On the Trail With Ted
Basketball 2014-15, March

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 Observations, notes, etc., on games I've seen during
the 2014-15 season . . . Plus some Tedbits.


If your name is misspelled on a TEAM PAGE, please speak up. Send an email to tedtee307@yahoo.com.

SPECIAL NOTE
  To all scorekeepers: PLEASE try to make sure that correct info on scoring is called into the Score Service (215-854-4570). Part of my daily routine, especially after full-scale Pub days, has turned into this: answering multiple emails from coaches/players reporting mistakes in boxscores. We are reaching the point of no return. For years I've asked the leagues to make a rule that would force scorekeepers to sit next to each other with the scoreboard operator to one side or the other. It would thus be much easier for the scorekeepers to coordinate fouls/timeouts, not to mention cross-check info on which players actually make the field goals/free throws. Supposedly, that IS now the rule in the Pub, but many refs aren't enforcing it. Please remember, we want the info to be correct and making that happen is only fair to those involved. When the game is over, the scorekeepers should confer and make sure that their point totals for all players match up. Sounds simple, right? (smile) One more thing: Generally, it's better when the winning team calls in the results. That way the papers receive info to explain HOW the game was won because representatives of the winning team will usually be in a better mood (just human nature) to provide extra details such as rebounds, assists, etc., or the identity of someone who maybe hit a winning shot. Thank you.

December reports/Tedbits
January reports/Tedbits
February report/Tedbits

APRIL 19
TEDBIT
 
While killing time last night, I was checking out old clippings of games that decided Inter-Ac championships. And I found the nugget below to the left . . . In an Inter-Ac game near the end of the 1956-57 season, Germantown Academy and Penn Charter combined to shoot 103 free throws! (Or maybe 101 - smile. GA's total says 57, but the individual numbers add up to 55.) The recap, as published in the Inquirer, says four players from each team were ejected. Not sure if that's a misstatement. Maybe they meant four players from each team fouled out? If eight players had been tossed, it's hard to believe all 32 minutes would have been played. Either way, what a messy game! Meanwhile, in quarters/semis/finals/CTs involving Public and Catholic teams going back to the mid-1970s, the highest number of free throw attempts has been "only" 75. And that game went overtime. As did others on the Top 10 list. Going back a little further: in a '69 Pub semi, Edison and Gratz combined to shoot 77 free throws. Then, in the City Title that followed shortly thereafter, Edison and Roman combined to shoot 70 free throws.












 
No. Year Occasion Winner/Loser FT-FTA Pct.
75 1996 Pub final Edison 74  (OT) 26-47  
      Gratz 68 15-28  
        41-75 .547
74 2010 Pub quarter Bartram 89  (4 OT) 24-36  
      Frankford 87 21-38  
        45-74 .608
73 1990 Pub quarter Franklin LC 90 24-33  
      Washington 86 23-40  
        47-73 .644
72 1988 Pub final Frankford 71  (4 OT) 18-32  
      West Phila. 64 24-40  
        42-72 .583
72 2002 Pub semi Northeast 76 21-35  
      Central 72 26-37  
        47-72 .653
69 1992 Cath final Roman 77 32-38  
      Dougherty 68 23-31  
        55-69 .797
69 1994 Cath quarter Roman 67 19-32  
      Neumann 56 24-37  
        43-69 .623
69 2009 Pub quarter Southern 69 12-27  
      Bartram 65 22-42  
        34-69 .493
69 2009 Pub quarter Imhotep 72 28-36  
      Prep Charter 49 19-33  
        47-69 .681
68 1996 Pub quarter Gratz 66 18-31  
      Frankford 64 27-37  
        45-68 .662
68 2015 Pub semi Constitution 70 27-44  
      Audenried 57 16-24  
        43-68 .632
68 2015 Pub final Imhotep 77 29-40  
      Constitution 75 22-28  
        51-68 .750

APRIL 16
TEDBIT
 
The Donofrio Classic, held each spring in Conshohocken, honors two MVPs -- one apiece from the teams that advance to the championship game. Below are "Our Guys" (Public/Catholic/Inter-Ac) who've won MVP honors going back to 1982.

"Our Guys" MVPs in This Century in the Donofrio Classic
Year --- Winning Team in Final --- --- Losing Team in Final --
2015 Tony Carr Roman Team Hardnett      
2014 Lamar Stevens Haver. School Old School Cavs      
2013 Ja'Quan Newton Neumann-Goretti I-3 Rysheed Jordan Vaux Team Philly
2012       Rysheed Jordan Vaux Team Philly
2008 Novar Gadson Bartram Waterview Phoenix *Maalik Wayns Roman Team Philly
2007 Kashief Edwards Imhotep Positive Image      
2006       *Wayne Ellington Episcopal Playaz
2005 *Gerald Henderson Episcopal Playaz Ameer Ali Gratz Sonny Hill Srs.
2004 Mark Tyndale Gratz Sonny Hill Srs. *Rob Kurz Penn Charter Playaz
2003 Wayne Marshall King Positive Image      
2002       Micheal Blackshear Gratz Waterview
2001       *Steve Smith Northeast Waterview
2000 #special situation     Mike Slattery Gtn. Academy Conshy Express
1999 Jermaine Robinson Gratz Hunting Park Khalid Bray Central Waterview
1998       Kevin "Buzzy' Forney Straw. Mansion D-V Blazers
1997       Chris Krug Gtn. Academy Conshy Express
1996 Petrick Sanders Frankford Sonny Hill Srs. Donnie Carr Roman PI Point Breeze
1995       Donnie Carr Roman PI Point Breeze
1994 Fred Warrick Bok Sonny Hill Srs.      
1993       Tyrone Weeks Franklin LC Sonny Hill Srs.
1992 Rondell Turner Univ. City Sonny Hill Jrs. *Adonal Foyle O'Hara R/Way Gasket
1991       Paul Burke Chestnut Hill Sonny Hill Srs.
1990 *Aaron McKie Gratz Sonny Hill Srs.      
1989 Carlin Warley Frankford Sonny Hill Srs.      
1988 *Randy Woods Franklin Sonny Hill Srs.      
1987 Clayton "Stink" Adams Roman Austin's SG      
1986 *Lionel Simmons Southern Sonny Hill Srs. @Brian Shorter Gratz HBA Crusaders
1985 *Greg "Bo" Kimble Dobbins Sonny Hill Srs. *Paul "Snoop" Graham Franklin HBA Crusaders
1984 Howard Evans West Phila. Sonny Hill Srs. Jody Johnson Southern Canaan Baptist
1983 Rico Washington Franklin Sonny Hill Srs.      
1982 Darren Keith Mastbaum Moore Funeral Home      
*-advanced to NBA      
#-Sonny Hill Srs. won title; all players on team named MVP to honor the memory of long-time coach/mentor Tony Samartino, who'd
passed away in October of 1999.
@-named a tri-MVP; team did NOT advance to the championship game.

APRIL 15
TEDBIT
 
Here are the top scoring performances by Pub/Cath/Int guys in Donofrio Classic championship games over the last 16 years. Four of the players -- Episcopal's Wayne Ellington and Gerald Henderson; Penn Charter'sRob Kurz; Northeast's Steve Smith -- advanced to the NBA. Let's hope a couple more join that club.

Name Team School Pts Year
Rysheed Jordan Team Philly Vaux 48 2013
Ja'Quan Newton I-3 Neumann-Goretti 42 2013
Rysheed Jordan Team Philly Vaux 34 2012
*Wayne Ellington Playaz Episcopal 33 2006
*Gerald Henderson Playaz Episcopal 33 2005
Tony Chennault Team Philly Neumann-Goretti 32 2008
Brandon Austin Team Philly Imhotep 28 2013
Ameer Ali Sonny Hill Srs. Gratz 28 2005
Micheal Blackshear Waterview Gratz 27 2002
Tony Carr Team Hardnett Roman 27 2015
Shaun McKie Sonny Hill Srs. Gratz 26 2000
Ahmad "JR" Gilbert Team Hardnett Constitution 26 2015
Brian Wanamaker Positive Image Roman 25 2007
*Wayne Ellington Playaz Episcopal 25 2005
Mark Tyndale Sonny Hill Srs. Gratz 24 2004
Wayne Marshall Positive Image King 24 2003
Novar Gadson Waterview Bartram 21 2008
Velton Jones Team Philly North Catholic 21 2008
Jamal Wilson Team Philly Neumann-Goretti 21 2008
Kashief Edwards Positive Image Imhotep 21 2007
Scott Rodgers Sonny Hill Srs. Central 21 2005
*Steve Smith Waterview Northeast 21 2001
Bradley Wanamaker Positive Image Roman 20 2007
*Gerald Henderson Playaz Episcopal 20 2006
*Rob Kurz Playaz Penn Charter 20 2004
Sharif Bray Waterview Central 20 2002
*advanced to NBA  

APRIL 11
TEDBIT
 
Below you'll see my choices for (to borrow -- smile -- from baseball specialist Randy Seidman) the Hometown Philly College Basketball Team. The top player nod goes to Penn State sr. guard D.J. Newbill. To be considered for this list, a player must have played in the Pub/Cath/Int through his senior year of high school.

