Germantown Academy junior Evan-Eric Longino has a wide but nimble frame, suitable for banging down low, but still well-equipped to beat defenders off the dribble.
Each trait was on full display Wednesday night at Philadelphia University as the Patriots defeated St. Joseph's Prep, 53-36, behind Longino's game-high 20 points.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound forward finished 11 of 13 from the foul line and also grabbed 10 rebounds for the Patriots (5-2).
"My style of play developed when I was younger," said Longino, whose father, Eric, played at Southern Methodist from 1987 to 1989. "I was more of a center because I was taller than everybody. But as I grew up, my dad told me that I had to be a guard and play on the wing, but I still kept that physical aspect of my game, always looking to drive, always looking to get free throws."
Longino's aggressive play was rewarded by the referees while the Hawks launched from behind the three-point line.
The Prep finished 6 of 17 from three, but just 6 of 8 from the foul line. Darius Kinnel led the Hawks (4-2) with 11, while Kyle Thompson finished with 10.
Germantown Academy senior Devon Goodman, despite wearing a mask to protect his broken nose, finished with 17 points, which gave the Patriots' duo one more point than Prep's team.
Both Longino and Goodman were ancillary pieces last season who sometimes deferred to seniors Sam Lindgren (now at Colgate) and Tim Guers (St. Anselm).
"I'm really pleased with these guys," said GA coach Jim Fenerty, nodding toward Longino and Goodman. "It would be very easy to be looking over their shoulders to see where Guers is and see where Lindgren is. But those guys are [both] stepping up."
Kyle McCloskey also added five points and 11 rebounds for the Patriots, who led by 28-15 at the half and by as many as 18 points in the second half before the Hawks made a run.
"We haven't beaten them for several years," Longino said. "Especially for us and for coach, I'm just glad that we came together, played great defense, and played well as a team to get the win for him and for us, too."
As for his expanded role, don't expect the rough-and-tumble Longino to shy away from the increased responsibility.
"I'm very comfortable," he said. "I've been waiting since freshman year, maybe even before that. I'm excited, and I was excited when [coach] told me what my new role was, and I just worked toward that not to let my team down, not to let myself down."
St. Joseph's Prep 5 10 15 6 - 36
Germantown Acad. 11 17 13 12 - 53
GA: Bailey Whitman 3, Evan-Eric Longino 20, Devon Goodman 17, Kyle McCloskey 5, Joe Stinson 2, Cole Storm 2, Gabe Alter 4.
SJP: Kyle Thompson 10, Darius Kinnel 11, Chris Montie 2, Pete Gayhardt 8, Temi Aiyegbusi 5.