By Josh Verlin & Anthony Dabbundo
The eight teams left in the District 1 5A bracket aren’t quite safe yet.
Only seven of those left in the district’s second-largest classification will advance onto the PIAA Class 5A Tournament, meaning whoever loses three consecutive games from this point out is done for the season.
Here’s a look at each of the quarterfinal matchups, which take place on Saturday at 7 PM (unless otherwise noted):
3) Penncrest vs. 11) Wissahickon
The Lions come into this game off a close revenge win over Harriton on Wednesday night, and will look to their leading scorer, junior guard Tyler Norwood to produce yet again. Norwood is very tough to stay in front of, and can shoot it from the parking lot off the dribble. Fellow seniors Mike Mallon and Justin Ross will be key for the Lions to provide auxiliary scoring to Norwood. Norwood and Ross combined for 37 of the Lions 51 in their opening-round win. Mike Doyle’s group has experience making the state tournament, qualifying in 2010 and 2015, but this year’s Penncrest squad is trying to make its own legacy in the new 5A bracket.
Wissahickon enters this second round affair off an impressive upset win at Phoenixville, a game they controlled throughout thanks to dynamic offense from senior Shane Ford and junior Zach Reiner. The pair scored 20 and 17 respectively, and Ford showed his ability to score both inside and out for the Trojans, with Reiner controlling the interior. Chaz Owens, a 6-3 junior wing guard who also features in the Trojans lineup, can provide additional scoring as he showed Wednesday with 12 points. Neither team has a ton of size, but the Trojans might have a slight advantage in that category across the board; if Wissahickon can’t slow down Norwood, though, it might not matter.
(Webmaster’s note: The Wissahickon vs Penncreast game is our Game-of-the-Week and can be heard LIVE by clicking on the GAME-of-the-WEEK link on the left hand side of the page.)