HOMETOWN PHILLY COLLEGE BASKETBALL TEAM
FIRST TEAM
Player College Year High School Conference Record Honors
D.J. Newbill Penn State Sr. Strawberry Mansion Big 10 18-16 2nd team
  First in scoring (20.7); first in assists (3.1) and steals (1.3); shot .455 percent from floor; averaged 37 minutes per game
Juan'ya Green Hofstra Jr. Carroll Colonial Ath. 20-14 1st team
  First in scoring (17.0); first in assists (6.5); tied for first in steals (48); posted first triple-double in school history (15 P, 10 R, 10 A)
Earl Brown St. Francis (Pa.) Sr. Imhotep NEC 16-16 1st team
  First in scoring (15.9); first in rebounds (8.0); first in blocks (31); first in FG percentage (.539)    
Savon Goodman Arizona State So. Constitution Pac-12 18-16 None
  Second in scoring (11.2); first in rebounds (7.6); shot .578 from floor; sat out first nine games due to transfer rules
Jerrell Wright La Salle Sr. Dobbins Atlantic 10 17-16 None
  Second in scoring (12.1); second in rebounds (6.5); shot .524 from floor      
SECOND TEAM
Player College Year High School Conference Record Honors
Ameen Tanksley Hofstra Jr. Imhotep Colonial Ath. 20-14 2nd team
  Second in scoring (16.2); third in rebounds (5.5); tied for first in steals (48); shot 40 percent on threes    
Rysheed Jordan St. John's So. Vaux Big East 21-12 None
  Second in scoring (14.1); first in assists (3.1); second in steals (54)      
Nick Lindner Lafayette So. Germantown Academy Patriot 20-13 3rd team
  Third in scoring (12.5); first in assists (5.2); shot 85 percent at foul line; led team in minutes played (32.1)    
Stephen Vasturia Notre Dame So. St. Joseph's Prep Atlantic Coast 32-6 None
  Fifth in scoring (10.1); averaged 1.7 assists; first in FT percentage (.864)
John Davis Towson So. Neumann-Goretti Colonial Ath. 12-20 3rd team
  Second in scoring (11.8); first in rebounds (8.1); first in FG percentage (.468)      

APRIL 7
TEDBIT
 
Like myself and others going back to the early '70s, Aaron "Ace" Carter again decided to list his All-City selections in what he saw as the proper order. With that in mind, here is an updated list that shows which guys have accumulated the most All-City "power points." In most years, the three teams have included 16 players. So, the Player of the Year earns 16 points, the runnerup 15 and so on. Co-Players of the Year split 31 points (or 29, in years when only 15 players were honored). The top spot, and oldheads won't be surprised, was claimed by '77 West Philly grad Gene Banks with 46 points. This year's "most honored" senior, SJ Prep's Chris Clover, checks in with 30 points (all earned in the last two seasons).

Leading "Power Points" Guys on All-City Teams, 1974-2015
Name School Class Points Sr. Jr. So.
Gene Banks West Phila. 1977 46 16 16 14
Rasheed Wallace Gratz 1993 44 16 16 12
Maureece Rice Straw. Mansion 2003 41.5 15.5 15 11
Eggy Tillman West Phila. 1978 40.5 15.5 15 10
Tyrone Weeks Franklin LC 1993 39 14 14 11
Ja'Quan Newton Neumann-Goretti 2014 38 16 13 9
Lynn Greer Eng. & Science 1997 33 16 9 8
Eddie Griffin Roman 2000 32 16 16  
Meatball Hand Franklin LC 1992 32 15 13 4
Stephen Vasturia SJ Prep 2013 32 15 14 3
Maalik Wayns Roman 2009 31 16 15  
Wayne Ellington Episcopal 2006 30.5 15.5 15  
Rodney Blake Bonner 1984 30 16 14  
Chris Clover SJ Prep 2015 30 15 15  
Gerald Henderson Episcopal 2006 29.5 15.5 14  
Reggie Jackson Roman 1978 29.5 15.5 14  
Charlie Floyd Malvern 1974 29 13 13 3
Sean Singletary Penn Charter 2004 28 16 12  
Jason Lawson Olney 1993 28 15 13  
Pooh Richardson Franklin   1985 28 16 12  
Rico Washington Frankford/Franklin 1983 28 15 13  
Tyrone Garland Bartram 2010 27 14 13  
Tony Chennault Neumann-Goretti 2010 27 16 11  
Kareem Townes Southern 1991 27 16 11  
Derrick Jones Carroll 2015 27 14 11

2

Lonnie McFarlan Roman 1980 26.5 14.5 12  
Pappy Owens Dobbins 1979 26 16 10  
Rick Jackson Neumann-Goretti 2007 26 14 12  
Donnie Carr Roman 1996 26 16 10  
*Carlin Warley Frankford  1989 26 X 16

10

Lionel Simmons Southern 1986 26 16 10  
Samir Doughty MC&S 2015 26 13 13  
*-transferred out of city leagues after junior season

APRIL 1
TEDBIT
 
Yesterday brought great news for all folks who know the wonderful Clark family! Jeffery (a k a "Monk") was chosen to referee one of the games in the upcoming Final Four. Monk starred at Frankford (first team All-City) and St. Joe's and was preceded by two brothers, Dana (Olney '73, also first team All-City, Cheyney) and George (Edison '74, three-year starter, Slippery Rock). George's son, Chris, was a first team All-City honoree at St. Joseph's Prep and then played at Temple. He's now an assistant at Campbell, of the Big South Conference. I decided to figure out how many points were scored by the Clarks just in league play (not counting playoffs) and the total came to 1,855. Pretty darn impressive. (If playoff points can be nailed down, I'll add those later. Perhaps the total will rise to 2,000!)
  UPDATED at 10:30 . . . The final total is 2,158!! Aside from the playoff points, Chris' 77 CL points as a freshman have been added. On more modern computers, website pages from 2001 turn up as gibberish (ugh). I was able to nail down the number with a search on my older computer.
  UPDATED on April 7. Monk was an alternate for all three games at the Final Four.

Points Scored by the Clarks in League Play and Playoffs
Name School Frosh Soph Jr. Sr. Frosh Soph Jr. Sr. Total
    ---- Regular Season ----  ---- Playoffs ----  
Dana Olney '73 none none 38 *273 none none none +58 369
George Edison '74 none 81 #143 150 none none 5 none 379
Jeffery Frankford '77 none 153 234 324 none none 17 37 765
Chris SJ Prep '04 77 109 151 199 none 38 24 47 645
 Totals   77 343 566 946 0 38 46 142 2,158
*-includes 118 points in Sonny Hill Winter League
#-includes 245 points in Sonny Hill Winter League
+-all points in Sonny Hill Winter League playoffs
  Note: In the 1972-73 season, a teachers' strike ended the official PL season after two games. The SHWL took over, with each PL school competing under Hill League coaches. Olney lost to Gratz in the final.
  Note: In the 1970s, ninth grade was not part of public high schools.

MARCH 31
TEDBIT
 
Below is a chart that shows the overall records, year by year in this century, for all Catholic League schools. The four lines at the bottom show wins, losses, winning percentage and ranking based on that winning percentage. N-G is No. 1 at .815, followed by Roman at .751 and St. Joseph's Prep at .731. N-G has averaged just over 24 wins per season. Records highlighted in yellow are each school's best during this time frame (by percentage). Three schools -- Conwell-Egan (21-8), Roman (29-2) and Wood (18-6) -- this season posted their best records of the century. 

  B-P Carr C-E Doc Jud K-K Lans La S McD NC N-G O'H RC Ryan SJP West Wood
'00 9-16 14-13 3-21 21-6 15-10 5-20   19-8 12-13 15-10 26-5 11-15 25-7 5-20 10-16 14-12 11-14
'01 9-16 16-9 6-19 13-13 21-5 8-17   14-11 9-16 5-19 23-8 18-8 23-7 17-10 17-11 13-12 7-17
'02 19-7 17-10 4-21 22-5 16-10 6-19   10-15 10-15 8-16 21-7 10-14 16-9 16-12 24-6 7-18 13-13
'03 11-14 14-12 7-18 24-4 15-11 0-24   14-13 9-16 5-19 18-8 9-14 19-8 15-12 30-2 9-16 16-10
'04 9-16 9-16 7-18 26-6 12-13 1-21   19-8 6-19 14-12 19-8 6-18 22-7 16-9 27-4 17-9 15-12
'05 11-14 12-13 10-15 17-10 17-10 3-21   4-21 8-16 11-15 27-3 14-11 21-9 16-10 26-5 14-12 20-7
'06 14-12 12-13 15-10 21-6 16-10 11-14   8-17 6-19 14-11 22-6 12-13 26-6 19-7 24-5 8-17 2-23
'07 17-10 10-16 10-16 25-3 14-13 0-26   16-12 7-19 22-6 26-10 8-16 28-3 16-11 22-8 9-17 13-13
'08 18-8 14-11 13-11 14-11 15-10 3-21   15-11 12-12 22-5 15-10 10-14 19-6 17-10 16-11 12-12 9-15
'09 10-13 27-3 11-12 7-15 7-15 7-15 8-14 11-13 6-16 17-9 26-3 2-19 18-9 10-13 14-9 16-11 16-7
'10 8-14 24-5 14-9 12-12 9-13 5-16 8-14 20-6 4-18 11-12 30-1 5-17 18-9 7-15 17-8 11-15 16-8
'11 9-13 21-6 10-13   16-6   4-18 21-6 10-12   27-4 6-15 17-9 11-13 14-9 7-17 14-10
'12 2-19 20-8 12-11   13-10   3-19 11-13 12-13   28-3 13-11 17-10 18-5 21-6 8-14 14-9
'13 5-17 23-7 8-16   10-12   12-12 15-8 14-10   23-6 8-14 19-7 14-9 24-6 2-20 14-10
'14 2-20 23-5 15-8   8-15   10-12 23-7 12-13   27-4 6-16 23-5 10-12 16-7 12-14 11-12
'15 12-11 23-7 21-8   15-9   5-17 21-7 5-17   29-2 6-16 29-2 10-13 18-5 7-15 18-6
                                 
W 165 279 166 202 219 49 50 241 142 144 387 144 340 217 320 166 209
L 220 154 216 81 172 214 106 176 244 134 88 231 113 181 118 231 186
Pct. .429 .644 .435 .714 .560 .186 .321 .578 .368 .518 .815 .384 .751 .545 .731 .418 .529
No. 12 5 11 4 7 17 16 6 15 10 1 14 2 8 3 13 9

MARCH 26
TEDBIT
 
What are the chances? Though the circumstances of their high school/college careers have contrasted in big-time fashion, Ja'Quan Newton and Jesse Morgan are only five points apart as they prepare for Tuesday night's NIT semifinal at Madison Square Garden. Newton owns 2,088, counting 1,972 at Neumann-Goretti and 116 so far this season at Miami. Morgan owns 2,083 -- 601 in three years at Prep Charter, 559 in one at Olney, 608 in three at Massachusetts and 315 so far this season at Temple. Best of luck to these Philly guys Tuesday night!

