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The Daily Times' boys basketball blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


The Haverford School's bid to win the Inter-Ac League title for the first time since 1999 sustained a roadblock Tuesday.

Junior center Tao Xu will miss the Fords' next game - Friday night at Germantown Academy - after incurring a pair of technical fouls in The Haverford School's 61-52 victory over Penn Charter.

Xu picked up the first technical foul in the fourth quarter, when he responded with a shove after taking a two-handed push to the back on an uncontested lay-up attempt. The 6-11 Chinese exchange student has a history of back injuries, including three broken vertebrae.

He got whistled for a second technical later in the fourth, when he issued a salute after knocking down a 15-foot baseline jumper.

"He's been doing it all season, so we don't know," first-year Haverford School coach Henry Fairfax said. "He was saluting our fans and our JV kids. It's something he's done all year.

"In response to the other one, he got shoved in the back," Fairfax continued. "He broke three vertebrae in his back, so he thought they were going after him. He's not a malicious kid, so I hope this doesn't paint him as a kid he's not. I think it would be a huge injustice if they didn't let the kid play."

Xu said he has made a habit of doing the Jaromir Jagr-esque salute "after big plays."

Fairfax told me that he would "start the (Inter-Ac) appeals process as soon as I'm done speaking with you." He later texted me to say the appeal was denied.

Xu had 17 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots in Tuesday's victory. He is averaging 8.3 points per game this season, his first in the states.

(Times staff photo / ROBERT J. GURECKI)

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Monday, January 30, 2012


Not even the absence of Rondae Jefferson can slow down Chester.

Without their leading scorer for four of the last six games, the Clippers ascended to No. 4 in the latest USA Today Super 25 national boys basketball poll, which was released Monday night.

Chester (17-0), which is riding a 43-game winning streak, hasn't been ranked this high in any national poll since the Clippers closed the 2007-08 season at No. 3 in the USA Today poll.

Without Jefferson, their leading scorer who has been sidelined by dehydration, the Clippers have found ways to win. Kareem Robinson, Shanier Cottman and Erikk Wright have taken over scoring duties in the interim

Tuesday, Chester visits Interboro for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff. Thursday, the Clippers host Penn Wood at 7 p.m. in a rivalry game.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012


The latest Pennsylvania boys basketball polls were released minutes ago, late Sunday night and ... no surprise, Chester remains the state's top-ranked team in Class AAAA.

The Clippers (17-0), riding a 43-game winning streak, are ranked in the top-10 in nearly every national poll.

Arch. Carroll checks in at No. 6 in the Class AAA poll.

Here's a look at the rest of the Harrisburg Patriot-News' polls:

1. Chester* (1) 17-0 1
2. Lower Merion (1) 17-2 3
3. Roman Catholic (12) 11-6 2
4. St. Joseph’s Prep (12) 15-2 4
5. Shaler (7) 17-2 6
6. Central Dauphin (3) 17-1 9
7. Chartiers Valley (7) 15-2 5
8. Mount Lebanon (7) 13-4 NR
9. Wissahickon (1) 16-2 7
10. Emmaus (11) 13-3 10
Honorable mention: Bethlehem Freedom (11) 15-1, Coatesville (1) 16-2, Council Rock North (1) 14-3, Easton (11) 13-4, Harrisburg (3) 14-3, Hershey (3) 18-0, J.P. McCaskey (3) 14-4, Parkland (11) 15-3.

1. Neumann-Goretti* (12) 14-3 1
2. New Castle (7) 17-0 2
3. Montour (7) 11-1 3
4. Berks Catholic (3) 17-1 4
5. Hampton (7) 15-3 5
6. Archbishop Carroll (12) 12-5 6
7. Philadelphia Electrical (12) 14-7 7
8. Boys Latin Charter (12) 15-4 8
9. General McLane (10) 16-0 9
10. Holy Ghost Prep (1) 17-1 10
Honorable mention: Archbishop Wood (12) 13-4, Danville (4) 14-2, Franklin (10) 13-2, Johnstown (6) 16-1, Keystone Oaks (7) 14-2, Lampeter-Strasburg (3) 17-1, Octorara (1) 14-3, Scranton Prep (2) 12-4.

1. Imhotep Charter* (12) 14-6 1
2. Beaver Falls (7) 15-2 2
3. Monessen (7) 17-1 3
4. Communications Tech (12) 12-7 4
5. Vaux (12) 11-7 6
6. Mercyhurst Prep (10) 15-1 5
7. Sto-Rox (7) 13-1 7
8. Salisbury (11) 17-0 8
9. Quaker Valley (7) 15-2 NR
10. Riverside (2) 15-1 10
Honorable mention: Athens (4) 13-2, Bishop McCort (6) 10-4, Dunmore (2) 12-5, GAR Memorial (2) 15-1, Holy Cross (2) 12-4, Lewisburg (4) 12-3, Meyers (2) 14-2, Westmont Hilltop (6) 12-2.

