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The Daily Times' boys basketball blog

Sunday, March 28, 2010


There was more to Saturday's PIAA Class AAAA championship game than the score, though that's a strong indicator of what went down at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Penn Wood led for every second of the first half, and Plymouth Whitemarsh pulled the same feat for almost all of the second half. Did you know Penn Wood turned the ball over seven fewer times (19-to-12) than the winners?

Take a look at some other numbers from Saturday's game, at Penn State University...

4 – Points from Penn Wood center Shawn Oakman.
8 – Turnovers by Oakman.

NOTE: Coming into this game, I was certain that Oakman was the difference. If he could stay out of foul trouble (he didn't) and own a rebounding edge on P-W (he didn't), then Penn Wood could win it all again. This game showed that Oakman, while he's come a long way, still has a lot of work to do.

32 – Minutes played by Penn Wood's Aaron Brown, Tyree Johnson and Will Brown, pictured. The trio never left the court.

NOTE: Penn Wood coach Clyde Jones knew his best chance at a comeback was through his best players – so he kept them on the floor the longest.

5 – Blocks by Plymouth Whitemarsh center CJ Aiken.

NOTE: Aiken got dunked on – quite memorably – in the District One Class AAAA championship game, by Penn Wood's Aaron Brown. But Aiken got the last laugh, swatting two of Brown's fourth-quarter shot attempts.

13 – Rebounding differential (38 to 25) owned by Plymouth Whitemarsh.

NOTE: Whis Grant, a 6-0 guard with 11 boards, outrebounded Penn Wood big men Oakman and Darian Barnes combined. That's an unsettling stat.

28 – Field-goal percentage by Penn Wood.
50 – Field-goal percentage by Plymouth Whitemarsh.

NOTE: As offensively sound as Penn Wood is, the Patriots looked downright miserable in the final 19 minutes Saturday. After taking their 10-point lead, they were outscored, 40-20, by the fourth quarter's midway point.

(Photographs by Daily Times staff photographer Eric Hartline)

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Penn Wood's magical run ended Saturday night in a 58-51 loss to Plymouth Whitemarsh.

The Patriots, who hadn't lost to a team from Pennsylvania all season, hadn't lost a game in general since Dec. 23. Here's what some of them - and two P-W players had to say about the game:

On his final game at Penn Wood: “Playing with Aaron Brown, Shawn Oakman, Tyree, Will (Brown) – this is my second family. They're like my family. They all know that. We all know that. We all were working for each other.”
On the offense: “What were we – 7-for-37? We just couldn't shoot. Our offense just wasn't there. It happens.”
On going 93 days without a loss: “I don't even know what to make of that. I can't say what that means to me. Maybe down the road, I can talk about that.”

On the offense: “Tonight, our offense wasn't there and they pulled out the victory because of it.”
On returning to the state final: “Just making it here was great. If we had won, it would've been better. But we didn't win. And I'm not mad at the loss.”

On the game: “We lost, but it doesn't erase the history we made.”
On the offense: “We didn't get into another rhythm. We didn't have any rhythm the whole game.”
On Plymouth Whitemarsh: “They kept their heads when they were up. They didn't yell at each other or nothing. They knew – they believed – they were going to win. They knew they were the better team.”
“I'm ready for next season.

On the silver lining: “We worked to put this program on the map … so there are a whole lot of positives.”
On P-W's defense: “This one was a blast from the past, if you want to say that. We got back to doing some things that we hadn't done in awhile and I'd like to say Plymouth Whitemarsh had a lot to do with that. They played a great defensive game. Most of our shots were challenged. We didn't get many clean looks at all. We didn't do a good job of running our sets to get those clean looks, either. They worked and challenged us on every shot. They challenged us on passes. They challenged us on catches. And we didn't execute. We were out of character.”

On his coach's message: “He told us we had a great year and that not many teams get to the championship two times in a row. That in itself is an accomplishment. We had many accomplishments in these two years. I think we're just thankful for all of these accomplishments. I wouldn't want to play with anybody else.”

On winning Round 2: “States is so much bigger than districts so I can't imagine how they are feeling. I would be devastated to lose. States is definitely a bigger stage.”
On getting revenge: “It gave us more momentum, more fuel to keep going at them. They took something from us last time.”

