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The Daily Times' boys basketball blog

Sunday, January 31, 2010


Penncrest senior Matt Atkinson knows he's going to college to play football. He was the Central League's First Team quarterback. He made the All-Delco football team as an all-purpose player. And he had - statistically speaking - one of the strongest seasons in recent memory for a player under center.

So performances like Friday's, in a 55-36 win over Strath Haven, are kind of fun. Atkinson scored 14 points, had four boards and four assists in the rout.

"It's kind of disrespectful, you know? If they're going to leave me open, I'm going to shoot," said Atkinson, who made four 3-pointers in the win over Haven. "I guess they didn't watch (video of) any other games. They didn't know to get a guy on me.

"I don't know. I was just ready to shoot tonight. The last two practices, I got a lot of shots up, so I felt good."

Atkinson said he likes the football programs of four schools --- Del Val, Albright, Wesley and Lycoming --- that are pursuing him. He likes the campus at Albright, where he visited last week. He said he doesn't have a preference, but has to get through all the visits.

In the meantime, he's got some games to win with the Lions (17-2).

UP THE ROAD: Pick up a copy of Monday's Daily Times. Inside, you'll see a story on Atkinson, who was selected as our Daily Times Athlete of the Week.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010


Sometimes, I write posts for this blog thinking nobody is reading this thing. (Only half the time I'm right. ... Maybe.) This time, the blog was read and Penncrest responded.

Before the Lions' 55-36 win over Strath Haven Friday, I was told by members of the Lions coaching staff that the Penncrest band took offense to my listing the school as the third-best place to see a game this season (behind Chester and Glen Mills.) In an attempt to prove me wrong, the marching band pieced together a 22-member ensemble to play pre-game, during timeouts and at halftime.

A band at a basketball game is practically unheard of. It's more a football thing. According to Penncrest senior Richard Forbes, Penncrest's musicians had played at basketball games as recently as four years ago.

"But it fell off, for whatever reason," said Forbes, the band leader for Friday's game who also plays clarinet. "People don't want to do it because they're not sure how they'll get their homework done, too. But we figured it would create a good atmosphere for a game.

"And, really, who doesn't want to be here? The team is playing great. Everyone wants to come out to their games."

Forbes, junior co-conductor Matt Pesce and the band's faculty moderator Craig Snyder helped get Friday's effort off the ground. They posted a sign-up sheet in the music room and the volunteers piled up. The band played the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" and Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride" among other songs.

It had an affect on the Lions (17-2, 11-2).

"It was like a college atmosphere with them," said Rodney Duncan, who had a team-leading 22 points. "It just made for a crazy atmosphere."

Added coach Mike Doyle: "What they were able to bring was a nice addition."

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Friday, January 29, 2010


Here's an up-to-date look at the standings in the Central League:

Central League
Team .........................Lg. Record, Ov. Record
Lower Merion ............ 11-1, 11-5
Penncrest .................. 10-2, 16-2
Ridley ....................... 10-2, 13-4
Springfield ................. 8-4, 11-6
Conestoga ................. 7-5, 10-8
Strath Haven .............. 6-6, 9-9
Marple Newtown ........ 6-6, 8-10
Upper Darby .............. 6-7, 8-9
Radnor ...................... 5-7, 8-9
Harriton .................... 3-9, 7-10
Garnet Valley.............. 1-11, 1-16
Haverford .................. 0-13, 0-17

And here's a closer glance at the Central League:
1. The Top Seed. If Lower Merion wins out, the Aces own the top seed in the league's four-team championship tournament. They knocked off Penncrest in the teams' only meeting. And Ridley, which beat Penncrest, has an all-important meeting with Lower Merion Feb. 5 that could determine some top-spot seeding.

2. The reason for the tourney. The fact that Lower Merion beat Penncrest meant that the league would hold a title tourney for a second straight year. The only loophole that would prevent such a playoff would be a team going 16-0 in the league slate. Frankly, I don't see that ever happening. That would be like running the table in the Big East Conference - it's just too difficult, too competitive a league.