1. Constitution (12) 9-9 1
2. Math, Civics & Sciences* (12) 13-6 2
3. Lincoln Park (7) 14-3 3
4. Church Farm (1) 12-4 4
5. Girard College (1) 17-0 5
6. West Middlesex (10) 12-4 6
7. North Catholic (7) 13-4 7
8. Vincentian (7) 13-3 8
9. Greenwood (3) 15-1 9
10. Ridgway (9) 15-0 10
Honorable mention: Cornell (7) 13-4, Faith Christian (1) 13-3, Johnsonburg (9) 11-3, Kennedy Catholic (10) 10-4, Northern Cambria (6) 13-2, Our Lady of Sacred Heart (7) 14-2, Serra Catholic (7) 12-5, Southern Fulton (5) 13-2.
*-reigning PIAA champion. Number in parentheses is PIAA district.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012


How do you tell a prolific scorer not to shoot? How do you prepare a 1,000-point scorer in high school for riding the bench in college?

When that player's name is Jake Godino, it's all relative.

Godino, a senior at Temple, has played a total of 23 minutes and shot 4-for-9 from the field for 12 points ... in three seasons. At Delaware County Christian School, where Godino earned his acclaim, that would be considered a night's work.

But Godino, a Chester native who spent three years of his youth in North Philadelphia, wanted to play at Temple. It's the only college to which he applied. And it's paid off for him. The 6-0 senior guard has gone from practice-squad player, to walk-on, to scholarship athlete since arriving at Temple in 2008-09.

“When I was 10 years old, we lived on Carlisle Street (in North Philadelphia) for a couple years, two blocks up from here, and I grew up watching Lynn Greer and Alex Wesby,” Godino said of the Temple greats. “I was the ballboy for them when I was 10, so this was always the dream.”

Instead of pursuing a playing career at a Division II or III institution, Godino is living out his dream, which came to fruition this month, when Temple coach Fran Dunphy offered him a scholarship for the final semester of an undergraduate career for the Sports and Rec Management major.

“When Jeff (Wilson, Temple's director of basketball operations) called me into his office recently and said, 'I think we can get you that scholarship,' I got choked up,” Godino said Saturday, following Temple's 78-60 win against Saint Joseph's. “I don't think I said a word.”

Godino, with 73 seconds to go and Temple holding a sizeable lead, used a step-off move to create space and bury a 16-foot jumper from the left side. In the long run, it meant nothing toward Temple's NCAA Tournament resume. But that shot, like everything else in Godino's career, hasn't gone unappreciated.

“Guys like me, Nick (Pendergast) and Jimmy (McDonnell), we're always talking at practice about (playing time)," Godino said of he and his benchmates. "The coaches tell us they appreciate what we bring to the team. We're always appreciated.

"I appreciate what Delco Christian did for me. I wish the tradition of winning was carried on a bit more. It's dropped off a bit, but I love what they did for me. I love that school. It was the stepping stone to get here and I don't forget that. I appreciate everything they did for me."

That includes the Atlantic 10 championships and the NCAA Tournament bids - and opening-round win last March. Godino said he'd appreciate one more crack at the Big Dance.

“There's nothing like the tournament," Godino said. "Everybody's so happy to be there. The flight to wherever we're going is great. If I remember one thing, when I'm old and everything, the thing that will stick out is the tournament. That's how I feel about it."

Friday, January 27, 2012


Well, reigning Central League MVP Shawn Church finally made a choice regarding his college recruitment: He hasn't picked a school.

The reason? Church, a 6-4 senior forward at Ridley, told me Thursday night that he will pursue the prep-school route in an attempt to improve his test scores and his college recruitment. Delaware County's second-leading scorer, Church averages 18..4 points per game.

Ridley coach Mike Snyder said Haverford coach Keith Heinerichs, Church's former coach at Ridley, will aid in the process.

"We're looking into that for him," said Snyder. "His AAU coach and Keith and I are going to help with that. There was Division I interest in the summer, but no offers. The AAU team he was playing for was loaded, so he was getting big-time schools looking at him. His grades aren't the strongest, so I think he's going to do the prep-school thing. He loves basketball and we want to help him get to the next level."

It had been believed that Church, the 11th player in Ridley history to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau, was a Division I talent. While Snyder and Church confirmed that much, it'll take another year before we know where Church is taking his talents.

After Thursday's game, Haverford big man Kevin Gladstone told me he's narrowed his choices to four Division III schools: Wilkes, Gettysburg, Elizabethtown and DeSales. Gladstone, who averages 12 points per game, is a 6-4 forward.