Ja'Quan Newton
Year School Pts
2011 Neumann-Goretti 277
2012 Neumann-Goretti 492
2013 Neumann-Goretti 533
2014 Neumann-Goretti 670
2015 Miami 116
    2,088
Jesse Morgan
Year School Pts
2006 Prep Charter 31
2007 Prep Charter 275
2008 Prep Charter 295
2009 Olney 559
2010

DNP

 
2011 UMass 253
2012 UMass 367
2013 UMass 188
2014 DNP  
2015 Temple 315
    2,083

MARCH 25
TEDBIT
 
Carroll's Derrick Jones did not conclude his career as the Catholic League's top scorer in state playoffs, but he was in the ballpark, er, arena. Jones wound up scoring 281 points, nine short of the total racked up by N-G's Ja'Quan Newton, now a freshman at Miami. N-G senior Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble (152) now owns a spot in the top five, also. The Pub's top spot now belongs to Constitution senior Ahmad "J.R." Gilbert (239) and fellow 12th grader Samir Doughty of MC&S is right behind at 232 (191 with the Mighty Elephants; 41 at now-closed Comm Tech in '12-'13). The top spot previously belonged to '13 Imhotep grad Brandon Austin (215). 

CL's Leading Career Scorers in State Playoffs
  Ja'Quan Derrick John Tony Lamarr
  Newton Jones Davis Chennault Kimble
  N-G Carroll N-G N-G N-G
2009 x x x 61 x
2010 x x 0 99 x
2011 53 x 62 x x
2012 76 33 79 x 7
2013 54 76 35 x 33
2014 107 49 x x 50
2015 x 123 x x 62
 Total 290 281 176 160 152

MARCH 24 (Evening)
TEDBIT
 
Here are the rosters for Friday night's Public League Coaches' All-Star Tripleheader, at Ben Franklin High.

1st Game 5:30PM
Must report at 4:30

Marcus Bryant, CAPA
Hyzeem Banks, PKWY CC
Deion Hamilton, RUSH
Isaiah Lewis, Motivation
Ahanri Briggs, Parkway NW
Jeremiah Alston, Tacony
Isaiah Riddick, Rush
Ibn-Haneef Nelson, SLA
Cole Ruley, Parkway CC
Walter Smith, Roxborough
Robert Lafayette, Mastbaum
Larry Edwards, Mastery S
Zahir Gillis, Randolph
Nehemiah Hodges, World Comm
Edens Dorstal, New Media
Robert Sample, Edison
Alex Rodriguez, Swenson
Saleem Thompson, Mastbaum
Shafi Meachum, Palumbo
Troy Richardson, Bodine
Jirveese Thomas, New Media
Chase Davis, FLC
Kameron Gilfilian, Future
Shawn Morrison, Future
Dashaun Johnson, Franklin
Quadir Norman, Mansion
Ishmael Marshall, Lincoln
Brandon White, Sayre
Willie Grant, Robeson
Devon Adams, Fels

2nd Game- 7PM
Must report by 6PM

Justin Johnson, Tacony
Zahir Stewart- Maritime
Jerrell Richardson- Kensington
Montrell Gilliam- Edison
Rahim Washington- Prep Charter
Lavelle Harper- West
Antwan James- Sayre
Maurice Waters- Bartram
Marvin Bell- Southern
Greg Holdsman- Central
Tyriq Wilson- Northeast
Akeem King- Constitution
Nick Jones- MCS
Leo Gardiner- Boys Latin
La’Trelle Wilson- Southern
Jerome Blume- Washington
Umar Saaba- Boys Latin
Deshan Brown- Northeast
Johnathan Hall- E&S
Demetruis White- Frankford
Calil Moultrie- Freire
Joseph Burnett- Gratz
Quadire Truesdale- Frankford
Shawn Bailey- Bartram
Kahlil Williams- Central
Dymir Logan- Del Val
Bysil Northern- Del Val
Don Barnes- MCS
Mike Cooper- PET
Chase Rodgers- King
Somah Slewion - Swenson

3rd Game- 8:30PM
Must report by 730PM

Kimar Williams- Constitution
Samir Doughty- MCS
Ahmad Gilbert- Constitution
DaShon Giddings- Del Val
Sammy Foreman - King
Devonta Peterie- PET
Chad Andrews-Fulton- Constitution
Jihad Barnes- PET
DeAnte Robinson- Imhotep
Devin Liggeons- Imhotep
Khalief Tinley- Imhotep
Tyheem Harmon- King
Tyere Marshall- King
Cananchet Jordan- Imhotep
Karl Lewis- Del Val
Haneef Vaughn- Constitution
Charles Brown- Washington
Elmange Watson- Washington
Dom Morales-- Future
Devon Jacobs- Audenreid

3 Point Contestants- Must report at 4PM





 

 

MARCH 24
TEDBIT
 
Neumann-Goretti's dominance of Carroll continued through the just-completed season, but there was little margin for error. The Saints edged Carroll by two points in the regular season and again by two in the Class AAA final. Starting with the 2001 CL quarterfinal, N-G has captured 30 of the teams' last 31 meetings. The lone exception was the '09 state quarterfinal. Carroll rolled onward to win the state title. N-G has won five of the last six state crowns (missed in '13). Here are N-G's 10 closest wins among the 30.  

N-G's Ten Closest Wins vs. Carroll
Among 30 Total (in Last 31 Meetings)
Year Occasion Margin Score N-G's Leading Scorer(s) Pts
2015 Reg Season 2 71-69 Quade Green 26
2015 3A Final 2 69-67 Zane Martin 26
2001 Reg Season 4 43-39 Brandon Brigman 13
2011 CL Final 4 59-55 John Davis/Lamin Fulton 16
2011 Reg Season 6 74-68 Lamin Fulton 22
2014 Reg Season 6 64-58 Ja'Quan Newton 29
2003 Reg Season 8 60-52 Tabby Cunningham/Adon El 15
2010 Reg Season 8 66-58 Danny Stewart 16
2004 Reg Season 9 58-49 Adon El 15
2008 Reg Season 10 66-56 Tony Chennault 21

MARCH 23
TEDBIT
 
Below are lists that show the Top 10 Pub/Cath champs, by overall winning percentage, over the last 41 seasons. Interesting to note: An overall Top 10 list would feature only one Cath team (N-G's 30-1 squad in '10). Roman's 2015 squad (29-2) now owns the No. 3 spot. Neumann-Goretti achieved the same overall record, but fell in the CL final before storming onward, as did Roman, to win a state championship.

Pub Champs With Best Overall
Winning Percentages, 1975-2014
Team Year W-L Pct.
Overbrook 1980 34-0 1.000
Gratz 1993 31-0 1.000
West Phila. 1977 30-0 1.000
West Phila. 1975 25-0 1.000
Overbrook 1979 34-1 .971
West Phila. 1978 33-1 .971
Imhotep 2009 32-1 .970
Mastbaum 1982 27-1 .964
Franklin 1984 27-1 .964
Gratz 1991 27-1 .964
Cath Champs With Best Overall
Winning Percentages, 1975-2014
Team Year W-L Pct.
Neumann-Goretti 2010 30-1 .968
SJ Prep 2003 30-2 .938
Roman 2015 29-2 .936
Roman 1980 31-3 .912
Roman 1991 28-3 .903
Roman 2007 28-3 .903
Neumann-Goretti 2012 28-3 .903
Roman 1990 27-3 .900
Roman 1996 27-3 .900
Neumann-Goretti 2005 27-3 .900

MARCH 21
PIAA CLASS AAAA FINAL
Roman 62, King 45
(At Hershey's Giant Center)

