Category: Latest News

Springfield never better in new gym, beats Ridley for Central League title

Springfield’s Rachel Conran puts up a shot in the fourth quarter as the Cougars defeated Ridley 59-44 to win the Central League final. (PETE BANNAN/MEDIANEWS GROUP)

By Matt Smith

The Cougars avenged their 2020 championship loss to the Green Raiders and will begin their quest for a second straight District 1 Class 5A title next week as the top seed in the tournament.

But Thursday night, it was all about Central League glory. Springfield’s seniors made it to the final all four years, but hadn’t won since they were freshmen. Conran and Abbonizio were key players on that 2017-18 Cougars squad. On this night, they played like the veterans they are, combining for 38 points.

Abbonizio scored 13 of her 17 points in the second half and went 11-for-12 at the free-throw line.

“It’s amazing,” said Abbonizio, who last month became the program’s all-time leading scorer. “We had the crowd behind us in our new gym, undefeated on the floor, and we were the first team at Springfield that won a championship in the new school. That’s something to be proud of and I think everybody on the team, all 13 of us, should be proud of that.”

(click on this link for the full story)

Click on our Schedule page for the PIAA District One girl’s basketball playoff brackets.

Wootten, Garnet Valley get hot, upset Conestoga for Central League title

Garnet Valley’s Gannon McKee, left, shown in the Central League semifinals against Marple Newtown Tuesday, scored 14 points as the Jaguars upset Conestoga for the league title. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

By Matthew DeGeorge

Gannon McKee didn’t expect, when he arrived at Conestoga High School Thursday night, that by the end of the evening, he’d end up detailing Ryan Wootten’s offensive prowess. Wootten might not have, either.

A role player who averages 4.4 points per game, fifth-most on a Garnet Valley squad with at most a six-deep rotation, it’s usually others who step to the offensive forefront.

But in the Central League final, Wootten picked a fine time to have a career night.

“We were just ready,” Wootten said. “Shooters shoot. Our game plan was drive and kick and get guys open.”

Shooters also cut down the nets, as Garnet Valley did after a 52-39 win over top-seeded Conestoga for the first Central League championship in program history.

Want to watch the archive?  Go to Conestoga Basketball.

(click on this link for the full story)

Click to enlarge

PIAA District One playoffs to begin

By Staff

We haven’t been able to broadcast games this year but we still want to encourage following all these great Delco teams into the playoffs.

Making the boy’s playoffs in 6A are: Garnet Valley (4), Lower Merion (9), Haverford (13), Strath Haven (15). 

5A: Chester (2), Marple Newtown (7), Chichester (10)

2A: Delco Christian (1)

1A: Christian Academy (4)

Making the girl’s playoffs in 6A are: Ridley (6), Haverford (13), Penn Wood (16)

5A: Springfield (1), Marple Newtown (7), Radnor (10)

Congratulations to all teams making the playoffs!

You can see the full brackets on our Schedule page.

Stoga gets ahead early vs Strath Haven, Wins 63-40; Advances to Central League Finals

By Charlie Sisian and Brendan Fahey

The Conestoga Pioneers boys varsity basketball team tipped off vs. the Strath Haven Panthers tonight for a semifinals matchup in the Central League tournament.

To open the game, Stoga followed its strategy that put it in position to succeed this season — feeding their offense through the bigs down low. After Stoga experienced some early success in doing so, Strath Haven reacted with pressure and double teams that forced the ball out to the guards. With multiple open looks, the Stoga shooters connected 3 times from deep in the opening period and helped the Pioneers carve out a good lead. In response, Strath Haven attempted to catch up using many 3-point attempts, but couldn’t buy a bucket, opening the game 0-12 from beyond. As the clock expired in the first quarter, Stoga led 15-6.

To open the second, Stoga went on a monstrous 14-0 run, expanding their lead to 23 points about midway through the quarter. Eventually, the Pioneers got into some foul trouble and began giving the Panthers 1-and-1 opportunities, which allowed them to break their scoring drought and begin a climb back into the game. To try to close the gap, Strath Haven implemented a press on Stoga, making the Pioneers uncomfortable and forcing turnovers. The Panthers closed the quarter with a 13-5 run of their own and by the half, Stoga was up 34-19.

(click on this link for the full story)

Central League Playoffs: Garnet Valley defense cools off Marple Newtown

Garnet Valley’s Gannon McKee, left, dribbles up court against Marple Newtown’s Justin DiBona in the second quarter of the Central League semifinals Tuesday. (Pete Bannan/MediaNews Group)

By Matthew DeGeorge

There weren’t many mysteries between Garnet Valley and Marple Newtown in Tuesday night’s Central League playoff semifinal.

The teams played last week, a two-point Garnet win. They played earlier in the season, though the Tigers have made huge strides since. And they’re two teams that rely on crisp ball movement, veteran play at the point and wings and 3-point shooting to open space in the half-court.

So Tuesday’s meeting was as much about getting a familiar opponent out of its game plan as it was settling into its own.

On that score, Garnet Valley did the better job, the No. 2 seed using 20 points from Carl Schaller to tally a 44-39 win and move on to Thursday’s championship game. The job was done primarily defensively, as Garnet Valley forced the sixth-seeded Tigers into a 12-for-43 shooting night that halted a run of six wins in seven games

Garnet Valley’s Carl Schaller with Dave Burman

“We knew what they were about and we knew their players,” Schaller said. “I think as you play teams over and over again, it gets harder to score because they know you, too. There were adjustments on both sides, but we got it done.”

(click on this link for the full story and more game scores)

Delco Christian edges Dock Mennonite on Kees’ buzzer-beating 3

By Mike Cabry

As the final seconds ticked away, EJ Greer could not get an open look at a shot. But the Delco Christian boys basketball junior saw someone who did.