3. The Triple A Teams. Marple Newtown beat Strath Haven, which beat Springfield, which beat Harriton, which beat Marple Newtown. And round and round the Class AAA teams go. Sometime, somewhere, one of them is going to emerge from the pack. When that happens, consider that team a title contender. The only other solid District One Class AAA squad outside the Central is Holy Ghost Prep.

4. At the bottom. In the 2007-08 season - my first year on the boys basketball beat - Garnet Valley and Haverford finished in the top five of the Central standings and advanced to the District One Class AAAA playoffs as a result. How the tides have turned, with both programs struggling ever since. Here's hoping they can grab a couple wins here at the end and build momentum toward next season.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010


OK, gang - here are the up-to-date standings for the Del Val League:

(Through Wednesday)
Team ................... League, Overall
Penn Wood ........... 5-0 ..... 13-3
Chester ................. 4-1 .... 10-4
Glen Mills ............. 3-2 ..... 6-8
Academy Park ....... 1-4 ..... 7-8
Chichester ............. 1-4 .... 8-6
Interboro ............... 0-5 .... 3-11

Here are some things to consider for the remainder of the season:
1. The Chase for the Crown. It appears to be a two-horse race yet again, between last year's co-champs Penn Wood and Chester. Should the Clippers - who lost an earlier meeting with the Patriots - get retribution in their rematch next week, it would seem to set up another shared title situation.
2. Postseason positioning. It'd be hard to imagine Glen Mills and Chichester, unless either goes on an unforeseen slide toward the regular-season finale, missing the District One Class AAAA playoffs. And Academy Park, given a little push here, could sneak in, too. So every ... game ... matters. The battle for third place in the Del Val could get ugly.
3. Bucs in the basement. For as perennially strong as its football team is, Interboro's basketball program continues to struggle. Should the Bucs go winless within league play, it would mark a second consecutive season of failing to net a single Del Val victory.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010


By all accounts, Dan Vanderslice had a great game Friday night.

The senior forward for Monsignor Bonner rebounded well, coming down with five. He provided an inside attack, scoring five points. He even rejected three shots, taking away Cardinal O'Hara's game in the paint. Vanderslice made a palpable difference in the Friars' 53-42 win over the Lions.

But there's one thing he regrets about the victory in a neighborhood rivalry game.

During the waning moments of the fourth quarter, with the game's decision not in question at all, Vanderslice ran along the baseline to inbound a ball under O'Hara's basket. But prior to that, the Lions had been whistled for an offensive foul. By PIAA rule, a player can move along the baseline if a basket precedes the inbound play. If it doesn't - as is the case with a turnover, and as was the case here - he cannot.

"Dan had a great game for us," said Bonner coach Tom Meakim, laughing, "except for that one play at the end. I think we can forgive him."

Added Vanderslice: "I don't know what happened. I guess I wasn't thinking. At least it didn't affect the outcome."


He's 6-foot-9. He's the second-best power forward in the nation. He's committed to Tennessee.

That's probably all you need to know about Tobias Harris. Other than his involvement in Chester's 82-72 loss Saturday at West Virginia University. The Clippers were eaten alive by the inside game of Harris, who carried Half Hollow Hills West, of Long Island, N.Y., in the Primetime Shootout.

Harris made 12 buckets, shot 10-for-13 from the free-throw line and finished with a game-best 36 points. Needless to say, he had earned the Clippers' praise.

"He's not selfish in nature," said Chester assistant coach Terry Thomas, Delco's finest high school scorekeeper with an astute eye for talent. "He takes shots he knows he can hit and he looks for other guys on the floor."

The Clippers got 19 points and five rebounds from Maurice Nelson and 18 points and 10 boards from Erikk Wright, a sophomore who was named Chester's game MVP.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010


For you Delco basketball fans out there looking to get caught up on some of the county's finest who have moved onto college, this semi-regular feature is for you. Today, we take a peek at Aaric Murray:

Glen Mills product Aaric Murray has come a long way from his early high school days, when he had never played organized basketball. After three years in Thornbury Township - leaping between varsity and JV as a sophomore to scoring 1,000 career points and being named an All-Delco twice - Murray has taken his game to the Division I level.

And boy, isn't La Salle happy he signed with them.