On getting revenge: “We felt we were the better team. At Villanova, we felt we gave them a gift and we didn't want that feeling again.”

(Photos by Daily Times photographer Eric Hartline. Norristown Times-Herald staff writers Tom Kerrane and Dennis Way contributed to this post.)

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Friday, March 26, 2010


Here's a little something to chew on, leading up to Saturday's PIAA Class AAAA championship:

***Only once has a Delaware County team won back-to-back titles at the AAAA level, since PIAA expanded in 1984 (Glen Mills, 1990-91).
***And only once have teams from Delco combined to win state titles in three straight years (1989 Chester, 1990-91 Glen Mills.)

So when Penn Wood rolls up the Penn State University's Bryce Jordan Center, the Patriots are hoping they can reserve a little place in the record books of Delaware County boys basketball history.

In the last two years, Chester ('08, AAAA), Penn Wood ('09, AAAA) and Archbishop Carroll ('09, AAA) have brought home titles to Delco.

That's not to say Penn Wood's got this one sewn up, either. The Patriots will have their hands full with a Plymouth-Whitemarsh squad that likely has not forgotten getting burned in an overtime District One final against these very Pats.

On top of that, the Pats are catching the Colonials when their second-best scorer Jaylen Bond is hitting his stride. Bond shot 12-for-13 in a PIAA semifinal Wednesday, making his final nine shot attempts. If C.J. Aiken, their leading scorer, Saturday night is only half as potent as Bond was Wednesday, the Patriots could have a problem.

But let's leave that for Saturday. It's the best time of the year. The final game is upon us. Have a safe trip to State College.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010


C'mon - did you expect anything less?

You knew Penn Wood was this good before the season even began. You knew Penn Wood had the potential to repeat, the Division I prospects to compete, the players to steal a win or two from some of the nation's best programs.

Perhaps the only surprise that came from Wednesday's 70-51 win over Liberty was that leading scorer Aaron Brown, who averages 20 points per game, was limited to eight. Still, the Patriots cruised past the Hurricanes in a PIAA Class AAAA semifinal and into Saturday's championship game against ... Plymouth-Whitemarsh.


Shouldn't be. This was the matchup of fate, one that seemed predestined in the first weeks of the 2009-10 season, with both teams gaining national acclaim and regional hype. But, hey --- we have some days ahead to talk about Plymouth Whitemarsh. How about we stick with the PW from Delaware County?

En route to making consecutive appearances in the PIAA title game, the Patriots did what they do best - run up the score. The Hurricanes made the Pats kick the tires a couple times in the first quarter, leading 8-4 and making the District One champs think otherwise about a repeat.

Then, it happened.

Penn Wood went on a 17-0 burst on the way to a 40-19 halftime lead. The rest is history. Tyree Johnson scored 19 points, Dequan Pelzer tossed in 14 and Shawn Oakman dropped in 12 (and some thunderous dunks) for the Patriots.

See you in State College.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010


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Friday, March 19, 2010


The Del Val League unveiled its postseason honorees this week, and to no one's surprise Penn Wood dominated. The Patriots placed four members of its starting five on the First Team.

For the rest, take a look:

Aaron Brown, Penn Wood
Will Brown, Penn Wood
Tyree Johnson, Penn Wood
Shawn Oakman, Penn Wood
Brian Parker, Chichester
Maurice Nelson, Chester

Kyrell Tyler, Glen Mills
Leonard Singleton, Glen Mills
Taylor Boulware, Academy Park
Jordan Tucker, Academy Park
Erikk Wright, Chester
Laquan Robinson, Chester

Darian Barnes, Penn Wood
Chris Dickerson, Glen Mills
Fred Murray, Chichester
Charles Bolger, Interboro
Brian Weldon, Interboro
Vince Carnevale, Interboro

Darryl Foye, Academy Park
Brandon Jackson, Academy Park
Rich Collins, Academy Park
Mike Coles, Chichester
Darius Brooks, Chichester
Dequan Pelzer, Penn Wood
Khali Smith, Penn Wood
Rondae Jefferson, Chester
Ikeam Watkins, Chester
Ronell Williams, Chester
Will Harrison, Interboro
John Helem, Glen Mills
Ellis Dickerson, Glen Mills


Wednesday, March 17, 2010


It's getting tougher to argue with the sheer numbers … and Juan'ya Green is putting up big ones.

