Thursday, January 31, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: McDevitt falls to mighty Saints

By Mike Prince
After the eight seniors on the Bishop McDevitt squad were honored and recognized during what was the boys’ basketball team’s Senior Night, the Lancers knew their mindset had to immediately switch to the task at hand, playing one of the biggest powerhouse teams in the state.

Facing Neumann-Goretti, the No. 2-ranked team in PA, the Royal Lancers had their work cut out of them on this given night, and it didn’t take very long before McDevitt was playing from behind.

The Saints opened up an early 12-point lead and cruised to a 78-64 win over the Lancers in a Philadelphia Catholic League meeting at Bishop McDevitt High School on Wednesday night.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Delco Christian holds off Christopher Dock

By Tim Hindin
Delco Christian played ‘catch me if you can’ for three quarters in a tight match up with Christopher Dock Wednesday night. The Knights were able to hold off the Pioneers second half comeback attempt to win 52-44 in Bicentennial League action.

Christopher Dock opened the game with a 12-4 run with nine points coming from guard Landon Leinbach. He would score 11 points in the frame. Despite Leinbach’s hot start the Pioneers found themselves trailing after the first quarter 15-14.

“[Leinbach] was terrific, was very aggressive early on and got us going early on,” Christopher Dock coach Matt Dolan said.

WRESTLING: Quakertown spurts past Hatters

By Nick Iuele 
Montgomery Media / SCOTT ROMAN Quakertown's Micah Jones works on Hatboro-Horsham's Corey Spence in their 220-pound bout in Wednesday's Suburban One Continental Conference match.
If it is not redundant to call a wrestling match physical, that is exactly how to categorize Wednesday night’s match between Hatboro-Horsham and Quakertown.

Quakertown won the meet handily 46-18, but almost every bout featured bodies flying across the mat and wrestlers being slammed down more than usual. Every wrestler was looking not just to win, but to pin any chance they could. A stat that indicates the physicality would be seven of the 14 bouts resulted in a pin including the first six of the match.

“We couldn’t recover from five falls, but we wrestled tough,” H-H coach Glenn Kaiser said. “We have actually gotten a bit more physical in the last few weeks. We picked up our game a bit. We are getting after it, staying neutral and looking for the pin on top. Quakertown is a very tough team, we need to get more physical to compete in this league."

BOYS BASKETBALL: Pennridge falls short ofHatters

By Andrew Marcus
Pennridge boys’ basketball coach Dean Behrens has been on the bench long enough to know what are winning numbers. With the Rams hosting Hatboro-Horsham on Wednesday, 46 was the magic number. If Behrens’ bunch could hold the Hatters to 46 points he knew his team had a shot.

“If we can hold them to 46 points we have to win the game,” Behrens said. “We sell them on less than eight turnovers, shoot 50 percent, and 75 from the foul line. We always say 45, but we gave Hatboro an extra point. That number means we are playing good defense.”

The Rams were playing strong defense and the score was 21-21 at halftime, but the 46 points was nearly surpassed when the Hatters exploded out of the locker room with a 22-point third quarter. The tandem of Mike Brown and Zach Quattro each picked up double-doubles in the 50-34 win.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Father Judge rallies past Lansdale Catholic

By Ben Reese
When Lansdale Catholic hosted Father Judge in a Philadelphia Catholic League basketball game Wednesday night, it was a game in which you could be sure that the Crusaders would win.

Of course, that was only because both teams are nicknamed Crusaders.

As it turned out, the Father Judge variety beat the Lansdale Catholic variety 45-36. It was the eighth league loss for LC and evened its overall record at 9-9.

WRESTLING: La Salle's wins fifth straight PCL title

By Tony Fioriglio
Riding a bevy of early pins, the La Salle Explorers held on to win their fifth straight Philadelphia Catholic League title on Wednesday night, defeating the visiting Father Judge Crusaders 39-24.

Right out of the gate, the Explorers scored three falls, starting with Salvatore Anderson at the 113-pound weight class to open up an 18-0 lead. Senior Tim Walker followed that up with a 12-6 decision to make the score a comfortable 21-0 after four bouts.

WRESTLING: Norristown outlasts Wissahickon

Norristown High head wrestling coach Mark Harner had several goals as the Eagles entered Wednesday night’s showdown with Wissahickon, a match that could secure the team’s fifth straight Suburban One American Conference title.

