Good Wednesday to you all!
Well, I hope you all did well in making it through the Blizzard of 2017. It took me three passes with the snow thrower, and now I am getting ready to head out there again today for what I hope is the final time to clear the driveway. But before I do, I want to get you a blog post to prepare for the PIAA playoffs which by all accounts will resume Thursday with winners advancing to Saturday, and then back on a regular two-day schedule for the semifinals.
I have no idea how the PIAA committee members paced themselves and remained patient through the rescheduling process. Now, remember, several sites and times were changed, so make note of when and where your favorite teams are playing.
Here is a closer look at the boys games:
12-2 Martin Luther King (21-9)
vs. 2-1 Abington Heights (23-3)
■ When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
■ Where: Parkland High School, Allentown
■ How they got here: Martin Luther King, the District 12 runner-up, defeated Bishop Shanahan, 43-33; Abington Heights, the District 2 champion, defeated Lampeter-Strasburg, 67-48.
■ Players to watch: Martin Luther King — Denelle Holly (G, 6-2, Jr.), 9.9 points per game; Elijah Kiah-El (F, 6-7, Sr.), 12.3 ppg.; Jihad “Squid” Watson (G, 6-2, Sr.), 9.4 ppg.; Qadir Burgess (G, 6-0, Sr.), 4.9 ppg.; William McNair (F, 6-9, Jr.), 7.7 ppg.; Ricardo Montereiro (G, 6-1, Soph.), 5.9 ppg.
Abington Heights — George Tinsley (F, 6-5, Soph.), 13.4 points per game; Trey Koehler (G, 6-1, Soph.), 11.7 ppg.; Seth Maxwell (C, 7-0, Sr.), 11.1 ppg.; Jackson Danzig (F, 6-5, Jr.), 11.2 ppg.; Tom Rothenberger (G, 5-7, Sr.) 6.4 ppg.
■ What’s next: The winner will play the winner of the Hershey vs, Chester game Saturday.
■ The buzz: Abington Heights won its sixth straight district championship in its third classification, having won three in Class 3A and two in Class 4A. … Head coach Ken Bianchi has 745 career wins. … Abington Heights is making its 11th straight state-playoff appearance and has as an overall state-playoff record of 11-18. … Martin Luther King has a record of 8-4 in the state playoffs and lost to Roman Catholic in the 2015 Class 4A title game. … Martin Luther King has three losses to Imhotep Charter by an average of 8.3 points per game.
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1-1 Valley Forge Military Academy (25-4)
vs. 2-2 Mid Valley (23-3)
■ When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
■ Where: Bethlehem Liberty High School
■ How they got here: Valley Forge, the District 1 champion, defeated Parkway Center City, 67-61; Mid Valley, the District 2 runner-up, defeated Southern Columbia, 62-41 .
■ Players to watch: Valley Forge — Myles Bunyon (G, 5-9, Sr.), 14.8 ppg.; Devin Hill (G, 6-4, Sr.); Arion Lewis (G, 6-2, Jr.), 14.9 ppg.; Will Colleran (F, 6-7, Jr.), 10.0 ppg.; Marius Ntwari (C, 6-9, Jr.); Rye Ahronson (G-F, 6-4, Soph.).
Mid Valley — Noah Tanner (G, 5-8, Sr.), 13.1 points per game; Brad Kalinowski (G, 5-11, Sr.), 12.2 ppg.; R.J. Gouldsbury (C, 6-0, Sr.), 10.4 ppg.; J.J. Glinsky (G, 5-10, Jr.), 8.1 ppg.; Brendan Davies (G, 6-0, Sr.), 6.4 ppg.
■ What’s next: The winner will play the winner of the Delaware Valley Charter vs. Trinity game Saturday.
■ The buzz: Mid Valley is into the state playoffs for the fourth time in the last five seasons. … The Spartans have a state-playoff record of 5-4. … Head coach Mike Abda has a career record of 144-44. … Tanner and Kalinowski are three-year starters and played in the Spartans last state-playoff appearance when they reached the PIAA Class 2A quarterfinals in 2015. … Valley Forge is in the state playoffs for the first time. … Valley Forge ended the season as the No. 6 Class 3A team in the state according to City of Basketball Love web site.
