By Matthew DeGeorge
Six consecutive wins later, and the No. 31 seed has gotten its second life, entering as a major underdog with no pressure on its shoulders.
For Marple (13-9), matching up with No. 2 seed Methacton (21-3) will be no treat. But even in the face of the Pac-10 champions, Marple has little to fear.
“You’ve got nothing to lose,” Marple coach Brian Shane said Sunday after his team eked into the postseason. “We wanted to get in, get a chance to play. It’s a great opportunity. We don’t have anything to lose.”
The Tigers will face a tough and long test from the Warriors, a battle-tested team that made states two years ago and has advanced to each of the last four Pac-10 championship games, winning in 2012 and last week against Pottsgrove.
The main scoring threat is 6-3 guard Justin Ardman, while 6-3 TJ Tornetta is likely the person to be tasked with trying to mute the influence of Marple’s leading scorer Nick Giordano. Sean Mann, a 6-2 guard, can also score, while the Tigers short lineup will be tested by matchup problems Tom Dyer and Chris McCarthy, both 6-6 and able to use their height to score. That puts a big burden on forwards Marcus Weathers and Austin Fullington to hold their own in the post, while Methacton’s half-court aptitude may behoove Marple to press and up the game’s tempo.