Author: delcohoops

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:

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

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:

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

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)

Boys Basketball Preview: Valente, veteran Vanguards bent on keeping Sun Valley on upward track

Sun Valley head coach Steve Maloney, center, oversees a practice this week. Almost all of last year’s District 1 Class 5A championship season has graduated. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

By Matthew De George

As much as the banner in the gym or the T-shirts worn by coaches during practice, one factor epitomizes Sun Valley’s growth for Dom Valente. This fall, seven freshmen are running through the combined JV-varsity practice. That’s in addition to a full 10-member freshman squad.

How’s that compare to the numbers when Valente, a senior guard, was a rookie for then-second-year coach Steve Maloney?

“There were three,” Valente said.

That organic growth has defined the Vanguards, who made back-to-back PIAA Class 5A tournaments and are the reigning District 1 champions. It also informs the way forward after the four players comprising that illustrious generation moved on, the cultural elements of a program that stick around campus for more than four years.

“It’s definitely a big change losing them, but I think we’ve been able to keep the culture up,” senior guard Billy Fisher said. “We’re not rebuilding; we’re trying to keep going.”

(click on this link for additional team previews)

Scholastic Play-By-Play Classics local 2019-20 schedule

By Josh Verlin

The schedule is out for the 2019-20 series of Scholastic Play-By-Play showcases, and as always, there’s plenty of entertaining multi-game events taking place around the Delaware Valley during December and January, before the high school playoffs kick in around the state. 

Chester High School, Unionville High School, Jefferson University, West Chester University, and a few other sites around the area will host the events, which feature as many as six games in a day between some of the top programs in the area. Just a sampling of the lineups include teams from the Catholic League (Roman Catholic, Archbishop Wood, Neumann-Goretti, Archbishop Carroll, La Salle), the Inter-Ac (Malvern Prep, Haverford School, Germantown Academy), Public League (Imhotep Charter, MCS), District 1 (Abington, Chester, Lower Merion, Penncrest), and more.

Webmaster’s note:  Our Game-of-the-Week will be at the Scholastic Play-by-Play tournament at Widener University on December 28th at 8 PM for the Chester vs West Chester East game.  If you can’t make the game you can listen to it right here, LIVE, at! 

(click on this link for the full schedule)

Webmaster’s note:  City of Basketball Love is now back and publishing on-line.  Josh Verlin, the editor, is raising money to support his outstanding web sitethrough crowd funded (of which is one).  Please go to and pledge your monthly support. Josh covers all basketball in the Philadelphia area and is a BIG supporter of high school basketball.  Our web site is free as is our LIVE game broadcasts so take your appreciation and spend it on Josh’s site.)

Boys Basketball Preview: Carroll, Tomlin look to lead rapid rebuild at Penncrest

By Matthew De George

Penncrest’s quest to make it five state tournament berths in six years will require replacing its top three scorers from last year’s run to the second round of the PIAA class 5A tournament, including All-Delco Malcolm Williams, who was the team’s only double-figure scorer at 18 points per game. But coach Mike Doyle’s cupboard isn’t exactly bare.

The backcourt features two seasoned seniors in Aidan Carroll and Marquis Tomlin, both of whom need to step up from complementary roles as underclassmen. In junior center Denzel Boyer-Atkinson, the Lions have height in a league generally devoid of it.

Ben Stanton got time as a freshman; he and fellow sophomore Saahir Lee will get chances to shine. Forwards Justin Potts and Denzel Quinn will round out the low-post rotation for a program looking for its 12th straight districts berth.

Despite a 14-win season and a berth in the District 1 Class 6A field that is becoming increasingly routine, Garnet Valley’s best days may still lay ahead. The Jaguars’ two returning double-figures scorers from last season, do-everything point guard Carl Schaller and sharpshooter Neel Beniwal, are just juniors. They combined for 26.1 points per game last year, and Beniwal was one of Delco’s top long-range shooters at 58 made triples.

(click on this link for the a review of all Central League teams)

Girls Basketball Preview: Interboro’s time to shine at hand in Del Val League

By Matt Smith

Interboro is stacked with senior talent as the Del Val League girls basketball teams get under way Friday.

The Bucs, who won only five games last year, welcome back seniors and returning starters Madison Diehl (guard), Madison Ryan-Brady (guard/forward) and Riley Szatny (forward/center).

“This season’s roster boasts nine seniors, three are returning starters,” second-year Bucs coach Ty Taylor said. “Though we are senior heavy, it has yet to be seen who will provide consistent scoring. We expect our junior and sophomore class to play significant roles this year.”

At Academy Park, dynamic senior guard Gabrielle Jackson is the lone returning starter and lone senior. The Knights, who finished 11-10 a season ago, will also be led by LaShay Jackson, a junior guard who will see increased playing time along with junior forward Sierra Thomas.

“This year’s team will be young but athletic,” coach Ron Bright said. “Our defense should keep us in games, but making open shots will be the key. We’re looking to get back in the playoffs after barely missing out last year and continue our league run with a fourth Del Val title.”

Chichester is under the tutelage of veteran coach Jamie Blumenthal, who has spent 20 years as assistant and head coach of the program.

(click on this link for additional team previews)