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The Daily Times' boys basketball blog

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


They had only minutes earlier finished off their biggest rival in a game decided by four points. They had, in the moments prior to that game, honored their two eldest players in Senior Day festivities.

Needless to say, The Haverford School coach Steve Cloran's players have not considered playing in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Tournament, which begins next month.

The Fords (11-8, 2-4) were more trained on winning out the rest of their Inter-Academic League slate, which includes two important games with league-leading Chestnut Hill Academy. But they know only four games separate them from the Indy Tourney, which is for all the marbles.

It used to be that representatives from the Inter-Ac and the Catholic leagues - and a host of other smaller schools from outside the Philadelphia area - would play for the state title. Now, with the Catholic kids playing in the PIAA, it's mostly an Inter-Ac heavy playoff. That doesn't alter its importance.

But Cloran's players - and the coach himself - don't want to think about that just yet. They have important games to win.

"You kind of, with high school players, you don't want to put too much in their heads," Cloran said Thursday. "So we might only quickly talk about that with them. Our main goal this year is to win more games in the Inter-Ac League. We're not there yet, but we'll continue to stay in the present."

Added junior center Andrew Acker: "We haven't really talked about that tournament all that much. I think he wants all of us to focus on finishing up the Inter-Ac. ... We've got some tough ones coming up first."

The Pa. Independent Schools tourney kicks off Feb. 15 at the higher seeds' home gyms, and finishes Feb. 19 and 20 at Montgomery County Community College.

COMING TOMORROW: An updated look at the Inter-Ac standings, and what The Haverford School and Episcopal Academy need to do to finish near the top as the season nears conclusion.

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