Author: delcohoops

With hoops on hold, there’s plenty to cherish already in 2020

Dakota McCaughan, here running down court after hitting a 3-pointer in the Central League final, gave Ridley plenty to celebrate this season en route to a league title. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

By Matt Smith

A popular GIF of Jim Carrey from the comedy movie Dumber & Dumber has traveled the Twittersphere for years now.

You know the one. It’s the clip of a goofy Carrey saying, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”

The PIAA more or less provided its basketball players with that ever-so-slight feeling of hope this week. In a letter posted on its website Monday, the PIAA noted that winter championships remain “on hold” as Pennsylvania schools remain closed, per Governor Tom Wolf’s directive, for an additional two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So, there is indeed a chance that we’ll see six Delco teams — Archbishop Carroll girls, Bonner-Prendergast boys and girls, Cardinal O’Hara girls, Chester Charter Scholar Academy boys, and Chester boys — resume their quests for PIAA titles sometime this spring.

A very, very small chance.

In the meantime, we must kill more time from our social distancing caves. Let’s take a deep dive into some of the best Delco hoops stories of the 2019-20 campaign.

Webmaster’s note: The author, in this article, refers to the amazing final shot in the last Chester vs Simon Gratz basketball game.  See and hear the shot with our video clip by clicking on The Miracle Shot.

(click on this link for the full story)

‘Delco Madness’ will reveal best boys, girls hoops teams in Delaware County history

Chester caps historic run with second straight state title (With Video)

Chester’s 2012 championship team — from left. Erikk Wright. Darius Robinson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Richard Granberry — hold up the trophy at the Bryce Jordan Center after the state final. DFM File

By Jack McCaffery

In normal times, sports fans would have had one real reason to look forward to this weekend: College basketball’s Sweet 16s.

Fear not: Delaware County basketball fans of all ages can continue to enjoy at least a version of that suspense.

To serve men’s and women’s college basketball fans suffering from March bracket withdrawal following the cancellation of the NCAA playoffs amid coronavirus concerns, the Daily Times will conduct two mock Sweet 16 tournaments over the next two weeks. One will eventually determine Delco’s greatest high school boys basketball team of all time. The other will pinpoint the county’s finest girls team.

The boys bracket will be revealed in Saturday’s Daily Times. On Sunday, the Sweet 16 girls teams and first-round pairings will be revealed.

Among the eternal lures of bracketology is arguing which teams should be in the field, and which should be relegated to the NIT. A panel of Daily Times sports writers has been busy studying the resumes of the likely participants. There is still time for fans to submit suggestions to

(click on this link for the full story)

PIAA winter championships remain on hold due to coronavirus


When could Akeem Taylor, here dunking on Simon Gratz in the PIAA Class 6A boys basketball second round, and Chester be back on the court? Not before April 6, the PIAA announced Monday. Pete Bannan – MediaNews Group

By Matthew DeGeorge

The PIAA winter championships are … still in limbo.

That’s what the PIAA announced Monday in a letter on its website. With Governor Tom Wolf declaring that schools in the commonwealth will remain closed for an additional two weeks through at least April 6 in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19, the PIAA followed by saying that winter championships remain on hold.

The PIAA will also postpone the start of the spring sports season, which was slated for last Friday for all sports save for boys tennis, through at least the reopening of schools.

“No date has been determined to re-start any sports activities at this time,” the letter stated. “PIAA will continue to receive information from the Governor’s office, the Department of Health and the Department of Education to provide updated information.”

On March 12, the PIAA had announced a two-week suspension of the winter championships (boys and girls basketball, which had reached the quarterfinal stage, and the postponed Class 2A swimming and diving championships). Dr. Robert Lombardi, the PIAA’s executive director, then deferred a decision on spring sports to local governance, i.e. what schools were able to be open.

Right now, no schools are open, so no sports are being played. Oversight of the basketball tournaments, which involve extensive scheduling and site selection, are more directly under PIAA control.

(click on this link for the full story)

COVID-19 pandemic shows sports really is just a game

Chester fans swamp the floor as the Zahmir Carroll sinks a last second 3-point basket winning the game for Chester, 63-62. Photo by: Digital First Media/Pete Bannan

By Matt DeGeorge

At one point or another, we’ve all heard it. In our childhoods, after a shot that didn’t go in or a pitch that didn’t connect with a bat or a race lost, somewhere nearby there was hopefully someone we loved to offer reassurance. And often, those soothing words included the idea that it’s just a game, it’s not life or death.

It can be easy to forget that notion that sports aren’t the be-all and certainly not the end-all. As we chronicle its annual highs and lows, as we tell the time of year by what sporting events are on our televisions, as we measure the seasons in who’s on the field and who’s merely getting ready behind the scenes for their turn, it’s easy to lose sight of them just being games.

But events of the last week, in Delaware County in particular, have brought life-or-death conversation into stark reality.

(click on this link for the full story)

The Miracle Shot 2020

For the few who may not have seen the video of the final shot for Chester against Simon Gratz we present this short video clip including our LIVE broadcast call of the final shots on!

Coaches react as PIAA announces at minimum two-week postseason delay

By Josh Verlin & Kevin Cooney

The 2020 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) basketball tournament is officially on hold. 

