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Bullock's PIAA Rankings: Jan. 2, 2017

01/02/2017, 8:00am EST
By Michael Bullock

Michael Bullock (@thebullp_n)
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Here’s installment No. 3 of City of Basketball Love’s state rankings, a package that will appear on Mondays throughout the remainder of the regular season.

We did showcase a set of preseason rankings leading up to the opening weekend (Dec. 9-10) and those groupings served as a starting point — since we’re going to continue to shuffle things around after each weekly cycle.

Appearing below are all six of our top 10s, with PIAA district and this season’s record displayed in parentheses. Only those schools competing for PIAA state championships are eligible for ranking purposes.

CITY OF BASKETBALL LOVE STATE BASKETBALL RANKINGS

(records through games of Dec. 31/OW-others to watch/NR-not ranked)

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Previous Rankings: Dec. 26 | Dec. 18 |

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Malik Slay (above) and Downingtown East are ranked for the first time under head coach John Goodman. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

CLASS 6A

Sherron Schifino poured in 30 points as Penn Hills continued its early roll by defeating New Castle 73-65 in the championship game of the latter’s holiday tournament. Chavar Williamson chipped in 13 points and Cam Jefferies wound up with 10 for Dan DeRose’s Indians. Schifino, who racked up 35 points in a season-opening win over Lincoln Park, is shooting 58 percent from beyond the 3-point arc thus far. No wonder Schifino’s averaging 24-plus points per outing.

No.  School                                         Rec       Pvs
1.     William Allen (11)                      8-0         1
2.     Archbishop Ryan (12)               9-0         2
3.     Reading (3)                               7-2         3                           
4.     Plymouth-Whitemarsh (1)        7-1          4
5.     Roman Catholic (12)                8-1          5
6.     Pine-Richland (7)                     7-0         10
7.     Emmaus (11)                            6-1          8
8.     Penn Hills (7)                            7-0        OW
9.     Abington (1)                              7-3          6
10.   Downingtown East (1)              9-0       OW

Checked in: No. 8 Penn Hills/No. 10 Downingtown East.
Checked out: No. 7 Carlisle/No. 9 Pocono Mountain West.

Others to watch: Butler (7, 6-3), Carlisle (3, 6-2), Central Dauphin East (3, 7-1), Chambersburg (3, 6-3), Cheltenham (1, 5-2), Coatesville (1, 6-3), Conestoga (1, 7-1), Council Rock South (1, 7-1), Dallastown (3, 7-1), Father Judge (12, 7-2), Fox Chapel (7, 9-0), Harrisburg (3, 5-2), Hatboro-Horsham (1, 5-3), Hazleton (2, 4-2), La Salle College (12, 6-3), Latrobe (7, 7-1), North Hills (7, 6-1), Pennsbury (1, 5-3), Perkiomen Valley (1, 6-2), Pocono Mountain West (11, 6-2), St. Joseph’s Prep (12, 6-2), State College (6, 6-2), Stroudsburg (11, 5-2), Williamsport (4, 6-3).

Bullish matchup of the week: Newly christened No. 8 Penn Hills will put its unblemished record on the line Tuesday night at home against fellow unbeaten Fox Chapel. … Carlisle will try to end its two-game skid, but it won’t be easy since a Tuesday night trip to Mid-Penn Commonwealth playmate Central Dauphin East awaits. The Thundering Herd will host State College Friday night as well.

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CLASS 5A

No. 9 Meadville completed a perfect December by sweeping host Brooke (W.Va.) 78-44 and Pittsburgh Central Catholic 54-39 to claim Brooke’s Bisco Holiday Classic. Armoni Foster, Lashon Lindsey and Simeal Wofford reached double figures in both victories, totaling 48, 34 and 25 points, respectively, for the Bulldogs.

No.  School                                            Rec         Pvs
1.     Archbishop Wood (12)                 6-2         1
2.     Bangor (11)                                  6-0         2
3.     Abington Heights (2)                    8-1         3
4.     Archbishop Carroll (12)                8-1         7
5.     Northeastern (3)                           9-0         5
6.     Whitehall (11)                               8-1         6
7.     Bonner-Prendergast (12)             8-0         8
8.     Chester (1)                                   5-2         9
9.      Meadville (10)                              8-0        10
10.    Penncrest (1)                               7-2        OW

Checked in: No. 10 Penncrest.
Checked out: No. 4 Upper Merion.

Others to watch: Academy Park (1, 3-2), Allentown Central Catholic (11, 4-4), Bishop Shanahan (1, 5-4), Blue Mountain (11, 5-1), Cathedral Prep (10, 5-2), Chartiers Valley (7, 6-1), Great Valley (1, 6-2), Hampton (7, 6-3), Highlands (7, 5-3), Hollidaysburg (6, 6-3), Holy Ghost Prep (1, 6-2), Manheim Central (3, 6-0), Mars (7, 5-2), Martin Luther King (12, 7-3), Mastery Charter North (12, 10-0), Mechanicsburg (3, 6-2), Milton Hershey (3, 3-2), Montour (7, 4-2), Palmyra (3, 9-1), Penncrest (1, 7-2), Phoenixville (1, 7-2), Pottsville (11, 3-2), Simon Gratz (12, 6-4), Spring Grove (3, 5-2), Springfield-Delco (1, 5-2), Strath Haven (1, 6-2), Upper Merion (1, 6-3), West Scranton (2, 6-2).