  Thank goodness Roman's victory celebration was very pleasing to the eyes. The ballgame certainly wasn't. For now, here's all you need to know about the latter: King missed 27 of its first 29 shots in the second half. Ouch. When the buzzer finally sounded, the fun began. Great sights were everywhere as the Cahillites rejoiced with themselves and then with their rabid student/adult supporters. As teacher John Pensabene happened to mention, "When your school's 125 years old, you can't do too many things for the first time." Roman has won millions (slight exaggeration) of championships in many sports, but this was the first state title in the school's PIAA era, which began in the 2008-09 school year, as it did for all Catholic League schools. The coolest visual involved the interaction between the players and students, and those groups just kept having fun and more fun and MORE fun even though the students had to stay behind the hockey boards. Finally, the lights dimmed slightly and the security guards let it be known that everyone needed to depart. Otherwise the great vibrations might have continued 'til midnight (smile). There was also a wonderful moment in the last half-minute. Waved to the scorers' table was sr. F TreVaughn Wilkerson (Hartford commit), who'd been sidelined since early December due to a severe knee injury. (To honor TreVaughn, assistant Thomas "Hockey Puck" McKenna spent much of the day/night wearing a Hartford shirt. Classy move, Puckster!) The coaches and starters were hoping the ball would find its way to TreVaughn, who was camped out near the bench on the left side. But things were so crazy by that point, I'm not even sure the deep subs realized TreVaughn was out there. The ball went to the right and soon the buzzer was sounding again. TreVaughn, who's still limping slightly, left the game and exchanged a healthy hug with coach Chris McNesby. Here's the answer to the trivia question, How long did TreVaughn Wilkerson play as Roman won the state championship in 2015? 16.1 seconds (from 26.7 to 10.6). Well before the game began, there was interesting viewing. For all championship games in the Giant Center, rooting sections are catty-corner. But the Roman kids wound up right next to King's and it didn't take long for PIAA officials to stride over and say, quite forcefully, "Go back to the other end, guys. Now!" As for the game itself . . . It just never truly got going. Even though the score was close throughout the first half, rarely did we see two consecutive special moments, let alone three or four. A classic just wasn't in the cards, folks. Off an inbound play that started with a half-second remaining, sr. PG Sammy Foreman drilled a trey to draw King within 30-29. No doubt all neutral observers, mindful that the recent City Title had produced a 58-57 win for Roman over King, were thinking, "OK, that sets up a great second half." Phew, talk about wrong. The Cougars shot 2-for-17 in the third quarter and then missed 10 more shots to open the fourth. The thoughts became, "Maybe this shot has a chance . . . Nope. Maybe THIS shot has a chance . . . Nope. Look at this shot. It's definitely going in . . . Nope." It was unbelievable. Maybe King's bad luck non-charm was Shep Garner. Shep, who starred for Roman and is now a Penn State frosh, was among the spectators throughout. Shortly into the third quarter, he sat between PSU coach Pat Chambers (Episcopal product) and assistant Brian Daly (Bonner) not too far from the Roman kids, who acknowledged his presence with wild applause. Soon, sr. swingman Gemil Holbrook (Rider) was nailing a left-corner trey to make it 39-31 and the game was en route to becoming a non-game. (Later, Shep scrambled over to greet the students.) Before the fourth quarter, the PA announcer, reminding the fans that championship shirts would later be available, said something like, "We know the colors on the shirts will be purple and gold. We just don't know what name will be on them." Alas, King never slapped together a hint of a run and Roman's fans safely were able to belt out the all-time jinx chant, "I Believe That We Will Win," with 1:56 remaining. The spread was 15 points, at 56-41. No chance for an epic collapse. Roman attempted just 28 shots from the floor (and made 17!) because major hacking took place; the Cahillites went an unsightly 23-for-41 at the line. King was very good at the stripe (10-for-12), but woeful (15-for-55) in other locales. Roman's top defender was soph WG D'Andre Vilmar, who was mostly responsible for making jr. G Jabri McCall go 0-for-9 from the floor. Starting PF-C Tyere Marshall also failed to notch a field goal (0-for-4), but his night was severely limited by foul trouble. Holbrook (20), jr. PG Tony Carr (14) and Vilmar (10) scored in double figures. Jr. WG Nazeer Bostick and sr. sixth-man PF-C Manny Taylor (Rutgers for football) claimed six rebounds apiece. Carr had six assists and three steals and missed just one shot total (4-for-5 floor, 4-for-4 line). Foreman (20) and sr. WG Tyheem Harmon (10, three treys) reached double digits for King and Foreman was the rebound leader with seven. This was quite the weekend for District 12. "Our Guys" won the title in every classification and that's a first since the expansion from three to four in 1983-84. Great job! Except for wrapup endeavors, this concludes my 44th season of covering high school hoops. Thanks to the website visitors for paying attention and to my assorted sidekicks for all the great help they provide.
ADDED MARCH 22 . . .
  Thomas "Hockey Puck" McKenna
, Roman's legendary assistant, video-taped the game from high above the stands. To come downstairs and join the players-coaches, he took n elevator. As the doors opened, he quickly scrambled through, looked around, saw a door and pushed it open. That left him outside the arena. "What da hell I doin' out hehe?" Puck barked at himself. He had to walk around the building and convince a security guard that he indeed deserved to be back inside.
  Guard D'Andre Vilmar was en route to Roman via public transportation when the bus broke down in Camden. Knowing he was pressed for time, Vilmar hustled off the bus, then ran across the Ben Franklin Bridge and nine more blocks to Roman, so he would not miss the team bus to Hershey.
  (Thanks to former coach Dennis Seddon and current AD Dan DiBerardinis for these nuggets.)   

MARCH 21
PIAA CLASS AA FINAL
Conwell-Egan 62, Aliquippa 51
(At Hershey's Giant Center)

  The script could not have been written in more fitting fashion. With Aliquippa charging hard and threatening to cause major tears for C-E's players and fans, a big play was needed. The Terrific Trio obliged. PF-C Vinny Dalessandro, CG-SF LaPri McCray-Pace and PG Stevie Jordan -- juniors all -- have been starting for the Eagles since their freshman season. With C-E in front by only 50-48, Dalessandro blocked a follow and the rebound went to McCray-Pace. Already a good way downcourt on a leak-out, Jordan received a whipped-ahead pass and canned an easy layup. See, told you the script was good. More happened, of course, but for this man's money that was THE play and all three guys will no doubt remember it forever. Conwell-Egan, state champ. Let that sink in for a moment. Hard to believe, right? Impossible not to feel great about it, even more right? A short time ago, C-E (nee Bishop Egan) owned just one playoff win since joining the Catholic League for the 1963-64 season. And that one was claimed in a '64 semifinal. No. 2 came recently vs. Freire in the AA City Title. Five wins are needed to win a state crown and, boy, were they ever seized. C-E won every game by at least double digits and averaged a 21.2 margin. The release of major emotion was everywhere as the buzzer sounded. The players jumped around the court while exchanging/slaps/etc., then sr. WG Sean Kelly began a mad dash toward the student rooters. The other guys followed and the exchange of great-jobs!, thanks-for-your-support! was beautiful to watch. Janet Dollard, C-E's president, said seven buses, holding 44 students apiece, made the trip to Hershey. That's 308 kids, rumor has it (smile). Other kids probably came up with parents or buddies. Dollard said C-E's current enrollment is 544 and that the baseball team and an academic group were unavailable due to trips. "Almost 90 percent of the available students are here," she said. Wonderful support, troops! . . . And speaking of troops, the Eagles received their trophy from Damon Page, a member of the National Guard. Damon's a 2010 C-E grad and the son of Lee Page, a prominent multi-sport ref in the Philly area. Lee is also in the National Guard and he has been here throughout Finals Weekend, presenting the championship trophies. Said Lee, "I told Damon to come up here and make sure he was in uniform. I knew it would be very cool if he got to present the trophy to his old school." Indeed. I might have seen a tear or seven (smile). Aliquippa, a Pittsburgh suburb, entered perfect at 29-0. The Quips scored six of the first eight points as C-E went 1-for-6, looking the slightest bit unnerved. But soon, McCray-Pace canned a layup off a HARD drive and Jordan ended the first quarter with a right-corner trey and, just like that, Frank Sciolla's club was on top at 12-8. Things got better. The halftime count was 31-15, thanks in part to a trio of treys by sr. WG Chase Kumor. The third session brought a hint of discombobulation. The Eagles were not playing horribly, but neither were they in sync. Aliquippa also had a huge rooting section and those peeps were bringin' the juice. Ditto for the players. A few were talking trash to the Eagles. Shortly into the fourth quarter, a Quip hit a three and barked right in McCray-Pace's face, "How ya like THAT, b-tch?!" (It happened right in front of where I was sitting two seats away from the legendary Kevin "Sparky" Cooney, of the Bucks County Courier Times.) Pri gave the Quip a look that seemed to say, "Calm down, bro. I hope you enjoy our response." In high school, especially, free-throw shooting can be dicey when the tension mounts. Kudos to the Eagles! They drained their first 11 attempts of the last quarter and finished 15-for-17 (en route to 28-for-35 total). And one of the misses occurred after the issue had been decided. McCray-Pace (22) and Jordan (21) finished a close one-two in scoring. Kumor added 14 points. McC-P and Kelly halved 16 rebounds and the former, who often wound up with the ball out front, dished four assists. Dalessandro was credited with just two blocks in the official boxscore, but I'm pretty sure he had four. Sr. F Jordan Burney added grit as the sixth man and soph G Daniel Green claimed the game's last rebound as part of the Deep Subs Brigade. Enjoying the win in major fashion, up in the stands, were former baseball coach Rich Papirio, who still handles PA duties at basketball games, and '74 grad Brian Townsend, a former All-Catholic player who's a confirmed Eagle for life. Perched behind Brian was Leonhard "P.J." McCray, Mastbaum's former quarterback and LaPri's father. I'm guessing he yelled various comments 227 times over the 32 minutes. (Ha, ha. Always love the energy, P.J.!) Just three years ago, C-E was in MAJOR danger of closing. Now it owns a state championship. Very cool script as well, eh?

MARCH 20
PIAA CLASS AAA FINAL
Neumann-Goretti 69, Carroll 67
(At Hershey's Giant Center)

