After suffering a torn meniscus before the start of last season, Archbishop Ryan's Colin Reed returned to the court in January but mostly played junior varsity.
"He suited up with the varsity, but I didn't think his knee was ready for rigorous action," Raiders coach Joe Zeglinski said. "We wanted to take it slowly with him."
Reed has burst onto the scene as a junior, impressing with his long-range marksmanship and recently drawing interest from Drexel.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound junior wing drilled three second-half three-pointers as Ryan bested Northeast Philly rival Father Judge, 47-42, Friday night in a close but often sloppy Catholic League contest.
With three minutes to go and the Crusaders ahead by 40-39, Reed's trey from way up top gave the Raiders (9-6 overall, 4-2 league) the lead for good. "He's a threat to score from anywhere on the court," Zeglinski said.
While being chased closely by Judge's Conor McHugh, Reed went scoreless in the first half, missing a pair of three-point attempts. His first field goal, another NBA-range trey, came midway through the third stanza and gave Ryan a 33-26 advantage.
"I know that once I make one that more are coming," Reed said. "That's just how I am with my confidence."
Reed played AAU ball in the offseason with Hoop Dreamz. His teammates included Neumann-Goretti guards Chris Ings and Dymir Montague.
"When I tore my meniscus, I think people started wondering about my future in the game," said the 17-year-old from Mayfair. "I wanted to come back stronger than before."
Reed totaled 12 points, three boards, an assist, and a steal vs. Judge. His three treys upped his season total to 47.
Amin Bryant also played a crucial role in Ryan's fourth straight win over the turnover-plagued Crusaders (8-6, 0-5). The 6-4 junior guard registered nine points, seven boards, five steals, two assists, and a blocked shot.
"He's a do-everything type," Reed said. "It's nice to have a guy on your team who can play so well on both ends of the floor."
Judge's Tom Quarry came in averaging 20.5 points. Guarded mostly by Bryant, the 6-7 senior wing managed 13 points, 10 boards, and three assists.
Kevin Lezin, a 6-3 senior reserve, gave the Raiders a boost by scoring eight of his 10 points in the second stanza. Sixth man Devon Vargas nailed a pair of treys in the same period.
For the Crusaders, gritty junior Shane Dooley shot 6 for 7 from the line en route to 14 points. He played the last eight minutes with four fouls.
Father Judge 7 16 12 7-42
Archbishop Ryan 6 16 13 12-47
FJ: Alphonso Chie 3, Conor McHugh 3, Tom Quarry 13, Drew Riley 9, Shane Dooley 14.
AR: Jaquill Stone 2, Mekhi Lang 5, Colin Reed 12, Amin Bryant 9, Devon Vargas 6, Kevin Lezin 10, Anthony Woodard 1, Glenn Smith 2.