One of the nation's top recruits at the center position from the Class of 2009, the 6-10 Murray has started all but two of the Explorers' 18 games, averaging a third-best 12.2 points per game. The reigning Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week, he leads La Salle with per-game averages of 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocks.

He's the leading candidate - in this reporter's opinion - for the league's rookie of the year award. Here's hoping he gets it - because he deserves it.

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Friday, January 22, 2010


Despite what the subject line reads, this post is going to be about breaking down the box score from Thursday's Del Val League game, which went Penn Wood's way, 73-40.

The Patriots beat down the Bulls in every way imaginable. They shot 45 percent (30-for-66) while holding the Mills to 27 percent (12-for-44). They forced the Mills into 27 turnovers while committing only 11 of their own. They had an assist (15) for every other bucket. They outrebounded the Bulls, 33-26. And they killed the Bulls from long range, hitting 8 of their 20 shots from 3-point land.

"There's a bulls-eye on us, so every time we step on the court, we have to be ready to go get it," said Penn Wood point guard (and reigning Daily Times Player of the Year) Tyree Johnson. "I don't care who it is. i don't care if we're playing against girl scouts. If they step on the floor of this jawn, they have to be ready to play us."

The fact is, the Patriots are. Always have been. They pushed the ball up the floor, determined the pace of the game while killing any blow Glen Mills tried to accrue. They seemed every bit of the defending PIAA Class AAAA champions. And, until someone takes that from them, they will be.

Aaron Brown, pictured, and Will Brown had 17 apiece to lead the Patriots.


---It was good to see former Glen Mills coach Craig Mellinger out and about at Harrison Athletic Center. I didn't talk to him too much, but he said he's enjoying spending more time with his two high-school-aged children than he used to.

---I don't like putting together 'Best of...' lists, unless it's the end of the season. But if I had to pick the best places in Delco to watch a boys basketball game, I'd put Glen Mills at or near the top. Whether they're ahead or down (by a lot, as was the case Thursday) the crowd is into it, the music is blaring and the place is jumping. Chester's at the top, too. And I'd say a distant third from those two obvious choices is Penncrest. There are so many good vantage points there.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010


I know this hasn't gotten much pub in our paper - because most of the games feature non-Delco teams - but here's the schedule for this weekend's Kobe Bryant Classic.

Games of interest include Saturday, when Archbishop Carroll hosts Inter-Ac foe Malvern Prep, and Sunday, when Penn Wood faces off with St. Frances (Md.), which narrowly slipped past the Patriots in December at the City of Palms Classic.

At Archbishop Carroll High
Westtown v. Satellite Academy, Noon
Pennsbury v. Holy Ghost Prep, 1:45 p.m.
Academy of the New Church v. Imhotep Charter, 3:30 p.m.
Lower Merion v. Reading, 5:15 p.m.
Archbishop Carroll v. Malvern Prep, 7 p.m.
Life Center v. South Kent (Conn.), 8:30 p.m.

SUNDAY, Jan. 24
At Widener University
Shipley v. Susquehanna Township, Noon
Friends Central v. Germantown, 1:45 p.m.
Roman Catholic v. Plymouth Whitemarsh, 3:30 p.m.
Boys and Girls v. Bartram, 5:15 p.m.
Penn Wood v. St. Frances (Md.), 7 p.m.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010


For you Delco basketball fans out there looking to get caught up on some of the county's finest who have moved onto college, this semi-regular feature is for you. Today, we take a peak at Rahlir Jefferson:

It's not often that a freshman on Temple coach Fran Dunphy's squad gets minutes. But in Rahlir Jefferson's situation, he isn't just playing; he's making a difference.

The 2009 Chester graduate and All-Delco forward, Jefferson averages 16 minutes a game for the 16th-ranked Owls. He's become a defensive specialist, checking into the game late to lock down on the opposition's best scorer. Despite playing only 300 minutes, Jefferson is second on the team with 13 steals, and also fills out the stat sheet with 3.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks.

Who knows? With the way he and the Owls (16-3) are playing, we might be talking about Jefferson deep into March.

But, hey -- this post isn't just about the past. Here's a closer look at some of the action from Wednesday night:


It may be a couple months - and with less on the line - but Chester got some revenge on Williamsport.