Due to continually-expanding concerns over the spread of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, officials in the PIAA announced Thursday afternoon that it was suspending the tournament for “minimally a two week period [sic],” at which point it would re-evaluate the situation.

Reached by email, a PIAA official said that the decision for teams to keep practicing rests with individual school district policies. 

In a release, the PIAA said it “believes this action will allow schools time to perform self-assessments and make decisions to promote optimal health conditions in their communities.”

It added that “additional direction to competing schools will be provided over the coming days in consultation with school administrators, local,state health and governmental authorities.”

The decision comes as the teams remaining in the Class 1A, 4A and 5A state brackets were preparing to play quarterfinal games Friday night, with the Class 2A, 3A and 6A participants going Saturday.

(click on this link for the full story)

Carroll’s miracle finish helps ease Chester’s pain

Chester’s Zahmir Carroll hits the winning basket as time expires as Simon Gratz’s Edward Harris defends. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

By Harry Chaykun

The Chester High football team had its “Miracle on Lamonkin Street” last fall when a fumble bounced right into the hands of a Clippers player, who ran for the game-winning touchdown as home-standing Chester kept Academy Park from clinching first place in the Del Val League.

Now it’s time for the Clippers fans to talk about the “Miracle on Sproul Road” after Zahmir Carroll fired a shot from beyond NBA 3-point range that swished through the nets as the final buzzer sounded and gave Chester a 63-62 decision over Simon Gratz in a PIAA Class 6A second-round game at Cardinal O’Hara High Wednesday night.

The game was played despite the shooting death a day earlier of Clippers player Edward Harmon Jr.

Delcohoop’s Dave Burman and Coach Mark Jordan talk to Chester Coach Keith Taylor after Chester’s stunning last second victory over Simon Gratz. Photo by: Delcohoops/Mike Mayer

“We talked about everything, including whether to play the game or not,” Chester junior Karell Watkins said. “We remembered how Eddie was always smiling and into everything he did. And we knew that if Eddie was here, he would have told us to play the game.”’

Watkins, who was 4-for-4 from the field in the fourth quarter and finished with 24 points (18 in the second half) and 10 rebounds.was involved in the game-ending play. It came mere seconds after Gratz’s Edward Harris missed the second of two free throws with the clock reading 4.5 seconds.

(click on this link for the full story)

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Chester comes together to grieve and celebrate in wake of tragedy


The jerseys of Chester players Edward Harmon and teammate Jeremere Clark on the bench before the start of their P1AA state playoff game against Simon Gratz Wednesday evening at Cardinal O’Hara High School. Harmon was murdered and Clark injured in a shooting Tuesday. PETE BANNAN — MEDIANEWS GROUP

By Terry Toohey

Several Chester players paraded around the court at Cardinal O’Hara holding up Edward Harmon’s jersey amid a throng of fans after the Clippers’ astonishing 63-62 victory over Simon Gratz in the second round of the PIAA Class 6A playoffs Wednesday night.

Despite the thrilling way the game ended, on a long-distance three-point shot by Zahmir Carroll as time expired, this wasn’t a celebration as much as it was a part of the healing process from a tragedy that no one, especially a group of teenagers, should ever have to go through.

Just one day earlier, Harmon, a sophomore forward on the Chester basketball team, was killed, along with 15-year-old Tayvonne Avery, amid a multiple shooting that also left Jermere Clark, also a sophomore forward on the varsity basketball team, wounded.

“They were just out there playing basketball when someone started shooting,” said former Chester great Keith Wood, Harmon’s step-grandfather. “It just makes no sense.”

That’s a sad reality in Chester. Harmon and Avery were the 10th and 11th murder victims in the city.

“Unfortunately, where we live, this is not a new occasion,” Chester-Upland superintendent Dr. Juan Baughn said before the game. “And, unfortunately, we’ve had too much practice at this. … At a time like this, everybody’s in pain.”

(click on this link for the full story)

Carroll’s buzzer-beating triple caps emotional 24 hours for Chester

A packed house saw a tremendous game as Chester beats Simon Gratz in the final seconds. Photo by: Delcohoops/Mike Mayer

By Mitchell Gladstone

Several minutes after Wednesday’s game had ended, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” blasted from the speakers inside Cardinal O’Hara’s gym.

And from somewhere within a mass that felt like the entire city of Chester, a black No. 35 jersey was lifted into the air. From a distance, it almost looked like it was floating.

Perhaps it was.

That jersey belonged to 15-year-old Clippers sophomore Edward Harman, who was shot and killed a little more than 24 hours before his teammates were set to take on Simon Gratz in a PIAA Class 6A second-round matchup. Jermere Clark, another sophomore on Chester’s team, was injured in the incident as well.

The Clippers had the option to postpone the game. They instead chose to play.

And if there were ever a time to think maybe — just maybe — there was a higher power looking down upon the hardwood, you’d certainly be entitled to believe that with the miracle that Harman’s teammates into the state quarterfinals.

Senior Zahmir Carroll swished home a running 25-foot triple as time expired, lifting Chester past Gratz 63-62 as the Clippers dug their way out of a 15-point second-half hole to emerge winners. 

(click on this link for the full story)

Webmaster’s note: Missed the game? Go to our Broadcast Archives page for all game archives.