As his surname suggests, Math, Civics and Sciences senior Malik Archer has done most of his offensive damage with precision from the perimeter this season.

The 6-foot-2 guard has also helped the Mighty Elephants to a 6-0 record with impressive wins against La Salle and on Tuesday against Martin Luther King, a more ballyhooed division foe in the Public League.

"It feels good knowing that they were ranked over us and we're still the underdogs of Philadelphia in high school basketball," Archer said. "It feels good because we're showing that we can beat teams."

MC&S is also unlikely to be favored Friday at Chester, which beat top prospect Lonnie Walker and Reading on Tuesday.

The new-look Elephants' underdog role was actually born during last season's improbable runner-up finish in Hershey during the PIAA Class A finale.

Earlier that season, the Pachyderms were displaced when the Berean Institute - where the team practiced - was forced to close.

Instead, MC&S practiced three days a week, an hour at a time, at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center on 22nd Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.

"I think it was a humbling experience," Archer said. "I think it was good to go there [Hershey] and to feel how it was to lose. It was a good experience just to get there in that situation, in that big of a game. We came back this year and have to start over, but go 10-times harder."

A key cog from last year's team, Eddie Croswell, is now a 6-foot-7 junior who transferred to St. Joseph's Prep.

As a group, Archer said the team has tried to fill the absence of Croswell's size, rebounding and scoring.

Archer also said his own hard work last summer with his AAU team, Basic Ball Philly, helped him improve his ability to shoot off the dribble and his overall approach to the game.

"I just try to take high-percentage shots," he said. "Making shots when I'm tired and just really pushing myself. And I'm doing well right now."

So far, Division II and III schools have taken notice.

Another deep run in the PIAA playoffs might force other eyes to pay attention.

"It gave us a lot of confidence knowing that we lost in the state championship and that just made us come out even harder this year," he said.

Later, Archer added: "You'll see us in the state championship again."