The junior guard/forward scored 21 points, had five rebounds and handed out four assists in Archbishop Carroll's 64-51 PIAA Class AAA second-round victory Tuesday over Danville.

Temple assistant coach Matt Langel was spotted outside Carroll's locker room after the game.

When asked what that meant to him, Green had this to say:
“It's exciting, but I can't give it too much thought right now. I guess it's the way I play that people like. And I think I'm getting better every day, in practice and in games. I'm just playing hard.”

It's worth noting two additional things, for those Temple fans out there: Green, who lives in Conshohocken, grew up in North Philly. The other is that Carroll coach Paul Romanczuk played for Temple coach Fran Dunphy while both were at Penn.

Green said he has offers from Temple, Saint Joseph's, Maryland, George Mason and Boston University. He has gotten interest, as well, from Georgetown, Marquette and Providence.

As for Ben Mingledough, the Patriots' 6-4 senior forward ... If I had to take a guess, I'd say he's headed to St. Peter's (N.J.) The Peacocks' assistant coach, John Morton, made the trek to CD East from their New Jersey campus to see Mingledough. Does that mean a commitment is imminent?

“I haven't made a decision," said Mingledough, who also has an offer from St. Francis (Pa.) "You could say I'm close.” How close? “I don't know," he added. "I can't tell you yet.”

Oh, the intrigue of college recruiting...

For those counting at home, that would bring Carroll's Division I count to three. Senior guard D.J. Irving is headed to Boston University. And, if we're talking total D-I kids from last year's state-title team, the Patriots have four: Kasheef Festus is a freshman at Coppin State.

NOTE: The fifth and final starter from that 08-09 title team - the only one yet to be mentioned in this long, long blog post - was in attendance at Tuesday night's game. Andre Wilburn, who plays at Delaware State, joined the team in the locker room during postgame.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Central Dauphin East High School, Harrisburg: 118 miles, 2 hours.

In a little while, I'll be hitting the road en route to Archbishop Carroll's second-round, PIAA Class AAA matchup with Danville at 6 p.m. It's going to take some time to get there and, according to the CD East folks, I've been told there's no Wireless in the building.


That being said, you can rest assured that right here on Gettin' Schooled you will see a synopsis of the game and some quotes from players and coaches within an hour after the final buzzer sounds. And, of course, you can always check Wednesday's Daily Times for the full report.

I'll keep you informed from Harrisburg. See you there.

UPDATED 10:23 P.M.
The Patriots pulled out a 64-51 victory over Danville and move into the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinal round for the second time in as many seasons of PIAA eligibility.

Of course, they'll have to get through Neumann-Goretti to go further.

Juan'ya Green scored 21 points, Ben Mingledough tossed in 20 and D.J. Irving recovered nicely from the opening round, in which he posted the first scoreless game of his career at any level. The All-Delco point guard finished with 13 points.

Carroll (24-4) overcame a hot spell by Danville, during which the Ironmen made 11 straight baskets in a 9-plus minute span. The Patriots trailed at the break but poured it on after halftime.

For more check out Wednesday's Daily Times.

(Photo by

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Monday, March 15, 2010


The PIAA brackets have been updated for each of the respective classes. Here's what we're looking at for Tuesday's and Wednesday's pairings:

On Tuesday....
Archbishop Carroll vs. Danville
At Central Dauphin East HS, Harrisburg, 6 p.m.

Cardinal O'Hara vs. Central Dauphin
At Governor Mifflin School, Shillington, 7:30 p.m.

On Wednesday....
Penn Wood vs. Neshaminy
At Norristown HS, 7:30 p.m.

Archbishop Carroll vs. Oley Valley
At Spring-Ford HS, Royersford, 6 p.m.

Delco Christian vs. Tri-Valley
At Governor Mifflin School, Shillington, 7:30 p.m.

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Just like that, Chester's season was over.