  Second verse, same as the first. Just three nights ago in the semifinal vs. Imhotep, Neumann-Goretti managed to claim a two-point halftime lead even though co-headliners Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble (sr. WG) and soph Quade Green (soph WG) owned just two points apiece. Flash ahead to the moment tonight when 6:01 remained in the third quarter. Kimble made the third of two free throws (huh?) to give the Saints a 28-27 lead. That point was his third. Green had managed just four. Once again, we were seeing how talented -- and how much drive -- these guys have. If most teams get next to nothing from mainstays, they crumble. Somehow, the Saints have soared to seize another state crown, their fifth in six seasons (missed in '13). Oh, about that "third of two" reference. Fresh missed both ends of a two-shot foul, but the Patriots were hit with a lane violation. He took advantage. Ultimately, N-G triumphed because it fared pretty darn well at the line in the fourth quarter (16-for-20). That was not the case in the Catholic League championship game and these Saints, who could have extended the title streak to all-time-best of seven, likely will be bothered by that for eternity, but at least they learned from the devastation and prevented it from happening again. Particularly effective was Green, a k a Death and Taxes, who drained two at 2:03, two more at 0:53 and two more at 0:35. Then came the biggest two-spot. At 0:12, jr. WG Zane Martin nailed two more free throws to extend the pad to a close-the-door five points, at 69-64. Jr. PG Josh Sharkey followed by draining a trey for Carroll, and the Saints had to call to a timeout after having trouble getting the ball inbounds. Out of the break, they spread out much better and the lengthy inbound pass was caught to end it as coach Carl Arrigale raised his arms in triumph. Soon, the Saints were awaiting their medals and soph bench guy Mike Milsip was bellowing with a smile, "Where the haters? They the motivators!" He was referring to those media members who'd tabbed Carroll to win. A short time later, Milsip, known to be quite the character, was yelling multiple times, "Where's the Hershey Bar?! I'm hungry!" So, how did the Saints do it? A much better performance at the line (21-for-29 to 10-for-25 for Carroll) topped the prominent list. Also important early was the defensive work of soph PF Emil Moody. In the beginning, Carroll's sr. franchise F, Derrick Jones, was doing pretty much what he wanted. He posted 10 points in the first seven minutes and it was not impossible to envision 30, 40, 50 (slight exaggeration). But with Moody on him, Jones then missed a trey and could not convert his next four attempts (some on follows) and that blip was quite important in enabling the Saints to rebound from a 14-6 deficit. By the time the buzzer sounded, Jones did own 30 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks. Yet, he made just four of 15 attempts at the line. Martin, meanwhile, went 8-for-9 en route to 26 points. Green went 6-for-6 en route to 14. Jr. PG Vaughn Covington, so important vs. 'Tep, nailed three treys and finished with 17 points (in addition to seven rebounds and five assists). Kimble experienced severe shooting woes (3-for-15 floor, 3-for-8 line) en route to 10 points. Yet, he did nail a trey to make it 39-31 with 2:08 left in the third quarter and that success, judging by a quick glance at the bench, appeared to provide an all's-right-with-the-world feeling for the coaches and subs. Joining Jones in double figures were Sharkey (13) and soph WG-SF Dave Beatty (11). Jr. WG Ryan Daly came close (nine). Daly (13) and Sharkey (10) were active on the boards and the latter had five assists. As is well known by now, the Saints have managed to own Carroll in this century. Beginning with a quarterfinal in '01, they've won 31 of 32 meetings and the lone exception was a state quarterfinal in '09. That was the Catholic League's first season as a PIAA member and the Patriots went on to claim the first state title. Carroll's gals matched the feat. Today/tonight? Ditto for N-G. In a game that started at noon, the Lady Saints buried Seton La Salle, 79-34, behind Ahnje Timbers (20), Sianni Martin (16), Christine Abowora (13) and Ciani Cryor (11). School on Monday could be interesting. Can't you just hear it now? Gals to guys . . . "You won by two? We won by 45!" Spend the weekend working on clever comebacks, fellas. It's gonna be difficult (smile).

MARCH 20
PIAA CLASS A FINAL
Constitution 85, Farrell 52
(At Hershey's Giant Center)

  Really, how could this NOT have happened? Constitution last year stormed to the Class AA title, then returned almost everybody and dropped down one class. Recipe for dominance, folks! Though this result might have provided at least a little bit of a surprise. In a state final at any level, you don't expect one team to score 31 of the first 35 points. But the Generals did that over the first eight minutes and a leather-lunged student supporter could have hollered between the quarters, "Bring out the trophy!!" (Instead, he waited until after the third quarter -- smile). Though of course we're two-thirds of the way through March, snow was falling outside. Indoors, it looked as if a hurricane were blowing through the Giant Center. The Generals were basically perfect in the first quarter, playing count-their-teeth defense and storming from one end to the other in let's-frolic mode. Who knows? They might have won a game in the first round of the NCCA Tourney (smile). Leading the way, as he'd done in the semifinal destruction of Math, Civics and Sciences, was sr. F Ahmad "J.R." Gilbert, a lefty bound for George Mason. He finished the first session with 12 points (two treys) and two assists and got plenty of help from sr. PG Kimar Williams and sr. PF-C Chad Andrews-Fulton (eight points apiece). The game looked, basically, like a varsity vs. a JV, and it was tough not to feel some sympathy for the Steelers and their large throng of supporters. The second quarter was normal and ConHigh (28-4) actually lost it, 16-8. Next up? Avalanche time again! The Generals won the third stanza, 30-14, and spent much of it repeating their impressive feats of the first quarter. Gilbert (11 points, three triples) and Williams (nine) paced the power display. Late in that period, there was an excellent example of brotherhood. Gilbert missed a trey and jr. G Nasir Randolph snatched the rebound in traffic. Randolph looked out beyond the arc, saw that J.R. was open and whipped him the ball. He could have shot it, easily. Instead, he waited as Randolph ventured beyond the arc and hit him with a pass. Bang! Three for Nasir. Assist for J.R. The fourth quarter started with a crazy kinda dunk by Andrews-Fulton. As he tried to slam the ball, it kicked high above the rim. In fact, it hit against the top of the backboard . . . and then fell straight through the net. Legendary! The afternoon was finished for all starters with 4:25 remaining. That last possession featured SIX shots by the Generals and ended with a follow by Andrews-Fulton, making the count 80-41. Thirty-four seconds later, a timeout was called and the Generals gathered 'round coach Rob Moore. Blaring over the sound system was that "Single Ladies" song (or whatever the official name is). Standing at the back of the group were Gilbert and student manager Isaiah Patrick. And they were dancing! Gotta love it. In all, Moore dressed 18 players. Only 17 made it into the ballgame, however, because there were not enough jerseys. Left out was frosh PF Naeem Feggans. This crown was ConHigh's third in four years. The run of domination began with an A title in 2012. Sr. G Akeem King, Gilbert and Williams all played in that championship game, combing for seven points. Today, Gilbert shot 10-for-18 overall and 6-for-12 on treys en route to 28 points. He also notched 11 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. Williams contributed 20 points (9-for-14, two treys) and eight assists. Andrews-Fulton owned the inside with 15 rebounds in addition to his 14 points. Sr. G Haneef Vaughn had seven dimes. Sr. sub F Isaiah "Fan Favorite" Bradley claimed four rebounds. Principal Tom Davidson estimated that ConHigh was supported by 200 to 250 students; the school has only 350. Congrats, kids! The most touching moment, by far, occurred as the presentation of medals wound down. Accepting on behalf of former assistant Fran Hamilton, who died during the offseason, were his parents, Fran Sr. and Kim. They were swarmed by pretty much everybody and the tears were flowing, big time. Fran was beloved and it was so great that his parents were able to bask in such support. RIP, Fran, especially while knowing that his dedication had gone so far to help make it happen.

MARCH 20
TEDBIT
 
Talk about weird . . . District 12 thus far has produced 15 state champions. In semifinals, seven times the opponent for the eventual state champ has been another D-12 squad. The average margin of victory in those games has been 17.4 points and the lowest spread has been 11 points. When Our Guys have played Elsewhere Guys (eight games), the average margin of victory has been 6.0 points. In semis this past Tuesday, the margins of victory were: 41 for Constitution in A (vs. an Our Guys opponent); 11 for Conwell-Egan in AA (Elsewhere Guys); 8 for Neumann-Goretti in AAA (OG), 27 for Carroll in AAA (EG), 3 for Roman in AAAA (EG) and 13 for King in AAAA (EG). Not sure what it all means (smile). 

Semifinal Results for D-12's Eventual State Champs
2014 Neumann-Goretti  AAA Constitution AA   
   Phila. Elec., 65-53 Elmer Meyers, 55-44   
2013 Imhotep  AAA   Vaux  A
   Donegal, 56-54    MC&S, 83-66
2012 Neumann-Goretti  AAA Imhotep  AA Constitution  A
   Boys' Latin, 74-43  Holy Cross, 37-35  MC&S 62-37
2011 Neumann-Goretti  AAA Imhotep  AA MC&S
   Lancaster Catholic, 82-75  Comm Tech, 49-38  Constitution, 87-74
2010 Neumann-Goretti  AAA    
   Eastern York, 81-73    
2009 Carroll  AAA Imhotep  AA  
   York Suburban, 65-57  Hughesville, 53-46  
2008   --    
       
2007   Prep Charter  AA  
     Imhotep, 61-48  
2006   Prep Charter  AA  
     York Catholic, 56-53  
2005   --  

 

MARCH 19 (Evening)
TEDBIT
 
My opinion of the Top 10 performances by Pub/Cath players in PIAA championship games, through 2014 (no more than one per game; not all games represented) . . .

Top 10 Performances by Pub/Cath Players in PIAA Finals, 2005-14
Rank Year Class Player School Loser Score
No. 1 2014 AAA Ja'Quan Newton Neumann-Goretti Susquehanna Twp. 64-57 OT
  One day after his mother passed, he scored a career-high 33 points (5-for-9 on treys) while adding eight rebounds.
No. 2 2006 AA Rodney Green Prep Charter Beaver Falls 82-51
  Shot 10-for-12 and 5-for-7 for 25 points while adding eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.  
No. 3 2013 Rysheed Jordan Vaux Johnsonburg 83-63
  Shot 14-for-20 en route to 32 points while adding six rebounds, four assists and five steals.  
No. 4 2009 AAA Juan'ya Green Carroll Greensburg Salem 75-54
  Shot 5-for-9 and 5-for-5 while scoring 16 points. Also had five apiece of rebounds/assists and three steals.
No. 5 2012 A Daiquan Walker Constitution Lincoln Park 68-49
  Totaled 22 points, seven rebounds and six apiece of assists/steals.    
No. 6 2007 AA Markieff Morris Prep Charter Aliquippa 68-66
  Shot 6-for-8 and 4-for-4 for 16 points while claiming 16 rebounds.    
No. 7 2011 A Jeremiah Worthem Math/Civics/Sciences Lincoln Park 70-55
  Shot 10-for-14 en route to 22 points while adding 12 boards.    
No. 8 2009 AA Sam Prescott Imhotep Pittsburgh N. Catholic 75-67
  Went 8-for-8 at the line en route to 21 points. Also posted 13 rebounds and five steals.  
No. 9 2013 AAA Brandon Austin Imhotep Carroll 54-45
  Mixed 25 points with eight rebounds and three assists.    
No. 10 2014 AA Ahmad Gilbert Constitution Seton La Salle 61-59
  Totaled 19 points and 14 rebounds.      

MARCH 19
TEDBIT
 
Play great defense and win the rebounding war. No guarantees, but doing so in the upcoming state finals might be a darn good recipe for success for all six teams preparing for battle tomorrow/Saturday. In championship games, 12 of District 12's 15 winners have captured the rebounding contest (admittedly not by much sometimes, but, hey, a win's a win) and 12 of the 15 have forced the opponent to shoot less than 40 percent from the floor (often much less, in fact). However, Neumann-Goretti last year became the first D-12 champ to claim a win despite allowing 42.9 percent shooting and getting outrebounded, 35-30. The breakdown is below.

