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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, February 09, 2018

Boys Hoops: Central Finishes Season With Tough Win Over Nazareth

"Who Dat" Lambert and Keeshawn "the
beast" Kellman both had career highs
At this time last year, Allentown Central Catholic was fighting for its life. It had already failed to qualify for the league playoffs, and needed to beat Nazareth at Nazareth to be able to limp into districts. The Vikings managed to win that game, on Nazareth's senior night, by a score of 60-57.

This year, those roles were reversed. Nazareth had failed to qualify for the East Penn Conference tournament. It needed a win against Central on Central's Senior night on Thursday to keep its hopes alive for districts. But despite their best efforts, the Blue Eagles came up short.

It was yet another exciting game at a packed Rockne Hall, where the crowds have grown as the season has progressed. When the final buzzer went off, the Vikings were on top, 67-61. Though I feel bad for Nazareth, who played us very hard in a game earlier this year, it was a great way for Central to finish its season at Rockne Hall.

Dat Lambert, who was introduced to sports as a toddler by kids living in Nazareth and played at the Green Street park, will probably remember this game the rest of his life. He scored a career high 25 points, including 5 from beyond the arc. That's five, people.


He was also 4/4 from the free throw line.

Sophomore Nick Filchner will probably exceed that total before his high school playing days are over. He sunk 4 from downtown. That's four, people.

Nick ended the night with 14. What was remarkable about Nick's effort is that he only missed one shot. Everything else went in the hole.

The Baryshnikov of Basketball
Keeshawn "the beast" Kellman, who was injured at the start of the season, has become the team's He-Man in the paint. He took over when Kevin Kern, a very tough forward, went down a few weeks ago. He has risen to the occasion, and has become the backbone of this team as he jealously guards from under the boards. From above the rim. he can bring a THUNDEROUS dunk, while blocking the attempts of his opponents.

Then there's Senior Point Guard Jay Vaughan, who glides across the court with the grace of a ballet dancer. The Baryshnikov of Basketball scored 9 points, including a three. What is special about him is his ability to find the person in best position to make the shot. He had 8 assists, which is the norm for him. He also is a formidable defender who can strip a ball and score before his opponent knows his pocket has been picked.

Nazareth's Blue Eagles were just as dangerous as they were earlier this year. Three players - Maihan Ramin, Jahan Dotson and Noah Briggs - finished the night in double digits.

Central has finished its season to head into playoffs with 19 wins and 3 losses. Part of the reason for that is its very tough defense, combined with its ability to shoot 3s. Tonight, for example, the team hit 10 of them. But what makes this team special is its chemistry. These guys look out for each other, care about each other and pick each other up. And any one of them can come out of nowhere and light things up. Jordan "McCrush" McChristian, for example, was high scorer in the two previous games. Chad "the X-factor" Kratzer has also bailed the team out in several contests.

Central will host the Easton Red Rovers in the East Penn Conference quarter-finals on Monday night.This will be the first meeting of these two teams. Easton is a well-coached and young team that everyone had counted out. They might have more raw talent than any other team.

Parkland will visit Beca. Yes, the Trojans made it to the playoffs, even though the team is in re-building mode. They keep getting better with every game.

Northampton, which had been ranked #1, has had a series of recent losses and will visit East Stroudsburg South  They may have peaked too soon.

The final quarter final game is between Pocono Mountain West and William Allen. I believe (but am not sure) that Allen will host the game.. According to Keith Groller, Pocono Mountain West will host Allen.

Box Score

ACCHS - 67, Nazareth - 61

Nazareth - 9-23-38-61

Central Catholic -16-26-46-67

Nazareth (61)

Maihan Ramin: 6FGs, 2/3 FTs -14
Anthony Harris: 2FGs - 4
Jahan Dotson: 4 FGs, 1 3FG, 3/4 FTs -14
Nick Clark: 1 FG, 1 3FG - 5
Alex Houchin: 1 FG, 1/2 FTs - 3
Mason Wickmann: 1 FG, 4/4 FTs - 6
Noah Briggs: 2 FG, 3 3FGs - 13
Jarred Bachik: 2/4 FTs - 2

Central Catholic (67)

Jay Vaughan: 1/1 3FG, 3/3 FG, 1 steals, 8 assists - 9
Keeshawn Kellman: 7/11 FGs, 3/4 FTs, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks -17
Jordan McChristian: 1/3 FGs, 0/3 3FGs, 0/1 FTs, 1 assists, 2 rebound, - 2
Dat Lambert: 5/8 3FG, 3/3 FG, 4/4 FTs, 3 assists, 2 steals, 4 rebound - 25
Nick Filchner: 4/5 3FG, 1/2 FG, 4 assists, 2 rebounds.- 14.

Blogger's Note: You can see scores from other local schools on my left sidebar. 

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