“One was to win eight matches,” Harner said, “and the other was to win three of the four of what we considered must matches.”

As it turned out, while the Eagles did not meet either goal, they still managed to collect the gold.

Norristown got six falls, including Nick Soldano’s come-from-behind win by fall at 152 pounds, and a match-clinching win at heavyweight from Shaheed Hill to top the Trojans, 39-33, and lock up consecutive championship No. 5.

WRESTLING: Souderton battles before falling the CB South

Eddie Keegan’s 5-1 decision over Deandre Richards at 170 pounds clinched a Central Bucks South victory Wednesday night over Souderton Area, as the Titans went on to win 45-22 in the Suburban One Continental Conference matchup.

Despite the loss, the Indians continued to build promise for the postseason as the regular season draws to a close.

“Everything we have done since November has been geared towards three weeks from now,” Big Red coach Tristan Boyd said. “It’s the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak, so it’s an exciting time. That’s why we worked so hard. We wrestled hard tonight. We’re getting to the point in the season where we have to wrestle hard and we have to execute, and we’re starting to do that more."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: Cheltenham sends message at Wissahickon

Montgomery Media / SCOTT ROMAN Wissiahickon’s Chris Carradorini makes a pass during Tuesday night’s Suburban One American Conference game against Cheltenham.
It’s about time Cheltenham got some respect and if beating Wissahickon on the road, along with a laundry list of impressive wins, doesn’t get them some, I don’t know what will.

With sole possession of second place in the Suburban One American Conference on the line, the Panthers marched into Wissahickon’s gym and showed the Trojans who’s boss in the form of a 57-44 comprehensive win. Led by Aaron McGlawn’s 23 points and a stout defense, Cheltenham put first-place Norristown on notice that they are coming. Quickly.

“Winning here is tough,” Cheltenham coach Brian Johnson said. “We had a little dip [in form] on Friday, but what really impresses me is the character of these kids to turn around and play good solid basketball on the road. We’ve had battles with this team over the years and it’s a big win.”

BOYS BASKETBALL: AFS can't rally past Friends Central

By Mike Prince
You had to go all the way back to Dec. 7 to a visit to the Haverford School for the last time Abington Friends’ boys’ basketball team lost a game before Tuesday night.

And after winning 15 consecutive games since then, AFS coach Steve Chadwin hopes that a loss to Friends’ Central will be nothing more than a small bump in the road.

After allowing the Phoenix to go up by as many as 18 points early in the second quarter, the Kangaroos were unable to recover, losing 76-64 in a Friends Schools League matchup at Friends’ Central High School in a battle of teams who were tied for first place in the league entering the contest.

BOYS BASKETBALL: CB West shoots down Pennridge

For Montgomery Media / SUSAN KEEN Pennridge's Andrew Dietterich takes the ball to the basket against Central Bucks West's Evan Dunn and Josh Hersh during Tuesday's Suburban One Continental Conference action.
The NBA All-star weekend is still a little over two weeks away but Tuesday night’s Suburban One Continental Conference showdown between Pennridge and Central Bucks West looked as if they were starting the festivities early with the three-point contest.

CB West won the shootout 55-42.

From the first basket of the game it was clear that both teams were going to fire away from behind the arc. The first points of the game came off the hand of freshman Cal Reichwein when he fired his first of his game high four three-pointers.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Central Bucks East upends Souderton

The Souderton boys basketball team’s pursuit of Hatboro-Horsham in the Suburban One Continental Conference race took a big hit Tuesday night.

The Indians, who knocked the Hatters out of the undefeated ranks in conference play last week, got bumped themselves by Central Bucks East 50-49.

In a game that featured 49 foul shots, the Patriots won the battle of the line, making 19 of them, while Souderton connected on 14.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Methacton rallies past Perk Valley

For Montgomery Media / ADRIANNA HOFF Perkiomen Valley's Rasaan Stewart tries to block Methacton's Brendan Casper as he dribbles up the court during Tuesday's Pioneer Conference game.
“Pretty exciting game tonight.”

Methacton coach Jeff Derstine’s first words after the game were quite an understatement.

Down by as many as 15 points in the second half, Methacton battled all of the way back, eventually taking the lead on Justin Ardman’s late go-ahead bucket to win against rival Perk Valley, 41-39.