The Clippers (8-3) easily handled the Millionaires in a game on a neutral court, at Coatesville High, as part of the Mid-Atlantic Shootout. Chester lost to Williamsport last winter in the second round of the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs.

Erikk Wright, a sophomore, continues to impress. He had 12 points and 15 boards. Tavaune Griffin had seven rebounds and three blocks and Mo Nelson led the way with 15 points


---Five of Upper Darby's eight losses have come by two possessions or fewer. Count the Royals' 44-43 loss to Springfield tonight among them. The Cougars' Adam Washington had 15 for the victors.
---Radnor, which scored 12 points in the first quarter, scored only 11 in the second half of its 37-29 loss to Ridley.
---Marple Newtown's Soutiri Sapnas, already the leading scorer in Delco, filled up the rim with 46 points in an 80-74 loss to Conestoga. Sapnas, the Tigers' all-time and single-season scoring champ, fell short of his 49-point career high, however.

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Monday, January 18, 2010


Hey Delco hoops fans: Check out this game story I found while perusing the Web, about a high school boys basketball game in Romeo, Mich.

So get this: Romeo High beats Macomb Area High, 77-71, in overtime over the weekend. But the overtime finish, the game's high scorer, either team's record ... they all are of little consequence.

The game went to overtime when a Macomb Area player knocked down a 3-pointer before the buzzer sounded. He then promptly ran over to the Romeo bench and taunted players and coaches. The ref working the game whistled a technical foul, Romeo hit the free throws to go to the extra session and, there, Romeo won the game.

Stunning, right?

My apologies for not being as frequent a blog posted as I'd like to be ... but you have to admit that my first post in a couple days is a gem.

Tuesday is boys basketball notebook day in the Daily Times. Be sure to check it out for a feature story on Archbishop Carroll's Ben Mingledough, who has emerged as a scoring option for coach Paul Romanczuk and the Patriots. And there will be notebook items on teams from the Del Val and Central leagues. So pick up a copy!

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Take one look at Shawn Oakman and you'll likely run the other way. He's scary big. At 6-9, 240, Oakman is the real deal when it comes to post players in Delaware County.

A Penn Wood junior, Oakman spent a couple minutes with me following the Patriots' 66-48 victory over Chester Sunday. We talked everything from his offense to his defense, his turning point, where he'd like to play college basketball ... and even what jersey number he's lobbying for:

Daily Times: Do you feel like you've turned a corner
Shawn Oakman: I'm definitely more patient. I read the defense better and make a better decision with the ball. I used to rush. Now, I'm finishing better. The whole coaching staff has told me to relax. It all started when I came back from Florida (the City of Palms Classic). The first two games, I didn't do too good. The last two games, I got dunks. So that's why I try to get a dunk every game. I had a reality check down in Florida.

DT: What part of your game are you most proud of - scoring? Rebounding? The blocked shots?
SO: I like my defense. But eight points? I know I can do better than that. I can get double-digits every night. I missed (four) free throws and that was the difference.

DT: So a triple-double is within reach for you?
SO: Oh, most definitely. I'm trying to be like Rap Curry. When he was (the Daily Times) Player of the Year, he averaged a triple-double. He's said to me, 'As soon as you get a triple double, you can wear my jersey.' So now I'm working on wearing that No. 33.

DT: When's the offense going to come your way?
SO: Oh, I tell all the guys to give me the ball. I say, 'Look my way' because if it's not there for me, I'll just kick it out to them, you know? Someone's going to be wide open, so feed me the ball first.

DT: What schools really like you?
SO: Saint Joseph's, Miami (Fla.), Providence, Georgetown, Houston, Rice, Marquette and Pittsburgh. They've all called. I think only St. Joe's has seen me play. Miami is supposed to come out.

DT: The way you played this football season, earning All-Delco honors, you've got to be leaning that way, right?
SO: No, I'm stuck in the middle. I don't want to do both, either. I want to focus on one. I'll make the choice senior year. That's when I'll make my decision.