I've been told Chester junior Rondae Jefferson has been offered a scholarship by Temple, while Glen Mills senior Raheem Harvey has not, though Harvey has been spotted at two Temple games this season.

Jefferson, one of the county's best players, has missed four of the Clippers' last six games due to what Chester coaches have termed "dehydration and exhaustion." Harvey is fresh off his second triple-double of the season, posting 22 points, 22 rebounds and 10 blocked shots Thursday night in a win over Chichester.

(Times staff photo / JULIA WILKINSON)

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Thursday, January 26, 2012


Week 3 of the Daily Times' basketball video feature, "Talkin' Hoops," brings Matt Smith and I to this topic: Which teams need to close their season the strongest, in order to earn a first-round home game in the district tournament?

Take a look and give us your thoughts:

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OK, folks. Since everyone loves stats, I've compiled a blog post for the stat-hungry basketball junkies out there.

Here's a list of Delaware County's finest free-throw shooters this season, with only two stipulations: The player must have attempted at least 50 foul shots AND they must have made at least 60 percent of them. (Otherwise, the list would stretch from here to the Jersey shore.)

So here's your leaderboard through Wednesday's games:

(Minimum 50 attempts, 60 percent efficiency)
Through Wednesday
FT % ... Player, School (FTM-FTA)
85.7 ... Danny Rutecki, Springfield (60-70)
73.1 ... Xavier Couthen, Glen Mills (38-52)
73.0 ... Matt Fox, Springfield (38-52)
72.4 ... Ryan Kelly, Garnet Valley (50-69)
69.4 ... Malcolm Richardson, Penn Wood (41-59)
69.3 ... Rob Pittman, Chichester (70-101)
67.9 ... Ray Hollman, Haverford School (36-53)
67.0 ... Ryan Furst, Marple Newtown (59-88)
64.7 ... Austin Stephens, Delco Christian (44-68)
64.2 ... Alec Stavetski, Arch Carroll (52-81)
63.9 ... John Fender, Strath Haven (62-97)
63.6 ... Darius Robinson, Chester (35-55)
62.7 ... Yusef Ross, Upper Darby (37-59)
61.5 ... Rondae Jefferson, Chester (56-91)
60.6 ... Christian Irons, Interboro (54-89)

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Archbishop Carroll's Yosef Yacob isn't having the best season, but it's been good enough to garner a pair of offers from Division I programs.

Yacob, the Patriots' junior point guard, has received scholarship offers from Rider and Albany, according to Carroll coach Paul Romanczuk.

"I'm sure (his recruiting) will pick up on the AAU trail this spring and summer," Romanczuk said Wednesday, "but we've had a few teams pop in and out of the gym. I don't think it's anyone new exactly who is entering the picture.

"Last time I checked, Rider and Albany have offered full scholarships," he continued. "Delaware and Northeastern and Niagara have checked in on him, as well. I'm sure there's some I'm missing."

Counted on to be the go-to guy at Carroll -- after losing Juan'ya Green (Niagara) to graduation in 2011 and D.J. Irving (Boston U) in 2010 -- Yacob is averaging 10 points per game, though he's had to weather a few sluggish shooting nights. Yacob has hit for double-figures in scoring in only seven of 16 games for the Patriots (11-5, 6-1).

But Yacob has been known to shoot lights-out when it matters most. (See: 2010-11 PCL playoffs). I'm certain it'll pick up for Yacob soon ... and that goes for his recruitment, too.

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Friday, January 20, 2012


Here's the latest installment of the weekly basketball video, featuring girls basketball writer Matt Smith and myself.

Take a look:

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The performance Thursday night by Interboro's Christian Irons triggered a thought: Who leads the county in single-game scoring for the season?

I hit my statbook and came up with this list - topped, of course, by 32-point outings from Irons and Ridley's Shawn Church. Take a look:

32 ... Shawn Church, RID (Dec. 15, 46-58 L, vs. CON)
32 ... Christian Irons, INT (Jan. 19, 60-47 W, vs. AP)
31 ... Raheem Harvey, GM (Dec. 17, 56-66 L, vs. RID)
29 ... Chuck Dorsey, AP (Dec. 17, 64-55 W, vs. SH)
29 ... Matt Fox, SPR (Dec. 20, 53-48 W, vs. CON)
29 ... George Walker, GM (Jan. 12, 70-71 L, vs. AP)
28 ... Shawn Church, RID (Dec. 10, 63-31 W, vs. AP)
28 ... Jon Vandenberg, GV (Jan. 5, 57-62 L, vs. CON)
28 ... Ryan Furst, MN (Jan. 13, 69-58 W, vs. HARR)
27 ... Shawn Church, RID (Dec. 30, 46-55 L, vs. Boys Latin)
27 ... Shawn Church, RID (Dec. 17, 66-56 W, vs. GM)
27 ... Christian Irons, INT (Jan. 5, 71-43 W, vs. Twin Valley)
27 ... Ryan Kelly, GV (Dec. 28, 65-52 W, vs. Collingswood)

