Upper Merion, Penncrest set for championship battle


By Josh Verlin

Back in January, it looked like the wheels were falling off the Penncrest wagon.

After ripping off a dozen straight wins following two season-opening losses, Mike Doyle’s Lions were riding high in the Central League. Then came four consecutive defeats: at Conestoga and Strath Haven, at home against Harriton and Lower Merion, in that order.

Suddenly, Penncrest went from a team that was in the running to finish the regular season undefeated and earn a berth straight into the league’s championship game to one that was starting to slide towards missing the four-team Central playoffs entirely.

It was a difficult stretch on the schedule, to be sure, but something wasn’t quite right in the Lions’ den.

“I just think that we lost a little bit of chemistry between each other, it wasn’t really anything big,” junior guard Tyler Norwood said. “I think that the Conestoga game got some people a little shaken up.”

“The low point, the soul-searching moment was giving up 69 points to Harriton,” Doyle said, referencing the third of those four, a 69-63 loss to the Rams on Jan. 27. “We just had to say ‘that’s not us,’ we had to get back and guard and that’s what we’ve done all year.”

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(Webmaster’s note: The Upper Merion vs Penncrest District One Championship game will be broadcast as our Game-of-the-Week today. You can link to the game on the left hand side of the page.)