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District 1 Playoffs: 5A and 6A Roundup (Tues., March 9)

03/09/2021, 11:15pm EST
By CoBL Staff

Billy Coley shoots he basketball

Billy Coley (above, last week) helped power no. 18 North Penn to an upset win over no. 2 Conestoga. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)

The District 1 playoffs rolled on Tuesday night, with 12 games happening between the 5A quarterfinals and the 6A second round games. Below is a roundup of all of the night's games.

5A Quarterfinals

1) Upper Moreland vs. 8) Unionville

The top seed in the district tournament didn’t last long. Unionville went on the road to knock off Upper Moreland, getting 32 points from senior Sean Neylon in a 55-43 victory. Neylon knocked down six 3-pointers, connecting at least once from deep in each quarter, while Kevin Nowosiat added 18 points and went 7-of-8 from the foul line.

“We locked in on the defensive end, and Kevin and Sean were tremendous on the offensive end, but it was everybody locked in on the defensive end,” Unionville head coach Chris Cowles said. “They beat Cheltenham pretty good. We watched enough film on them to realize that they were very good. We’re very proud of our guys that they went out there and defended and executed.”

Unionville led 15-8 at the end of the first quarter and maintained a seven-point advantage at halftime and going into the fourth quarter, pulling away with a 16-11 final frame.

Matt Tiernan paced Upper Moreland with 17 points.

4) West Chester Rustin vs. 5) Bishop Shanahan

West Chester Rustin defeated a COVID-depleted Bishop Shanahan squad by a final score of 60-46. After outscoring Shanahan 18-7 in the second quarter, the Golden Knights took a 15-point lead into halftime.

The Eagles outscored Rustin 14-9 in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 10 points. After Rustin fought back to a 14-point lead, Shanahan again whittled away to make it a 10-point lead, but were unable to close the gap further.

The Golden Knights' Jacob Barksdale led all scorers with 20 points. Griffin Barrouk chipped in 17 for Rustin, and Ryan Smyth and John Corcoran each had 10 for Shanahan.

2) Chester vs. 7) Marple Newtown

Chester outscored Marple Newtown in every quarter on the way to a 56-40 victory, with senior Karell Watkins leading all scorers with 25 points. Only four points separated the teams at halftime, but Chester came out hot in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 32-20 in the final two frames.

Marple Newtown shot 33% from the 3, while Chester shot 25%. The Clippers held the overall advantage in field goal percentage, shooting 43% versus the Tigers' 32%. Chester also led in rebounds (30-23), assists, and steals. Clippers point guard Fareed Burton Jr. recorded the lone block of the game.

3) Holy Ghost Prep vs. 6) Phoenixville

An early fourth-quarter run helped Phoenixville force overtime against Holy Ghost, and the visitors ran away in the extra session for a 54-46 win.

A 39-33 deficit became a 44-39 Phantoms lead with 3:08 left before the Firebirds had a chance to respond, but they were able to force an extra four minutes of hoops. Recent 900th game winner Tony Chapman couldn’t add another victory to his legendary total, however, as four different Phoenixville players scored in the extra session to pull off the playoff win.

“Our guys had played a really tough schedule with eight games in 11 days down the stretch of the season, and all of those games had been really tough, close games, and that helped us prepare for district basketball, for a game like tonight,” Phoenixville coach Eric Burnett said. “We found ourselves down nine at the start of the game and eight at halftime, and our guys showed resilience to bounce back.”

Will Allain had 18 points and fellow senior Mike Memmo had 14 for Phoenixville, joined by junior Zavier Mayo (13) in double-figure scoring for the Phantoms. 

District 1 6A second round

1) Cheltenham vs. 16) Methacton

In a rematch of the district championship from last year, top seeded Cheltenham faced off against a tough Methacton team. Cheltenham survived a back and forth affair, holding off the 16 seed, winning 45-43, to advance to the quarterfinal. 

Methacton had a chance to send the game to overtime, but Brett Brynes' floater fell just short at the buzzer.

“That’s a very good 16 seed,” said Cheltenham head coach Pat Fleury. “Any adversity is good, it helps us band together. We’ve been in a couple of close games and it gives us something to rely on and gives us opportunities to grow.” 

The Panthers were led by junior guard Saleem Payne, who scored 21 points, including three three pointers. Payne was the only player for Cheltenham to finish in double figures. He scored 10 of his team's 14 points in the second quarter to get the Panthers within three at the half, after getting outscored 13-6 in the first quarter. 

Cheltenham ramped up the pressure in the second half, getting a few steals which led to easy buckets. Despite scoring only 10 points in the fourth quarter, and two points in the final 4:39 of the game, Cheltenham's tough defense helped the team pull away with the win. They were able to hold Methacton to 10 points in the final quarter, as well.

8) Downingtown West vs. 9) Lower Merion

Its varsity squad back intact after a late-season COVID layoff that forced Lower Merion to use a mostly-JV squad in the Central League playoffs, the Aces got a monster game from Demetrius Lilley to advance into the quarterfinals with a 70-59 win over Downingtown West.

A 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward, Lilley had 31 points, 20 rebounds and four blocks to lead the way. Productive in every quarter, Lilley hit three 3-pointers in the win, all in the first half, by which point LM held a 34-27 lead. Sophomore guard Sam Brown added 14 points (two 3s) for Lower Merion, which will travel to Cheltenham in the next round.

Downingtown West got 16 points from 6-9 sophomore forward Jake Warren, who had three 3s of his own, plus 15 points from sophomore guard Dylan Blair and 11 from senior Sean Kaiser.

