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Germantown Academy sophomore Bryce Presley's patience paying off

12/06/2023, 11:00pm EST
By Mike Livingston

By Mike Livingston (@liv_twts22) +
Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)

FORT WASHINGTON — Byrce Presley likes to take a second. 

Every time the Germantown Academy sophomore gets his hands on the basketball, he pauses, taking a second to survey the floor and find the best method of attack. 

“I was always taught to do that,” Presley said. “You’ve got to face up, look, and see what you got first, observe, then take the play.”

Sophomore wing Bryce Presley (above) is in his second year as a varsity starter. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

The 6-foot-4 guard put his patience on full display during Germantown Academy’s 71-60 win over the Pennington School (N.J.) on Wednesday afternoon. Presley had 13 points, with the majority of them coming off jumpers from the top of the key, a spot where the Bensalem native thrives, with nine rebounds and three assists.

The son of longtime college basketball coach and current Rider University assistant Dino Presley, a Philadelphia native and Kutztown grad, Bryce Presley has been brought up in a world of basketball, one which was constantly changing scenery. Presley, who was born in upstate New York while his father was coaching at St. Bonaventure, moved to West Virginia (while his dad was at Marshall) for four years and then a year in New Jersey (NJIT) before finally settling down outside of Philadelphia prior to eighth grade. 

“Philly is home, all my family is here,” Presley said. “I used to come here sometimes when I lived in Jersey so I always knew people around here, yeah Philly is home to me.”

Presley got plenty of varsity experience a year ago, starting all freshman season long after playing eighth grade basketball in his first year at GA, though he spent some time sitting in on Dolan’s practices. 

Two games into his sophomore season, that growing maturity was evident in that on-court patience, limiting his mistakes, knowing what’s coming on both ends of the floor. He was smart with his shot selection against Pennington School, going 4-of-9 from the floor (1-2 3PT) with a few late contested layups not falling well after the outcome was decided, but didn’t play rushed at all, that extra second to survey the floor paying off.

“I feel a lot more comfortable going in this year,” he said. “It’s good to gain game experience and have a better feeling of how this season will turn out.”

“He’s a son of a coach, and so I think there’s tremendous value there because he knows the game,” Germantown Academy head coach Matt Dolan said. “You can see the game slowing down and having him be patient, I think is a benefit for him because we need great spacing. When he’s not rushing, we have guys in great spots and then he can dominate the 1-on-1 opportunity.”

Dino Presley has been around quite a lot of hoops in his three decades around Division I hoops, the longtime assistant coach working at eight different programs in seven different conferences at various levels. That’s been an asset to his son, who started taking basketball more seriously in his middle school years, though the two both admitted they can butt heads when it comes to on-court training.

Dino (left) and Bryce Presley pose together after Wednesday's game. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

“Me watching him play is good and bad,’’ Dino said, watching from the stands on Wednesday afternoon. “I can critique him on the good things, but I always talk about the bad things, not the good things. But he is working, they’ve done a good job with him over the last two years.”

Presley already has an offer from Rider, Broncs coach Kevin Baggett extending the scholarship this summer, making it clear to Bryce the offer was earned and not just given because of his dad. The younger Presley said he’s heard that other schools have been interested in his game, but wasn’t talking to anybody specific just yet. If he ends up with a D-I scholarship, he’ll likely be the school’s first since 2020 grad Jordan Longino.

GA hasn’t seen an Inter-Ac crown since the passing of late great head coach Jim Fenerty in 2018. The local legend led the Patriots to five consecutive league titles from 2013-2017 before abruptly retiring for health reasons halfway through the 2017-18 campaign. Last year, they went 8-16 overall (3-7 Inter-Ac) but look ready to take a step forward this season, with the duo of Presley and junior Bryce Rollerson leading a guard-heavy group that doesn’t have a senior on the roster; juniors Ellis Johnson (13 points, 5 rebounds) and Tyler Nolan (11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) also helped key the Pennington School win.

Because of the program’s lack of size, Presley often has to guard opposing ‘4’s and ‘5’s, playing down in the paint more than he will in college. Dolan’s cognizant of the balance of making sure Presley develops his guard and wing skills to help him at the next level while also doing what he needs to help his high school squad.

“I always look at the nine rebounds first and I’m proud of the effort there,” Dolan said. “He’s grabbing them with two hands, he’s helping us out; as you can tell, we’re not the tallest team so we need him and we need all of them. We have a lot of belief in Bryce.”

While Presley had a strong outing against Pennington, it was Rollerson who led the way as he tends to do with 27 points, the junior guard scoring eight in an inefficient first half before really turning it on in the second. The Patriots led 17-16 after one quarter and slowly expanded the lead to 36-29 by the break, Nolan with a 3-pointer and old-fashioned 3-point play in the period.

The second half was no different as GA picked up right where it left off, along with Presley who scored the first five points of the period. The sophomore also grabbed a few bigtime boards, withholding some important would-be possession from TPS and setting off a chain reaction through the period which saw Pennington slowly fall further behind going into the fourth. 

“You gotta play hard, I think that’s the biggest thing,” said Presley. “Guys go out with all the talent, you can have talent, but if you don’t work you’re not gonna get anywhere with it.”

Germantown Academy moves to 1-1 on the young season as they look ahead to a matchup with Friends Central School this Friday at Friends Central, for a 4:00 PM tip-off. 

By Quarter
GA:   17  |  19  |  19  |  16  ||  71
TPS: 16  |  13  |  14  |  17  ||  60

GA: 24-54 FG (5-16 3PT), 18-21 FT
TPS: 24-51 FG (7-20 3PT), 5-15 FT

GA: Bryce Rollerson 27, Brye Presley 13, Ellis Johnson 13, Tyler Nolan 11, Mick McKee 5, Flinn Brooks 2

TPS: Destine Evans 14, Dwayne Snead 11, Noah Johnson 10, Jordan Moton 7, Dylan Napoleon 6, Makai Crawford 5, Zio Kim 3, Kae Kilic 2, Jayden Moton 2

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