With the flick of Troy Hockaday's right wrist (pictured), La Salle took its first lead of the game Sunday - with four seconds to go - and topped Chester, 42-41, in an opening-round contest in the PIAA Class AAAA bracket. The Clippers suffered their first, first-round exit from states since 2004.

Hockaday, who was wildly inconsistent, shot 4-for-14 in the contest. Three of those buckets, resulting in 8 of his 13 points, came in the final 4:33 of the game. Hockaday almost single-handedly whittled away Chester's nine-point lead.

Here's what some had to say afterward:
"It's a life-learning experience. I just have to prepare for the future and prevent this from happening again. ... They're going to be back next year. Chester's going to be back."

“What I'll remember about this year is the young guys, and playing for them. Hopefully they can have a better season than we had."

“I tried to get the ball up the court as fast as possible and I saw Laquan, so I got it to him. And he got off a good shot. He just missed it. It hurts more than a normal loss.

“(Hockaday) wasn't making those shots. He was taking it to the basket the whole game. He just made a good shot there at the end.

“We talked about that, getting back here. It's a young team, that's all. We took our bumps and bruises all season. It was a roller coaster. We have to play some summer league games, some AAU ball, get back in the gym and get over this."

“I wasn't surprised with (Hockaday's) shot. I'm just surprised it went in.

“We had a lot of youth, and with it comes a lot of problems. You're trying to get them to play your style. Most of them are used to playing an AAU style. As far as their knowledge, we had to put a lot of time in to get them to understand. When we execute, good things happen. We get layups, uncontested layups. We get jumpers. When they play for their self, that's a problem. They just want to stand around, not set your screen or play good team defense or help out on the backside or do this or that. It's one- or two-minute breakdowns at the wrong time."


The Clippers graduate only two seniors from their 16-11 team - Laquan Robinson (pictured) and Ronell Williams. They played six sophomores and five freshmen this year. So, like Yarbray and Nelson said, Chester will be back next winter.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010


The torrential winds and three-inch rainfall Saturday forced power outages across Radnor Township. They left Archbishop Carroll's gym in the dark.

And they left Chester without a game.

The Clippers' PIAA Class AAAA first-round meeting with La Salle at Carroll was postponed because of the power outage. The prior game - a Class AA matchup - was stopped in the third quarter and will be resumed tonight at Archbishop Wood.

What does this mean for Chester?

The District One eight seed will take on La Salle Sunday at 3 p.m. at Norristown. For more on the rescheduled game, check out the Sunday edition of the Daily Times.


Elsewhere in Delco hoops:
Penn Wood knocked off Penn Manor, 76-57, and Penncrest's season came to a close in a 47-46 loss to Bethlehem Liberty.

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To be short and sweet, here's what you should know about Friday night: Archbishop Carroll can win (and will win) with a half-effective D.J. Irving, left.

Absent from the Patriots' two previous outings, Irving was one of several difference makers in their 37-30 win over Holy Ghost Prep in a PIAA Class AAA first-round game. Irving, who didn't score, had four steals, two rebounds and two assists.

But he wasn't alone. Junior Juan'ya Green , right, was wildly effective. He scored 14 points, picking and choosing the best shots to choose in order to maximize his effectiveness. He also had five rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots.

Because Irving – limited because of his still-tender hand – wasn't 100 percent, Green took the reins. He was all over the court, soaring from behind to block shots, dishing out eye-popping assists and doing much of the clock-killing dribbling in the game's final minutes.

Ben Mingledough led the way with 15 points and Vince Mostardi had eight to round out the scoring leaders. Needless to say, those who doubted the Patriots because of Irving's hand … think again.

Here are other results from the PIAA Class AAA bracket:
Eastern York 68, Coughlin 42
Dobbins 57, Springfield 52
Mifflinburg 51, Pottsville 38
Abington Heights 58, East Pennsboro 28
Neumann-Goretti 64, Susquehanna Township 45
Holy Redeemer 59, Steel-High 39
Danville 68, Allentown Central Catholic 59
Archbishop Carroll 37, Holy Ghost Prep 30
Lancaster Catholic 52, Pottsgrove 44
York Suburban 61, Johnstown 46
Chartiers Valley 96, Erie Central 66
West Allegheny 42, Hickory 41
West Mifflin 81, Oliver 65
Bradford 45, Trinity 43
Hampton 63, Huntingdon 41
Montour 49, Erie East 42


Next up: Archbishop Carroll vs. Danville
When and where: Tuesday night, TBD
What to know about Danville: The Ironmen went 18-6, have won five in a row and have won an opening-round PIAA game each of the last two seasons. They won Friday night, partly, because ACC showed up late to the game and weren't loosened up. Danville forced 10 first-half turnovers and the rout was on.