Some additional notes for this list:
Raheem Harvey's 31-point game was his first game of the season, as he required doctor's clearance stemming from past injuries before beginning the year. ... Ryan Kelly's outing triggered Garnet Valley's first win of the season in its eighth game. ... From everything I've heard from those in the building, Ridley vs. Glen Mills was in the background and Church vs. Harvey became the story that Dec. 17 evening. Impressive.

In case you were curious:
The county's single-game scoring record belongs to two individuals - Sun Valley's Tom Hauer (1995) and Chester's Zain Shaw (1991) dropped 69 points in their respective games.

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Mark your calendars for these events — both great causes that, unfortunately, will be played on the same day:

****The Hero Bowl All-Star Game, April 1. The third-annual event works in conjunction for the scholarship fund of the same name, which raises money for the children of emergency services officials who perish in the line of duty. The game, which pits senior-loaded East and West teams, begins at 3 p.m. at Interboro High School.

****The All-Star Labor Classic, April 1. The 25th-annual event, sponsored by Philadelphia’s Organized Labor, raises money for United
Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia. The game, which fields City and Suburban all-star teams, tips off at 1 p.m. at Upper Dublin High School.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012


The first one is in the books.

While we have to wait until Feb. 2 for the rematch, Chester's 69-43 dismantling of Penn Wood had a few wrinkles. Firstly, it wasn't nearly as bad as the final score would indicate. But there's much more to the game than just the final score. Have a look:

****Chester officials gave me a reason for why junior Rondae Jefferson (pictured, above) missed last Thursday night's game against Interboro. "He was dehydrated. He went to the hospital," I was told. Well, Jefferson didn't waste any more time. He's averaging 11 points in the three games since his return.
****Jefferson brought the crowd to its feet on three straight trips up the floor, with electric dunks. None was better than the one served up by Darius Robinson (pictured, left).
****Penn Wood's gym, always cramped, was especially tight with The Comcast Network's camera scaffolding - at midcourt and in the Southeast corner.
****Villanova coach Jay Wright, after noticing his likeness was on live television, winked into the camera. A rare night in which Jay was not livid.
****In case you didn't notice, Chester had new uniforms. I heard UnderArmour sent a shipment of the new gear - which included socks, shoes and everything they could slap their logo on - arrived just in time for Tuesday's game.
****After Tymier Butler swatted Penn Wood shots on successive possessions, a Chester fan exclaimed, "Not in our house. Wait, and not in your house either."
****How deep is Chester's varsity roster? At one point in the JV game that preceded the varsity tilt, a fan asked former Chester coach Fred Pickett why sophomore forward Diamonte Reason, who scored all 14 points in the JV Clips' 14-0 third-quarter swing, wasn't on varsity. Pickett's reply? "There's no room," he said.

"We know, to beat them, we have to take care of all our details. We gave up 21 offensive rebounds. … There’s no way for us to (win). We don’t score enough to counter that. We had 17 rebounds for the game. I saw my stats. You don’t rebound, you’re not going to beat them."
---Penn Wood coach Clyde Jones

“We’ve been coming out (slowly) the last couple games. That means we’ve got to get better. We’ve got some work."
---Chester senior Erikk Wright of his 14-0 team

“It feels real good to blow them out like that. They’re the only team people come to see when we play and all that."
---Chester senior Richard Granberry, pictured

“In our league you’ve got to beat Penn Wood and Glen Mills. … Any team can beat any team, but we don’t want to be that team."
---Chester coach Larry Yarbray

For a game that permitted only 400 into the building, the usual suspects were there. Chester All-Delcos Maurice Nelson and Lamon Church from the 2010-11 PIAA Class AAAA championship team, were in the building. Penn Wood's Dequan Pelzer, from the 2008-09 PIAA title team, was there, as well. Villanova's Jay Wright, and Seton Hall assistant coach Shaheen Holloway also made a showing.

(Times staff photos / ROBERT J. GURECKI)

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Sunday, January 15, 2012


The folks at the William Penn School District emailed over the ticket details for the Chester at Penn Wood game Tuesday, Jan. 17, which will be televised by The Comcast Network. Here's what you need to know:

You can purchase tickets Monday, Jan. 16 (10 a.m. to noon) and Tuesday, Jan. 17 (during school hours). They cost $5.

And that's it.

