Sun Valley’s best laid plans didn’t account for a Googie

Haverford High freshman Alex “Googie” Seidman hits a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter against Sun Valley Saturday. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

By Matthew DeGeorge

 For three quarters Saturday, Sun Valley executed its defensive game plan mostly to perfection.

The Vanguards’ gadget defenses bottled up Haverford leading scorer John Seidman. Their conscientious close-outs of shooters limited the Fords to three makes on 21 attempts beyond the arc. It was exactly what coach Steve Maloney drew up.

So when a different Seidman stepped up to torch the Vanguards in the fourth, there was little Maloney could do but tip his cap.

Younger brother Googie Seidman, a freshman, buried three 3-pointers in the final quarter as the Fords rallied to a 52-45 win in the final of the Vanguard Tip-Off Tournament.

The younger Seidman fueled a 19-2 run for the Fords, who trailed 28-23 midway through the third. His first two triples came off feeds from John, designed plays for the freshman to pop behind the arc opposite the ball screen John dribbled through.

(click on this link for more game stories and scores)

Watkins’s 17 points help Chester rally past McCaskey

By Matthew DeGeorge

A halftime deficit didn’t sit well with Karell Watkins Saturday.

Watkins scored 17 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, to go with 12 rebounds as Chester rallied past McCaskey, 54-46, at the Fred Pickett Classic.

Rahmee Gilbert and Akeem Taylor added 11 points each for the Clippers in their opener.

Also at the Fred Pickett Classic:

Archbishop Carroll 48, Pennsbury 34 >> Missing players due to SATs was no problem for Carroll Saturday. Anquan Hill scored 21 points to go with 10 rebounds and five blocks. Caleb Carter stepped up with 13 points, and John Camden added eight for the Patriots (1-0), who were missing three regulars.

At the Media Tip-Off:

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Chambers lights it up from outside, Episcopal wins

By Matthew DeGeorge

Colin Chambers hit all six of his field goals from beyond the three-point arc to help Episcopal Academy get off to a big lead then cruise past Shipley School 68-47 Friday in an Inter-Ac League contest.

Malcolm Folk added 15 points for the Churchmen, who bolted to a 20-9 lead after one quarter and never lost a dominant edge the rest of the way. Sam Malloy added seven points.

In other nonleague games:

Radnor 63, Palumbo 47 >> Lewis Robinson stood tall for 30 points and Jack D’Entremont added 16 points to do the bulk of the damage for the Raiders. Ibrahim Kane scored nine points to lead Palumbo Academy.

Marple Newtown 60, Neshaminy 49 >> Ben Davis had seven of his team-high 17 points in the first quarter, and Joey Pettinelli added 11 points as the Tigers got off to a winning star.

Upper Darby 46, Council Rock South 44 >> Mo Kante scored 13 points, and Shareef Jones added 12 points as the Royals opened with a win.

In the Don McBride Classic:

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Tomlin adopts posture of go-to guy for Penncrest

Penncrest’s Marquis Tomlin, left, scored a career-high 25 points Friday to lead the Lions past Chester Charter Scholars Academy. (Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)

By  Matthew De George

It was only a year ago that Tomlin was the new guy, a guard who had only played sparingly for Penncrest, thrust into a primary role in the Lions’ backcourt rotation in a season-opener. By Friday night, the places had flipped 180 degrees: Tomlin as the senior leader, a new face under his wing, sophomore Saahir Lee.

“I was in the same position two years ago and I see myself through him,” Tomlin said. “It’s just great seeing him out there making plays and all that. It’s good that he’s getting comfortable.”

The chemistry between those two and fellow guard Aidan Carroll was instant, resulting in a 55-49 win over Chester Charter Scholars Academy at the Media Tip-Off hosted by Strath Haven.

(click on this link for more game stories and scores)

McCaffery: Chester challenged more than ever to maintain its basketball tradition

By Jack McCaffery

Keith Taylor has said it, has repeated it, has lived it, has celebrated it. He has owned it and brandished it and been stung by it. He understood it as a player, as an assistant coach to some legends, and as the head basketball coach at Chester High.

He is not going to retreat from it now. He is not going to retreat from it ever.

The mantra, the code, the motto, the dogma at Chester will remain: Nothing other than a state championship will be acceptable in basketball.

“Absolutely,” Taylor was saying, days before the start of his third season as the Clippers’ head coach. “We don’t want anything given to us. We want to earn everything we get. That’s the way it is. That’s the way it has been for years.”

For years, for decades, for generations, for players and coaches, fans and family, and always for the newspapers. League championships have been appreciated. District championships, some more than others, have been celebrated. But unless any basketball season ends with a parade of Clippers ascending an aluminum ladder somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania with the intent to scissor some nets, nothing else matters.

(click on this link for the full story)

CoBL 2019-20 HS Preview: Catholic League, Inter-Ac & Friends League

By Josh Verlin

The start of the 2019-20 high school season begins this Friday, Dec. 6, for all teams in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA), the main governing body in the state. Several private schools which belong to the PA Independent School Athletic Association (PAISAA) began play within the last two weeks, but the vast majority of the 175-plus high school teams in the greater Philadelphia area begin play this weekend. 

In the past –– and hopefully in the future –– CoBL has spent the weeks and months leading up to the high school season running individual team previews and league previews, giving an in-depth look into just about every program and player of note in the region. That wasn’t feasible this year, considering the site only re-launched five weeks ago, but I couldn’t let the season begin without writing SOMETHING about the local high school scene.

So here’s 10 thoughts on the upcoming season, split into two parts. This part focuses mostly on the Catholic League and other private schools; the other is on the Philadelphia Public League and District 1.

(click on this link for the full story)