BOYS BASKETBALL: GA tops Malvern Prep

Germantown Academy came into this game with knowledge that Malvern Prep’s winless record in the Inter-Academic League meant nothing. Every team has the will and know-how to knock each other off, and with Haverford School hot on their heels, this wasn’t a game to take lightly.

Malvern Prep (0-7) came in and forced their hand, they dictated they way the game would be played, but outside their comfort zone, GA (7-0) found a way to win.

BOYS BASKETBALL: North Penn rolls over Quakertown

The buzzer sounded and the referees sprinted off the court. The home fans went crazy and the players danced around the North Penn boys basketball team, which battled hard, only to come up empty.

It was a little over three weeks ago, but Quakertown was celebrating coach Kevin Keeler’s 300th career win at the expense of North Penn. The 37-32 overtime loss to the Panthers stung and it festered in the Knights’ minds. They could not wait for a chance at revenge.

On Tuesday when the Panthers walked into their building they had no idea that the group they were about to play has made big strides in those short three weeks. Behind a smothering defensive effort the Knights got even with a 68-43 Suburban One Continental Conference win, their third consecutive victory.

SWIMMING: North Penn sweeps Hatboro-Horsham

For Montgomery Media / MARK C. PSORAS North Penn swimmer Emily Kosten competes in the 200 freestyle during Tuesday's Suburban One Continental Conference meet against Hatboro-Horsham.
The North Penn boys and girls swim teams battled past Hatboro-Horsham on Tuesday and drew closer to an undefeated conference season, as the Knights and Maidens each earned victories over the Hatters at the Rick Carroll Natatorium.

Emily Kosten, Eve Kosten and Tara Rogers each won two individual events on the girls side to lead North Penn to a 104-74 win and Jack Morris won a pair on the boys side to power a 106-68 victory for the Knights.

"We’re looking pretty strong. I’m very comfortable with how we’re looking overall," said Knights coach Jeff Faikish, whose team improved to 6-0 in SOL Continental meets. "We have a tough couple weeks coming up so we’re starting to get them prepared for the end of the season. We’re getting them prepared, physically and mentally."

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Methacton eases past Perk Valley

The Methacton girls did not get off to a particularly good start in their first game of the week that will decide whether or not they make it to the Pioneer Athletic Conference basketball playoffs. It took five minutes for them to get to five points Tuesday night at Perkiomen Valley and the offense never did run too smoothly in the first half.

But the Warriors — and Kelsey Watson in particular — picked it up after the intermission and doubled their eight-point halftime lead in less than four minutes on the way to a 50-33 Liberty Division win.

Watson poured in 11 points in the third quarter and finished with a game-high 21. That came after Jenna Carroll had provided the bulk of the scoring for Methacton (8-2, 16-3) in the first half with 15 of her 19 points for the night.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: La Salle rolls over Cardinal O'Hara

Entering on a five-game win streak and with victories in nine of its past 10 games, La Salle showed no signs in slowing down in what could be considered the final stretch of the regular season.

With only five games and two weeks remaining on the schedule, the Explorers went up against a Cardinal O’Hara team which is on the complete opposite end of the Philadelphia Catholic League standings.

It was business as usual for La Salle, which got yet another quick start and complete effort from its senior-dominated starting five en route to a 69-40 win over the Lions in a PCL meeting at Cardinal O’Hara High School on Monday night.

SWIMMING: Norristown splits with Bensalem

With the Martorella sisters (Danielle and Nicole), Colleen Kolb and Morgan Purcell leading the way, Norristown High’s swim team posted its third win of the season when it defeated Bensalem, 95-75, in a non-league meet Monday afternoon. It wasn’t a total wash for the visiting Owls as the Bensalem boys returned home to Bucks County with a 114-63 win.

Purcell and Nicole Martorella teamed with Colleen Kolb and Sophia Bieros to win the 200-meter medley relay at 2:24.37. The same foursome touched first in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 2:10.98.

Individually, Nicole Martorella started with a win in the 200 freestyle with a clocking of 2:27.53 and then came back later with a victory in the 100 freestyle with a time of 1:06.66.

SWIMMING: Germantown Academy splashes past Episcopal

As the diving break drew to a close, Episcopal Academy coach Brian Kline huddled his swimmers in a corner of Germantown Academy’s pool deck Monday. He exhorted them to focus on the end of their races, to put their heads down and finish strong — just as they hadn’t in the first half of the meet to create the large deficit they faced.

