McAteer, Garnet Valley advance to PIAA Class 6A final

Garnet Valley’s Emily McAteer takes a shot against Neshaminy in first quarter of the PIAA Class 6A semifinal game at Plymouth-Whitemarsh Monday evening. (PETE BANNAN/MEDIANEWS GROUP)

By Matt Smith

Garnet Valley is going to work on its foul shooting in practice this week. It is one of the few basketball teams remaining in Pennsylvania that can say such a thing.

Despite shooting 55.8 percent from the floor (19-for-34) in a PIAA Class 6A semifinal at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School Monday night, the Jaguars incurred some problems at the charity stripe. Eight missed freebies had left the window cracked for Neshaminy, which had trailed by eight points with 45 seconds to play.

Amid the amplified roars of Neshaminy’s student section, Jill Nagy stepped to the line with 8.5 seconds to go. The senior guard missed the first shot, but made the second to put GV ahead by three points.

Neshaminy had a chance to tie. Senior guard Allison Harvey, who is probably the team’s best 3-point shooter, had an open look from the corner. The ball went in and out of the basket. Brooke Mullin corralled the rebound, but time ran out before Mullin could kick the ball back out.

Garnet Valley claimed a 51-48 victory and is going to Hershey Friday night to play for the program’s first state championship.

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Garnet girls, Bonner boys good as gold in semifinals

By Bob Grotz

The Garnet Valley girls didn’t exhale Monday night until a last-second three-pointer by Neshaminy rimmed in and out.

Then the carrying on began, and deservedly so. The Jaguars are the first basketball team in the history of the school to reach a state title game. The Class 6A championship is Friday at the Giant Center in – just in case you missed the chorus – Hershey, Hershey, Hershey!

Not long after that, the Bonner & Prendergast boys punched their ticket to Hershey. Didn’t take long at all, the Friars effectively putting Lower Moreland away in the third quarter of an 83-47 decision in the Class 4A bracket.

Two of the most memorable moments in those games came from players who didn’t lead their teams in scoring but belong in the One Shining Moment highlights.

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Tariq Ingraham towers, Bonner-Prendie rolls into Class 4A finals

Tariq Ingraham towers, Bonner-Prendie rolls into Class 4A finals

Tariq Ingraham towers, Bonner-Prendie rolls into Class 4A finals. STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer

By Aaron Carter

When you wear a size-16 shoe, generally speaking, you step wherever you would like.

On Monday night, however, 6-foot-9, 240-pound Bonner-Prendergast senior Tariq Ingraham had to be careful where he put his pups against Lower Moreland.

Considering his opponent didn’t have a player taller than 6-foot-2, Ingraham had to be especially careful.

Disparities in size can sometimes become the mating call of the referee’s whistle.

Instead, Ingraham stayed composed and helped the Friars explode in the third quarter, walloping the Lions, 83-47.

“It’s a little hard when you’re not playing guys your size,” he said, “you’re not as aggressive as you usually are.”

Stingy defense helped the Friars pull away in the decisive third quarter, when they outscored the Lions 31-7.

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Garnet Valley tops Neshaminy, advances to PIAA Class 6A final

Garnet Valley tops Neshaminy, advances to PIAA Class 6A final

Garnet Valley tops Neshaminy, advances to PIAA Class 6A final. STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer

By Corey Sharp

The Garnet Valley girls’ basketball team practiced “air hugging” each other after Sunday’s practice, anticipating a victory over Neshaminy in the PIAA Class 6A semifinals on Monday night. As the Jaguars have advanced further in their season with each win, they’ve been accustomed to forming a dog pile on the court.

In Garnet Valley’s last win over Council Rock North, Jill Nagy fell victim to the bottom of the pile. When the senior point guard got out of the pile, she was diagnosed with a strained knee.

After receiving treatment throughout the weekend, she started and played heavy minutes in the Jaguars’ 51-48 triumph over Neshaminy at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School on Monday night to advance to the state final.

Garnet Valley put its practice plan into action when the clock struck zero.

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‘Bought-in’ Bonner & Prendie ready as ever to take next step

By Matthew DeGeorge

The state tournament doesn’t permit much time for reflection, when after weeks of waiting for it to begin, the schedule jams three games into seven days.

But first-year Bonner & Prendergast coach Kevin Funston found a moment of peace Saturday, in the hours after his team’s PIAA Class 4A quarterfinal handling of Catholic League rival Archbishop Carroll.

“I was over the moon,” Funston said of the 82-57 victory. “I told the team the next day, ‘that was probably the most fun I’ve had being a coach, from assistant to head coach,’ just because of how unselfish we played, how much we bought in on the defensive end, just how everybody contributed. I saw a video of our bench after somebody scored, and it looked like a college bench, celebrating, cheering each other on. It was a really great moment for me as a coach.”

The Friars could have two more chances to celebrate, starting with Monday’s collision with District 1 champion Lower Moreland at Plymouth Whitemarsh at 7:30.

The winner of that contest books a trip to Hershey for Thursday night’s state final, against the winner of Imhotep Charter and District 10 champion Hickory.

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Brickus’ point count overshadows Chester’s farewell

Chester vs. Coatesville

Coatesville’s Jhmir Brickus, right, goes up for a shot in the third quarter as Chester’s Zhmir Carroll defends in a PIAA Class 6A quarterfinal game Saturday at Spring-Ford High School Saturday. Pete Bannan

By Bob Grotz

It was only a matter of time before Coatesville wrapped up its runaway 96-82 victory over Chester in the quarterfinal round of the PIAA Class 6A tournament Saturday at Spring-Ford.

Yet there still was enough suspense to stick around for the last minute.

Red Raiders guard Jhamir Brickus was scoring at a record pace. The countdown to the single-game Coatesville school mark began with four minutes remaining when he reached 40 points. Spectators updated the number together with each additional basket.

Inside of 30 seconds, Red Raiders guard Dapree Bryan threw the ball far out in front of Brickus to lay in for 50 points.

Seconds later Brickus added a deuce for a school-record 52. Coatesville alum Rip Hamilton never did that.

“I knew how many he had,” Bryan said. “I was just like, give him the ball so he could break the record. He’s fast, he can get to the basket and he can score on anybody. He showed it again today.”

Brickus was so fast he jetted through reporters and disappeared into a sea of fans heading toward the exits.

It was standing-room only inside the gym. Fans began lining up for the 1 p.m. contest at 11:15 a.m. In spite of the score, it was worth the wait.

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