Watkins helps Chester pull away late

Karell Watkins scored 10 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter as Chester pulled away late to close out Del Val League rival Penn Wood, 76-65, Thursday night.

Akeem Taylor had 18 points and Fareed Burton Jr. added 10 for the Clippers, who exploded for 30 points in the final eight minutes.

Shamir Baynes led the Patriots (8-7, 2-3) with 28 points including three 3-pointers and Jerry Flynn had 11 points. Desman Johnson Jr. chipped in 10 points including eight in the final quarter for Penn Wood, who led 15-13 after the first period.

Also in the Del Val:

Chichester 59, Academy Park 47 >> Andrew Monroe posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds while Jasir Shaw had 10 of his 20 points in the third quarter to help the Eagles (7-10, 2-3) pull away.

Josh Hankins had 10 points and seven steals and Paris Blackwell had 11 points and four blocks for Chichester.

Derrick Northern and Tahriq Marrero scored 12 points apiece and Jalen Cassidy had nine including a pair of treys for the Knights, who had six-point advantage to end the first.

In the Ches-Mont League:

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Garnet Valley Jackowskys one up for win in third OT


Garnet Valley’s Neel Beniwah goes to the net in overtime against Penncrest. Photo by: Medianews Group/Pete Bannan

By Matthew DeGeorge

If you could look beyond the shoddy end-of-game execution, Wednesday night’s Central League meeting between Penncrest and Garnet Valley was just about perfect.

Two coaching staffs that had scouted each other within an inch of their lives. Two squads getting contributions from up and down the roster. Thirty-two minutes of clean, defensive basketball, with an extra 12 tacked on just because everyone was having so much fun.

And a final irony that the only one of the five end-of-game chances to be converted — Aidan Carroll’s second-chance 3-pointer at the buzzer of the third overtime — mattered none to the final outcome.

Despite Garnet Valley spurning chances to win at the end of regulation, the first overtime and twice in the second OT, the Jaguars managed to hold on, 64-62, in a loony three-overtime contest between two of the top teams in District 1’s Class 6A and 5A rankings.

Even before tip-off, there was intrigue. Wednesday was the first game back for Neel Beniwal, the Jags’ second-leading scorer last year, who had missed seven games with tendinitis in his knee while dealing with a torn ligament in his left pinkie. Perhaps the basketball gods just wanted to give Beniwal more time on the court, and he obliged with a game-best 20 points, despite just 2-for-7 shooting from 3-point range.

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Seidman beats buzzer, Haverford beats Strath Haven

John Seidman’s buzzer-beating three-pointer elevated Haverford to a 49-46 triumph over Strath Haven in boys Central League basketball Wednesday.

Seidman erupted for a game-high 25 points for the Fords (8-8), including four three-pointers. Will Higson added a dozen points, sinking all four of his free throws. All of his points came in the second half, the Fords wiping out an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

Luke Edwards led Strath Haven with 18 points.

Marple Newtown 56, Conestoga 43 >> Marple got the lead and held off Conestoga with clutch shooting from the free throw line down the homestretch.

Ryan Straub scored a game-high 15 points and teamed up with Ben Davis to seal the decision at the charity stripe, both players going 4-for-4 from the line in the final frame.

The Tigers (8-8, 4-4) made 14 of 16 foul shots in the fourth quarter.

Straub drilled three three-point shots, Davis a pair to go with five boards and three assists for the Tigers.

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Academy Park outlasts Penn Wood in overtime, 60-58

Tahriq Marrero goes up for two and leads the Academy Park Knights to an overtime win against Penn Wood. Photo by Delcohoops.com

By Mike Mayer, Delcohoops.com

In a dramatic display of stamina, heart and determination the visiting Penn Wood Patriots and Academy Park Knights played to a 54-54 tie at the end of four quarters of intense basketball last night.

The large crowd from both schools were treated to lots of 3-point attempts but only a few fell for points as both teams were under 15% on made 3-point shots.

