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Just about everyone was surprised Tuesday night to learn that William Penn sophomore Tavon Parker was not in the starting lineup for the Bearcats' District 3-AAAA semifinal against Cedar Cliff. Everyone, it seemed, including the Giant Center's public address announcer. He announced Parker as a starter before William Penn's 62-59 over the Colts. (He later corrected himself by stating that Willie Hicks, not Parker, was in the starting five.) But rather than a punishment, the benching was a calculated move by William Penn coach Troy Sowers. "I just wanted him to watch three minutes of play," Sowers said. "He's probably the smartest kid we have. (I told him) you're pressing a little bit at the beginning of games. Take this one in for a little bit and he accepted that role because he's a team player." And when Parker did enter the game, he immediately made a difference. The 6-foot-2 sophomore scored 11 points, and was one of four Bearcats players in double figures. He notched nine of those points in the second half, including a runner in the lane to tie the game at 58 with about a minute left. Parker also swiped seven steals, and helped to breath life into a William Penn defense that forced 18 Colts' turnovers. So often it seems Parker is the forgotten player in this Bearcats lineup. His older brother, Kelvin, is the team's senior leader, and steals the spotlight with his stat-filling efforts and high-rising dunks. Tavon's 7.2 points per game average is fifth on the team. But the sophomore always seems to contribute on the defensive end, and he can hit a big shot or two when called upon. Just like he did Tuesday. "I think it worked great," Sowers said of bringing Parker off the bench. "In the end he was unselfish because his play was phenomenal from the minute he stepped in the game."

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