One race later, all an incredulous Kline could do was throw his hands up and let out a chuckle. Germantown Academy’s arsenal of talent can have that effect on people.

The 100 butterfly, a race that saw Episcopal’s Emily Rhodes control the race for 90 yards before falling to third behind Carolyn Yang and Natalie Dowzicky, was by no means the deciding blow. But it was emblematic of a day in which the GA girls were simply awe-inspiring, putting together a 122-64 throttling of their Inter-Ac rivals. The GA boys were also convincing in their win, by a 121-62 margin.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Archbishop Carroll crushes Lansdale Catholic

Archbishop Carroll took no prisoners in the Monday night matchup against Lansdale Catholic in a 62-34 rout.

Carroll’s Nick Jones led the way with 14 points, making three from downtown. Wing player, Derrick Jones, was a force to be reckoned with. To go with height and explosiveness to the rim, he has the benefit of high percentage shooting from range, making three three-pointers in the first half.

“It was ‘Pick your poison’ tonight,” said Lansdale Catholic second-year coach Ed Enoch. “We gambled and Nick (Jones) really hurt us, we were mismatched and good teams take advantage of that.”

Sunday, January 27, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: Dolton leads Phil-Mont past Jenkintown

With a Jenkintown boys’ basketball team currently on a streak as cold as the recent weather outside, Phil-Mont Christian, for the second time in 22 days, took advantage of its Bicentennial League rivals’ struggles.

Thanks to a huge effort from big man Zach Dolton, the Falcons were able to win the back-and-forth battle and leave with a 61-58 win over the Drakes at Jenkintown High School on Saturday evening.

The loss was the 10th in 11 games – as well as the fourth in a row – for Jenkintown (4-13, 3-6), which also lost to Phil-Mont 51-41 on Jan. 4.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Perk Valley slips by Souderton

For Montgomery Media / MARK C. PSORAS Souderton's Austin Murphy and Perkiomen Valley's Tyler Krause fight for a loose ball during Saturday's non-league action.
On Saturday someone’s winning streak had to end.

Souderton, winners of its last six, led late into the fourth quarter, but ran out of gas a few minutes too soon. Perkiomen Valley, winners of their last 10, hit a pull-up jumper with 40 seconds remaining to take a lead it would never relinquish.

The 43-40 victory keeps the Vikings victorious for a month straight and the Indians in much need of a rest. Coming off back-to-back games, it was not shocking to see multiple shots clank the front of the rim with fatigue.

“I think we were really tired and you could see it at the end,” Indians coach Pete Chimera said. “It was not typical of what we do. It is always a physical, tough game at CB West (53-47 win on Friday), and then to come play a good team less than 12 hours later is tough.”

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Defense keys Pioneers' win over Perkiomen

Tremendous post play and solid defense on Perkiomen’s big three keyed a 47-38 Christopher Dock victory Saturday night in a non-league contest at Dock.

The Pioneers got a game-high 15 points from Lauren Anderson and 12 each from Kereece Seuren and Mattasyn Shisler in a balanced attack, and Dock was able to disrupt Perkiomen School’s attack with relentless man-to-man defense.

"That worked out really, really good for us," Seuren said. "We just tried switching on their point guard (Nicole Pupillo), and she hit a couple threes, but we still worked, switching with each other, and that worked out well for us."

WRESTLING: Methacton's impresses in win over Perk Valley

For Montgomery Media / ADRIANNA HOFF Methacton's battles Perkiomen Valley's Omar Elghawy during Saturday's Pioneer Conference meet.
Saturday afternoon, Methacton High head wrestling coach A.J. Maida was smiling as if he had three winning lottery tickets tucked away in his pocket.

He and his injury-and-illness-riddled Warriors were celebrating a decisive 41-25 win over host Perkiomen Valley, and one of the Warriors wrestlers being heaped with praise was senior middleweight Paul Russo.

WRESTLING: Owen J. Roberts takes control against Upper Perk

Owen J. Roberts has enjoyed a rather stress-free roll through the Pioneer Athletic Conference for the good part of three-plus seasons.

And even though certain segments of Saturday afternoon’s show with Upper Perkiomen may have tugged at and tightened the nerves during a handful of the individual matches, it was — in the end — yet another cool, calm and collected win for the hosts.