“I pumped fake and I just seen Jace (Kees) in the corner of my eye and just throw it,” Greer said.

Greer sent a crosscourt pass to the right wing to a waiting Kees, who put a 3-pointer over an out-coming leap of a Dock Mennonite defender and hit nothing but net with two seconds left in regulation. The clocking ran out before the Pioneers could inbound the ball and the visiting Knights claimed a 47-44 victory Tuesday night.

“All of us are just shooters so I was going to pass it to anybody if they was in that situation,” Greer said. “I don’t care who it was, cause we’re just a team full of shooters. That’s what we do.”

(click on this link for the full story)

Haverford School’s Brown made most of abbreviated season

Haverford School vs. Episcopal Academy

Jameel Brown of The Haverford School, taking a shot against Episcopal Academy earlier in his career, was grateful to have a season, albeit an abbreviated one. PETE BANNAN – MEDIANEWS GROUP

By Matthew DeGeorge

When Haverford School hit the court for its first game of the delayed 2021 season, there was no shortage of excitement.

But of all the Fords who waited so long for basketball to return, no one felt the same anticipation as Jameel Brown.

“My mind was going 100 miles per hours,” Brown said Saturday, after spearheading a 57-49 win over Episcopal Academy in the finale of an abbreviated season. “But it was definitely a sigh of relief that I went through those trials and tribulations to be back playing again.”

Brown was a promising freshman role player on the Fords’ Inter-Ac championship team of 2019. He figured to have a breakout sophomore campaign, off the heels of a stellar summer on the AAU circuit that inspired a flood of Power 5 offers.

(click on this link for the full story)

Chester goes undefeated in Del Vel again

Karell Watkins and Fareed Burton Jr. posted double-doubles as Chester rolled over Chichester, 55-31, to go undefeated in the Del Val League for the fourth year in a row.
Watkins, the 2020 Daily Times Player of the Year, collected 26 points and 16 rebounds to help the Clippers wrap up the league title. Burton Jr. finished with 13 points and 10 boards. Josh Hankins pitched in with 17 points and five rebounds.

In the Bicentennial League:

CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 61, DOCK MENNONITE 56 » Pete Cavacini was nearly perfect at the free
throw line to pace the Crusaders to their second straight win.
Cavacini was 15-for-16 at the stripe en route to a game-high 28 points. Brian Justus enjoyed a perfect night from the field. He shot 5-for-5 and made his only 3-point attempt to finish with 11 points. Evan Sareyka pitched in with seven points for the Crusaders (5-7), who moved into the fourth spot in the District 1 Class A power rankings.
DELCO CHRISTIAN 74, PLUMSTEAD CHRISTIAN 54 » The Knights jumped out to a 25-14 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
Jackson Mott led DC (9-4) with 17 points. Nicholas Phillipps added 13 points and Matt Shiel pitched in with 10.

Senior Breon Showell led Chester Charter (10-7) with 16 points.
Cougars fall to 4-13.

Chester is undisputed Del-Val Champs

By Terry Thomas

Chester (9-1, 6-0) claimed their 4th consecutive Undefeated Del Val League Championship with an easy 55-31 victory over the host Chichester Eagles. Karell Watkins and Fareed Burton Jr closed the regular season by posting double-double. Watkins tallied 26 points and 16 and Burton contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Eagles could not penetrate the Clipper defense in the opening quarter and the dynamic duo each scored 6 points as the Clippers led 12-4 at the end of the quarter.
Chester stayed locked-in defensively in the 2nd quarter resulting in a 16-4 run capped off with a Jameel Burton Jr assist to Shaquan Horsey at the 2-minute mark. Chester – 28, Chichester – 8. Jameel scored on three consecutive possessions for 6 of his 7 points. Freshman Kyree Womack contributed a bucket along with Fareed and four points from Watkins. The Clippers lead 28-11 at intermission.
The Clippers maintained their focus in the third quarter with a 20-7 outburst. Fareed stripped the ball and passed a dime to Watkins and at the 3:00 mark the “Mercy Rule” was invoked, Chester up 48-18. During this stretch, Watkins dominated with 14 of the 20 points including connecting on 5 of 5 free throws. The team accounted for 5 assists on the 7 made baskets during the run. Qadir Lowrie contributed a trey and Fareed and Isaiah Freeman each chimed in with a bucket. The Eagles capitalized on the Chester miscues to close the gap at the end of the quarter. Chester – 50, Chichester – 27.

As scripted, Edwards plays hero role in Haven’s win over Haverford

Strath Haven’s Luke Edwards, seen shooting over a Radnor defender in a game last February, hit the game-winner in the final second of a 41-39 win over Haverford in the Central League quarterfinals Sunday. Pete Bannan – MediaNews Group


By Matthew DeGeorge

Everyone in the gym at Strath Haven knew what was going to happen in the final 22 seconds of a tie game Sunday afternoon.

The fourth-seeded Panthers would hand the ball to Luke Edwards – with his 4-for-13 shooting day, and with Haverford’s best defender, John Seidman, shadowing him – and ask Edwards to take them to the Central League tournament semifinals.

As he has so many times in his career, Edwards delivered.

The senior canned a pull-up jumper at the free throw line with six-tenths of a second left, sending Strath Haven past Haverford, 41-39, in a Central League quarterfinal.

“Coach told me to shoot the ball with around five seconds, and I saw the clock at four,” Edwards said. “So I made my move and I saw he (Seidman) was low on me so I rose up for the mid-range. I know I was missing some shots in the beginning. But I have that mentality that shooters keep shooting, and I took that last shot with confidence, and I made it.”

(click on this link for the full story and other playoff scores)