Sharpshooting southpaw Dylan Harper exploded for a game-high 37 points in Don Bosco Prep’s 79-68 setback to Roman Catholic (Pa.) in the Philly High School Live event at Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 19, 2022. Kevin Emmons/South Jersey Sports Zone
HADDONFIELD (N.J.) - Dylan Harper, the No. 2 ranked player in the 2024 ESPN 60, scored a game-high 26 points in Don Bosco Prep's 55-48 triumph over St. Augustine at the Paul VI Winter Classic on Saturday.
The junior scored 17 points in the second half.
The Hermits aimed to slow down the pace in the half court and limit Don Bosco Prep's offensive possessions, but Harper and his teammates had other plans.
"We're a good defensive team," Harper said. "When we play with defensive intensity everything changes in the game.
"The score was a little too close for me. I came out here, I say I'm going to take control of the game, and that's what I did."
Noah Barnett added 12 points for the Ironmen. Barnett provided Don Bosco Prep with a series of thunderous two-hand slam dunks along the baseline. Brady Loughlin contributed 10 and Isaiah Brown tallied seven.
Harper's vision allowed him to slip into gaps in the Hermits' zone defense and attack driving lanes when accessible. The junior also utilized his non-dominant hand to finish at the rim.
"In the first half, I see that they're really forcing right," Harper said. "My main goal was to get into the paint, get paint touches and what was going to be open was going to be open."
Semaj Bethea led St. Augustine with a team-high 14 points. Matt Kouser scored nine of his 12 points in the first quarter and grabbed 11 rebounds. Elijah Brown added nine points.
The Ironmen improved their record to 15-1. Their lone loss came at the hands of top-ranked Camden. Don Bosco Prep also owns quality wins over St. Peter's Prep, Bergen Catholic, Paterson Eastside and Teaneck.
Saturday's triumph against the Hermits augmented the resume.
"The message is we're going to compete against anybody, anytime," Harper said. "This year we've really shown people we can compete at all times."