PHILADELPHIA — When the clock hit zeros, the Delco Christian Knights couldn't gather their belongings quick enough to get away from the floor, walking away from a 100-50 loss to Math, Civics and Science in the first round of the PIAA Class A tournament Friday night at South Philadelphia High School.
Senior Henry Miller led the Knights (9-17) with 26 points, including four three-pointers, in a losing effort. Sophomore Wyatt Harkins added 17 points.
Delco Christian struggled from the beginning, forcing coach Don Davis to call two timeouts less than three minutes into the game. The Mighty Elephants (12-14) rattled off a 14-2 run to open the game and capitalized off of almost all nine of Delco Christian's turnovers in the first quarter.
Math, Civics and Science will face Sullivan County (20-6), which defeated Mount Calvary Christian, 52-47, Friday, in the second round.
Elephants star Samir Doughty nearly outscored the Knights himself with 46 points on the night. Math, Civics and Science coach Dan Jackson took a timeout with 2:19 left in the third quarter after a made free throw by Doughty to congratulate the junior on his 1,000th career point. Mike Watkins, a 6-9 junior whom none of the Knights could match up with defensively, added 22 points.
"Our record really doesn't indicate the talent that we have," Jackson said of Doughty and the rest of his players. "We knew what we were supposed to do, that we could win this game pretty big."
An ally-oop from Tyrese Hester to Watkins late in the third quarter summed up the night in a nutshell for Delco Christian. It wasn't even the first ally-oop of the game, but it was the basket that put the Knights down 40 for the first time, kicking the mercy rule into effect, which kept the clock running the rest of the way.
Despite the ugly result on the scoreboard, Davis said he was proud of the way his kids never stopped fighting to cut the deficit on offense. He especially appreciated the effort of Miller, who continued to follow his shots and dive out of bounds for balls when the game was long out of reach in the fourth quarter. He wound up scoring 12 of the team's 16 points in the final quarter.
"Toughest kid I've ever coached," Davis said of Miller. "Just a will to win and his toughness, that's what he's going to leave to our program."