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The Daily Times' boys basketball blog

Friday, December 7, 2012

Chester tops first AAAA poll, Carroll third in AAA

The preseason accolades for the defending PIAA Class AAAA champion Chester Clippers keep rolling in. This time, it's a No. 1 spot in the Harrisburg Patriot-News state poll. As always, the Philly area is well-represented on the list and Penn Wood gets in the honorable mention section.

Here's the first poll.

1. Chester (1) 32-0 1
2. Lower Merion (1) 29-4 2
3. St. Joseph’s Prep (12) 21-6 9
4. Cathedral Prep (10) 21-6 5
5. Harrisburg (3) 21-7 8
6. McCaskey (3) 22-8 NR
7. Williamsport (4) 18-9 NR
8. New Castle (7) 27-1 NR
9. Abington (1) 20-8 NR
10. Roman Catholic (12) 17-10 4
Honorable mention: Coatesville (1) 25-7, Easton (11) 22-8, Gateway (7) 21-7, Hampton (7) 25-5, Liberty (11) 14-9, Norristown (1) 20-9, Penn Wood (1) 16-9, State College (6) 18-5.

In the AAA poll, Archbishop Carroll checks in at No. 3. 

1. Neumann-Goretti* (12) 28-3 1
2. Imhotep Charter# (12) 22-8 NR
3. Archbishop Carroll (12) 20-8 6
4. Chartiers Valley (7) 20-3 NR
5. Allentown C.C. (11) 16-10 NR
6. Abington Heights (2) 24-6 9
7. Mars (7) 18-8 NR
8. Hickory (10) 16-10 NR
9. Berks Catholic (3) 28-3 10
10. Archbishop Wood (12) 14-9 NR
Honorable mention: Beaver (7) 19-8, Donegal (3) 20-4, General McLane (10) 26-1, Keystone Oaks (7) 20-3, Meadville (10) 16-7, Montour (7) 24-5, Philadelphia Electrical (12) 16-11, Susquehanna Twp (3) 9-15.


Boys Super 7 No. 1

For those of you who don’t know, I like to publish the logic that goes on behind the Super 7. That way, you don’t think I’m quite as dumb as you originally thought, or maybe you can just realize why I ranked each team where it’s ranked. This is also posted at, where I'll be keeping this season's stats. This blog will still be around for extra coverage, though. Anyway, here we go.
1. Chester (0-0)
I mean, what did you really expect? If there’s a weakness on this team, I’d love to know what it is. Reigning Daily Times Player of the Year Rondae Jefferson is the best player in the state, and he’ll get a lot of help from his friends in Darius RobinsonRichard Granberry and Friends’ Central transfer Conrad Chambers. The Clippers are the best team in the state and there’s a very good chance that they make it three straight PIAA Class AAAA titles.
2. Penn Wood (0-0)
A perennial power that will make sure Chester doesn’t take the Del Val crown without a fight. Losing Delco’s leading scorer in All-Delco Malcolm Richardson, who moved on to East Stroudsburg University, is a big blow, but guards Jerry Price and Tyree Bynum give coach Clyde Jones plenty of options to work with.
3. Archbishop Carroll (0-0)
Coach Paul Romanczuk couldn’t help grin from ear to ear when talking about how much size his team will have. It’s the biggest team in his tenure as the Patriots’ boss, and Ernest Aflakpui is the biggest of them all. The 6-10, 225-pound sophomore will allow Carroll to work some new things in to the offense, which still runs through All-Delco point guard Yosef Yacob. Don’t overlook 6-6 forward Derrick Jones, either. He’ll do some nice things for the Patriots.
4. Penncrest (0-0) Lower Merion is the favorite to win the Central League and maybe even make the state title game again, but the Lions are the consensus No. 2 team in the league. Point guard Eddie Baxter was singled out by coach Mike Doyle as one to watch, and Doyle seemed positively giddy when discussing the potential of 6-6 forward Kalvin Simpson. The Aces are really good, but can Penncrest be the team that knocks them off their perch?
5. The Haverford School (1-0)
With a 6-4 point guard in Shawn Alston, a 6-5 shooting guard in Sean Lloyd and a 6-6 small forward in Eric Anderson, the Fords are enormous. And while Lloyd, a transfer from Franklin Learning Center, is ineligible for Inter-Ac games this year because of his transfer, Haverford School still figures to be just fine once league play rolls around. There’s depth and athleticism for days, and football All-Delco Chris Morgan figures to return soon after suffering a hand injury in the final game of the year against Episcopal Academy.
6. Ridley (0-0) 
Jon McGill and Kenny Bartow are the lone returning guys with experience for the Green Raiders and coach Mike Snyder, but they should still be a solid team.
7. Upper Darby (0-0)
If all goes according to plan, Kuity Slanger will again be a threat from beyond the arc for the Royals. Beni Toure offers versatility, and Quadir Rice could blossom in the middle.


Season Preview: A look around the county

Here’s the girls basketball season preview from Matt Smith.
Kristie Costantino, left, and All-Delco Sarah Curran, right, are a big reason why Archbishop Carroll has an eye on bringing home its second consecutive PIAA Class AAAA championship. 
Archbishop Carroll All-Delco Sarah Curran, Cardinal O’Hara two-time All-Delco Shanice Johnson, Notre Dame three-time All-Delco Megan McGurk, Springfield’s Alex Poplawski and Episcopal Academy center and 2011-12 Daily Times Player of the Year Megan Quinn are among the players to watch this year.

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Season Preview: A look around the county

Here's a complete list of the boys basketball season preview stories.

From left to right, Daily Times Player of the Year Rondae Jefferson, Darius Robinson and Richard Granberry will be counted upon to help Chester bring home its ninth state championship. 

A look at Archbishop Carroll's Ernest Aflakpui, a 6-10 Ghana native, leads off the look at the rest of the county schools.

Chester's Rondae Jefferson and Darius Robinson, The Haverford School's Shawn Alston, Archbishop Carroll's Yosef Yacob and Interboro's Christian Irons are just five of the bevy of talented players to watch for this year.

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