Blogs > Gettin' Schooled

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

Sunday, November 30, 2008


The basketballs have been bouncing for two weeks now, since winter sports teams opened their practice schedule Nov. 17.

It's basketball season.

Most teams will christen their campaigns Friday, on opening night. That's also when the Daily Times' boys basketball preview will hit newsstands.

In the meantime, here's what you should know about the 2008-09 season:

***Chester, which lost all but one player (F Rahlir Jefferson) from their PIAA Class AAAA state-championship starting five, have a long way to go to get back. But you can never count out the Clippers (pictured).

***Penn Wood, which lost four meetings with Chester, looks to be the heir apparent to the Del Val League championship. The Patriots return their entire lineup - including All-Delco F Duane Johnson, So. PG Tyree Johnson, So. C Shawn Oakman and Sr. F Thomas White. They also have Roman Catholic transfer Aaron Brown, a 6-6 sophomore. Look out, District One.

***Ridley, co-Central League champion, is one of many teams vying for the title in a wide-open race. Conestoga and Lower Merion, the other co-champ, are early favorites. Penncrest, which doesn't have much of a hoops legacy, will surprise folks.

There's more to come on Friday. Stay tuned.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Morgan saves season for Upper Darby

A couple teams get automatic bids into the District One Class AAAA playoffs. Others have to earn their way in. Upper Darby is dealing with the latter.

The Royals, who entered action Tuesday just a game above .500 in their league standings, needed a win against Central League foe to bolster their case for the postseason. Mission accomplished.

Royals coach Ed Roth gave the ball to ace Dan Morgan. The lanky right-hander responded with a complete-game four-hitter in which he struck out 13 Green Raiders in a 4-2 victory that all-but-officially puts Upper Darby in the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

For more on the game and a wrap of baseball action from around Delaware County, pick up a copy of today's Daily Times or click here.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ridley's Egee gives word to Columbia

Steve Egee could have chosen football.

A first-team all-state selection, Egee quarterbacked Ridley to a state-semifinal appearance. He threw for 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. He had a district-title medal to validate his worth on the gridiron.

Instead, Egee chose basketball.

"I always kind of knew I'd be a basketball player at the next level," Egee said late Saturday night, shortly after giving his word to play hoops at Columbia.

The cool side note for Egee - a 6-2 guard - on heading to Columbia will be playing his brother, Kevin, twice a year. Kevin will be a senior for Penn next season.

"I'm sure my parents are going to circle the dates we play," he said jokingly.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

A quick glance at Pennsbury

The team Chester will face in the PIAA Class AAAA semifinals closely resembles the Clippers.

That's partly because Pennsbury coach Frank Sciolla said he used the Clippers' scheduling process as a model for his own team.

"We've always tried to overschedule," he said over the phone. "When we did that in the beginning, we lost some and won some. The last couple years, we've been able to win more than we're losing. ...We're not at the level where Chester is where they can play any team in the country on any given night, but we're getting there."

The Falcons (30-2) have beaten the likes of Lower Merion, Penn Wood (twice) and Ridley (twice). They beat New Jersey Section IV champ Linden and narrowly lost to Oklahoma's Putnam City, which is home to four Division I players.

Most of that can be credited to junior Dalton Pepper (pictured), a 6-6 guard-forward who is receiving plenty of recruiting attention. Word has it when West Virginia was in town to play Villanova, Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins skipped out on his team's walkthrough to see one of Pepper's district-playoff games.

For more of the Chester-Pennsbury match-up, check back to Gettin' Schooled leading up to the game. Wednesday's edition of the Daily Times will have plenty of coverage as well.

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

More coverage of the PIAA quarterfinals

Penn Wood's players anticipated the fourth time being a charm against Chester. The Clippers saw the Patriots as another obstacle standing in their way of a state title.
What came to be Saturday at Villanova's Pavilion was an entertaining showcase of two teams vying for something pretty special.
In the end, Chester called upon its postseason savvy to end Penn Wood's remarkable run with a 68-60 win in the PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinals.
Karon Burton iced down his knee then lit up the scoreboard, netting 25 points in the win. Sports editor Rob Parent shed some light on Burton's return to the court after bruising his left knee and lower thigh during the game.
And despite their quarterfinal loss, Deputy Sports editor John Lohn foresees Penn Wood being the team to beat next season. It's very likely, considering they graduate only two players and return a bevy of underclass talent.
Said Penn Wood coach Clyde Jones: "Chester has all kinds of banners hanging up. It's time for a banner to hang somewhere else."

