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Kobe Bryant Classic: Preview + Schedule (Dec. 9-10)

12/06/2023, 12:15pm EST
By Josh Verlin

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)

The first Scholastic Play-By-Play event of the year is coming up this weekend with the two-day Kobe Bryant Classic. The first night, on Saturday, features a doubleheader at Lower Merion before Widener University hosts five games on Sunday. 

After Saturday's first game, four "Mamba Mentality" winners will be awarded from the four teams, and Lower Merion coach Greg Downer will talk about the legacy of Kobe Bryant at 6 p.m. Following, the 1996 Lower Merion team will get inducted into the school's basketball hall of fame.

Tickets are $20 for Dec. 9 ($10 for LM students), and $15 for Dec. 10. The full schedule is here, and a breakdown of the games can be found below: 

Sat., Dec. 9
Lower Merion High School
4:00 PM Archbishop Wood vs. Huntington Prep (W.Va.)
6:00 PM Lower Merion vs Methacton

Sun., Dec. 10
Widener University
10:30 AM Plymouth Whitemarsh vs Sanford (Del.)
12:15 PM Westtown School vs Math, Civics & Sciences
2:00 PM Richmond Heights (Ohio) vs St. Joseph's Prep
3:45 PM Neumann-Goretti vs Salesianum (Del.)
5.30 PM George School vs Life Center (N.J.)


Miami (Fla.) commit Jalil Bethea highlights a talented Archbishop Wood squad. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Archbishop Wood vs. Huntington Prep (W.Va.) (Sat., 4 PM)
Two of the nation’s best guards go head-to-head as Wood’s Jalil Bethea (No. 7 in the 247Sports 2024 rankings) and Huntington Prep’s Darryn Peterson (No. 3 in the 247Sports 2025 rankings) bring their games to Kobe Bryant Gymnasium at LM in what’s sure to be a sold-out gymnasium on the Main Line. Senior wing Dillon Tingler, a 6-7 Eastern Michigan commit, senior wing Daniel Ntambwe and more add a ton of power to the Huntington roster. Bethea’s joined by Drexel commit Josh Reed, plus junior guards Milan ‘Mir’ Dean, Deuce Maxey and Mike Green plus some impressive underclassmen. 

Lower Merion vs Methacton (Sat., 6 PM)
The nightcap at Lower Merion has the host Aces taking the court against another District 1 6A squad with a history of success in the Warriors, both teams stocked with future small-college talent. Lower Merion’s got a strong group of senior guards in Owen McCabe, John Mobley and Adam Herrenkohl, the trio combining for 60 points in a win over West Chester Henderson to open up the season; Gregg Downer’s squads are always built around strong outside shooting and defense, and this group is no exception. Methacton coach Pat Lockard is relying on senior guard Alex Hermann to lead the way, with junior Sal Iemmello, senior forward Preston Hull and senior guard Anthony Daddazio also back from the varsity rotation.

Senior guard Jaden Colzie leads reigning District 1 champion PW. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Plymouth Whitemarsh vs Sanford (Del.) (Sun., 10:30 AM)
The defending District 1 6A champs, Plymouth Whitemarsh is one of the favorites in the suburban 6A field once again, Jim Donofrio with another confident group that can get up and down the court. Senior guard Jaden Colzie is back for his fourth year of varsity action, but the less-familiar name is sophomore Mani Sajid, who looks ready for a breakout season after a big summer; senior Jahsier Sayles adds a lot of length and athleticism to the wing. Sanford counters with sophomore post Jayden Taylor, a 6-7 forward who the Colonials will need to key on inside, while 6-3 Marquis Newson is one of the top freshmen in the First State. 

Westtown School vs Math, Civics & Sciences (Sun., 12:15 PM)
The Moose have been busy already, their season going back a month at this point, Seth Berger with another loaded group full of size and talent. Lafayette commit Malik Rasul is joined by junior wing Jayden Kelsey, junior Cam Wallace and junior Jayden Forsythe, who are all back from last year’s squad. Junior guard Daveyon Lynder transferred in from William Penn (York) to give them another big perimeter scoring threat. That’s going to be a lot for a MCS squad that could be the last group of Mighty Elephants, as the school is set to close in the spring; head coach Lonnie Diggs has a new-look group this season led thus far by 6-6 senior forward Sair Alsbrooks, senior guards Maki Hill and Kevin Carter and junior guard Alantay Dawson. Sophomore guard Milak Myatt is a blossoming prospect as well.

Richmond Heights (Ohio) vs St. Joseph's Prep (Sun., 2:00 PM)
The good matchups keep on rolling as Prep gets one of the best teams in Ohio, Richmond Heights coming in absolutely loaded with talent. The Spartans feature nationally-ranked Dorian Jones and T.J. Crumble along with multiple other Division I prospects, with multiple players 6-4 and taller. St. Joe’s Prep doesn’t have quite that much size, but the Hawks’ junior guard core is terrific: Jaron McKie, Olin Chamberlain and Jordan Ellerbee all Division I talents, while senior guards Jalen Harper and Matt Gorman (Catholic U) give them a five-out look that can really space the floor and make plays. 

St. Joe's commit Khaafiq Myers is one of the top players for a talented Neumann-Goretti squad. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)

Neumann-Goretti vs Salesianum (Del.) (Sun., 3:45 PM)
Salesianum plays so many non-conference games against Philly squads they might as well be an honorary member of the Catholic League. This year’s Sallies are deep, led by scholarship-level seniors Kareem Thomas, Isaiah Hynson, and Justin Hinds plus point guard Zack Swartout and sophomore Dominic Downs, with size across the board. The Saints are led by seniors Khaafiq Myers (St. Joe’s) and Amir Williams (Hofstra) plus Lorenzo Jerkins, while junior Keon Long-Mtume and sophomore Stephon Ashley-Wright give them additional scoring punch.

George School vs Life Center (N.J.) (Sun., 5:30 PM)
The weekend concludes with one more cross-river matchup. George School’s got a big frontcourt with 6-11 junior Luke Bevilacqua and 6-9 senior Tristen Guillouette, plus an exciting young point guard in freshman Tyler Sutton and several other quality pieces. Life Center will rely on sophomore post Al’Tariq Reevey to match up in the paint, while freshman wing Mekhi Robertson could be one of the next big things in South Jersey. 

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