Penn Wood athletic director Rap Curry said in the press release that tickets will not be available at the door, adding that those wishing to attend should be through the doors at the high school no later than 6 p.m. (They will turn people away who arrive later that that.) And with so much time prior to tipoff, be prepared to sit and wait a while ... if you're fortunate enough to get a seat.

Should be a good one.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012


If you're a fan, a parent, or a player, you've probably experienced a heavy heart in the last week. The reason being, every time you've turned around, it seems as though another high school is being told it could close.

Friday night, a warm crowd filled Cardinal O'Hara's gym in hopes of Monsignor Bonner springing an upset. It didn't work. The winless Friars, who were told last week by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that their school will close, suffered a 51-25 loss to the host Lions. Matt Chandik gives us the report.

Leading up to the game Bonner players and coach Tom Meakim anticipated a return to the glory days of their heated rivalry, with a packed house full of emotions. At least that part worked out for the Friars.

On the other side, O'Hara fans gave a moment of silence in honor of Lions coach Tim Kelly's wife, Kathleen, who passed last week. Rob Parent spoke with Kelly about his side of an emotional game.

About 20 minutes to the south, Chester High is dealing with talk of its school closing. The Chester Upland School District, financially strapped, will not meet its pay period Wednesday, meaning every employee will go without pay from now until the foreseeable future.

So if Chester High closes, where does that leave the nationally ranked Clippers?

Certainly an emotional week in Delco Hoops.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012


Well, it's official.

What we at Delco Hoops reported late last week has been verified: The Comcast Network will televise Chester at Penn Wood Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

The game kicks off a nine-game television contract by The Comcast Network.

Chester at Penn Wood is by far the best game of the season to this point. Of course, that could change when Penn Wood visits Chester, but that's a topic for later.

"My concern about this game being on television is that my only concern is we play well against Chester," Penn Wood coach Clyde Jones said by phone Thursday night. "I think (the cameras being) there will make my kids pay a lot more attention to what the coaches are saying because they'll realize their mistakes are going out to a TV audience, too."

If you're planning on attending the game, well, good luck. I'm told fewer than 300 tickets will be available for the game and, as Jones put it, "you better get there by 5:15 if you want a seat."

There you have it.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012


This week, girls basketball beat writer Matt Smith and I debuted a weekly video feature for, breaking down highlights from the week before and discussing trends and upcoming basketball topics, as well.

If you have any suggestions for us to chat about for future installments, let us know by email ( Thanks.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Here's what you already knew: Raheem Harvey is pretty darned good. Here's what you probably didn't know: The Glen Mills senior is getting Division I recruiting interest.

Harvey, a 6-9 forward/center, and Glen Mills coach Tony Bacon told me Tuesday night that the senior is receiving recruiting interest from Temple, as well as Division II programs West Chester, Kutztown and Lincoln.

While that might seem like quite a spread, it isn't. Why, you ask? Well, a guy like Harvey is absolutely a Division I recruit, and a program like Temple's can see that.

Bacon said Temple coach Fran Dunphy has attended Glen Mills' practices to see what Harvey can bring to the table: An athletic, well-conditioned body in the post and a player with a nose for rebounding and playing defense. If you look a little further, there's no doubt you'll see that Harvey needs polish on the offensive end. But while he's working on developing slicker, low-block moves, and working his way up the depth chart, he can bring a toughness to the post players at Temple.

If anybody knows a thing or two about toughness, it's Harvey. He's a kid who's rebounded from a devastating car crash, which resulted in a month-long coma, only to return to the floor last season and this season.

Oh, by the way...Harvey totaled 13 points, 22 rebounds (seven offensive) and three blocked shots. One of those rejections, Harvey ricocheted off the South wall of Chichester's gym. For the season, Harvey averages a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds. He also owns a triple-double.

(Photo: Courtesy Glen Mills Schools)

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Chester's ascent in the national rankings continues.

The Clippers (9-0), fresh off a win in Virginia over the weekend, took a two-spot bump to No. 8 in the latest ESPN/POWERADE Fab 50 poll, which was released Tuesday. Coach Larry Yarbray's crew topped Landstown (Va.) Saturday in Newport News, Va., to extend their two-season winning streak to 36 games.

Last week, Chester came in at No. 10 in the same poll.

As I pointed out last week, this appears to be Chester's highest national ranking since the conclusion of the 2007-08 season, when the Clippers polished off the year with a PIAA Class AAAA crown and the No. 3 slot in USA Today's Super 25 poll.

The Clippers play four games this week. Here's a look at Chester's next few opponents:
***Tuesday: at Academy Park (Del Val League opener)
***Thursday: vs. Interboro (Chester's first game at the Clip Joint in three weeks)
***Saturday: vs. Aquinas Institute (N.Y.), at Erie, Pa. (first of two games at the MLK Showcase at Erie East H.S.)
***Sunday: vs. Erie Central Tech, at Erie, Pa.