Penn Wood wasn't alone Saturday, as another Delaware County team's season came to an end. Ridley, trying to avenge its loss to Pennsbury in the District One quarterfinals, fell to the Falcons 45-40.
The Green Raiders were able to contain Pennsbury standout Dalton Pepper but could not come through with a timely basket toward the end. The Raiders graduate six seniors, including 1,000-point scorers Dan Robinson and Steve Egee.
Said Egee of his athletic career at Ridley coming to an end: "But now I'll never put on a Ridley uniform again. I'm just thankful for the memories and the good times that I had with these guys."

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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Chester is Palestra-bound

Chester is headed back to the state semifinals.

The Clippers ended Penn Wood's season with a 68-60 win at Villanova's Pavilion Saturday. The second-best season in Penn Wood history ends at 23-9. In the process, the Clippers move on to Wednesday's semifinal at Penn's Palestra.

Chester got 25 points from Karon Burton, who played on despite a bad knee. Tyree Johnson netted 18 for the Patriots.

Who will join Chester at the Palestra? Pennsbury, which ended the season for Ridley with a 45-40 win, will take on the Clippers. Ridley's 1,000-point scoring duo of Steve Egee and Dan Robinson went out on high notes, scoring all but six of the Raiders' points. Egee notched 13 and Robinson netted 21.

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Gameday is upon us

Today brings both good news and bad news.

First the good news - a PIAA Class AAAA playoff quarterfinal tripleheader of epic proportions is on tap at Villanova's Pavilion today, and is sure to be entertaining.

Now the bad news - at least one Delaware County team's season must come to an end. Shawn Oakman (pictured) and the Penn Wood Patriots hope the fourth time is the charm against league rival Chester. And Ridley hopes to exact revenge against Pennsbury, which beat the Green Raiders in districts.

Pick up a copy of today's Daily Times for more on the state quarterfinal matchups at hand.

The PIAA Class AAAA semifinal between the winners of the Penn Wood-Chester and Ridley-Pennsbury games will play at the Palesta, a University of Pennsylvania official confirmed to the Daily Times Friday.

The game's start time is still up in the air, but pick up a copy of today's Daily Times for more information on the arrangement between Penn and the PIAA.

Check back to Gettin' Schooled throughout the day for live coverage, scores and updates of the action at Villanova's Pavilion.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

State quarterfinal site, times announced

The road to the state championship at Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center goes through Villanova and the Blue Route.

The PIAA Class AAAA playoffs continue at the Pavilion, where all three Delaware County teams will be playing in the quarterfinals. Here's the complete lineup for Saturday's games on Lancaster Avenue:

12 p.m. Chester (30-1) vs. Penn Wood (23-8)
1:30 p.m. South Phila. (23-6) vs. Norristown (30-1)
3 p.m. Ridley (25-6) vs. Pennsbury (29-2)

ETC.: A couple notes about the matchups - This marks the fourth game this season between Chester and Penn Wood. (The Clippers are 3-0). Ridley fell to Pennsbury in the District One quarterfinals, 60-41.

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Cardinal O'Hara coach calls it quits

After 40 years on the sideline, Cardinal O'Hara's Buddy Gardler has decided it was time to call it a career.

The longtime O'Hara coach will leave his post as boys basketball coach effective Monday. Gardler, who coached 560 wins, has been at O'Hara for the past 32 seasons. Prior to that he coached Bishop Kenrick for seven seasons and spent one season as an assistant at American University.

"I didn’t get into coaching for the wins," Gardler told the Daily Times. "Did I want to win? Absolutely, but I got into coaching to teach the game and to stay around basketball."

For a full account, check out Terry Toohey's story in Thursday's edition of the Daily Times.

