Taylor's alley-oop dunk off a pass from Brockington (16.7 ppg.) and Palantino's left-wing trey put the Raiders comfortably in front, 56-40, midway through the fourth quarter.
Palantino, a senior floor general, contributed eight boards and four assists. Sophomore guard Amin Bryant chipped in nine points and four assists."
"Different guys have been stepping for us," Zeglinski said. "Also, our defense has been very good. It leads to a lot of easy baskets in transition."
For the No. 9 Patriots, who made only 11 of 22 free-throw tries, Evan-Eric Longino netted 26 points. Fellow senior catalyst Kyle McCloskey totaled 14 points, 10 boards, four assists, and three steals.
Down by 18-8 after the first quarter, GA (6-2) opened the second with an 11-0 run and had a 25-23 edge at the break.
Arch. Ryan 18 5 24 16 - 63
Germantown Acad. 8 17 10 14 - 49
AR: Chris Palantino 5, Amin Bryant 9, Fred Taylor 15, Matiss Kulackovskis 10, Izaiah Brockington 22, Mekhi Lang 2.
GA: Brian Basile 5, Kahlil Ashley-Diarrah 4, Evan-Eric Longino 26, Kyle McCloskey 14.