February 23, 2011
To say that the Philadelphia Independent league basketball game between nationally ranked Academy of the New Church (Pa.) -- currently No. 94 in the RivalsHigh 100 -- and Penn Charter (Pa.) Academy was one of the strangest playoff games in recent years is an understatement.
• The score after one quarter was 4-0.
• One team used a 5-foot-3 guard in the jump circle to start the game (that's the photo you see above).
• Penn Charter, which trailed after the first quarter, had no official shot attempts in that opening quarter, yet still earned enough fouls from ANC to head to the free-throw line ... where John Moderski missed a one-and-one.
• At one point, a five-second holding call was made ... at midcourt.
In the end, ANC took home a 38-22 victory, all while ending the career of longtime Penn Charter coach Jim "Flipper" Phillips. Yet while ANC may have "won" the game, according to the Philadelphia Daily News' Ted Silary, all the ANC players wanted to talk about after the victory was how frustrating Penn Charter's bizarre "speed-stalling" tactics were to handle.
"I've never been through a game like that," McDonald's All-American Rakheem Christmas, one of ANC's stars, told the Daily News. "Never want to do it again, either. That was no fun at all. Even when they had open shots, they didn't want to shoot."
At one point in the first half, Penn Charter earned a hard-fought 8-8 tie. ANC eventually led 16-10 at the break, and pushed forward from that point, yet still was bothered throughout by a Penn Charter team that fielded all guards and just ran around the court, hoping to wear out the entire ANC roster over the course of a game.
For Penn Charter's part, the team was forced into the unique approach by an injury to its lone real post presence, Mike McGlinchy, who missed the game with an ankle injury. Facing either total domination by a much larger and more talented team or a trying an untested, novel approach, Phillips chose to go out with a novel approach.
And while that approach may not have won Penn Charter a game against a team whose roster is loaded with Big East recruits like Christmas -- who is headed to Syracuse -- it certainly left an impression.
"Seeing all those little guys, I figured they'd do a lot of running around." Christmas told the Daily News. "I never expected what happened, though. That was crazy."