While Chase Rodgers can sometimes bump heads with Sean Colson, the senior forward says he likes the hard-driving ways of the Martin Luther King coach.
"He's harder on me than anybody else" he said. "At the end of the day, I know that's the best thing for me. It's going to make me a better overall player."
Rodgers started on Tuesday for the first time this season. He netted a game-high 18 points to spark King's 66-60 win at Imhotep Charter in both teams' Public League Division A opener.
"Chase has a lot of talent, but sometimes he loses focus," Colson said. "He had a good practice [Monday], showed up against Imhotep, and gave us a strong effort."
The 6-foot-6, 205-pounder knocked down four three-pointers. He hit back-to-back threes in the late going, from the right baseline and then the left wing, to put King (3-1) ahead by three points with just more than a minute remaining.
"I gained a lot of confidence in my three-point shot over the summer," Rodgers said. "If I see that the defender is not up on me, I'm going to take the shot."
Rodgers, who lives in Mount Airy, has drawn interest from the likes of Hofstra, LIU Brooklyn, and Niagara.
He shot 6 for 11 from the field (4 for 5 from beyond the arc) and 2 for 2 from the line. He added nine rebounds, including three on the offensive end.
"He likes to take threes," Colson said. "I'm fine with that, but I want him to first give us an inside presence. I want him to go inside and then out."
King, the defending Public League champion, rebounded from Sunday's 75-71 loss to Oak Ridge (Fla.) at Maryland's National High School Hoops Festival.
"We were ahead by seven points in the fourth quarter," Colson said, "but we just couldn't close it out."
Against Imhotep, senior guard Sammy Foreman chipped in with 13 points and six assists. Jabri McCall, a junior guard, added 12 points. Tyere Marshall, a 6-8 transfer from Roxborough, scored 10 points before halftime.
Imhotep (1-3) played without senior guard and Wagner signee Devin Liggeons, who suffered a broken hand in practice Sunday.
"He's our captain," Imhotep coach Andre Noble said. "A lot of our other kids are young and trying to figure things out."
Martin Luther King 20 13 15 18-66 Imhotep Charter 19 11 14 16-60
MLK: Tyheem Harmon 7, Jabri McCall 12, Tyere Marshall 10, Chase Rodgers 18, Sammy Foreman 13, Nasir Bell 3, Rasool Samir 3.