The Wildcats had the upper hand in nine of the 14 bouts, and their combined five pins, technical fall and three decisions nearly doubled the Indians’ five wins and almost tripled the sum total of those five decisions in the 44-15 romp.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Spring-Ford shuts down Boyertown

Sometimes it’s hard to keep digging in on defense when the shots aren’t going in at the other end of the court. But that’s what Spring-Ford did in the second half of Saturday night’s Pioneer Athletic Conference game at Boyertown.

The Rams held the hosts to just four points in the third quarter and their offense came alive as they broke the game open and went on to a much-needed 53-33 Liberty Division win. Nick Stanek scored 15 points, Justin DeLuzio 13 and Drew Kakareka 11 for Spring-Ford (7-4, 12-6 overall), which pulled to within a half-game of second-place Perkiomen Valley.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Mount holds off Gwynedd Mercy

For Montgomery Media / ADRIANNA HOFF Gwynedd Mercy Academy's Bailey Greenburg looks to pass the ball while Mount St. Joseph Academy's Colleen Steinmetz plays defense during Saturday's AACA action
Saturday afternoon’s girls basketball game between Mount St. Joseph Academy and Gwynedd Mercy Academy was a prime example of what scholastic rivalries are all about.

One team arrived with a sparkling 15-2 record while the other was one game under .500 after 17 games. One team was ranked in the top 10 in the state while the other didn’t even break through into the top 100.

Despite the disparity on paper, the victory in Saturday’s game was still up for grabs with 0.4 seconds remaining.

Gwynedd Mercy had the opportunity to knot the score from the free throw line but came up a little short and that allowed the Mount to escape with a hard-fought, nail-biting 39-38 win.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Souderton holds off CB West

A couple weeks earlier, coach Peter Chimera was sure the result would have been different for the Souderton boys basketball team.

But on a snowy Friday night, the more composed Indians were able to shake off some struggles after a hot opening quarter to collect their sixth straight win, topping host Central Bucks West for a 53-47 Suburban One Continental Conference victory.

“I said to the guys, ‘This is a game we would have lost a month ago,’” Chimera said. “Because they would have panicked a little more — they panicked a little — but panicked more and just not really got it done.”

BOYS BASKETBALL: Colonials too much for shorthanded Wissahickon

For Montgomery Media / ADRIANNA HOFF Wissahickon's Jessi Hunsicker looks for a way past Plymouth Whitemarsh's Cameron Johnson during Friday's Suburban One American Conference action.
Plymouth Whitemarsh can breathe free and clear after defeating Wissahickon 74-56, thanks to a second half surge that gave PW a lead it would never cough up.

The wintery weather did nothing to hinder Friday night’s matchup, and despite Wisshickon’s shortened day at school, the players loaded the bus and traveled to Colonial Elementary to face off against the PW Colonials (4-5). The Trojans (8-1) were coming off a sluggish loss against Perkiomen Valley on Wednesday and hoped to bounce back with renewed vigor.

“This game was a must-win for us,” said PW guard Anthony McKie, who scored 29 points in the game.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Souderton rallies past CB West

On this night, the fourth quarter was Souderton’s time.

"We wanted it so bad because we had lost so many heartbreakers this year," said the Indians’ Allison Gallagher after Friday night’s thriller with Central Bucks West. "We just had the heart to go out and get this one."

Down by 10 at the start of the fourth, the Big Red used a 12-2 run to draw even with the Bucks and then got some key baskets and relentless defense at the end to earn a 44-41 win over the Bucks, giving West its first Suburban One Continental Conference loss of the season.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Lansdale Catholic eases past Bishop McDevitt

If Bishop McDevitt didn’t appear to be missing its starting point guard, Sierra DaCosta, in the first quarter, the Royal Lancers were certainly missing her for the remainder of the game.

After a surprising first eight minutes saw McDevitt outscore visiting Lansdale Catholic, 20-18, the Crusaders went on a 25-4 run over the course of the next quarter and a half, eventually going up by as many as 20 points.

In the end, the Crusaders’ huge advantage in rebounding, along with its 16-for-17 effort from the free throw line, was enough to give LC a convincing 53-39 win over the Lancers in a Philadelphia Catholic League meeting at Bishop McDevitt on Thursday night.