Blogs > Gettin' Schooled

A boys basketball blog hosted by Daily Times reporter Christopher A. Vito

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


In case you didn't believe it to be true, it's finally here - the fall sports season. Pinch yourselves, people. In less than three weeks, school will be in season and our county's teams will be on the field playing games.

Yesterday, Daily Times staff writer Matt Smith and I ventured out to get the early scoop on the first day of practice around Delco.

ON THE GIRLS SIDE... Matt caught up with a Cardinal O'Hara volleyball team that feels like it has something to prove. After winning eight consecutive Catholic League championships, the Lions stumbled last season and allowed Archbishop Wood to take top billing.

ON THE BOYS SIDE... I headed over to the Inter-Academic League boys soccer camp, a weeklong voluntary workout at The Haverford School. There, I caught up with Fords keeper and reigning All-Delco Max Kurtzman, who has done everything imaginable that a 16-year-old soccer player could achieve. And he still wants more. He doesn't want to settle for being No. 1 in just his league or this county.

Keep an eye on the Daily Times for the latest on all of your favorite fall sports. Because remember: this is only the beginning.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009


Delaware County had a rough showing in Friday's opening round of the District One Class AAAA playoffs. Seven local teams made the bracket, and only three moved on to the next round:

  • At Upper Darby, Tre Davis (pictured) and the No. 16 Royals could not keep up with Souderton's A.J. Picard, who shot 8-for-11 from the floor. Harry Chaykun reports.
  • At Penn Wood, the No. 3 Patriots were on a mission to make quick work of No. 30 Chichester. Mission accomplished. Matt Smith reports. And Bob Gurecki chips in with video coverage.
  • At Chester, the No. 1 Clippers were able to regroup after a difficult week in which freshman point guard Kareem Robinson was shot twice. It was an emotional win. Your favorite blogger was on the scene.
  • ELSEWHERE: No. 12 Glen Mills advanced, No. 10 Penncrest was upset and No. 22 Radnor could not spring a road win. The roundup.


When the District One Class AAA and A brackets were unveiled, Strath Haven coach Steve Lewis was a little apprehensive. Reason being, his No. 6 Panthers have to do battle in the first-round with an 11th-seeded Upper Moreland team that "smacked us in the mouth," he said.

More on the brackets.


Coming Sunday: The Daily Times has you (and the Catholic League playoffs) covered. Sports editor Rob Parent was on hand for Archbishop Carroll's win over West Catholic. A Northeast Philadelphia guy - born and raised - I didn't have to travel too far for Monsignor Bonner's loss to North Catholic, which was held at Archbishop Ryan. We'll have the latest in Sunday's edition.

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Friday, January 9, 2009


What a game.

Thursday, when Chester played host to Penn Wood, the fans at the Clippers' gym were witness to something Delco basketball fans had been waiting for since March 15.

The day Chester won it all, fans had to be wondering what a Penn Wood team (with four of its losses that season coming against Chester) would be like a year older, more seasoned and champing at the bit.

The Daily Times triple-teamed coverage of the game, with staffer Matt Smith reporting on the game itself - a 57-48 win by Chester in which Learon Pray (pictured) scored five of his six points in a critical stretch in the fourth quarter.

As for me, well ... let's just say I wrote the column Chester fans have been waiting to read, the one that says the Clippers aren't ready to give up their throne.

And staff photographer Bob Gurecki not only snapped the photo you see on this entry, but he took video of the game.

Who else was there?
**Temple head coach Fran Dunphy
**Temple assistant Dave Duke
**St. Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli
**Oh, and an announced crowd of 1,821

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Thursday, January 8, 2009


Penn Wood and Chester. Chester and Penn Wood.

You can basically assume that these two took a good look at their schedules before the season and circled this one.