If you pick up a copy of Wednesday's Daily Times, you'd read about:
---Penncrest suffering its first loss of the season, 54-32, to Lower Merion. The Lions got close and even took the lead, 26-25, in the third quarter, before the host Aces ripped of 20 of the game's next 23 points. (Check back to the blog today for more on this game.)
---Sun Valley's Chris Nelson hit the game-tying and game-winning shots to lift Sun Valley in overtime.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Sunday, Penn Wood point guard Tyree Johnson became the eighth player in school history to score 1,000 points in his career. He did so nonchalantly, too, hitting a fourth-quarter free throw late in Penn Wood's 66-48 rout of Chester.

Johnson, the reigning Daily Times Player of the Year, finished with 10 points in the game. He joins Lamont Ferrell*, Rap Curry, Mike Holmes, Shawn Day, Ed Millard, Duane Johnson and Micah Covert# in Penn Wood's 1,000-point club. (Ferrell started at Yeadon and finished his career at Penn Wood; Covert started with the Pats and capped his career off with Chester).

Johnson's per-game average is down from a year ago. It doesn't have either him or Penn Wood coach Clyde Jones worried.

"Listen, it doesn’t really matter. I’m a point guard," Johnson said. "My job is to get everybody involved anyway. My points are going to come during the flow. I get them the ball, they get it to me. It’s as simple as that."

Added Jones: "The greatest compliment I can give Tyree this year is how, for the most part, he has really decided that he has other people to get the ball to. He sees himself as a distributor. And in this day and age, when it’s tough to get kids to not think I have to shoot, to see him do that is special. The sad part about that is it doesn’t put him in anybody’s rankings for scoring, but it makes him perfect for us and what we do. The other night, I actually had to tell him to shoot the ball."

Johnson is getting interest from Monmouth, Rider, Hartford and Siena.


Also, here's some more from the boys basketball scene:
---Daily Times photographer Bob Gurecki grabbed some video and assembled highlights from Sunday's Penn Wood-Chester game.
---This week marks the first installment of the boys basketball notebook - the feature focuses on The Haverford School's Andrew Acker, probably the county's most improved player thus far. The notes include Glen Mills' Raheem Harvey, who sustained a car accident during the holidays and remains hospitalized, and Chichester's Brian Parker, who has an outside chance at 1,000 points.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010


Here's an up-close look at the Chester/Penn Wood game:
Early in the second quarter and with the game's outcome still in doubt, Penn Wood junior forward Aaron Brown (pictured) was whistled for a technical foul. The call was questionable, causing spectators and reporters, alike, to scratch their heads.

Brown is not an overly aggressive player. And players from both sides were jawing. Turns out he was whistled for running into his teammate, Shawn Oakman, which had to have been perceived as a sign of boasting, because there was no blatant contact between players from opposing teams.

"They all talk (trash) and any kind of bump would be seen as a form of aggression," Penn Wood coach Clyde Jones said. "Aaron is always emotional. But I know his emotions are going to lead to production."


10-11: Chester's proficiency at the free-throw line, a 91-percent clip.
19-34: Penn Wood's proficiency at the free-throw line, a 55-percent clip.
37-21: Penn Wood's rebounding advantage.
1: Technical foul, against Penn Wood's Aaron Brown.
3:28: Time it took Chester to get on the board.
4: Points scored by Will Brown during a dynamic second-quarter play. He hit a 3-pointer from the right side of the arc and, after sustaining a foul by Chester's Laquan Robinson, made the subsequent free throw.


The arrangement to bring the first meeting of the season between these two Pennsylvania titans to Saint Joseph's University was the product of internal connections. Penn Wood alumnus Rap Curry, also the Patriots' athletic director, played a fruitful college career on Hawk Hill. So did Jameer Nelson, whose younger brother, Maurice Nelson, plays for Chester.

The younger Nelson, who had 17 points, was playing on the floor of Hagan Arena - formerly the Fieldhouse - for the first time in his life. And hanging about the court, in the rafters, is a banner bearing his brother's No. 14 and his likeness.

"I didn't even look up there today," Mo Nelson said. "I have in the past. Not today."


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Today, the Daily Times is at Hagan Arena at Saint Joseph's University. Rather, we're bringing you to Hagan Arena.

