Harrar leads Strath Haven into title game

By Matthew De George

For four years, John Harrar said Sunday, he’s been waiting for an opportunity like what was before him and his Strath Haven teammates: A Central League title shot, with the bonus of a little retribution against the Conestoga albatross that has plagued the last two resurgent years.

Harrar channeled every ounce of anticipation into a magisterial performance that left the Pioneers floored.

Harrar scored 25 points to go with 17 rebounds, two assists and two blocks as the Panthers controlled Conestoga, 62-54, in the Central League semis at Harriton High School Sunday.

Strath Haven’s John Harrar, right, rises to block a shot by Conestoga’s Milton Robinson Sunday as Ryan Morris defends. (Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)

The win moves fourth-seeded Haven (14-9) into Tuesday’s final against Lower Merion, which topped Penncrest, 53-51, in the nightcap. Tipoff at Marple Newtown is 8 p.m.

If Harrar played like a man possessed, then it was history monopolizing his attention. The Panthers lost in overtime to Conestoga this season and by one point in their regular-season meeting last year. At this stage of the Central League playoffs a season ago, the Pioneers clipped a 19-3 Panthers team, 42-40.

Six days later, Haven’s season abruptly ended in the first round of the District 1 tournament.

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(Webmaster’s note: The Strath Haven vs Lower Merion Central League Championship game is our Game-of-the-Week and can be heard LIVE Tuesday night. Click on our link on the left side of this page.)