By Anthony Dabbundo & Will Slover
In a quarterfinal round that saw all but one game decided by four or less points, and all but one game won by the higher seed, four more than deserving teams advanced to the District 1 5A Quarterfinals, which will take place on Wednesday night at Temple University’s Liacouras Center.
Here’s a look at the night’s matchups:
Game 1: No. 2 Great Valley vs. No. 3 Penncrest (6:00 PM)
Penncrest is no stranger to fighting its way to wins in close contests.
Of its 24 games played this season, 16 of them were decided by single digits, and Penncrest came out on top in ten of those close-knit affairs.
With their last three games all being in that category of single-digit differences, the Lions (18-6) are getting ready to make a long playoff run using that close-game experience to battle through the dog days of late February and March.
After falling to Lower Merion on a buzzer-beater in the Central League semifinals and then topping Harriton by a score of 51-44 in the first-round of District play, Penncrest had quite possibly its toughest challenge yet in its quarterfinal contest with Wissahickon.
Thirty-two minutes of basketball weren’t enough in that one, as it took Penncrest until overtime to top the Trojans by a score of 60-56 and advance to the district semifinals.
“It’s kind of like we’ve been in that mode for a little while now,” Penncrest head coach Mike Doyle said. “We’re not built for blowouts and we’ve had a tremendous amount of close games. It’s just the way this team is built, we’re not going to blow anybody out. We’re in it for the long haul, that’s kind of what we try to do.”
(Webmaster’s note: Both PIAA, District 1, 5A semi-final games will be broadcast tonight on our Game-of-the-Week broadcast and will be heard LIVE and on our Archives by using the links on the left hand side of the page.)