Penn Wood had real trouble from the free throw line completing only 4 of 13 while the Knights had a pretty good night at the line making 8 of 13.

AP managed to stay in the game with a great effort at offensive rebounds with 20 and many of those rebounds resulted in baskets.

An outstanding effort was noted by Penn Wood’s Jerry Flynn (16 points) had several tip-in scores at the basket as Flynn seemed to find a home under the basket as his team mates took their shots.

Tahriq Marrero interviewed by Dave Burman on our Game-of-the-Week broadcast after his overtime win.

Tahriq Marrero (21 points) scored the final basket in overtime for the Knights (11-5, 3-1), who held a nine-point advantage in the fourth quarter. Derrick Northern had 18 points for Academy Park.

Jerry Flynn led the Patriots with 16 points, and Saalih Moore chipped in 11 as Penn Wood went on an 17-8 run to close out the fourth. Shamir Baunes had eight points for the Patriots.

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High School Playoff Picture: Central, PCL, Ches-Mont & Del-Val

By Josh Verlin

The 2019-20 Pennsylvania high school basketball regular season is quickly coming up on its finish, with some leagues only a couple weeks away from beginning their postseasons. Within a month, district playoffs will be in full swing, and the state championships in Hershey are two months away.

Before we get that deep into the postseason, however, most teams in the area are focused on either or both of two things: their individual league standings, and their spot in the district playoff picture. Here’s a quick catch-up of where things are at in the area’s various high school leagues; part one can be found belowand Part Two can be found here:

Central League
Playoff Info: Feb. 8 (First Round), Feb. 10 (Semifinals), Feb. 11 (Championship)
Location: TBD

For the first time, the Central League will move to a six-team playoff with the top two teams receiving a first round bye. Traditionally, the Central League has been dominated by teams like Lower Merion, Penncrest, Garnet Valley, and Conestoga. This year seems to be more of the same, with Lower Merion (14-1, 9-1) and Garnet Valley (13-1, 9-1) tied atop the league standings and looking in shape to gain that first round off. The Aces took an early season contest, 69-56 over the visiting Jags, but will the two will take on each other once more before the regular season concludes, on Jan. 30 at Garnet Valley. Penncrest (7-3) currently sits in third place with a big game upcoming against Garnet Valley on Jan. 22 which could eventually push them to the second seed if things fall the right way. A handful of teams (Ridley, Conestoga, Upper Darby, Radnor, Strath Haven, Marple-Newtown) sit around the 5-5 mark making the middle of the league a bit of a mess as six teams (or even seven if you include a tough Haverford High at 3-7) battle it out for the remaining three playoff spots.

(click on this link for the complete high school playoff picture)

Jones saves day for Upper Darby

Shareef Jones’ aim from deep was true Monday, hitting six 3-pointers as Upper Darby rallied for a 66-63 nonleague win over West Philadelphia at the MLK Ballin’ for Peace Showcase.

Jones finished with 24 points to earn the team’s MVP honors. AJ Tucker added 12 points, and Jamere Kosh and Mo Konte chipped in nine apiece for the Royals (10-6). Upper Darby made 11 3-pointers on the day.

In other nonleague action:

Archbishop Carroll 70, Simon Gratz 45 >> John Camden, Anquan Hill and Dean Coleman-Newsome each scored 13 points (including five apiece in the first quarter) as the Patriots leapt out to a 21-7 lead after eight minutes and never looked back.

Amiri Stewart led Carroll (11-4) with 14 points to snap a three-game slide. Tairi Ketner chipped in 10 points for Carroll.

Chester Charter Scholars Academy 58, Interboro 31 >> Davon White hit four 3-pointers to tally a game-high 14 points, the only player in double-figures on either side.

Damir Baez added seven points, and Malik Cook-Stephens and Davon Stovall had six each for the Sabers (11-4).

Mekhi Wormack-Fields led Interboro (1-12) with nine points.

In the Catholic League:

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