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12-1 Imhotep Charter (27-2)
vs. 2-1 Scranton Prep (23-3)
■ When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
■ Where: Easton Middle School
■ How they got here: Imhotep Charter, the District 12 champion, defeated Bishop McDevitt, 74-41; Scranton Prep, the District 2 champion, beat Salisbury, 99-46.
■ Players to watch: Imhotep Charter — Daron Russell (G, 5-11, Sr.); Koby Thomas (F, 6-6, Sr.); David Beatty (G, 6-3, Sr.); Reefy Knox (F, 6-0, Soph.); Donte Scott (F, 6-7, Soph.); Bernard Lightsey (G, 6-1, Jr.).
Scranton Prep — Paddy Casey (G, 6-2, Sr.), 15.15.3 ppg.; Logan Bailey (G, 6-3, Sr.), 13.2 ppg.; Nick Dende (G, 6-1, Sr.), 11.7 ppg; Brett Para (F, 6-5, Sr.) 8.7 ppg.; Wes Simons (C, 6-6, Jr., 7.0 ppg.
■ What’s next: The winner plays the winner of the Audenreid vs. Berks Catholic game Saturday.
■ The buzz: Scranton Prep won its third straight District 2 championship. … The Cavaliers have a state-playoff record of 20-17 and have won a first-round game in three of the last four seasons. … Scranton Prep coach Andrew Kettel has a career record of 170-83 and is 93-13 in four seasons at Scranton Prep. … Imhotep Charter is 37-9 all-time in state playoffs since its first appearance in 2006. … The Panthers have beaten Holy Cross (2008, Class 2A), Abington Heights (2013, Class 3A) and Scranton Prep (2015, Class 3A) in the state playoffs and have won four PIAA championships (2013, Class 3A, 2012, 2011, 2009, Class 2A). … Imhotep is ranked No. 6 in the country by USA Today. … Imhotep has three Division I recruits: Russell is going to Rhode Island, Beatty to South Carolina and Thomas to Robert Morris.
Here are some highlights of Imhotep Charter, the No. 6 team in the country:
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12-2 Constitution (17-9)
vs. 2-1 Holy Cross (19-8)
■ When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
■ Where: Whitehall High School
■ How they got here: Constitution, the District 12 runner-up, defeated Church Farm, 53-49; Holy Cross, the District 2 champion, beat Shenandoah Valley, 52-35.
■ Players to watch: Holy Cross — Malachi Phillips (C, 6-6, Sr.), 11.1 points per game; Tyler Mozeleski (F, 6-2, Soph.), 8.9 ppg.; Patrick Galvin (G, 5-11, Jr.), 8.6 ppg; Tom Montefour (G, 6-1, Soph.) 6.8 ppg.; Matt Nelson (G, 5–9, Sr.) 6.7 ppg.
Constitution — Maurice Waters (G-F, 6-6, Sr.); Tamir Green (G, 5-8, Sr.); Jamaal Brown (G, 6-3, Sr.); Keshaun Hammonds G, 6-0, Fr.); Tyree Mitchell (G, 5-11, Jr.); Youssef Diabate (F, 6-5, Sr.); Hakim Hudson (G, 6-0, Jr.).
■ What’s next: The winner will play the winner of the Rideway vs. Berlin Brothersvalley game Saturday.
■ The buzz: Holy Cross is in its 10th PIAA playoffs in the 10-year history of the program. … The Crusaders have won five District 2 Class 2A championships. … Holy Cross has a state-playoff record of 14-9 and reached the
Class 2A final in 2013. … Holy Cross coach Al Callejas has a career record of 444-228 and is 220-64 in 10 seasons at Holy Cross. … Holy Cross and Constitution have split two state playoff meetings. … Constitution is 25-4 all time in the state playoffs with a loss coming to Holy Cross (2013, Class 2A). … Constitution has three state championships (2014, Class 2A, 2015 and 2012, Class 1A). … The Generals have a win over Meyers (49-36), a forfeit win over Imhotep, and a 71-64 loss to Imhotep.