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Friday, March 12, 2010


Five. It's a number that separates Delco's state playoff teams from history.

The Class AAA (Archbishop Carroll, Springfield) and Class AAAA (Penncrest, Chester, Penn Wood) teams need only five wins to claim a state championship in their respective brackets. Five wins? That's a good 10-day stretch for some of these teams. What's five more wins?

It's the difference between being remembered and being forgotten. The PIAA playoffs commence tonight. And we'll have the scores here on Gettin' Schooled.

Check back throughout the night.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010


After Holy Ghost Prep put the finishing touches on Springfield Saturday, it began to settle in that HGP would draw the defending PIAA Class AAA champion in the first round of states.

Needless to say, the Firebirds weren't thrilled with that prospect. Fair enough, right? The District One champion deserves a little better a draw than Carroll. But that's how the bracket worked last year, too. Another year, another bracket ... In hindsight, perhaps PIAA should employ a power-rankings system for states.

In any case, here's some of what those around Holy Ghost had to say about Carroll:

"The shoe will be on the other foot, too, a little bit. More will be expected of Carroll. Even though we are district champs, we'll probably go into that game as an underdog."

"It is what it is. In a perfect world, you have a seeding thing with the PIAA and maybe you play someone not as dominant. We'll look at them and get ready to go. We're going to play hard and we're going to play a real good basketball game. If that's good enough to win, great. If it's not good enough to win, than it's not. We're going in confident."

“We look forward to being the underdog a little bit. “Through the districts, we were the one seed. Now, we can play a little bit looser. Most people probably think we’re going to lose, so it will be nice to be the underdog.”


So... yeah, it should be a good game. I don't predict any sort of trash-talking or bad blood. Nah, none of that. (Thanks to Bucks County Courier Times' Kevin Cooney, for the Byrne quote.)

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Monday, March 8, 2010


The PIAA playoff brackets were released Sunday night. Some of Delaware County's five boys teams have brief drives; others, well, aren't so lucky.

Here's the breakdown...

***Springfield (18-8) vs. Murrell Dobbins (16-8)
At South Philadelphia High, 6 p.m.
What to know: The Cougars, District One's runnerup, probably has a better draw against their opponent from the Public League than district-champ HGP. Yeah, about that...

***Archbishop Carroll (22-4) vs. Holy Ghost Prep (24-3)
At Norristown High, 8 p.m.
What to know: The Firebirds, who won the District One crown, were rewarded with a first-round draw against the reigning state-champion Patriots. Fair? No. But it is what it is.


***Penn Wood (23-3) vs. Penn Manor (17-10)
At Norristown High, 3:30 p.m.
What to know: The newly-crowned District One champion Patriots knocked off the Comets, of District Three, in the first round of states a year ago. Probably enough said.

***Penncrest (24-5) vs. Bethlehem Liberty (22-5)
At Freedom High, Bethlehem, 4:30 p.m.
What to know: The Central League champion Lions have a 90-minute drive that covers 70-plus miles for this game. Liberty has a three-mile drive that takes eight minutes. Fair? No. But it is what it is. (See above.)

***Chester (16-10) vs. La Salle (19-5)
At Archbishop Carroll High, 4:30
What to know: The Clippers are in the unfavorable spot of losing three straight heading into states; meanwhile, the Explorers won a hotly-contested District 12 title game. It seems like the teams are going in opposite directions.

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Sunday, March 7, 2010


Yes, Springfield lost the District One Class AAA championship game Saturday. Yes, it was within reach. Yes, the Cougars have won only two district titles since 1945.

But, hey - why hang your head about a five-point loss to top-seeded Holy Ghost Prep? There's still the PIAA playoffs. It's new life for these Cougars.