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Well, nothing out of the ordinary here.

When the Harrisburg Patriot-News unveiled its top-10 polls for this week, seeing Chester atop the PIAA Class AAAA rankings really is no surprise. The Clippers, who last week ranked No. 10 nationally by ESPN, are expected to climb some more after another blemish-free week.

Archbishop Carroll's spot at No. 7 in the PIAA Class AAA poll, however, is kind of a surprise. The Patriots have struggled to a 5-4 record, rebounding some to earn a 2-0 start to the Catholic League season after getting swept in a holiday-tournament showing in Boston, Mass.

Here are the rankings in full:

1. Chester* (1) 9-0 1
2. Roman Catholic (12) 4-3 3
3. Chartiers Valley (7) 10-0 7
4. Emmaus (11) 8-1 NR
5. Lower Merion (1) 10-2 2
6. St. Joseph’s Prep (12) 8-2 6
7. Scranton (2) 8-0 10
8. Shaler (7) 8-2 8
9. Harrisburg (3) 7-2 NR
10. Wissahickon (1) 10-1 NR
Honorable mention: Cedar Cliff (3) 9-1, Central Dauphin (3) 8-1, Father Judge (12) 9-1, Freedom (11) 9-0, Gateway (7) 7-3, Hershey (3) 10-0, North Allegheny (7) 7-2, Pocono Mountain West (11) 9-2.

1. Neumann-Goretti* (12) 8-2 1
2. New Castle (7) 10-0 2
3. Berks Catholic (3) 8-0 4
4. Boys Latin Charter (12) 9-2 7
5. Montour (7) 5-0 8
6. Hampton (7) 8-3 6
7. Archbishop Carroll (12) 5-4 NR
8. Philadelphia Electrical (12) 7-5 3
9. Greensburg Salem (7) 8-2 9
10. Holy Ghost Prep (1) 11-0 NR
Honorable mention: Archbishop Wood (12) 7-2, Allentown Central Catholic (11) 4-4, Danville (4) 7-2, General McLane (10) 9-0, Grove City (10) 9-1, Johnstown (6) 7-1, Octorara (1) 7-3, Sharon (10) 4-2.

1. Imhotep Charter* (12) 7-3 1
2. Monessen (7) 11-0 5
3. Communications Tech (12) 9-2 3
4. Beaver Falls (7) 8-1 2
5. Mercyhurst Prep (10) 9-1 NR
6. Riverside (2) 10-0 6
7. Vaux (12) 5-6 7
8. Sto-Rox (7) 7-1 NR
9. Salisbury (11) 10-0 NR
10. GAR Memorial (2) 10-0 NR
Honorable mention: Bishop McCort (6) 6-2, Holy Cross (2) 7-3, Lakeview (10) 7-2, Loyalsock (4) 7-2, Meyers (2) 8-2, Notre Dame-Green Pond (11) 8-4, Quaker Valley (7) 9-1, Summit Academy (7) 7-3.

1. Math, Civics & Sciences* (12) 6-4 2
2. Constitution (12) 4-5 1
3. Lincoln Park (7) 7-2 3
4. Church Farm (1) 8-1 4
5. Girard College (1) 9-0 NR
6. North Catholic (7) 7-2 6
7. Our Lady of Sacred Heart (7) 10-0 NR
8. West Middlesex (10) 6-4 NR
9. Vincentian (7) 7-2 7
10. Greenwood (3) 9-1 NR
Honorable mention: Bishop Carroll (6) 5-2, Faith Christian (1) 7-2, Johnsonburg (9) 7-1, Mahanoy Area (11) 9-1, Paul Robeson (12) 8-3, Ridgway (9) 8-0, Southern Fulton (5) 8-1, Williamsburg (6) 8-2.
*-reigning PIAA champion. Number in parentheses is PIAA district.

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Friday, January 6, 2012


A source close to Penn Wood informed the Daily Times Friday that Comcast is in discussions with the high school to televise the Patriots' home meeting with nationally ranked Chester Jan. 17.

A call to Comcast late Friday was not immediately returned.

To make room for cameras at Penn Wood's tiny gym (which houses 400 fans on a good day), it's believed -- according to the source -- that Comcast would assemble scaffolding to elevate its cameras above floor level. The source, who expects tickets to the game to be sold in advance, also said "people would be turned away at the door" because "there's simply not enough room" at Penn Wood.

Chester coach Larry Yarbray said he hasn't heard anything about the supposed pact between Comcast and Penn Wood to televise the game against his Clippers, who are ranked 10th this week by ESPN/POWERADE's Fab 50.