The first meeting between longtime Del Val League rivals Penn Wood and Chester will be written about, photographed and video-taped for your sporting pleasure. Check back throughout the night for the latest, pick up a copy of Monday's Daily Times for the print coverage, and visit for some video and audio coverage of the game.

It's sure to be a good one.

HALFTIME UPDATE: Penn Wood 39, Chester 24 -- The Patriots took an 8-0 lead only 80 seconds into the game. Will Brown has 17 points, Shawn Oakman has seven rebounds and three blocks and Dequan Pelzer has five rebounds and three steals for Penn Wood. Chester's Mo Nelson has 10 points despite missing all of the first quarter for an unspecified reason.

FINAL: Penn Wood 66, Chester 48 -- Pick up Monday's Daily Times for the complete breakdown...

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Haverford School coach Steve Cloran thinks he's only coached two 12-point comeback victories – one of them being Saturday's stunning 47-45 thriller over Penn Charter at Cabrini University.

The Fords erased their dozen-point deficit by applying a pressure defense that prevented the Quakers from getting into their offensive sets even just once in the fourth quarter. It resulted in an 18-4 scoring advantage for the Fords in the fourth.

After starting 0-3, the Fords (9-3, 1-0) have won nine in a row. That's thanks largely to the play of underclassmen. They have only two seniors on their roster – guard A.J. Jones and forward Matt Lengel. Their primary six-man rotation includes three sophomores and a junior.

“I think, with so many young guys on our team, they get frustrated when the shots aren't falling,” Cloran said. “When the ball isn't going in, they hang their heads. The important thing for them is to keep coming, keep trying and just trusting that the shots will fall.”

Sophomores RaShaan Hollman (12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals), Brendan Purcell (11 points) and Zach Thomas (3 points, 3 steals) were integral to the win. So was junior Andrew Acker, who had 8 points and 14 rebounds.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010


The leading scorer for The Christian Academy Friday night wasn't even on the Crusaders' roster for their season opener a month ago. He isn't even high school, to be honest.

The Crusaders' Tyrell Sturdivant logged 10 points and eight rebounds in TCA's 80-33 loss to Atlantic Christian, a perennial powerhouse and three-time defending champions in the Tri-County Christian Conference. The 6-4 Sturdivant, an eighth-grader, had his hands full against AC's Luk Piatrowski, a 6-11 post player who had 14 points.

But TCA coach Jon Thompson isn't all that worried about Sturdivant holding his own.

"He's a really good athlete," Thompson said. "He dunked in the JV game earlier in the day. He can't play against the PIAA schools when we play them, but we don't have too many on our schedule."

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No matter how many games Penn loses, Cameron Gunter isn't budging. The senior center at Ridley, who last fall made a verbal commitment to the Quakers, has not altered his stance regardless of how poorly they have played this season.

Consider that Penn has a 1-10 record and its only win came against Maryland-Baltimore County (1-13). In a rare midseason move, the Quakers fired coach Glen Miller and hired assistant coach and former Penn standout Jerome Allen as his replacement in the interim. Despite so much turmoil, Gunter is staying put with his choice of attending Penn.

"I think I can offer some assistance, give them some help, you know?" Gunter said after Thursday's 47-38 win over Harriton. "I know with the whole coaching staff thing, that's been tough for them. I mean, getting off to a bad start and then the coach being fired, that's tough. But we'll bounce back."

The Green Raiders' schedule, beginning next week, takes on a distinct Ivy League look, with Ridley playing on back-to-back days in three straight weeks. Gunter has tickets for Penn's home game next Wednesday at the Palestra against No. 21 Temple.

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Friday, January 8, 2010


The All-Star Labor Classic isn't coming up any time soon. The annual showcase game, played in April at the conclusion of the scholastic season, puts on display the area's best seniors. And it does so while raising awareness and funds for a worthy cause - United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia.

But whether it be next week or in three months, the committee each year asks area reporters to make their nominations for the teams. Of course, I showed the Delco guys some love --- and snuck in a few others at the end of my ballot (including three from Holy Ghost Prep, because you can't ignore your alma mater).

Since I primarily cover suburban teams (obviously) I submitted a full roster for the Suburban Team and only a handful of others on the City All-Star team.

Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Soutiri Sapnas, Marple Newtown
2. Tyree Johnson, Penn Wood (pictured)
3. Andrew Radomicki, Penncrest
4. Rodney Duncan, Penncrest
5. Brian Parker, Chichester
6. Laquan Robinson, Chester
7. Cameron Gunter, Ridley
8. Will Brown, Penn Wood
9. Ryan Hanley, Marple Newtown
10. Jack Roberts, Strath Haven
11. Chris Dickerson, Glen Mills
12. Daquan Pelzer, Penn Wood
13. Alon Seltzer, Lower Merion
14. CJ Aiken, Plymouth Whitemarsh
15. Duffy Barrett, Holy Ghost Prep
16. Cameron Ayers, Germantown Academy
17. Nate Lorence, Holy Ghost Prep
18. Jesse Krasna, Pennsbury
19. Mike Byrne, Holy Ghost Prep
20. Jack O'Neill, Wissahickon

1. D.J. Irving, Arch. Carroll
2. Ben Mingledough, Arch. Carroll
3. Jamal Melvin, Msgr. Bonner
4. Tony Chennault, Neumann-Goretti
5. Tyreek Duren, Neumann-Goretti
6. Rakeem Brookins, Roman Catholic
7. Tyrone Garland, Bartram
8. Shaquille Duncan, Frankford
9. Joe Nardi, St. Joseph's Prep
10. Mustafaa Jones, Neumann-Goretti

In case you're interested, this is a PDF of the box score from last year's game, held at La Salle University.



For a look at Thursday's game between Harriton and Ridley, a 47-38 Ridley win, check out the Friday edition of the Daily Times. For a closer look read the following:

Ridley junior forward Norm Donkin has missed all nine of the Green Raiders’ games this winter, wearing a green cast on his right wrist. It turns out Donkin broke it in the first game of the Raiders’ football season, during which they advanced to the PIAA Class AAAA semifinals

"I jammed it the first game of the year," he said. "I took a week off and didn’t do anything with it. It started to feel better. I think I just made it worse all year by playing with it."

Donkin gets the cast off next Wednesday, at which point he’ll be reevaluated. Also missing in action for Ridley was Dan Staiber, a sophomore guard who suffered a concussion last Tuesday. He could be cleared to play early next week.


Harriton’s Matt Fusaro shot 6-for-10 in the first half and 1-for-8 in the second half. The light-‘em-up scorer for the Rams, who also averages eight rebounds per game, is getting a serious number of Division III looks.

Fusaro tweaked his right ankle on one of the last plays of the game, coming down from a 3-point attempt on someone’s foot.

"We hope it’s nothing more than (a sprain)," Harriton coach Jesse Rappaport said. "We’ll see when we get back (to school)."


According to Rappaport, the Rams shoot 80 percent from the free-throw line. Proficiency from the strip was the original thought for why Harriton doesn’t line anyone up on the blocks for a rebound.

Rappaport sees it differently, wanting his players to worry about setting up for a defensive stop rather than battling for a rebound "that we probably won’t get anyway, or we’ll get whistled for over the back or something."

Against Ridley, the Rams were 8-for-11 from the line.

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Thursday, January 7, 2010


This just in from Academy Park athletic director Paul Davis:

Tickets for next Tuesday's Del Val League boys basketball game, Chester at Academy Park, are available ONLY through advance sales and will not be available for purchase at the door on the night of the game. The athletic offices at both schools will sell tickets until the day of the game, which begins at 7:30 p.m.

Just thought you'd want to know...

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010


There were only three games Wednesday. Allow me to take you beyond the box score for each of them:

In the Del Val League opener for both teams, this was always Chester's game - even if Chi led, 15-13, after one quarter. Four Clippers hit for double figures - Kareem and Laquan Robinson, Erikk Wright and Darius Collins. And Wright, though I'll need to check on this, fell one rebound shy of a double-double in his seventh straight game. The Eagles are good, and better than they have been in recent years, but the Clippers are still the Clippers.