4) Garnet Valley vs. 20) Upper Dublin

With seconds counting down before the half, Garnet Valley point guard Carl Schaller got the ball at halfcourt. But instead of throwing up a long 3-pointer at the rim, Schaller threw a cross-court pass to the corner to a waiting Ryan Wooten, and the junior guard knocked it in as the buzzer sounded.

That put GV up 16 at the break, and the Jaguars cruised to a 69-41 win over the Cardinals. 

“We shot well, we scored 69 points, but I think holding them to 41 is more impressive,” GV coach Mike Brown said. “[Millersville commit] Drew Stover had 27 of the 41, but we had two or three guys hanging off him the entire game.”

Garnet shot 10-of-21 from 3-point range and 18-of-29 inside the arc, certainly an efficient night for Brown’s squad. Schaller paced the Jaguars as he so often does with 19 points; senior Justin Langan (17), senior Cannon McKee (10) and Wooten (10) joined him in double figures.

5) Perkiomen Valley vs. 12) Pennridge

Perkiomen Valley defeated Pennridge 56-52 in overtime, when junior guard Dawson DeBebe sealed the game with two free throws with 11 seconds remaining. Pennridge outscored Perk Valley 11-7 in the first quarter, though the Rams were held to five points in the second quarter while the Vikings scored 10.

Holding to a one-point lead coming out of the half, Perk Valley had its strong offensive quarter, scoring 17 points. Pennridge answered with its own 17-point quarter in the fourth, sending the game to overtime knotted at 47.

Perk Valley senior guard Tyler Lapentina lead all scorers with 28 points, including three triples, while classmate Kameron Parks chipped in 11 points. For the Rams, Colin Post scored 18 points, Luke Yoder scored 17, and Matt Campione scored nine.

2) Conestoga vs. 18) North Penn

After upsetting no. 15 Strath Haven in the first round, North Penn pulled off yet another upset in the second round, this time toppling Conestoga with a 52-45 victory. One of only two seniors in the lineup for the Knights, Billy Coley led the way with 19 points, including three triples.

The Knights only trailed once during the game, and that was when they were down 2-0 in the early going. It was all North Penn from there, though, with the Knights picking apart the Pioneers zone defense from the corners throughout most of the game.

After trailing by eight points at the half, Conestoga readjusted its inside game and slowed the Knights’ scoring, pulling within one point with approximately four minutes left. But turnovers and fouls proved to be too costly for the Pioneers, and North Penn hit key free throws and two big 3-pointers to seal their upset victory.

Josh Jones had 11 points, and Ryan Zeltt rounded out the double digit scoring for the Knights with 10 points, including two 3-pointers.

7) Central Bucks East vs. 10) Boyertown

Jacob Cummiskey won it for the Patriots, 51-50, with a dribble drive to the rim at the buzzer. Much of the game was back-and-forth, with Central Bucks East taking a lead into halftime. A third quarter run put Boyertown ahead, but a timeout and a three-pointer helped the Patriots put together a run to retake the lead.

The back-and-forth pace reared its head as the game drew to a close. Up by two points, Central Bucks East’s Jack Hamilton was fouled and missed his throws, and Bears point guard Aarick Salata pushed Boyertown back into the lead. With less than 10 seconds left in the game, Hamilton grabbed the rebound from a Boyertown missed free throw.

“Hamilton rebounded the ball, outletted it to Cummiskey just about midcourt and we wanted to just rebound the basketball and go,” said Central Bucks East head coach Erik Henrysen. “We have some guys with [Joe] Jackman and Jack Hamilton and Jacob Cummiskey that can really get down and handle in the open court. Jack did what we practiced. He threw ahead and Jacob made an incredible drive at the basket.”

With the game-winner, Cummiskey finished with 10 points, while Hamilton had 11, and Jackman led all scorers with 13. For Boyertown, Salata finished with 10 points, and Tre Guglielmo chipped in 11.

3) Plymouth Whitemarsh vs. 14) Abington

Abington got off to a hot start with a 12-1 lead and never looked back on their way to a 66-48 victory. The Ghosts' upset win came one month after losing a regular season game to the Colonials by 29 points.

The Ghosts jumped out to a 15-point lead by the end of the first quarter, and stretched that into a 17-point lead going into the half. Plymouth Whitemarsh increased their offense in the second half, scoring 31 of their 48 points in the third and fourth quarters.

Abington's Caleb Baker led all scorers with 22 points, going 9-0f-12 from the floor while pulling down seven rebounds. Point guard Rob Bell scored 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting, adding six assists, four rebounds, and two steals. Oreck Frazier rounded out the double digit scorers for the Ghosts with 11 points, while Zuri Jerman had 13 for the Colonials.

6) West Chester East vs. 11) Neshaminy 

West Chester East had three players score double digits en route to a 66-52 win over Neshaminy, with senior stretch center Jackson Kulp leading the team with 17.

The Vikings jumped out to a 19-point lead during the first half, thanks in large part to steals and breakaway layups. Neshaminy came out of the half with a vengeance, whittling the lead down to seven points, but West Chester East senior point guard Mike Dedda answered with a three-pointer at the third quarter buzzer to get the Vikings’ lead back to double digits.

“Then we kind of kept them at bay, creating baskets to keep it a 15-point game,” said West Chester East head coach Tom Durant. “It was just a balanced attack. The kids did really well… I keep telling them to work hard and have fun and put those two things together and good things happen.”

Neshaminy senior forward Mike Murray led all scorers with 20 points, while classmate Matt Drapkin pitched in 11. For the Vikings, Dedda finished the night with 14 points, sophomore forward Jack Kushner had 15, and freshman guard Ryan Price had nine, all of which came from three-pointers. 

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