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The Daily Times' boys basketball blog

Thursday, May 24, 2012


The PIAA Basketball Championships at Penn State University have been favorable to Delco teams, but they are headed back to Hershey.

The Giant Center in Hershey will host the state's four classifications of boys and girls basketball championships for the next four years, beginning with the 2012-13 season, according to a post on District Three's Web site.

The PIAA's Board of Directors voted, 29-2, in favor of returning the championships to Hershey.

The title games had been hosted by Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center for the last six seasons, beginning in 2007. In that span, Chester (2008, '11, '12), Penn Wood (2009) and Archbishop Carroll (2009) won boys basketball championships, while Archbishop Carroll (2009, '12) and Cardinal O'Hara (2009) claimed girls titles.

Nonetheless, the basketball championships are back in Hershey.

According to a post on, money had a lot to do with the location change.

The PIAA in March asked for an RFP (request for proposal) from the sites that host winter championships, with which Penn State complied. But because Penn State submitted "a combined individual wrestling and basketball proposal in violation of the PIAA’s policy on championship venues," the PIAA asked that RFPs be re-submitted. It was at that point that, according to Frisco, Hershey submitted a proposal to return the title games back there, where they had been hosted for more than 20 years.

Frisco reports that Hershey "submitted a zero-rent bid" for the PIAA Championships, while Penn State "submitted a bid that included reimbursed expenses of $74,000 per season." If we're to believe what Frisco's reporting, the PIAA saw a chance to host the title games in Hershey at a better rate, compared to what it would face in State College.

Therefore, the games will be back in Hershey this March.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Garnet Valley has named Mike Brown its boys basketball coach, approving Brown's hire Tuesday night.

Brown replaces Joe Rapczynski, who held the position for two seasons.

A 1975 Cardinal O'Hara graduate who played at Lycoming College, Brown carries a coaching pedigree. A Concord Township resident, Brown assisted at Shippensburg University for two seasons (1979-81) and handled head coaching duties for six seasons at Archbishop Carroll (1981-87).

If you're wondering why there's such a lengthy period between Brown's coaching positions, it's simple: He wanted to watch his four children grow up and play the game...or any game. He didn't want to miss their athletic moments.

“It seems like a long gap, but my kids all played ball," Brown told me Wednesday, by phone. "And I got out to see them grow up and play."

Brown said the key to turning around Garnet Valley's program, which has had four straight losing seasons after qualifying for the District One Class AAAA tournament in 2007-08, is "keeping kids in the district."

“One thing that has happened, the kids in the middle school leave to go to the private schools, because the team has struggled," Brown said. "I need to communicate with the middle-school coaches and what I intend to do to keep them in the district. It's the same thing the Haverfords face and the Springfields face.

"The success of the rest of the programs at Garnet Valley is a good thing. If a kid's looking to drop a sport and focus on others, it's been basketball. We need to change that, and that starts with winning games. I think I can make in-roads. When I took over at Carroll, I've been through this before and maybe that appealed to the selection people. I've gone through this exercise before."

Brown said he'll have the Jaguars involved in the Chichester Summer League and a Widener University team camp while coordinating voluntary open-gym sessions.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Marple Newtown hired Brian Shane as its boys basketball coach, replacing Gerry Doemling.

The school announced the hiring Wednesday, though -- according to Shane -- he was given the post about a week back.

Shane played played at Springfield (a 1984 graduate) and served as an assistant coach at Lower Merion (from 2003 to '05), so he's quite familiar with the Central League.

He also guided The Haverford School for five seasons and won an Inter-Ac League championship in 1999. He sandwiched three seasons as an assistant at Immaculata University around one season as the head coach of a high school based in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Marple Newtown, in recent years, has had a one-and-done playoff reputation. And, in the years in which the Tigers were able to pick up a District One playoff victory, they failed to qualify for the PIAA tournament. Shane said he expects questions regarding that.

"The goal is to get Marple Newtown better and, any time you take a job, it's to build a team and a future of a championship team," said Shane, 45. "I was very fortunate to win an Inter-Ac championship at The Haverford School and that's the goal -- build a program and build a champion."

Shane said he's already got plans in the making for next season, and has the Tigers registered for a West Chester University summer league.

For more on Shane's hiring, pick up Thursday's edition of the Daily Times.

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