Eight games in, we're finally starting to see how balanced Carroll's team is. Matt Donaldson, who has very limited hoops experience, bullied LC for 11 boards. I have yet to see him in person but Yosef Yacob (10 points, four steals) is looking solid. And Ben Mingledough had 22 points, a career-best. LC never stood a chance. And that's before you count All-Delco D.J. Irving and Juan'ya Green, who had 12 and 16 points, respectively.

Even with star center Isaiah Baker feeling ill and missing the game, the Churchmen rolled. Taylor Wright is beginning to prove that he's a threat you can't leave open on the perimeter, with his three 3-pointers. And three others scored in double figures.


One thing I forgot to bring up didn't happen Wednesday. It was part of Tuesday's action.

Penncrest barely snuck past Marple Newtown, 58-57, using a pair of free throws by Matt Atkinson with 7.5 seconds remaining. The thing about Atkinson, the First-Team All-Central League quarterback pick in 2009, was that he hadn't scored all game prior to stepping to the line.

Also, the senior limited Marple stud two guard Soutiri Sapnas to a rather pedestrian 23 points, which almost has become an off night for the senior.

"Soutiri got two looks in the last six-and-a-half seconds and he missed on both," said Penncrest coach Mike Doyle. "Matty did a great job. He didn't worry about scoring - he had zero - and he hit those shots. The gym was rocking. It was close to standing-room only here and it was a great high school experience."

Part of what I love about high school hoops is the atmosphere. Sounds like it was a good one at Kaufman Gymnasium.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010


Friday, we kicked into the new year with the first installment of a question-and-answer session with Archbishop Carroll All-Delco D.J. Irving. Here's the final helping of my interview with Irving:

Q: I see your (Boston University) hat. Have you been in contact with the coaches?
A: Yeah, they keep telling me they can't wait for me to get up there. They tell me they kind of need me right now. They're struggling because they don't have anybody who can get to the basket. It's all shooters up there.

Q: I talked to Soutiri (Sapnas, Marple Newtown's senior) earlier about coaches telling him he's not big enough, not strong enough for Division I. You heard that, too, early on. Any advice for guys like that?
A: I think he's a Division I player because of his ability to score the basketball. He's not getting the looks he should because he's 6-1 and he's not really a point guard. He's a two. He can score flat out and that's enough to get him D-I.

Q: What team in the county is your dream matchup?
A: Penn Wood, because I like going against Tyree (Johnson, the reigning Daily Times' Player of the Year). He brings the best out of me, and I bring the best out of him. We usually go at it any time we can. And I would love to play against Chester at Chester High. That would be a dream. I don't know why they're not on our schedule. I heard a rumor that they don't like playing teams that have kids from Chester. It's me, Yosef (Yacob) and Anthony Butler. We're all from Chester.

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Friday, January 1, 2010


It's difficult to miss Archbishop Carroll's D.J. Irving, especially last week at the Jameer Nelson/Pete Nelson Classic. The affable, effervescent point guard was all over the place, bouncing around the gym and talking with everyone.

Irving, an All-Delco, led the Patriots to the PIAA Class AAA state championship a year ago. He's got his sight set on doing it again, too. Here's the first installment of what the early Boston University commit had to say about Carroll's play in the early going:

Q: Are you guys where you want to be?
A: No way. A lot of the guys in our program are inexperienced. The defensive schemes and the rotations are not there yet. I'm happy that we won the games we won, because we really should have lost. We're not going our hardest. That's the main thing. And rebounding, we're struggling there. The team defense can be a whole lot better.

Q: Can you tell now whether this team can repeat?
A: Not yet. I think near January and February, we'll be there, because we'll be so used to it.

Q: Who's been the biggest surprise on your team?
A: Matt Donaldson (6-4, 220) is a football player. He wasn't with us last year. At the beginning of the summer, and I'm not even lying, he struggled to make a layup. He's improved a lot. He's helping on defense, on the rebounding and he's finishing.

Q: Who do you stay in touch with from last year's team?
A: I try to talk with Kasheef (Festus, a walk-on who's redshirting at Coppin State) and I try to keep up with what Andre (Wilburn, a freshman at Delaware State) is up to. I miss them already.


Check back with us Saturday for the second installment of my Q+A with Irving.

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