The Imhotep Institute Charter High School Panthers basketball team is one step away from returning to the PIAA Class AA Championship game for their shot at a third State Championship in four years.
The Panthers, winners of the tournament in 2009 and 2011, will face Holy Cross (22-5) in tonight’s semifinal game at Liberty High School in Bethlehem. (Beaver Falls faces Quaker Valley in the other semifinal game).
Imhotep rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit in Saturday’s quarterfinal match-up against Bishop McDevitt. In the second half of that game, they scored 47 points. The team, which was eliminated from the Public League title hunt in February, won the game 65-54.
Imhotep will face a Holy Cross squad fresh off a tense 37-31 victory in their Quarterfinal match-up against Pine Grove. The Crusaders managed only one first-half field goal in the game, entering the intermission with only seven points.
Despite the apparent struggles by Holy Cross in the quarterfinals, Imhotep coach Andre Noble knows playing for a chance at the championship will be no easy task.
“Holy Cross is a very good team,” said Coach Noble Tuesday night. “We have to play our best to advance.”
The state-playoff run comes after Imhotep’s dream of winning a fourth consecutive Public League basketball championship came to a stunning end with a loss to Communications Tech, a team which Holy Cross beat in the state playoffs.