Three games meant three more wins for Delaware County's teams in the PIAA Class AAAA tournament. Chester fended off Harrisburg on the strength of a fourth-quarter spurt. Ridley posted a second straight 30-point win, beating Central Dauphin East. And Penn Wood moved into the quarterfinals for the first time in a long time by handling Pocono Mountain West. Pick up a copy of today's newspaper for more on all three playoff games.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Q&A with Ridley's Steve Egee

I spoke with Ridley senior Steve Egee last week about the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs. A conversation with Egee, a past All-Delco basketball selection, wouldn't be complete without discussing football.

Egee (pictured) quarterbacked the Green Raiders to the state title game this year, after sitting out as a junior. Egee is unsure about his future, but that's on hold for now: the Raiders have some games to play. Here's an excerpt from our conversation:

Daily Times: Your team looks loose and casual going through practice. Do you see that translating to their playoff games?
Egee: Definitely. Team camaraderie and team chemistry have never been problems here. We get along great, play loose and everyone's looking forward to the next game.

DT: Do you see any similarities between the football playoffs and the basketball playoffs?
Egee: They're very similar. It's all about the team coming together, believing in the coaches and believing in each other. It's about playing tough defense every possession. (Against) state teams, you have to play hard every possession. They're very similar in both sports. You've got to come out to play every play. Every state(-qualifying) team is a good team.

DT: Where do you stand with pursuing either football or basketball in college?
Egee: At some schools, I'd probably be able to walk on to the football team if I wanted to. Maybe I would do it, not even as a quarterback but as something else. I don't know what I want to do. We'll see in a couple weeks.

DT: Say, for a moment, that you go the football route. Are you ever out there on the court thinking, 'This could be my last basketball game'?
Egee: I think my choice is going to be to play basketball in college, at the next level. I really do.

Egee leads Ridley (24-6) into its second-round game against Central Dauphin East tonight in a 7 p.m. tip at Garden Spot H.S. in New Holland. *Photo courtesy the Philadelphia Inquirer*

In addition to Ridley, Penn Wood and Chester also will play their second-round games tonight. For preview capsules of all three games -- as well as a feature story on how the Clippers handle all the hype and championship talk -- pick up a copy of Wednesday's Daily Times.

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Next stop: PIAA Second Round

Interested in attending Wednesday's second-round game between Chester and Harrisburg?

Tickets are on sale at the Chester High School Athletic Office from Monday through the day of the game between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Adult tickets cost $6 and student tickets are available for $3.

As of yesterday, we knew who the trio of Delaware County teams would play in Round 2 of states. Now we know where and when they will play:
  • Ridley (23-6) vs. Central Dauphin East (23-5) - Garden Spot High School, New Holland, 7 p.m.
  • Chester (29-1) vs. Harrisburg (17-11) - Geigle Complex, Reading, 7:30 p.m.
  • Penn Wood (22-8) vs. Pocono Mountain West (26-2) - Parkland High School, Orefield, 7:30 p.m.

For those wishing to stay close to home, that's bad news. If you're interested in attending either of these games, I've linked Mapquest directions from the Delaware County schools involved to the game's location.

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Ridley, Penn Wood, Chester all advance

Delaware County has three boys basketball teams still playing. And all three advanced with wins Saturday in the opening round of the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs.

Ridley 76, Frankford 37: Led by Dan Robinson (pictured) and his 25-point effort, Ridley dispatched Frankford.
Penn Wood 55, Elizabethtown 46: Duane Johnson's 23-point, 12-rebound outing paced Penn Wood.
Chester 67, Williamsport 59: Karon Burton scored 10 of his game-best 26 points in the fourth quarter of Chester's win.

That means all three play in Round 2. Times and sites have yet to be determined, but we do know who each of them will play. Here's what we're looking at for Wednesday night:
---Chester vs. Harrisburg
---Penn Wood vs. Pocono Mountain West
---Ridley vs. Central Dauphin East

Sunday's Daily Times has full coverage of every game with a complete schedule of the entire Class AAAA bracket.

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Playoff glance: The Frankford Pioneers

Each day leading up to the state playoffs, I'll shed light on a Delaware County team's first-round opponent in this weekend's PIAA Class AAAA playoffs. Here's the third and final installment:

The Frankford Pioneers (22-5), not unlike those of the olden days (pictured), face a stiff test. The top seed out of District 12 and the runners-up in the Philadelphia Public League, the Pioneers will play the Ridley Green Raiders (23-6) today at 3 p.m. at South Philadelphia High.