"Hey, anything's possible around here, but do they have room for TV cameras in there?" said Yarbray, when reached in Newport News, Va., where Chester will play Saturday in the 7-Cities Roundball Classic. "It might be best if they do it in Chester.

"But I don't know anything about that. You're bringing something to my attention. Hey, if that's what they're talking about doing, game on."

If I hear anything further, I'll be sure to provide the updates. So stay tuned. (No pun intended.)

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Thursday, January 5, 2012


You'd figure that his 22-point performance, which spurred Temple past fifth-ranked Duke, 78-73, Wednesday night, would rank as a personal highlight for Khalif Wyatt.

And you'd be right.

But what ranks right behind that Temple victory - in Wyatt's book - might surprise you. Here's what Wyatt, a junior at Temple and a Norristown product, had to say to reporters after the win:

"This is probably my biggest performance, right behind beating Chester High. Nah, this is probably the biggest win, biggest performance, biggest win, biggest stage I had in my career."

Wyatt's Norristown team defeated Temple teammate Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson's Chester team in a 2008-09 District One Class AAAA quarterfinal game, which ended the Clippers' unprecedented (and, frankly, never-to-be-matched) 38-game winning streak in district-tourney play.

So maybe Wyatt's comment was a little poke at Hollis-Jefferson ... or maybe a humorous way of levying to fans just how big Wednesday's win over Duke really was.

(Photo: By The Associated Press)

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Night after night, coaches call the Daily Times with box scores to report. And night after night, we're treated to a high-scoring individual display coming from a team in the Del Val League.

Long known as one of the top leagues in Pennsylvania for its team success, the Del Val League is home this season to some of Delaware County's finest individual talent. Of Delco's top-20 scorers, 10 are from the six-team Del Val -- including Penn Wood's Malcolm Richardson (pictured), who leads the county with 19.8 points per game.

"You know what everyone says about this league, that it's the best in the state," Academy Park coach Allen Brydges said this week. "Let's just say there's no particular game that's a picnic."

"It just seems like every team has that guy with a capability to take over a game," Interboro coach Jeff Webb said recently.

As of Monday, Richardson led Del Val's cast of Delco's leading scorers. The others were: Academy Park's Chuck Dorsey (18.0 ppg); Interboro's Christian Irons (17.6 ppg) and Shawn Frampton (13.2); Chichester's Robert Pittman (14.5); Penn Wood's Tyree Bynum (12.6); Glen Mills' George Walker (13.7); and Chester's Rondae Jefferson (11.8) and Darius Robinson (11.6).

A Del Val representative has played for the PIAA Class AAAA title in each of the last five seasons. Chester won it all in 2008 and 2011 and finished runnerup in 2007, while Penn Wood was crowned in 2009 and took second in 2010.

Those seasons, the Del Val did it with team-oriented success. This year, more than the previous four since I've covered basketball in Delco, the Del Val can do it with exceptional scorers. ... And, oh by the way ... five of the six teams will enter league play next week with winning records.

Only in the Del Val.

(Photo: Courtesy

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Though their numbers are a smidge off, ESPN has moved Chester into the top 10 of its national boys basketball poll.

The Clippers (8-0, not 9-0) extended their two-season winning streak to 34 games (not 35) with a win over Christ the King (N.Y.) New Year's Day. That elevated Chester coach Larry Yarbray's team into the No. 10 slot, up from No. 14 in the previous week's rankings.

It's believed that this is Chester's first top-10 poll position of any kind since March 2008, when the Clippers finished No. 3 in the USA Today Super 25 after winning the PIAA Class AAAA title.

Kudos to my colleague Matt Chandik (@MattChandik, for those of you on Twitter), who saw the updated rankings before I did. (Hey, the kid's digital first. What can I say?)


In other Chester news: The Clippers' opponent Saturday in the 7-Cities Roundball Classic, in Newport News, Va., has changed. Chester will play Landstown (Va.), instead of Kellam (Va.)

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He might be a work in progress, but Cardinal O'Hara's Ed Allen certainly is putting in the work.

The lean 6-4 senior forward, who plays the center spot for the Lions, totaled 12 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots (including this one, pictured) in O'Hara's 57-55 nonleague win Tuesday over Academy Park.

O'Hara doesn't have tons of size in the lineup, so Lions coach Tim Kelly is forced to play Allen in the middle. That's not an issue for Allen, an undersize big man who's got more height than weight. That didn't hinder Allen against Academy Park, with Allen holding his own against much more physical post players Cyrie Spencer (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Delco's leading scorer Chuck Dorsey (10 points).

"(Dorsey) got into foul trouble and we knew coming into the game that he'd jump and get tired," Allen said. "That was our gameplan and I just wanted to stay with him as long as I could, to make a difference."

