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PW Sophomore Quidire Bennett Scores 27 Points In Win Over Quakertown

Plymouth Whitemarsh knew pretty quickly that they had something special in freshman Qudire Bennett last season.

In the third game of the 2019-20 season, the ninth-grader scored more than 20 points in a half of a JV game against Simon Gratz. He earned a spot in the varsity rotation – getting a few minutes here and there – before starting down the stretch. He capped off his freshman campaign with a 28-point performance against Upper Darby in a district playback game.

Now, Bennett is a featured player and led the Colonials to a season-opening 76-24 Suburban One League Liberty Division win over Quakertown Tuesday night at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.

The 6-foot-3 sophomore wing scored in a variety of ways to tally a game-high 27 points in less than three quarters of play. He used his size to muscle through the lane – converting three old-fashion three-point plays – and showed touch from the outside with a pair of three-pointers. He was 7-for-7 from the free-throw line and added four rebounds and an assist.

“I was feeling good,” Bennett said. “I’m a very comfortable person. I don’t think about how many points I have. I just try to help my team out in the long run as you can see in my performance and my game.”

“You could watch Q play pickup ball in the summer and say, ‘I wish he would do this better or that better,’” PW coach Jim Donofrio said. “You could watch him in practice and say, ‘Come on, Q,’ but when the lights go up – he’s a game-time guy. He’s a natural scorer. Something clicks.

“Some guys are meant to be basketball players and he is.”

Bennett, a West Philadelphia native who lives in Conshohocken and attended PW basketball camps before getting to high school, also helps on the defensive end. He played his role in PW’s up-tempo defense that forced Quakertown into 24 turnovers Tuesday.

“Defense wins games,” Bennett said. “Defense is going to pay off on offense. If you do great things on defense you’re going to end up scoring on offense. Either (Zuri Jerman) getting a dunk or me getting a three or a layup or Zende (Hubbard) getting a jumper or a layup – it’s just how we play.”

“They know how to defend,” Donofrio said of his team. “I love how hard we played. I love how together we played. The chemistry of this team is just really solid. They respect each other. They have a nice veteran demeanor. It’s obviously been a strange experience with the pandemic and all this stuff, but they just listen like crazy, they know how to defend and they’re making adjustments much quicker and understanding much more than a year ago.”

Luke DiCianno added 23 points for PW against Quakertown. The senior hit a pair of three-pointers, threw down a pair of dunks and grabbed five rebounds.

Matt Catalano led the Panthers (0-2) with six points after hitting a pair of threes. Kayden Roley and Luke Bauer each added four points.

Plymouth Whitemarsh 76, Quakertown 24

Quakertown 5 8 6 5 – 24

Plymouth Whitemarsh 29 26 16 5 – 76

Q: Catalano 2 0-2 6, Roley 1 2-2 4, Gordon 1 1-2 1, Ruzicka 0 0-0 0, Wilkin 0 2-3 2, Bauer 1 2-3 4, Grimmage 1 1-3 3, Perez 0 1-2 1, Fondl 1 1-2 3. Total 6 10-19 24.

PW: Z Hubbard 1 0-0 2,Colzie 1 2-2 4, DiCianno 8 5-6 23, Bennett 9 7-7 27, Jerman 2 0-0 4, Baker 0 1-2 1, West 0 0-0 0, T Hubbard 2 0-0 4, D Harris 1 0-0 2, Rinck 0 0-0 0, Benson 1 0-0 3, Forchielli 1 1-2 3, J Harris 0 0-0 0, Capizzi 0 0-0 0, Flynn 1 1-2 3. Total 27 17-21 76.

Three-point goals: Q: Catalano 2. PW: DiCianno 2, Bennett 2.

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