The Pioneers...
  • like to run. Known for their athleticism, they get up and down the court with ease, and do so all game long.
  • go as Malik Tinsley goes. The senior forward drops about 23 points per game. If Tinsley plays well against Ridley, the Green Raiders don't stand a chance.
  • look a lot like Communications Tech, the Pub champs, which bodes well for Ridley. That's because the Green Raiders held their own against Comm Tech this season, even scrimmaging against them this week.
  • are balanced. Tinsley can have a so-so day by his standards, just so long as Khayree Brown and Steven Haynes (11-point scorers) step it up as they have this postseason.

For more on the Ridley-Frankford first-round meeting, check out Saturday's Daily Times for a feature story on the Green Raiders, who yearn to snap a winless drought in the state playoffs. Allow me to put it into perspective: Ridley's seniors were little 1-year-olds when the Raiders last won a state playoff game.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Local PIAA playoff pairings set

The PIAA Class AAAA state playoff bracket won't be announced until midweek, but we already have an idea who three Delaware County teams will be playing:

Penn Wood (District One - 4th seed) vs.
Elizabethtown (District Three - 4th seed)
Ridley (District One - 7th seed) vs.
Communications Tech / Frankford (District 12 - 1st seed)

Who will Chester play? That will be decided this afternoon at Villanova in the District One Class AAAA championship game. If the Clippers win the district, they will play the District Two second seed Williamsport. If they lose to Norristown today, the Clippers will play the District 12 fourth seed, which has yet to be determined. Check back to the blog for the latest.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Playing basketball in college?

I'll be the first to tell you all that I love my job - I really do. Covering games, meeting new people daily and telling their stories is like nothing else.

But I can't be everywhere.

So here's my pitch: if you're a player and you're headed to college to play basketball, let me know. And I'll reciprocate with some much-deserved coverage. This goes for coaches and parents, too, or simply anyone who can confirm a student-athlete's commitment to a school (Division I, II, III or otherwise).

I'd like to think I have a good relationship with most - if not all - of the coaches in Delaware County. But in case something slips by me or the coaches (Hey, we're all busy. It can happen), just drop me a line either through e-mail or right here on the blog. And I'll make sure that player gets some ink ASAP.

The District One Class AAAA championship might have been pushed back to Sunday, but there are some good games out there today. Here are my must-see tilts.
  • AAAA: Ridley vs. Souderton, 1 p.m., at Plymouth Whitemarsh. Going into states on a winning note will be on Ridley's mind.
  • AAAA: Penn Wood vs. Pennsbury, 1 p.m., at Norristown. The third seed in states is on the line.
  • AAA: Holy Ghost Prep vs. Upper Moreland, 1 p.m., at William Tennent. Gotta pull for HGP, my alma mater, in this one. Winner gets a berth in the state bracket.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Seasons over for Bonner, Delco Christian

And then there were three.

A field of 17 Delaware County teams to make the postseason has narrowed to just three after the elimination of two local teams on Wednesday.

Class A Delco Christian lost in the district semifinals. Offering up the quote of the night was Knights senior Jake Godino, who was truly hurt by his team's loss: "I don’t know what happened," Godino said. "A loss is a loss … and we worked hard. But things didn’t work out for us."

And Jamal Melvin (pictured) and Monsignor Bonner dropped a heartbreaker in the Catholic League semifinals. The Friars tied the game with five seconds remaining, but subsequently fouled an Archbishop Ryan player with 0.8 ticks left. A la Villanova / Georgetown, this one was decided at the free-throw line.

Only three Delco teams are still playing this season: Chester will tipoff Friday with a district championship on the line; and Penn Wood and Ridley are in Class AAAA's play-back games before heading to states. As for Ridley, the Green Raiders' loss Wednesday means they can attain no higher than District One's seventh seed in states.

McDonald's All-American team was announced Wednesday, and star guard Tyreke Evans of American Christian made the cut. The two-time All-Delco averages 33.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 4.3 steals for the Eagles (26-4).

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Report: Tyreke Evans sits out showcase

A combination of injury and family reasons kept American Christian star Tyreke Evans from suiting up in the Neutral Zone Hoops Showcase in Kentucky, according to a report in the Louisville Courier-Journal.

