By CoBL Staff
The new “big-school” classification in the Keystone State brings with it a smaller tournament than the previous, 32-team AAAA district tourney, but it doesn’t lack any of the punch.
With the first eight seeds given a bye into next Tuesday’s second round, the opening salvo of eight games that takes place Friday night on the higher seed’s home court (all games at 7 PM) should be thoroughly competitive.
Here’s a look at each of those eight, as well as players to watch from all 24 teams over the course of the tournament:
16) Garnet Valley vs. 17) Methacton
Awaiting the winner: 1) Perkiomen Valley
There’s no telling how this one will play out, as both teams are talented but have had their respective ups and downs all year long. Garnet Valley (14-8) won six of its last 10 games entering the postseason, losing twice to Conestoga and once to Upper Darby and Marple Newtown; Methacton ripped off five straight wins from Jan. 10-20 but lost four of its last six, including a Pioneer Athletic Conference playoff game to Norristown. The Warriors (12-10) have a lot of promise in their youth, led by sophomore David Duda Jr. (6-3) and freshman Jeff Woodward (6-8), complemented by a group of seniors led by VIllanova baseball commit Pat O’Neill. Garnet Valley is guard-dominated, led by junior Austin Laughlin (22.5 ppg) and senior Brandon Starr (18.8 ppg). The Jaguars don’t have a player who matches up size-wise with Woodward, so Mike Brown will have to be creative to find ways to slow him down. 6-4 sophomore Cade Brennan might earn first crack at that job.