Two Key Categories for D-12 State Titlists in Championship Games
Year Class Winner Loser Loser
Shot . .
For a
Pct. of . .
Rebounds
W on Left
2006 AA Prep Charter Beaver Falls 20-67 29.9 38-28
2007 AA Prep Charter Aliquippa 27-76 35.5 47-43
2009 AAA Carroll Greensburg Salem 19-49 38.8 37-26
AA Imhotep Pittsburgh N. Cath. 23-64 35.9 40-31
2010 AAA Neumann-Goretti Chartiers Valley 24-55 (43.6) 34-28
2011 AAA Neumann-Goretti Montour 17-48 35.4 31-28
AA Imhotep Greensburg CC 11-43 25.6 46-20
A MC&S Lincoln Park 21-58 36.2 (29-37)
2012 AAA Neumann-Goretti Montour 15-38 39.5 26-25
AA Imhotep Beaver Falls 22-69 31.9 37-34
A Constitution Lincoln Park 19-54 35.1 40-38
2013 AAA Imhotep Carroll 17-56 30.4 36-34
A Vaux Johnsonburg 20-46 (43.5) 31-20
2014 AAA Neumann-Goretti Susquehanna Twp. 21-49 (42.9) (30-35)
AA Constitution Seton La Salle 20-51 39.2 (35-36)

MARCH 18
TEDBIT
 
The PIAA expanded its basketball classifications from three to four for the 1983-84 season. In the 32 seasons, this will be the sixth time that teams from one district have managed to advance to all four championship games. This year, District 12 is sending an amazing SIX teams. Below is a breakdown. No district has pulled off a sweep.
  UPDATED after state finals . . . D-12 pulled off the first sweep over four classes.

Year Class School Result
2015 AAAA Roman (beat King) won
D-12 AAA  Neum.-Gor. (beat Carr) won
  AA  Conwell-Egan won
  A Constitution won
2014 AAAA La Salle lost
D-12 AAA  Neumann-Goretti won
  AA  Constitution won
  A MC&S lost
2011 AAAA Mt. Lebanon lost
D-7 AAA  Montour lost
  AA  Greenburg CC lost
  A Lincoln Park lost
2004 AAAA Penn Hills won
D-7 AAA  Moon Twp. won
  AA  Sto-Rox won
  A Sewickley lost
1998 AAAA Harrisburg won
D-3 AAA  Steelton-Highspire won
  AA  Reading CC lost
  A Reading Holy Name lost
1987 AAAA Carlisle won
D-3 AAA  York Catholic won
  AA  Columbia won
  A Millersburg lost

MARCH 17
CLASS A SEMIFINAL
Constitution 87, Math, Civics and Sciences 46
(At Philadelphia University)

  By all accounts, ConHigh sr. SF Ahmad "J.R." Gilbert (George Mason signee) has played in respectable, but not eye-popping fashion this season. Then came tonight . . . Oh, my goodness! Try this on for size: The lefty shot 92.9 percent from the floor! Gilbert went 13-for-14 and his highlight was a perfect outing (4-for-4) from beyond the arc. His other buckets came on step-backs, crafty drives, teardrops off partial drives, spin moves in the post . . . and, yes, he did mix in a dunk. While scoring 31 points, Gilbert was hardly a one-man gang. Sr. PF-C Chad Andrews-Fulton shot 8-for-10 for 16 points and sr. PG Kimar Williams shot 6-for-10 en route to 13 points. That's 27-for-34 marksmanship (79.4 percent) from the top three scorers! When this one began, a decent crowd was on hand. Not quite as big as the just-short of a full house that watched N-G/'Tep, but definitely decent considering both schools are small and haven't been around very long. But lots of people left after one quarter (18-6), more booked after ConHigh went 8-for-8 to start the second quarter (34-15) and not a whole lot were left, understandably, when the final buzzer sounded. Gilbert added five rebounds and four blocks to his points. Sr. G Akeem King (six), Williams (five) and sr. G Haneef Vaughn (four) combined for 15 assists and A-F seized 12 boards. Late-game highlight: A bucket by deep sub sr. F Isaiah "Fan Favorite" Bradley. Only sr. WG Samir Doughty (St. John's commit) scored in double figures for MC&S, and his point total was 11 at the half. He did not attempt a shot until 7:16 remained in the first half and he wound up going 4-for-11 (one trey) and 6-for-6 for 15 points. Those markers finalized his career total at 1,766 for the 17th spot in city history; he played his first two seasons at now-closed Communications Tech. Tonight he passed four guys -- Clarence "Eggy" Tillman, West Philly '78, 1,752; Wayne Ellington, Episcopal '06, 1,756; John Cox, Lamberton/E&S '99, 1,759; and Stephen Vasturia, St. Joseph's Prep '13, 1,764. Doughty's last points came on two free throws with 5:34 remaining; Vaughn and jr. G Anthony Satchell combined for a strong defensive effort. He departed with 4:36 left and took a seat down the bench. After changing his sneaks and sitting there for a while, he moved up with the coaches and pulled up his jersey to cover most of his head. When it came time for handshakes, Doughty made a beeline for ConHigh assistant Kyle Sample, one of his summertime coaches, and gave him a lengthy hug. Congrats on a wonderful career, Samir! Sr. Gs Keith Griffin and Nick Jones halved 18 points for the Mighty Elephants. No other stats of note for anyone. For pic purposes, I decided to camp out up top. Aaron "Ace' Carter, Amauro "Amar" Austin, Mark "Frog" Carfagno and Keith Hines provided varying forms of entertainment (smile). Major props to Philadelphia University for hosting this doubleheader, and to CL honcho Joe Sette for making the request.

MARCH 17
CLASS AAA SEMIFINAL
Neumann-Goretti 75, Imhotep 67
(At Philadelphia University)

  Think about this: In basketball history, except for situations featuring severe foul trouble and/or injury/sickness, how often have a team's two most prominent players combined to take three shots in one half? That happened in this one and shot No. 3 was an unsuccessful deep trey a shade before the buzzer. Incredible, right? So's this: Though sr. WG Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble (one shot from floor, two points on free throws) and soph WG Quade Green (1-for-2 from floor) combined for just FOUR points over the first 16 minutes, N-G headed into the locker room with a 31-30 lead. Quite the weird occurrence. Feel free to scratch your head. We'll wait (smile) . . . Other guys, of course, stepped forward to ch-ching points onto the scoreboard and the biggest surprise was provided by jr. PG Vaughn Covington. In the Saints' previous six games, he'd TOTALED 16 points and thrice had gone scoreless. Thanks to three treys, he owned nine markers at halftime and he finished with 21. No wonder he earned Aaron "Ace" Carter's dual-papers ink. Heck, his picture should have been on the back page. I'm not saying the Panthers were letting Covington shoot, but he did have ample room on most of his launches. He finished 4-for-8 on treys, 1-for-2 on twos and 7-for-8 at the line. In the first half, also quite frisky were soph C Dhamir "DaDa" Cosby-Roundtree (5-for-6 for 10 points) and jr. WG-SF Zane Martin (eight points). Their performances proved once again that the Saints do have numerous weapons, and that it's impossible to shut down everybody. In the second half, Green was his ever-impressive self while scoring 16 points. His highlight was a three-spot of treys. One of them, from the right wing, came after Imhotep's own super soph, G Daron "Fats" Russell, embarked on an exciting drive that he capped with a dipsy-doodle layup. Great exchange, guys! With 5:02 remaining, N-G owned a 61-51 lead after Green missed a round-and-round-the-rim layup and Cosby-Roundtree converted a follow. Imhotep stood its ground, however, and roared within 67-65 at 2:05 as jr. G Jaekwon Carlyle hit a left-corner triple. To the point when 3:08 remained, the Saints were only 2-for-5 at the line in the fourth quarter. But, as in other recent games, they improved their focus and sniped 12-for-14 thereafter. And the second miss wasn't really meaningful because the outcome was decided by then. As for 'Tep, the Panthers could just not click down the stretch. It would have been nice to see another last-possession classic (as in the recent AAA City Title, won by N-G on Green's right-corner three). Just wasn't meant to be. All five N-G starters finished in double figures -- Covington (21), Green (18), Martin (13), Cosby-Roundtree (12) and Kimble (10, his future college coach, Saint Joe's Phil Martelli, was among the witnesses). C-R added 15 rebounds, seven blocks. Martin snagged nine caroms and Kimble dealt five assists. Russell embarked on a 27-point, seven-steal journey. His shooting wasn't good (9-for-25), but man did he get after it. Amauro and I swear "Fats" studies Kyle Lowry tapes non-stop (smile). Strangely, 'Tep recorded only five assists. Reason: Most of its FG attempts came off hard (sometimes lengthy) drives. Sr. G Khalief Tinley worked his butt off for 12 rebounds and sr. F DeAnte Robinson managed 10 points. Carroll also won tonight in the other bracket, so N-G will meet the Patriots in an all-Catholic League championship game Friday night in Hershey. Niiiiice.

MARCH 17
TEDBIT
 
Over the last six seasons, Constitution vs. Math, Civics and Sciences has become the Pub's top small-school series. Tonight at 8 o'clock at Philadelphia University, in a PIAA Class A state semifinal, the schools will meet for the FOURTH time this season. MC&S won four of the teams' first five meetings. ConHigh has captured all five over the last two seasons along with eight of the last nine. (The AAA state semi involving Neumann-Goretti and Imhotep will tip off first at 6. The doors will open at 5.)
  UPDATED with state semifinal result in 2015. 