American Christian coach Tony Bergeron told the C-J that Evans, one of the most highly-recruited seniors in the nation, sustained an unspecified injury in the Primetime Shootout two weekends ago. Additionally, the Evans' family suffered the loss of two family members in recent weeks.

American Christian lost an 82-77 decision to Findlay Prep (Nev.) in the national invitational tournament. The Eagles had been 6-0 prior to Saturday when playing without Evans in the lineup.

It appears the longtime coach of a St. Louis-based high school paid for the housing, food and clothing of two star players who led the city's Vashon High School to several state championships in one of the most elaborate recruiting scandals this reporter's ever heard of.

Allegedly, Floyd Irons put up more than $25,000 to bring the ineligible student-athletes to the school in exchange for their participation in games. All of this was released in a 193-page report of a meeting between Irons and the Missouri State High School Activities Association.

Dates and times of playoff games featuring area teams are set:
  • Class A: No. 5 Delco Christian/No. 1 Faith Christian, Wednesday, 6 p.m., at William Tennent High School
  • Class AAAA: No. 5 Penn Wood/No. 1 Chester, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., at Norristown High School
  • Class AAAA: No. 6 Ridley/No. 7 Downingtown West, Wednesday, 7 p.m., at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Springfield streaking at right time

The Springfield Cougars have won six games this season. Fortunately for them, three of them have come in a row, ever since taking a 3-19 mark into the final week of the season.

Coach Kevin McCormick's crew is headed to the district quarterfinals, where they will play No. 3 Great Valley. Three weeks ago, I'm not sure anyone would have believed this possible, but hand it to the Cougars - they're playing their best ball right now.

MAKE-UPS ON TAP: Two Class AAA games, originally scheduled for Wednesday, will be played today. No. 9 Harriton is at No. 8 Marple Newtown, and No. 10 Radnor is at No. 7 Phoenixville.

THREE TEAMS MAKE STATES: In Class AAAA, three teams are moving onto states after posting second-round wins. No. 1 Chester, forward Shawn Oakman (pictured) and No. 5 Penn Wood and No. 6 Ridley have picked up berths in the PIAA playoff bracket. From here on out, each of District One's eight state-bound teams will play three games for seeding purposes. The sad reality? One of those eight teams will lose three straight games in February and still make the state tournament.

ALL-DELCO UPDATE: I'm enjoying the feedback from my open-door policy with All-Delco selections. Like I've said, I'll never close my ears to a fan's pitch for a player (or two). Plus I welcome the message board-style posting you - the readers - have made possible. Keep it up. And, for clarity's sake, the team has six players: Player of the Year and the top five players assigned by position. So using those guidelines, get in your suggestions.

TEAM COVERAGE: If you're a boys basketball fan in Delaware County, pick up a copy of today's Daily Times. You'll definitely be getting your money's worth. Villanova beat writer Terry Toohey was at Ridley, Eagles beat writer Bob Grotz covered the Catholic League play-in game, I was at Chester and we had a write-up on Glen Mills.

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Class AAAA first-round recap

The opening round of the District One Class AAAA playoffs is through and the field of 11 Delaware County teams has narrowed to five, which will play second-round games on Wednesday:

Three of the advancing teams were from the Del Val League. Click the link for a recap.
No. 1 Chester took down No. 32 Methacton in a game that wasn't as close as the final score, 68-56, would indicate.
No. 5 Penn Wood, led by junior guard Duane Johnson (pictured), beat No. 28 Central Bucks South 55-42.
No. 18 Glen Mills needed the final seconds (and a couple free throws) to secure a win over No. 15 Plymouth Whitemarsh.

Two teams from the Central League kept their seasons alive. Click the link for a recap.
No. 6 Ridley routed No. 27 Owen J. Roberts, 69-43.
No. 8 Lower Merion handled No. 25 Academy Park, 91-58. But the game was more about coach Rick Pergolini's return to the Knights' bench than a playoff win. Pergolini said he is days away from a full comeback, which would include returning to his guidance counselor role at the school. Click the link above for a full story on the game.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

The playoffs are upon us

Ushering in the playoffs is like celebrating two birthdays in the same year. It's that much fun. I'm sure there are plenty of over-prepared coaches, nervous parents and anxious players who'd contest that statement.