Tonight, the defending PIAA and District One Class AAAA champions host the team everyone is picking to unseat them. The Chester Clippers (7-1, 1-0) will take on the Penn Wood Patriots (10-0, 1-0) in what is sure to be a fantastic basketball game.

Make sure you pick up a copy of Friday's Daily Times for the following:
An in-depth, insightful game story from staffer Matt Smith
A column by yours truly, breaking down the game

And visit Photographer/videographer extraordinaire Bob Gurecki will be there to capture some video highlights from the game, as well.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Tuesday night brought the first real 'weather threat' to the boys basketball season, with some freezing rain and slippery streets.

But there were six games played and a couple had interesting developments:

1. Chester took care of business in its Del Val League opener against Interboro, but needed the second half to close the deal and expand on a one-point halftime lead. No need to call the optometrist - you read that correctly. One point? Wow.

2. Episcopal Academy sent the game to overtime on a buzzer-beating three, but stumbled two OT sessions later. This EA team, for being so young, is pretty darn good.

3. Glen Mills beat Academy Park in what I like to call a 'four corners kind of game.' Park held the ball throughout and the Mills almost lost because of it. But isn't it a little too early in the season to be trying to beat a team by taking advantage of the lack of a shot clock?

***NOTE: If you didn't notice, I italicized the word but throughout this post, which is going to be a weekly segment on Gettin' Schooled called "No Excuses." It gives me a chance to delve a little deeper into some of the games throughout the week. Let me know what you think.

***ALSO: Take a look at Matt Smith's game story from Tuesday's paper. He does a real nice job of writing up the latest installment of the neighborhood rivalry between Cardinal O'Hara and Monsignor Bonner, in which Jerry Colvin and the Friars took down the Lions.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008


Yesterday was a day to remember for fans seated in the bleachers of Widener's Schwartz Center. For me, well... let's just say I had my fill of basketball.

The Jameer Nelson/Pete Nelson Classic kicked off Friday with all three Delaware County teams involved walking away with wins:

Chester extended its dominance over Norristown, 58-47 ... Rahlir Jefferson (pictured) had a dominant outing against the team the Clippers beat for the District One and PIAA Class AAAA titles. So did Maurice Nelson, the younger brother of Chester legend Jameer.

Daily Times photographer Bob Gurecki was on hand for some video coverage of the game, so let me know what you think of it: e-mail me or post your thoughts on the blog.


Penn Wood led the whole way against North Catholic, 78-65 ... Reserve Chris White hit six big-time 3-pointers for the Patriots, who went nine-deep but never lost the lead against the Falcons.


Archbishop Carroll topped Life Center Academy, 55-49 ... Junior D.J. Irving had the big game for the Patriots, winning the MVP award in his hometown of Chester. The game was closer than it should have been considering LCA was without four players who were declared post-graduates. Among them was Jon DeShields, who played last year at Delco Christian.

Had LCA played all of its post-grads, who knows whether Carroll's district- and state-playoff eligibility would have been called into question down the road? The result of this game might have even been forfeited. It's a good thing this was dealt with appropriately.


A couple other tidbits from the Nelson Classic:
  • DeShields, who watched his LCA teammates from the bench, was walking with a limp. He said its the product of a toe contusion. DeShields led the county with 24.4 points per game in 2007.
  • Freshly retired coach Fred Pickett was on hand throughout the day and was seen videotaping the Penn Wood game for Chester coach Larry Yarbray. "I'm a scout now," he said with a smile. Pickett took in the Chester-Norristown game from the far end of the Clippers' bench.
  • Penn Wood looks like it has its most success when it rotates players in and out of the game with regularity. The Pats scored 10 points in the second quarter, when coach Clyde Jones stuck with a six-man set. "With foul trouble, you have to do that sometimes," Jones said. "The game of basketball is a lot easier when you have the players you want on the court all the time, but it doesn't work like that."

There's more to come Saturday from the Nelson Classic. Staffer Matt Smith is there for the Chester-Atlantic City game.

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