Bullish matchups of the week: No. 1 Archbishop Wood, which endured a tough nonleague slate, will find the Philly Catholic League portion of its schedule just as difficult as John Mosco’s Vikings will play Father Judge at home on Tuesday, visit Archbishop Ryan on Friday and close out a grueling week Sunday at home against Archbishop Carroll. … No. 7 Bonner-Prendergast also will have its hands full on Tuesday at home against Conwell-Egan, Friday at La Salle College and Saturday vs. 2A No. 1 Math, Civics & Sciences at Imhotep.

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CLASS 4A

David Beatty’s stickback of a Daron Russell miss at the horn propelled No. 1 Imhotep Charter to a thrilling 78-76 victory over Evanston (Ill.) Township in the finals of the Beach Ball Classic Saturday night in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Russell led Andre Noble’s Panthers with 25 points, while Koby Thomas added a double-double (19 points/10 boards) and Beatty finished with 15. Earlier in the week, Imhotep drilled Christ the King (N.Y.), Bishop Gorman (Nev.) and Dillard (Fla.) to reach the title game. Noble’s Panthers have won their last seven outings.

No.  School                                           Rec       Pvs
1.     Imhotep Charter (12)                  8-1         1
2.     Scranton Prep (2)                       6-1         2
3.     New Castle (7)                           6-1          3
4.     Quaker Valley (7)                       7-1          4
5.     Bethlehem Catholic (11)            6-2          5
6.     Universal Audenried (12)           6-2       OW
7.     Lancaster Catholic (3)                8-0          8
8.     Clearfield (9)                              7-0          9
9.     Strong Vincent (10)                    5-2       OW                           
10.   Beaver Falls (7)                         3-3        10

Checked in: No. 6 Universal Audenried/No. 9 Strong Vincent.
Checked out: No. 6 Meyers/No. 7 Salisbury.

Others to watch: Berwick (2, 6-0), Blackhawk (7, 4-4), Central Valley (7, 5-3), Conwell-Egan (12, 4-4), Eastern York (3, 6-1), Farrell (10, 3-4), Forest Hills (6, 5-1), Franklin (10, 5-2), Lower Moreland (1, 4-2), Meyers (2, 3-3), Middletown (3, 5-0), Nanticoke (2, 5-1), Punxsutawney (9, 7-0), Salisbury (11, 5-2), Strong Vincent (10, 5-2), Universal Audenried (12, 6-2).

Bullish matchups of the week: No. 5 Bethlehem Catholic, coming off a loss to York Catholic at the Griffith Holiday in York, will host 6A No. 1 William Allen in East Penn Conference Steel Division play Tuesday night. … No. 4 Quaker Valley will visit No. 10 Beaver Falls on Friday night. … Also on Friday, No. 9 Strong Vincent will take on Erie rival Cathedral Prep.

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Makhi Morris (above) and Del-Val Charter are up to No. 6 in the 3A rankings. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

CLASS 3A

Getting 20 points from tournament MVP Melik Martin and 17 more from D’Andre Davis, No. 5 York Catholic registered a 60-54 victory over Bethlehem Catholic in Thursday’s championship game of the Robert Griffith Holiday Classic in York. The win was the seventh straight for Blaine Claiborne’s Fighting Irish since a season-opening setback at Trinity. One night earlier, Martin netted 22 points, Davis wound up with 19 and Torrey Thomas dropped in 14 in a convincing 73-43 victory over crosstown rival York Suburban.

No.  School                                         Rec       Pvs
1.     Neumann-Goretti (12)               3-4        1
2.     Trinity (3)                                   8-0        2                          
3.
    Lincoln Park (7)                         5-2        3
4.
    Valley Forge (1)                         7-3        4
5.
    York Catholic (3)                        7-1        6
6.
    Del-Val Charter (12)                   6-4        7
7.
    Steel Valley (7)                           5-4        5
8.
    Lancaster Mennonite (3)            8-1        9
9.
    Mid Valley (2)                              6-1        8
10.    Loyalsock (4)         
                     7-1      10

Checked in: None.
Checked out: None.

Others to watch: Bellwood-Antis (6, 5-2), Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (7, 6-3), Central Cambria (6, 6-1), Columbia (3, 8-1), Dunmore (2, 3-4), Fairview (10, 8-0), Girard (10, 6-2), Greenville (10, 8-0), Juniata (6, 8-0), MaST Community (12, 8-1), Notre Dame-Green Pond (11, 5-4), Richland (6, 3-2), Shady Side Academy (7, 6-3), Steel-High (3, 3-3), Wellsboro (4, 7-2), Westmont Hilltop (6, 5-3).