The District One Class AAAA playoffs begin tonight, with nine Delaware County teams trying to keep their seasons alive. For a full schedule of the games, check out the print edition of the Daily Times. I'll be at the Lower Merion/Academy Park game, so pick up Saturday's paper for more on that.

In terms of playoff previews, I wrote one for each of tonight's games in addition to a feature on Ridley senior Dan Robinson, who carries the offensive load for the Green Raiders. There's also a story recapping readers on the District One Class AAA playoff field, which was announced Thursday.

Enjoy tonight's games. It's the time of year for good basketball.

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Observations from Kobe Bryant Classic

Just got back in from the Kobe Bryant Classic at Villanova's Pavilion. Here are a couple things I saw that I couldn't fit into my stories:
  • The Catholic League playoffs are right around the corner, so a couple role players from Delco's CL teams made sure they got one last look at Roman Catholic. Archbishop Carroll's D.J. Irving and Monsignor Bonner's Lijah Thompson and Henry Smith were on hand to watch the Cahillites.

  • American Christian's Tyreke Evans returned to the Pavilion following his afternoon game for one of the nightcaps - Roman vs. Chester. He tried to slip in a back door before a security guard tried to squelch that plan. That is, until she recognized who Evans was. No one likes to give out special treatment. But in this case, the security guard felt she had to oblige.

  • Chester's Russell Johnson sat out the Clippers' 83-73 win over Roman Catholic. Johnson was dressed in street clothes on the Chester bench for Friday's game, too. His status was not immediately known.

  • Congrats to Conestoga and Ridley, which clinched a co-championship in the Central League with wins Saturday. Both teams will enter the District One Class AAAA tournament with identical 20-4, 15-3 records.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

The latest from the Primetime Shootout

The Primetime Shootout proved to be quite entertaining. In the first night of the four-night, two-weekend extravaganza, there were plenty of reasons for basketball fans to buy a ticket:

1. Jeannette forward Terrelle Pryor (pictured), the No. 1 football recruit in the country, scored 21 points and was named team MVP in their 80-70 loss to Chester.
2. Clippers guard Karon Burton never ceases to amaze me. Fighting the flu last week, he turned in a solid effort. Tonight, he won team MVP with a team-high 32 points.
3. American Christian's Tyreke Evans & Co. traveled from Aston to Villanova, drawing crowds and defensive attention against the formerly-top-ranked St. Benedict's.

For more on the Primetime Shootout, be sure to check out Saturday's Daily Times. Columnist extraordinaire Jack McCaffery and I tag-teamed the event, so pick up a copy today.

American Christian is back in action here Saturday against Academy of the New Church in the Kobe Bryant Classic. Also participating in that event are Lower Merion and Ridley, who go to battle with the Central League title on the line. Hold onto your seats.

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News and notes from the hardwood

The big news Thursday night was Lower Merion getting one step closer toward clinching the regular-season title in the Central League. The Aces' win over Radnor coupled with Haverford completing a season-sweep over Ridley puts Lower Merion in the driver's seat. Lower Merion and Ridley play one another Saturday, which could determine whether the teams share the crown or LM gets it outright.

Of course, there were some other goings-on from the hardwood:
  • Springfield, behind 20 points from Lou Meindl, snapped an 11-game losing streak and knocked off Upper Darby.
  • Glen Mills took a 30-24 lead against Chester into halftime before the Clippers snapped out of it and stifled the Bulls. The win solidifies a perfect 10-0 season in Del Val League play for Chester.
  • Cardinal O'Hara got thumped by Neumann-Goretti, 85-49. If the Lions had any inkling of sneaking into the Catholic League playoffs, that's out the window now.
More to come Friday night, when I'll be blogging live (wireless Internet permitting) from Villanova's Pavilion and the Primetime Shootout. Don't miss it.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tuesday night: By The Numbers

A couple things I saw Tuesday night at Marple Newtown got me thinking about doing a 'By the Numbers' post. First, the Tigers' Soutiri Sapnas knocked down five 3-pointers. For being a slasher who drives the lane, that's an unreal amount. Second, there was a time in the third quarter when Marple had more 3-pointers as a team (7) than 2-point field goals (6).

