As far weekends go, David Beatty had a pretty good one.
On Sunday afternoon, he had 19 points and seven steals in a stellar effort defensively to lead No. 6 Imhotep Charter (Philadelphia) to a 70-51 victory against Audenried (Philadelphia) in the PIAA Class 4A quarterfinals.
Later Sunday, the South Carolina signee saw his future team beat Duke in the NCAA Tournament to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 44 years.
“Seeing South Carolina make it to the Sweet 16 only makes me want to go harder every day and perfect my game so I can put us in the same spot next year,” Beatty told USA TODAY High School Sports on Monday.
Beatty, ranked as the No. 3 recruit in the Class of 2017 by ESPN, is part of the incoming class that includes two players from Miami — Ibrahim Doumbia, a 6-8 forward from Mali, and Felipe Haase, a 6-8 forward from Chile.
The recognition that South Carolina is getting after the victory presents an interesting parallel to Imhotep.
The team has been ranked in the top 10 nationally – it is currently No. 6 in the Super 25 – but does not have the name brand of programs such as an Oak Hill, Montverde Academy or Findlay Prep.
Imhotep is 29-2 this season after a 25-6 season a year ago that ended in the state Final Four against Nuemann-Goretti (Philadelphia).
“I believe my team is getting some recognition but not as much as we should,” Beatty said. “We are making history and we know everybody sees it, but we still are the underdogs.”
Imhotep won four state title in five years – 2009 and then three consecutively from 2011 to ’13. Beatty, a 6-3 guard, arrived at Imhotep before last season after transferring from St. Benedict’s in New Jersey.
“Being ranked top 10 nationally is just was one of our goals before the season started,” he said. “My teammates and I worked for it and we deserve it. We just want to put our stamp on being one of the best teams to ever come out of Philly.”
Since beating Martin Luther King in the Public League championship in Philly, Imhotep has outscored its last four opponents by margins of 30, 33, 29 and 19.
A big part of that has been a defense that forced turnovers. Audenreid turned the ball over 24 times, including 17 in the first quarter.
Imhotep faces Greater Nanticoke in the state semifinals Tuesday in Bethlehem. The winner advances to the state final in Hershey against either Quaker Valley or Stron Vincent.
“We are playing really well,” Beatty said. “Everybody is focused on one thing and that is winning the state championship.”