Bullish matchups of the week: With Quade Green back in the lineup finally after the Kentucky recruit missed several games with a tender ankle, No. 1 Neumann-Goretti hopes to sustain the momentum gained by last Friday’s decisive win over Abington when it opens Philly Catholic League play Tuesday against Archbishop Carroll. … Meanwhile, No. 2 Trinity will have an intriguing Mid-Penn Capital date with unbeaten Middletown Friday at home. … No. 10 Loyalsock will wander down U.S. 15 on Friday for its latest engagement with long-time rival Lewisburg. … And on Saturday afternoon, No. 5 York Catholic will square off against unbeaten and ranked 4A side Lancaster Catholic at the War of the Roses showcase at West York.

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CLASS 2A

Winning for the eighth time in as many tries, Greensburg Central Catholic remained perfect after churning out a come-from-behind 62-52 victory over nearby Hempfield Thursday night at Greensburg Salem’s round-robin holiday event. Jack Liberatore pocketed 19 points and Ben Hertzog chipped in 16 to lead Dr. Greg Bisignani’s Centurions, who ensured their latest success by bagging 14 of their 17 freebies in the fourth quarter. One night earlier, GCC canned 13 3-pointers in an 83-38 blowout of Mount Pleasant.

No.  School                                                Rec          Pvs
1.     Math, Civics & Sciences (12)          8-1         1
2.
    Constitution (12)                              7-3         2
3.
    Sewickley Academy (7)                   5-1         3
4.
    Greensburg C.C. (7)                        8-0         4
5.
    Bishop Canevin (7)                          6-2         5
6.
    Church Farm (1)                              5-2         6
7.
    Bishop Guilfoyle (6)                         2-1         7
8.
    Mahanoy Area (11)                          6-0         8
9.
    Shenandoah Valley (11)                   7-1         9                         
10.   Ridgway (9)                                      7-1      OW

Checked in: No. 10 Ridgway.
Checked out: No. 10 Our Lady of Sacred Heart.

Others to watch: Bishop McCort (6, 5-0), Brockway (9, 6-2), Cambridge Springs (10, 5-2), Clarion (9, 5-2), Clarion-Limestone (9, 4-3), Coudersport (9, 5-0), Fort Cherry (7, 7-2), Keystone (9, 5-1), Laurel (7, 8-0), Marian Catholic (11, 4-1), Millersburg (3, 7-2), Moshannon Valley (6, 7-0), Motivation (12, 7-4), Neshannock (7, 6-1), North Penn-Mansfield (4, 6-3), Our Lady of Sacred Heart (7, 5-3), Penns Manor (6, 6-2), Portage (6, 6-1), Rocky Grove (10, 7-1), Williams Valley (11, 7-2).

Bullish matchups of the week: There’s nothing quite like one of those showdowns between Nos. 1 and 2 to tip off a brand new calendar year and that’s what we’ll have Thursday when top-ranked Math, Civics & Sciences entertains Constitution in a five-star Philly Public League matchup. … While Thursday’s game is a dandy, they’ll both have tough outings on Saturday to close out a momentous week. Math, Civics & Sciences will play Bonner-Prendergast at Imhotep Charter, while Constitution will hop on the bus for a visit to Pennsbury.

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CLASS 1A

Popping four players into double figures Wednesday night, No. 5 Saltsburg wheeled to its seventh consecutive victory, capturing Apollo-Ridge’s holiday event by drilling the hosts 78-36 in the title game. Nick Porter dropped in 24 points, while Frankie Plowman (13), Dan Shirley (11) and Jake Roman (10) were the others to score 10 or more for Don Stitt’s Trojans. Tagged the four-team tournament’s most valuable player, Porter netted 23 points one night earlier as Saltsburg rallied for a 56-48 win over Leechburg. Porter has scored 20 or more points in his last three games.

No.  School                                             Rec       Pvs
1.     Kennedy Catholic (10)                  5-1       1
2.     St. John Neumann (4)                  6-0        3
3.     Elk County Catholic (9)                6-0        4
4.     Monessen (7)                               3-4        2
5.     Saltsburg (6)                                7-0        5
6.     York Country Day (3)                    5-3       6
7.     Shanksville-Stonycreek (5)           6-1       7
8.     Lourdes Regional (4)                   5-2        9
9.     Lincoln Leadership (11)               7-1        8
10.   Southern Fulton (5)                      7-1      10

Checked in: None.
Checked out: None.

Others to watch: Bishop Carroll (6, 3-4), Clairton (7, 3-3), Cornell (7, 6-2), Faith Christian (1, 5-2), Ferndale (6, 7-1), Jenkintown (1, 5-2), Millville (4, 5-0), Rochester (7, 7-1), Sankofa Freedom (12, 4-4), Shade (5, 5-2), St. Joseph (7, 6-0), Turkeyfoot Valley (5, 5-2), Union (7, 6-2).

Bullish matchup of the week: Whether you classify Saturday’s scrap as a rematch or return engagement matters little, but No. 1 Kennedy Catholic will meet ranked 2A side Sewickley Academy in a showcase at New Castle. Kennedy collared last season’s encounter, prevailing 75-61 in the PIAA Class A semifinals. Just a few days later, Rick Mancino’s Golden Eagles downed Math, Civics & Sciences in the state title game.


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