Here are some of my other findings from a night of Delaware County boys basketball action:
2 - Wins Ridley needs to clinch the Central League crown, after beating Upper Darby tonight.
5 - Number of Haverford High scorers to reach double figures. That's NBA caliber, right there.
7 - Number of games (and losses) for the Haverford School in Inter-Ac play.
10 - Blocked shots recorded by Glen Mills' Aaric Murray, who posted a triple-double in the Bulls' win over Penn Wood.
10 - Consecutive Del Val League crowns won by Chester High. Kudos to the Clips for maintaining their reign of the league for the past decade.
14 - Conestoga's biggest lead over Marple Newtown, which overcame the deficit only to lose to the Pioneers.
26 - Points scored by Ridley's Shamar Harris, posting a new career-high in the process.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Central League title run heats up

Something interesting is brewing in the Central League. No, Kobe Bryant is not coming back to play with Lower Merion for the stretch run, but his Aces and two other teams entered the week in contention for the regular-season title (and another just out of reach). Here's how it all shakes out:

1. Ridley (13-2 in league play) is 2-0 vs. Conestoga, 1-0 vs. Upper Darby and 0-1 vs. Lower Merion. Games remaining: 3. Key game: Saturday vs. Lower Merion. If the Green Raiders lose the game, they also lose the title.

2. Conestoga (12-3 in league play) is 2-0 vs. Lower Merion, 1-1 vs. Upper Darby and 0-2 vs. Ridley. Games remaining: 3. Key game: None. All three are against sub-.500 squads, but the Pioneers own the second-place tiebreaker over Lower Merion.

3. Lower Merion (12-3 in league play) is 1-0 vs. Ridley, 1-1 vs. Upper Darby and 0-2 vs. Conestoga. Games remaining: 3. Key game: Saturday vs. Ridley. The Aces will ascend to No. 1 with a win. Lose, and they're mired in third place.

4. Upper Darby is 9-6 in league play and worth mentioning because of its respectable record against all three of these teams. The Royals are 1-1 vs. Lower Merion, 1-1 vs. Conestoga and 0-1 vs. Ridley.

Now we play the waiting game.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ridley's Robinson sits out game

Delaware County's third-leading scorer took a breather Wednesday night. Ridley's Dan Robinson missed the Green Raiders' 62-42 Central League win over Springfield.

The cause? Robinson is suffering from broken skin under his right arm, something his coach says will not keep the 6-foot-7 senior forward out of the lineup for long. In fact, Ridley coach Keith Heinerichs said he expects Robinson to play in Friday's game at Strath Haven.

"It's a day-by-day thing is what I'm told," Heinerichs said by phone Wednesday. "I'm going to pull a Bill Belichick thing here and just say 'I don't know' because I don't. We hope it's nothing serious and we don't think it is."

Robinson averages nearly 20 points per game for the Green Raiders (17-3, 12-2). Shamar Harris and Steve Egee picked up the scoring load in Robinson's absence Wednesday, scoring 25 and 15 points respectively.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Delaware County's first-place teams

Any boxing fans out there? You know those long, drawn-out heavyweight bouts in which every round gets more intense than the next? We're going to see some parallels between those fights and the fights for first place in the next couple weeks.

Take a look at the top two teams in each Delaware County league and the late-season matchups that will have postseason implications:

1. Chester 16-1, 6-0
2. Penn Wood 14-4, 5-1
The Clippers beat the Patriots by 36 points on Dec. 11, but they square off Tuesday with first place on the line.

1. Lower Merion 14-4, 11-2
2. Ridley 16-3, 11-2
The Aces hold the tiebreaker, having beaten the Green Raiders, 47-44, on Jan. 8. They play again at Villanova on Feb. 2.

1. Roman Catholic 10-2, 7-0
2. Monsignor Bonner 13-4, 5-2
The Friars have a chance for revenge on Feb. 5, when they will play the Cahillites at their cramped gym in North Philadelphia.

1. Germantown Academy 12-7, 4-0
2. Chestnut Hill 14-5, 3-1

Christian Academy 12-8
Delco Christian 9-6
Garnet Valley 9-7

For complete league standings, be sure to pick up Tuesday's edition of the Daily Times.

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