Breakdown of the Constitution-MC&S Series, 2010-15
Year Occasion Winner Loser Score Winner's Top Scorer Pts
2010 Reg. Season MC&S Constitution forfeit  --   
PL A Final MC&S Constitution 85-74 Thomas Moore 25
2011 Reg. Season MC&S Constitution 63-56 Tyreek Riddick 17
PL A Semi Constitution MC&S 56-53 Abdul King 14
PIAA A Semi MC&S Constitution 87-74 Jeremiah "Lump" Worthem 26
2012 Reg. Season Constitution MC&S 76-66 OT Savon Goodman 30
PL A Final Constitution MC&S 72-51 Savon Goodman 24
PIAA A Semi Constitution MC&S 62-37 Savon Goodman 18
2013 Reg. Season MC&S Constitution 90-75 Jeremiah "Lump" Worthem 31
2014 Reg. Season Constitution MC&S 62-54 Ahmad "J.R." Gilbert 16
Reg. Season Constitution MC&S 59-56 OT Ahmad "J.R." Gilbert 19
2015 Reg. Season Constitution MC&S 85-64 Ahmad "J.R." Gilbert 20
Reg. Season Constitution MC&S 72-65 Kimar Williams 19
PL A Final Constitution MC&S 66-59 Kimar Williams 16
PIAA A Semi Constitution MC&S 87-46 Ahmad "J.R." Gilbert 31
*-punishment for brawl in earlier game

MARCH 16 (Evening)
TEDBIT
 
As near as I can figure, off some quick research, six "Our Guys" will be playing in the NIT. (One more is sitting out as a transfer.) Good luck! If I missed anyone . . . tedtee307@yahoo.com

"Our Guys" in the NIT
Name School College Ht. Yr. G PPG
*Taylor Bessick Frankford Iona 6-9 Jr. DNP --
Jaylen Bond #La Salle Temple 6-8 Jr. 31 7.9
Savon Goodman Constitution Arizona State 6-6 So. 23 11.0
Biggie Minnis #Southern Rhode Island 6-3 Jr. 31 3.4
John Moran #Malvern Richmond 6-3 Jr. 3 0.0
Jesse Morgan Olney Temple 6-5 Sr. 23 11.8
Ja'Quan Newton Neum.-Goretti Miami 6-2 Fr. 30 3.5
*-sitting out as transfer            
#-played high school ball elsewhere after listed school

MARCH 16
TEDBIT
 
For the fifth consecutive year, District 12 has advanced at least five teams to state semifinals. This year, a D-12 record is being set as EIGHT teams (half of the 16) are competing in semis in the four classifications. Also, for the sixth consecutive year (and eighth time in nine), the semis will include at least one all/D-12 battle. This year there are two, as there were in '11 and '12.  

District 12's Semifinal Participants, 2005-15
Year Class A Class AA Class AAA Class AAAA
2005  n  o  n  e
2006   Prep Charter Comm Tech  
2007   Imhotep   Gratz
    Prep Charter    
2008 Freire Imhotep    
    Straw. Mansion    
2009   Imhotep Carroll  
2010   Imhotep N-G  
    Straw. Mansion    
2011 Constitution Comm Tech N-G  
  MC&S Imhotep    
2012 Constitution Imhotep Boys' Latin  
  MC&S   N-G  
2013 MC&S   Carroll SJ Prep
  Vaux   Imhotep  
2014 MC&S Constitution N-G La Salle
      Phila. Elec.  
2015 Constitution Conwell-Egan N-G Roman
  MC&S   Imhotep King 
      Carroll  
Teams in bold met each other

MARCH 15 (Evening)
TEDBIT
 
As near as I can figure, off some quick research, six "Our Guys" will be playing in the NCAA tournament. Good luck! If I missed anyone . . . tedtee307@yahoo.com

"Our Guys" in the NCAA Tournament
Name School College Ht. Yr. G PPG
*David Appolon Imhotep Robert Morris 6-4  Sr. 21 6.0
Hakeem Baxter Phila. Electric Alabama-Birmingham 6-2 So. 34 7.6
Rysheed Jordan Vaux St. John's 6-4 So. 30 14.3
Nick Lindner Gtn. Academy Lafayette 5-11 So. 30 12.8
Kevin Rafferty Malvern Villanova 6-8 Jr. 14 0.3
Stephen Vasturia SJ Prep Notre Dame 6-5 So. 34 9.7
*-out for month-plus with shoulder injury; recently underwent surgery

MARCH 15
TEDBIT
  Here is an updated list of the city's top underclass scorers . . .

Top Career Underclass Scorers in Pub/Cath/Int
Name School Points
Stevie Jordan Conwell-Egan 929
Lamar Stevens Haverford School 880
LaPri McCray-Pace Conwell-Egan 764
*Liam Shanahan Masterman 698
*Daron Russell Imhotep 675
Blair Bowes Lincoln/Phila. Elec. 670
*Quade Green Neumann-Goretti 664
*Jesse Turkson Masterman 639
Vinny Dalessandro Conwell-Egan 625
*Nick Alikakos Episcopal 618
Matt Powers Malvern 607
Devon Goodman Germantown Acad. 607
Tony Carr Roman 578
Austin Chabot Ryan 557
Jovan Hammond Roxborough 542
Zane Martin Neumann-Goretti 517
*Evan-Eric Longino Germantown Acad. 515
Tommy Funk Wood 503
Nazeer Bostick MC&S-Roman 498
*Dave Beatty Carroll 487
*-sophomore    

MARCH 14
CLASS AAAA QUARTERFINAL
King 59, Plymouth-Whitemarsh 43
(At Norristown)

  Since when are teams allowed to use pit bulls? King did so today. The Cougars got after it again and and again and again at the defensive end and the spread was 20 points (49-29) with 5:02 remaining when many, MANY people began heading for the parking lot. P-W shot an unsightly 14-for-51 from the floor and most of the misses were not even close. Congrats to coach Sean Colson's ballclub for proving that relentless dedication to defense can definitely pay off. There was a major subplot today and it involved P-W sr. G Xzavier Malone. Last year he played for King, sparingly, and in P-W's previous game he exploded for 27 points. He's a thin lefty and very much favors step-backs on his jumpers. "X" was almost exclusively the assignment of sr. PG Sammy Foreman and, man, did Sammy exert non-stop energy. Malone finished just 3-for-14 from the floor while scoring 11 points. As you might expect, he was teased by King's student rooters. "X a hoagie! X a hoagie!" They chanted that multiple times. Being called a hoagie, in King lexicon, means you're corny. Ha, ha, ha. At least what's what the kids told me. Malone's final field goal was posted with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter an instant after the King kids hollered, "X can't save y'all! X can't save y'all!" Duane Ramer, King's AD, said about 35 kids signed up to take a special bus to Norristown to support the Cougars. About 15 stood throughout. Six Cougars scored from six to 12 points, led by sr. G Ladji Fofana (12), jr. PG Jabri McCall (11) and Foreman (10). Sammy also dished eight assists while McCall had four. Sr. PF-C Tyere Marshall snagged seven rebounds. Fofana and sr. G Tyheem Harmon had six apiece. King's 20 field goals featured 16 assists; great display of teamwork and court vision. More than a few times, Foreman was on one side of the court when he whipped a pass to the other for an unchallenged trey. The stretch featured a weird scenario. P-W subbed anybody and everybody, but starting G Andre Mitchell remained on the court. Reason: He was on the doorstep of 1,000 career points. In the waning moments, P-W kept fouling so Mitchell could get more chances to score. With 8.1 left, he stepped to the line with 998. First shot. Swish. Second shot. Off the left side of the rim. Rebound. Quick hack. Mitchell got one last chance . . . and made the best of it! He drove the right side and kissed a successful layup off the glass to end his career with 1,001. Roman won the first game by one point over Pennsbury. A last-second Falcon heave hit the back iron -- phew -- and the winning point, you could say, was the first of the game. Pennsbury was assessed a tech for wearing incorrect uniforms (road instead of home) and jr. PG Tony Carr hit the first of two free throws. Oh, baby!

MARCH 14
CLASS AAAA QUARTERFINAL
Lancaster McCaskey 60, La Salle 59
(At Spring-Ford)

  No idea how McCaskey managed to finish as the eighth AAAA seed in District 3. But when the La Salle guys realized they were playing a team that far down the ladder, it was probably impossible not to feel confident. Perhaps even slightly overconfident. The this-will-hardly-be-a-cakewalk message was delivered early and often by a team with athletes, strength and more than a little brass (including trash talking). Paced by jr. WG-SF Kobe Gantz, a cousin of the kid (Milik Gantz) who starred last night for Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt vs. Neumann-Goretti, McCaskey stormed to a 15-6 lead. Luckily for its dedicated fans, La Salle did climb back into contention -- treys were very important -- and the game mostly featured back-and-forth slugging from the middle of the second quarter onward. Because the game's last possession was semi-controversial, we'll jump to that moment after a quick setup. With 24 seconds left, McCaskey claimed a 58-57 lead as Gantz kissed a layup off the glass. La Salle called time at 17.7, then scored at :12 off a flip shot in the lane by sr. F Dave Krmpotich. At the other end, Gantz attempted a short teardrop from the left baseline and La Salle sr. WG Shawn Witherspoon appeared to get a piece. Sr. PF-C Tyler Owens was there to grab the rebound and power the ball into the bucket. The refs put 2.1 on the clock and the Explorers, of course, had to go the length of the court. The inbounder was Witherspoon. He lofted a semi-high pass to Krmpotich at about midcourt. "Krump" twice put the ball on the floor and was lifting it for a last heave -- it was still only a smidgeon above his waist -- maybe halfway between halfcourt and the foul line when a defender knocked the ball away. "Krump" and others thought a foul had been committed. However, it's highly unlikely "Krump" would have been able to launch a shot in time considering no more than two-10ths of a second remained -- judging by a YouTube video posted by Aaron "Ace" Carter -- at the instant the ball was knocked free. Perhaps that's why no call was made, if a reach-in foul indeed was committed . . . Tough ending to a season with many stirring moments. In this one, La Salle was able to battle back into contention thanks to an impressive stretch that spanned the first/second quarters. Sr. WG Dan "Sniper to the" Corr and sr. PG Najee Walls hit threes to wind down the first, then both guys struck again from deep early in the second, thus storming the Explorers within 21-18. Just under three minutes prior to halftime, Witherspoon toughed his way to a three-point play off a lefthanded layup, thus providing a 28-27 lead. About five minutes into the third quarter, Krmpotich incurred his second and third fouls a few seconds apart (over the top on the offensive end, pushing violation on defense) and his absence caused some momentary problems. Walls, thanks to several hard drives, finished with 17 points along with four assists. Krmpotich had 14 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks. Corr went 4-for-6 beyond the arc for 12 points, 'Spoon and jr. F Shane Stark halved 14 points and jr. WG-SF Ryan McTamney had the other two. This loss was the first game of the day for District 12's teams (Roman's win over Pennsbury started/finished a shade later) and the setback ended a 19-game winning streak for the 12s. Gantz (26) and Owens (18) were McCaskey's far-and-away leaders. Thanks to the Explorers for a lot of great viewing this season and best of luck going forward to the seniors. Also, congrats to senior baseball starter Ian McIntosh for his cool moment right before the game. Ian was positioned in the front row of the student section when a ball rolled over toward him. He stepped forward and -- bang! -- hit the day's deepest trey. Not even sure he was standing in "fair territory," to use a baseball term. Truly a magic moment. (Checked with Ian at La Salle's baseball opener on March 30. He said he shot a from a spot between the sideline and stands, maybe eight feet beyond the arc. Even more legendary!)

