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 Delcohoops.com! 

(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 Delcohoops.com is one).  Please go to https://www.patreon.com/hooplove215 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)

Boys Basketball Preview: Bonner-Prendie will look to backcourt for leadership

By Matthew De George

Bonner-Prendergast’s growth this decade took a definitive step forward in last year’s run to the PIAA Class 4A final, the second straight season the Friars at least made the semifinals.

The challenge shifts this season: The Friars have proven the ability to land and develop top talents, like All-Delcos Isaiah Wong (Miami) and Tariq Ingraham (Wake Forest). But how do they turn the page to the next generation at the same high level?

The leadership will come from the backcourt. Tyreese Watson is the third-leading scorer from last season at 8.0 points per game. He was followed closely by Donovan Rodriguez and Malik Edwards, who should create a dynamic backcourt. Christion Johnson, who played sparingly, will get frontcourt minutes alongside Conwell-Egan transfer Camryn Stewart and newcomer Gestin Liberis.

A young Archbishop Carroll squad navigated injuries and adjustments under first-year coach Francis Bowe to reach the PIAA Class 4A quarterfinals last year. There’s talent to replace.

(click on this link for additional team previews)

Welcome to the 2019/20 Basketball Season

By Mike Mayer – Web Master

We are so excited to be getting ready for another great season of Delaware County High School basketball!

The first week starts right after the Thanksgiving Holiday and our first Game-of-the-Week is schedules for December 19th when the Upper Darby Royals battle the Garnet Valley Jaguars!  We can’t wait!

If you’re new to these pages please take a look around.  We keep a complete schedule of ALL high school boy’s varsity games on our Schedule page (usually three weeks at a time) as well as the complete Win/Loss record for all Delco boy’s teams.  

We will be reprinting articles from the Daily Times and Philly.com as well as other publications that we find have interesting information.  

If you’re trying to get to a game but aren’t sure how to get to a Delco school we have all the schools listed in our Delaware County School page which, if you click on the school name, will show you the map location.

There are about 400 games to be played in the regular season between now and the first week in February.  We strongly encourage you to go out and catch as many games as you can.  Delaware County offers some of the best high school basketball in the state!  Tickets are usually $5 and parking is close and free!  Snacks, hot dogs and pizza are usually available at the concession at very reasonable prices and we guarantee you your seat will be close to the action!  You won’t find a better entertainment value than a high school basketball game!

Check back as often as you like and tune in to our Game-of-the-Week every week.  There is never any charge to view our web pages or listen to our LIVE (or archived) game broadcast.  Our generous sponsors give us the ability to bring all this information and entertainment for free!  Please patronize them if you are in need of the services they offer!