Blogs > Delco Hoops

The Daily Times' boys basketball blog

Saturday, December 17, 2011


When I arrived at Marple Newtown High School Friday night, I figured I was in for a decent basketball game between two teams expected to figure into the mix for the Central League playoff picture.

Turns out there was even more going on along Media Line Road.

Sure, Marple Newtown knocked off Springfield, 54-38. But the real story was Marple Newtown's gym, a newly renovated arena that may have vaulted into the short list of my top-five places to see a game in Delaware County. (More on that below.)

Here are a few reasons why: Marple Newtown does it right, with its chorus singing the national anthem, its marching band (yes, the marching band) playing tunes between quarters and during timeouts, the west end of the gym bouncing with student fans and a packed atmosphere.

Oh, and Marple Newtown coach Jerry Doemling's got a great team on his hands. Pat McGee scored 18 points, Ryan Furst had 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists, and Andrew Brandt had eight points and eight rebounds.

Furst said it best about Marple's new digs: "It's easy to play well in a place like this."


Now, that being said, here are a few of my other favorite places to take in a boys basketball game in Delaware County (in no particular order):

**Clip Joint, Chester High. It doesn't get any better. Being that Chester routinely fields the area's top team, you're in store for solid play, no question. But don't forget about some of the most animated fans ... and the cheerleaders doing the Chester Train. The place is a history lesson, too, and the 1,000-point scorers list is a veritable who's-who in Delco hoops. Timeless.
**Marple Newtown. For the reasons listed above, it's absolutely the place to be. I especially liked the band playing during timeouts. Total college feel.
**Harrison Gymnasium, Glen Mills. Just because the student body is obligated to go doesn't mean it's obligated to be into the game. But the students cheer, and chant, and sing, and stomp ... all game long. And the P.A. guy often plays "Apache" by The Sugar Hill Gang. Absolute throwback.
**Penn Wood. That bandbox of a gym is the epitome of high school hoops. You walk in on a brisk winter night, you walk out a sweaty mess. That's because what goes on in the cozy confines along Essex Avenue is good, fun basketball in the tightest of quarters.
**Penncrest. If only for the look of the place, it rates among the best, with an above-the-court track that provides a top-tier sightline. The always-involved student section makes this a special place, too.

(Times photo / ERIC HARTLINE)

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