Because of his lean build, rebounding ability and his shooting range, which stretches to 12 feet, Allen has "the potential to develop into a nice college player," Kelly said, even though it might take some time.

Kelly said Allen is receiving light Division II and III recruiting interest...for now.

(Photo: Times staff / ROBERT J. GURECKI)

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Monday, January 2, 2012


Let's be honest: There was way too much going on Sunday to squeeze into one story.

That's the reality of any Chester High game, but when it's nationally ranked Chester against New York City's Christ the King, which opened the year ranked nationally ... well, there's a bounty of tidbits from the game. (And, oh by the way, Chester won 65-53 in the Villa Classic.)

Here's further coverage of the game:
****Here's how you know Chester coach Larry Yarbray is doing something right. The Clippers, who have won 34 games in a row, sold out Widener University's Schwartz Center for an 8 p.m. tipoff ... on New Year's Day ... with ticket prices at $20 a head for all fans, regardless of age. Quite a feat.
****Chester's Kareem Robinson is usually cool, calm and collect ... but not to the point where he's chatting with his coach while maintaining a dribble ... while the game is ongoing, with a defender on his hip. It was a savvy play only the veteran point guard could have pulled off.
****After the game, Chester assistant coach Keddy Harris marched up the tunnel toward the Clippers' locker room, shouting, "19? 19?" Clearly, Harris was bewildered by the 19 free throws the Clippers missed. Had they shot better than 20-for-39 from the foul line, they could have used the fourth quarter to coast rather than play high-tempo ball.
****Elsewhere at the Villa Classic, one-time Villanova commit Savon Goodman (from Constitution High, of the Philadelphia Public League) dropped 46 points in an 80-72 win over Cardoza (N.Y.)

“He just started talking to me, and usually I’m the one to start the talking. But it was the New Year. I was tired, so maybe I was quiet a little bit. I was just chilling, but I guess I was locking him up so he started talking. He made that one shot and he got in my face."
--Chester's Kareem Robinson (13 points, two steals, two assists), of Christ the King's Isaiah Lewis. Robinson drew an offensive foul against Lewis on one possession and, on CTK's next trip up the floor, Lewis clapped in Robinson's face after making a bucket and got a technical foul.

****Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson: 2009 Chester All-Delco, a Temple junior forward and the brother of Rondae Jefferson.
****Fran Dunphy: Temple coach who likely was scouting Rondae Jefferson and, in the earlier game at Widener, Amile Jefferson of Friends Central.
****Ronell Williams (linebacker at West Chester) and Laquan Robinson (defensive back at Widener), who graduated from Chester in 2010.
****Hajj Turner: George Washington University assistant coach.
****Maurice Nelson (Harcum) and Lamon Church (Kutztown): Chester All-Delcos from the 2011 PIAA Class AAAA title team.


Be sure to check out YesgodTV's highlights from Chester's game, which can be seen here.

One final note: if you like the photos above, it was taken by a member of the New York Post staff. Be sure to check out their photo page from Sunday's game.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012


Doors are about to be opened for Rondae Jefferson. That's assuming they haven't been opened already.

The junior, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound small forward, plays at Chester - the reigning PIAA Class AAAA champion poised for a repeat. Jefferson spent the summer playing for the United States Developmental National Team, reserved for the country's top 27 U-16 players. Jefferson has a page at dedicated to him. And -- oh, by the way -- ESPN, and all rate him as a four-star-or-better college recruit.

Among the schools that have offered him a scholarship: La Salle, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Saint Joseph's, Temple and Villanova. Among the schools that have interest: Well, there are too many to list.

Does this faze Jefferson at all?

"Not really," he said this week. "Actually, no, not at all. I don't worry about any of that. I just play basketball."

"He's got everybody and his mother looking at him," said Chester coach Larry Yarbray, of Jefferson. "He's got to keep working. At times, it's because he's a naturally gifted ballplayer, he can turn it on and off when he wants to."

We'll see if Jefferson has it turned on tonight, when Chester goes against Christ the King (N.Y.) in a meeting of teams that opened the season among the nationally ranked.

Check back here for a score update and a quick recap following the game, a 7:45 start at Widener.

UPDATE (11:26 p.m.):
Chester 65, Christ the King 53
Rondae Jefferson had 18 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocked shots for the Clippers (8-0), who used an 11-3 spurt to close the third quarter and create distance between them and their opponents from New York City.

Kareem Robinson had 13 points, buoyed by a pair of 3-pointers, to go with two steals and two assists for Chester. Richard Granberry (eight points, four rebounds), Shanier Cottman (six boards, four steals) and Darius Robinson (nine points) also provided the Clippers a boost.

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