MARCH 14
TEDBIT
  This is a gigantic country, of course, and state basketball tournaments have been played forever in many formats. However, it’s hard to imagine that too many districts have claimed 19 consecutive victories in state playoffs as D-12 has done (over the last eight days, March 7-13). Actually, the total wins in the streak COULD be 21, depending upon what time the buzzer sounded to end two games played March 7. The start times for the four wins listed below with 3/7 were 2:30 (Roman) and 4 (the three others). Also that day, King (over Allentown Allen) and La Salle (over Ridley) were victorious in AAAA games that started at 1 o’clock. Also starting at 1 were AA games involving Freire (lost to Minersville) and Parkway Center City (lost to Columbia). Five more games will be played today. Will the streak be extended to 24? Good luck, guys!

District 12's Nineteen (At Least) Consecutive Playoff Victories
Date Class Round Winner Opponent Score Leading Scorer for Winner   Pts
3/7 AAAA First Roman Downingtown West 68-52 Gemil Holbrook   22
3/7 AAA  First Carroll Octorara 83-49 Derrick Jones   26
3/7 AA First Conwell-Egan Camp Hill 71-54 Stevie Jordan   22
3/7 AA First Mastery North Bristol 77-54 Eli Alvin   18
3/8 AAA Second Neumann-Goretti Manheim Central 72-44 Quade Green   24
3/8 AAA Second Imhotep Scranton Prep 77-54 Daron Russell   25
3/8 AAA Second Carroll Steelton-Highspire 83-54 Derrick Jones   23
3/8 A Second Constitution Shanksville-Stonycreek 86-43 Ahmad Gilbert   24
3/8 A Second MC&S Meadowbrook Christian 65-41 Samir Doughty   16
3/11 AAAA Second Roman Cedar Crest 53-35 Manny Taylor   11
3/11 AAAA Second King York 70-56 Sammy Foreman   25
3/11 AAAA Second La Salle Abington Heights 62-40 Dave Krmpotich/Najee Walls 14
3/11 AA Second Conwell-Egan Mahanoy Area 82-31 Chase Kumor   22
3/11 AA Second Mastery North Trinity 67-61 Rodney Ross   18
3/13 AAA  Quarter Neumann-Goretti Harrisburg McDevitt 76-71 Quade Green   21
3/13 AAA Quarter Imhotep Susquehanna Township 58-49 Jaekwon Carlyle/Daron Russell 14
3/13 AAA Quarter Carroll New Castle 77-48 Derrick Jones   22
3/13 Quarter Constitution St. John Neumann 83-45 Kimar Williams   20
3/13 A Quarter MC&S Millersburg 92-60 Keith Griffin   30

MARCH 13
CLASS AAA QUARTERFINAL
Neumann-Goretti 76, Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt 71
(At Reading High's Geigle Complex)

  Wow! This almost turned into one of those Friday-the-13th-is-bad-luck occasions for Neumann-Goretti. Who would have thought? Pretty much no one, especially with roughly 3:20 remaining in the third quarter. Check out this sequence: McDevitt blocked one, two, THREE shots on the same N-G possession and began to head upcourt. The journey lasted maybe three feet. Soph WG Quade Green made a steal and passed to jr. WG-SF Zane Martin for an easy bucket and the Saints owned a 49-34 lead. In retrospect, maybe that sequence turned out TOO great. Maybe the guys were thinking, "We just got embarrassed like crazy, with three shots getting blocked on the same possession, but look what happened. We STILL came out smellin' like a rose. Isn't it great being us?" Not right after that. McDevitt, which played an up-tempo style all night long, came storming back and by the end of the quarter N-G's lead was only two points, at 51-49. McDevitt had a large rooting section and those folks were going crazy. The noise level only increased when Mickey D scored again to open the fourth stanza. The thought then became, "Uh, oh. This is not lookin' good. McDevitt has all kinds of momentum and it now REALLY owns the building, from the support standpoint." Soon, another thought was no doubt rolling around in the heads of N-G's backers, coaches and probably even the players. "This is a flashback to the Catholic League championship game." Reason: In the fourth quarter tonight, N-G hit only three of its first nine free throws. Remember what happened in the title-game loss to Roman? N-G finished 2-for-9 at the line overall and was a messy 1-for-7 (including two front ends) in the fourth quarter. But guess what? Just when the situation became you better hit these or else, the Saints regrouped, showed major stones and pretty much traveled to Death and Taxes Land over the final 2:06. They attempted 14 free throws . . . and hit 13! Talk about clutch! Coach Carl Arrigale's clubs, of course, have slapped together all KINDS of special moments in this century, but this late turnaround at the line has to rank near the top, especially since more failure would have ended the season. Jr. PG Vaughn Covington/Green went 4-for-4 apiece. Sr. WG Lamarr "Fresh" Kimble and sub jr. G Rasheed Browne went 2-for-2 apiece while Martin hit the second of two with 22 seconds left to provide a 72-68 lead. The one bucket during that stretch was a dunk by soph C Dhamir "DaDa" Cosby-Roundtree off a feed from Browne. That slam put N-G ahead at 65-63, but McDevitt notched the next five points on a right-corner trey and a flush-down of its own. Sr. G Milik Gantz, a very impressive player thanks to hops, quick hands/feet and excellent court vision, among other things, had assists on both field goals. From there, however, McDevitt missed shots from the floor and N-G nailed shots at the line. When Kimble converted a double-bonus at 13.3, thus making the score 74-68, LOTS of people started heading for the exits. Gantz did drain a left-wing trey thereafter, but McDevitt was out of timeouts and a pair of free throws by Browne finalized the score. Phew! That was hairy! Green (22, three treys in first half), Martin (19, effective on the move) and Kimble (11) scored in double figures. The rest of the points went to Covington (nine), Cosby-Roundtree (eight) and Browne (seven, all in fourth quarter; lots to like about this kid). C-R had 14 rebounds and four blocks. Martin (eight) and Green (seven) also got on the glass. Green had four steals. For McD, Gantz had 16 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists while jr. F James Williams mixed 23 points, 15 boards and five blocks. He's a thin kid, but man does he battle inside. As stat helper Amar Austin put it, "The ball just finds him (off the glass)." Another kid, Kyree Calli, had all 11 of his points and all eight of his boards in the second half. Philly's now assured of having a team in the AAA final because one semi will feature N-G was Imhotep, the winner in tonight's first game of the doubleheader. And who knows? Carroll might emerge from the so-called western bracket to create an all-Philly final.

MARCH 13
CLASS AAA QUARTERFINAL
Imhotep 58, Susquehanna Township 49
(At Reading High's Geigle Complex)

  Let's start with the unusual, then the impressive. First, eight guys scored for Imhotep and every one posted an even number! The totals were: two players with 14, one with 10, two with six, one with four and two with two. Cool, right? Meanwhile, ST sr. G Nehemiah "Bud" Mack attempted 16 free throws and . . . made every one! Pretty sure at least 13 were dead on. Maybe even 14. Like Roman's game Wednesday night at Coatesville, this one was ruined by crappy over-officiating. Not sure how many personals were called, but the number might be in the thousands (smile). LET THEM PLAY!! Man oh man is it frustrating to hear non-stop whistles and see players afraid, by game's end, to even go near somebody, let alone actually play defense. At some junctures it appeared Imhotep would win in very comfortable fashion, especially after coach Andre Noble's ballclub hit eight of its first nine shots in the second quarter to snag a 31-17 lead. Then, early in the fourth quarter, 'Tep owned an 11-point pad at 47-36. Again, the Indians declined to fade away and crept within 53-49 on -- what else? -- two free throws by Mack. The Panthers stood their ground and closed with a six-point streak, however, and jr. G Jaekwon Carlyle got it started with a successful drive out of a spread offense. Carlyle had a nice outing, scoring 14 points in efficient fashion (6-for-8 floor). Soph whirlwind G Daron Russell also scored 14 points and I'm feeling he needs to be nicknamed "Cup" or "Tin" because he always gets to the rim. (Heard from coach Noble on Saturday morning. Daron has been known as "Fats" since early childhood and is called that by everybody.) True bulldog! His shooting wasn't the greatest tonight, but he did add two assists and five steals. Sr. WG Devin Liggeons was the other double-figure scorer with 10. Oddly, sr. PF DeAnte Robinson was the only Panther with as many as five rebounds; he fouled out with 2:49 left. Sr. G Khalief Tinley again was completely willing to sacrifice his body for charges. Great to see. ST was hurt by foul trouble for Mack and an injury to another guard, Williams. He suffered a deep, blood-spurting gash over his right eye late in the first half. A trainer gave him a complete concussion test during halftime and though he was cleared to return, he missed h