"Maybe in a day or two, we can start talking about it and getting ready for it," said junior forward Adam Washington, who scored 15 points. "This was the game we wanted to win. We just didn't do it."

Junior guard Zack DeVito was so stung by the loss that, on two occasions in post-game interviews, he forgot the questions he was trying to answer.

"This one hurts because this was a goal of ours from the beginning of the season," said senior forward Wally Rutecki. "It didn't happen for us, but we can focus on states now."

Springfield (18-8) begins its PIAA journey Friday.

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Saturday, March 6, 2010


And just like that, Springfield's district-title aspirations were dashed.

The Cougars dropped a back-and-forth District One Class AAA title tilt to Holy Ghost Prep, 47-42, Saturday night at Villanova's Pavilion.

Adam Washington scored 15 points (on 6-for-10 scoring), Dave Carpenter had eight and Zack DeVito and Wally Rutecki had six apiece for Springfield (18-8), which faces District 12's Murrell Dobbins in the first round of the PIAA playoffs next week.

More to come...

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Friday night, Penn Wood put the finishing touches on its first District One Class AAAA championship in 18 years ... and the Daily Times was all over it. (Game story and column can be found here.)

The Times was on the baseline, too, with staff photographer Bob Gurecki nabbing some shots of the action:
Penn Wood reserve forward Jeff Kyem pulls down a rebound in front of Plymouth-Whitemarsh's C.J. Aiken in the first half.

Shawn Oakman (center) embraces Aaron Brown (left) and Will Brown (right) in the moments following the Patriots' upset of the Colonials.

Reserve guard Jerry Price (No. 1) rushes to the court after the buzzer to meet Will Brown and Aaron Brown (back) following the Patriots' first district championship victory since 1992.

In a major upset, Reading dispatched Hempfield, 54-46, Saturday in the District Three Class AAAA title game. Hempfield, the top seed, had gone 27-0 en route to the title game.

What that does is make Penn Wood's road to a repeat as state champion a little more bumpy, with Reading winning and going to the West side of the PIAA bracket. The weekend is long, so let's see how the rest of the bracket shakes out before we reach any conclusions.

In the District One Class AAAA seventh-place game. Penncrest toppled Chester, 56-53, at West Chester East High School. The Lions' Rodney Duncan went off for 31 points, a career high. The Clippers trailed by 10 with two minutes to go before closing the gap. According to Penncrest coach Mike Doyle, Duncan's point tally is the best for any Lion in more than eight years.

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Friday, March 5, 2010


Congratulations, Penn Wood Patriots: You are the 2009-10 District One Class AAAA champions.

For the first time since 1992, the Patriots own that distinction, after having beaten Plymouth-Whitemarsh, 54-49, Friday night at the Pavilion.

The Patriots needed an overtime session to overcome a deficit that seemed to last the entire game ... and overcome the top-ranked team in the state and top-seeded team in the district.

Here's what we know about the Patriots:
***They still haven't lost to a team from Pennsylvania.
***They needed every ounce of veteran leadership and playoff experience against the Colonials.
***And, most importantly, they will face District Three's seventh seed, Penn Manor, a team the Patriots beat by five in the opening round of states a year ago.

Ahh, states --- now, the real fun begins.

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Haverford High coach Terry McNichol and the Fords had a rough go this season, finishing with only two wins.

Still, the longtime coach and his players decided to have some fun last month during their last practice of the season. Per tradition, the Fords arrive at Juenger Gymnasium wearing retro clothes. That's retro look AND retro fit, as you can tell by the photos. It's a nice way to turn the page on a tough year. (Though, it is worth noting that Haverford High won two of its final five games.)

The other photo here is of McNichol, right, and senior Dan McWilliams, who arrived to practice trying to replicate what his coach wears. (Pretty good guess on McWilliams' part.) Anyway, McWilliams missed the whole season due to injury ... but he didn't miss any practices. Retro Day certainly was no exception.

Kudos to the Fords for keeping a good attitude during a tough season.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010


So Archbishop Carroll, minus two of its best players, hung on for a 48-43 victory Wednesday over Simon Gratz. The win does a number of things for the Patriots:

*** It assured them of District 12's third and final slot in the upcoming Class AAA tournament.
*** It guarantees that they'll have a chance to defend their state title.
*** It grants extensions to the careers of seniors D.J. Irving and Ben Mingledough, who missed the play-in game for varying reasons. (See previous posts)

Without Irving and Mingledough, the Patriots had to go young. Just how raw was Carroll coach Paul Romanczuk's lineup?

