Imhotep's Lloyd aching to be part of playoff action

Posted: March 07, 2014

SEAN LLOYD knew what happened almost immediately. The pain in his wrist was all too familiar and the swelling confirmed what he already diagnosed.

A few choices came to mind: Alert trainers and the Imhotep coaching staff, which may have glued him to the bench; or keep on keepin' on.

Last night, he stood, black cast running up his left wrist, just outside the school's gym where his healthier teammates prepared for tonight's first-round playoff game against Susquehanna Valley.

The scene of the injury was Southern High, in the Class AAA Public League finale in mid-February. Lloyd had just bulldogged his way to the basket and took a third-quarter tumble when a charge-seeking defender slid in front.

His left wrist, which he broke on a similar play two summers ago, throbbed at a recognizable rhythm while he headed to the foul line.

"I didn't want to stop, get it taped up and miss a lot of the game, so I just played through it," Lloyd said, adding later, "I kept it to myself. I didn't say anything.

"When I shot my first free throw, I knew it was broken."

Saddled with foul trouble throughout, Lloyd finished the game, but Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter eventually won, 53-48. Lloyd also missed the following seeding game, another loss, this time, 53-37, to Archbishop Carroll.

District 12 No. 4 seed Imhotep will again be Lloyd-less for today's 8 p.m. contest at Central Dauphin East against the top-seeded Indians from District 3, but don't expect the 6-4 forward to have a case of the mopes.

"Besides the fact that we don't have his points, rebounds and his toughness," head coach Andre Noble said, "it's almost like he's playing, socially. He's been his regular self."

Overcoming injury has been a consistent theme this season for Noble, who said he hasn't had a healthy top-nine all season. A winner of four Public League titles since 2009 and four PIAA titles in five seasons (three in AA, and last season in AAA), Noble knows sympathy isn't coming.

"No one's feeling sorry for us," he said. "We just have to re-establish ourselves as a defensive basketball team."

In early January, the Panthers (20-6) clawed the Indians, 51-49, in the Battle of the Keystone State. Susquehanna Township was also felled by Martin Luther King, 54-41, at the Jameer and Pete Nelson tourney at Widener.

Panthers junior guard Khalief Tinley, who missed matchup No. 1, will return tonight. Junior wing Devin Liggeons, a team captain along with senior guard Jakwan Jones, is questionable with a broken wrist.

"Things happen and you have to be able to weather those things to be a really good basketball team," Noble said. "And I think we're capable. I'm not going into this game like we're not supposed to win this game."

The Indians (18-8) are headlined by super-sophomore guard Nehemiah Mack, along with big bodies down low and three-point shooters on the perimeter.

As for Lloyd, the nephew of Lewis "Black Magic" Lloyd, of Overbrook (1977) and NBA fame (seven seasons), he's hopeful, nay, confident in his teammates will keep the season alive long enough for his return.

"I'm hoping we win [pause]; I know that we'll win the first two games, and when I get back on the court, I'll just try to get back into the flow of things," he said.

A scorer by nature, Lloyd excels as a slasher and finisher, and he led the Panthers in scoring in six out of 10 league games (tied once).

"I watched a lot of my uncle's film," he said. "I try my best to pattern my game after him. He could score the ball and did it all different types of ways. One thing he didn't play was defense, though. That's one thing I play."

Lloyd is classified as a junior, but this is his fourth season of basketball after playing as a freshman and sophomore at Franklin Learning Center before transferring to Haverford School, where he reclassified as a sophomore.

Because of previous varsity experience with FLC, Lloyd was ineligible for Inter-Ac League play last season with the Fords. He then transferred to Imhotep this season and hopes to play a fifth year somewhere next season.

But for now, it's all about getting that W.

"It's very hard and it's hurts," Lloyd said of sitting out. "I want to be out there helping my team get a win. I just want to be the biggest cheerleader on the bench to get my teammates going."

On Twitter: @AceCarterDN

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