Tavon Parker and his William Penn teammates had a few things of their own to say Saturday, and those statements ran quite the opposite from the prevailing wisdom.
Led by Parker's 31 points, the third-seeded Bearcats turned in a blistering performance in the District 3 Class AAAA quarterfinals in Hershey, leading wire-to-wire in a 72-47 rout of defending district champion Chambersburg. The victory, William Penn's 19th straight, puts Troy Sowers' team in the district semifinals for the fifth consecutive year; they will return to Giant Center on Tuesday for a meeting with second-seeded McCaskey.
"As basketball players, we have to be ready to play at any time," Parker said. "This is what we live to do, this is what we love to do. It doesn't matter if the game was at six, eight, or ten. We had to do the proper things to get ready."
Parker clearly had no problems with the 10 a.m. start or the venue, as he almost immediately began ripping the nets. He opened the scoring by knocking down a three-pointer, and he piled up eight points in the opening 2:51 as the Bearcats raced to a 13-0 lead.
"We came out in zone and were going and try and make someone else beat us," Chambersburg coach Beau Gantz said. "We let (Parker) get loose for three 3s early in the game... That put us in the hole."
Chambersburg was able to regain its composure and put together a mini-run, outscoring the Bearcats 9-3 over the next two minutes. Kellen Williams did much of the work for the Trojans, netting six points during the run and helping close the William Penn lead to 16-9.
The Trojans didn't have the horses to keep up for long, though. Parker knocked down a short jumper as part of an old-fashioned three-point play, and the Bearcats were off and running again. They closed the first quarter on an 8-0 run that pushed the margin to 24-9.
"We've prepared for this type of game all season," Sowers said. "At this point in the year you have to be sharp, you have to be able to read defenses. Our zone offense has been effective lately, and Tavon was hot. We swung the ball well and were intelligent with our passes."
Much of what followed was a repeat of the first quarter, as William Penn kept knocking down shots (15-for-28 in the first half) and forcing Chambersburg turnovers (17 in the first half). The Bearcats cruised into the break with a 41-20 lead, with Parker netting 22 points.
William Penn kept the pedal to the metal to open the third quarter, hitting seven of its first eight shots to start the second half. Parker became more of a facilitator, dishing out four assists in the second half as six other Bearcats got in the scoring column. The Bearcats lead was never less than 20 points.
"Against Hempfield (in the first round) we were up 20 heading into the third quarter, and they made a run," Parker said. "Today we were up 21 at halftime, and we just wanted to not let them go on a run, not let them make it game. We wanted that 20 to be 30."
William Penn finished the game 27-for-50 from the floor, including a red-hot 8-for-12 from behind the arc. Parker was 11-for-17.
Kellen Williams 8 2-3 20, Ogbonna 3 1-1 7, Stahl 2 2-3 6, Martin 2 0-2 4, Charles 1 1-3 4, Myers 1 1-1 3, Snider 1 0-2 2, Wenger 0 1-2 1, Christian 0 0-0 0, Flores 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 8-17 47.
WILLIAM PENN (74)
Tavon Parker 11 4-9 31, Beard 4 0-0 8, D. Wilson 2 2-2 8, Stephens 2 1-1 6, J. Wilson 2 1-1 5, Casiano 3 1-2 7, S. Dickson 2 0-0 4, Rivera 1 1-1 3, Jackson 0 0-0 0, D. Dickson 0 0-0 0, Shifflet 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 10-16 72.
Chambersburg 9 11 16 11 -- 47
William Penn 24 17 17 14 -- 72
3-point goals: Chambersburg 3 (Williams 2, Charles); William Penn 8 (Parker 5, D. Wilson 2, Stephens).