A first-time starter, freshman Yosef Yacob needed to be coached on how to bump fists with the game's officials following introductions. At first, he broke the huddle and went back toward the Carroll bench.

"He went to shake my hand," Romanczuk said. "It was obvious he had never started before."

And junior guard/forward Juan'ya Green, a first-time captain, knew little of the goings-on in the pregame meeting at midcourt.

"There was a funny exchange at center court, with the captains and coaches there," Romanczuk continued. "(The officials) asked who the speaking captain was for us and Juan'ya was the only one out there who was going to play and D.J was the other one, so Juan'ya raised his hand and said, 'I'm No. 10.'

"The officials said, 'We still need to see your jersey.' So usually the captains pull up their (warmups) and show their jerseys. But Juan'ya didn't grasp that concept because that's the first time he's ever been out there for a captains' meeting."

Either way, the Patriots move on. And, according to their coach, "they matured" Wednesday.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Springfield knew that, had it lost Wednesday, it still had one more game in the District One Class AAA bracket. Archbishop Carroll didn't have that luxury.

But both took care of business in the respective brackets.

Springfield knocked off Octorara, 46-44, at West Chester East. The Cougars move into the district final Saturday against Holy Ghost Prep.

Carroll had to erase an eight-point deficit late to beat Simon Gratz, 48-43, at Archbishop Ryan. A win helps the Patriots stave off elimination, by winning District 12's No. 3 seed and move into states to try to defend their state crown.

That's it for now. More to come later...


Penn Wood made it all the way back to the District One Class AAAA championship game.

A year after winning the PIAA title, the Patriots get a shot at winning the one crown that eluded them during a magical 2008-09 season. The Patriots solidified their return trip to the district title game Tuesday with a 71-49 win over Souderton.

Shawn Oakman (pictured), a junior center for coach Clyde Jones' team, had a breakout game. The 6-9, 245-pound Oakman scored a career-best 22 points, pulled in 10 rebounds, dished three assists and blocked three shots in the rout of the Indians. He was one of four players to score in double figures.

And about that championship game...

Everyone with any knowledge of District One has been saying since November that it's going to be an all PW title game. Now, that's official. Top-seeded Plymouth-Whitemarsh knocked off West Chester Rustin to move on to play Penn Wood for the crown.

And we're not just talking about the best two teams in the district --- they're the best two in the state. More incentive to get your tickets ASAP for Friday's final.

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Monday, March 1, 2010


Who would've thought Archbishop Carroll losing Monday in the Catholic League championship would be the least of its problems?

Already coping with All-Delco point guard D.J. Irving sidelined with a fracture in his shooting hand, the Patriots have another problem afoot following their 75-59 loss to Neumann-Goretti at the Palestra.

Senior forward Ben Mingledough (pictured) was ejected from the game after stepping in to break up a confrontation between teammate Vince Mostardi and the Saints' Tony Chennault, a Wake Forest-bound guard who is four inches taller than Mostardi. That means the Patriots will be without both Mingledough and Irving (assuming he doesn't cut off his cast) when they take on Simon Gratz Wednesday in the District 12 Class AAA play-in game.

A year ago, Carroll beat Gratz in the play-in on its way to the PIAA crown. Still, you have to imagine the Patriots would like their odds against the Bulldogs a whole lot more with their second- and third-leading scorers on the court instead of on the bench.

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The locations and times for upcoming District One boys basketball playoff games have been announced. If you're a fan of a team in Class AAAA, you're staying close to home. If you follow Springfield, you better gas up.

Here's what you're looking at:
Tuesday - Class AAAA
Semifinal: Penn Wood vs. Souderton, Villanova, 6 p.m.
Fifth-place playback: Penncrest vs. Pennsbury, Norristown, 6 p.m.
Fifth-place playback: Chester vs. Neshaminy, Norristown, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday - Class AAA
Semifinal: Springfield vs. Octorara, West Chester East, 7:30 p.m.

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