With a 6-foot-5, 180-pound frame and an improving feel for the game, Souderton's Evan Slone is drawing considerable interest from Division III basketball programs.
Friday afternoon in the Trojan Holiday Classic at Wissahickon, with Marywood head coach Bob Simmons on hand, the senior forward and tricaptain showed he could easily contribute at that level.
Slone scored 14 points and collected 11 rebounds, including three on the offensive end, as the Indians held off previously undefeated Father Judge, 48-45, in a semifinal. The undersize Crusaders were 7 for 27 from three-point range.
"That was the scouting report we had on them, that they have good outside shooters and like to take a lot of threes," Slone said. "I thought we did a pretty good job of getting out on them."
Slone shot 6 for 9 from the field and 2 for 3 from the line. He earned third-team all-Suburban One League Continental Conference honors last season while helping Souderton gain a District 1 Class AAAA playoff berth.
"He's so long and he just wants to grab every rebound," Indians coach Pete Chimera said. "He gets better and better every game."
Souderton (5-4) will try to defend its title against host Wissahickon, which followed Friday with a 56-40 win over Council Rock South, at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Judge (7-1) will meet C.R. South in a 1:30 p.m. consolation matchup.
The Indians bounced back from Tuesday's 49-32 loss to Continental Conference rival Pennridge.
"After that game, I didn't care if we won or lost against Judge," Chimera said. "We just needed to play tough."
Ben Wonderling chipped in 12 points vs. the Crusaders; Tim Markow and Tracy Simsick netted 10 apiece; and point guard Ty Salone dished six assists. After missing his first five free-throw tries, Markow made four of his last five attempts.
Quincy Reed paced Judge with 18 points. The Crusaders shot 14 for 42 from the field. Sixth man Nick Nowak hit three three-pointers, grabbed seven rebounds, and recorded two steals.
Slone and Wonderling produced back-to-back three-point plays at the start of the second half to put Souderton ahead, 27-20. Markow's wide-open layup, courtesy of a nifty feed from Wonderling, made it 45-40 with just over a minute remaining.
Slone, of Telford, is also hearing from Arcadia, De Sales, Eastern, Immaculata, and Lebanon Valley. The 17-year-old plans to major in business in college.
Souderton 12 9 14 13 - 48
Father Judge 11 7 11 16 - 45
S:Ty Salone 2, Ben Wonderling 12, Evan Slone 14, Tim Markow 10, Tracy Simsick 10.
FJ: Will Brazukas 2, Quincy Reed 18, Justin Fleming 2, Marc Rodriguez 9, Nick Nowack 9, Aaron Higgins 5.