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CoBL Area Weekend Preview: Jan. 13-16, 2023

01/13/2023, 1:45am EST
By Josh Verlin

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin) &
Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)

It’s a busy weekend ahead in the city, with college and high school schedules heating up, the games taking on more and more importance as the 2022-23 season hits its stretch run. Here’s some games and storylines to be aware of going into the weekend:


City 6

Kayla Padilla (above) and the Penn women have the longest winning streak in the city. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Everybody except Temple’s women are in action between Friday and Sunday; include Monday, and there are 16 games with City 6 games over the long weekend, nine of which will be played in Philadelphia (and one in Princeton, which is close enough). 

The highlight from a rivalry perspective are certainly the Penn/Princeton games, the Quakers and Tigers men and women both meeting for the first time this year, and it’s a chance for both Penn teams to prove their hot league starts are no fluke. The Penn women are on a 10-game winning streak, up to 11-5 on the season, including 3-0 in Ivy League play, and they’ll be heavily favored on Saturday against Dartmouth (2-15, 0-3) before a big test at Princeton (10-5, 1-2) on Monday afternoon. The men, at 9-8 (2-1), play at Dartmouth (5-12, 1-2) and then host Princeton (12-4, 3-0) on Monday night, and two wins would be a big deal in helping them feel good about their positioning in the Ivy League.

Outside of the Penn games, the St. Joe’s women (14-2, 4-0) will put their four-game winning streak on the line when they travel up to UMass (12-4, 2-1) on Saturday, while Villanova’s women (15-3, 6-1) puts its six-game streak on the line against St. John’s (14-2, 5-2) on Saturday afternoon at the Pavilion. Speaking of winning streaks, Drexel’s women (12-3, 3-0) have reeled off seven in a row; they’ve got two road games this weekend, at Hampton (5-8, 2-1) on Friday and at William & Mary (6-8, 1-1) on Sunday.

Over at La Salle on Saturday is a women’s/men’s doubleheader, with the women (10-8, 1-2 Atlantic 10) hosting George Washington (11-6, 3-1) before the men (8-8, 2-1) will show if they’re actually going to be a factor in the A-10 picture with a game against Fordham (13-4, 1-3). Monday has the Penn/Princeton matchups, as well as Villanova’s men (8-9, 2-4) hosting Georgetown (5-13, 0-7) in what has to be a must-win for the shorthanded Wildcats, as the Hoyas haven’t won a Big East game since the 2020-21 season.


Landmark at the Palestra
It’s going to be a hoops-heavy weekend at the Palestra, as not only are the Penn women hosting Dartmouth on Saturday (and then Penn men hosting Princeton on Monday), but the Landmark Conference will take over the Cathedral of College Basketball for a four-game event on Sunday. It’s two women’s games and two men’s games, and while none of the eight schools are from Philadelphia — the Landmark doesn’t have a school in southeastern PA, though its 12 member schools all lie within 2-3 hours of the city — almost all of them feature at least a couple players who played their high school ball in the region.

WBB: Moravian vs. Drew (Noon) 
WBB: No. 6 Scranton vs. Susquehanna (2:30 PM)

MBB: Juniata vs. Elizabethtown (5 PM)
MBB: Catholic vs. Goucher (7:30 PM)

Two of the top women’s teams in the league are participating in Drew (12-1, 2-0) and Scranton (13-0, 2-0), which is currently No. 6 in the country in the rankings. The Royals feature a couple local products in juniors Maddy Ryan (Villa Maria) and Allie Lynch (Notre Dame) and senior Sara Walsh (Havertown) and Kyra Quigley (Sacred Heart), though they’re led in scoring by Florham Park (N.J.) native and senior guard Bridget Monaghan (14.8 ppg), an honorable mention All-American a year ago. 

Drew, whose roster hails from the NY/NJ area, will be the ‘road’ team against a Moravian (7-6, 0-2) squad with some local prospects leading the way. Senior forward Kayla Yoegel, a West Chester East product, is the Greyhounds’ leading scorer (15.1 ppg) and third-leading rebounder (5.6 rpg), and senior forward Tessa Zamolyi (Bethlehem Catholic) is averaging 14.8 ppg and 11.2 rpg. Sophomore guard Mikayla Anderson (Garnet Valley) and junior Reganne Flannery (Gwynedd Mercy) are also local products on the Moravian roster.

On the men’s side, Juniata (9-4, 2-0) and Catholic (13-0, 2-0) will try to keep pace with one another against the likes of Elizabethtown (7-1, 1-1) and Goucher (2-10, 0-2), and those four rosters are dotted with some familiar names. Juniata’s Tyler LaPetina (Perkiomen Valley), a sophomore guard, averages 8.1 ppg in his first year as a starter; Downingtown East product Dylan Rowe, a 6-6 senior forward, is second on Elizabethtown in scoring (10.1 ppg) and leads them in rebounds (6.3 rpg), and Penncrest alum Ben Stanton has started nine games as a freshman, averaging 1.7 ppg; Unionville alum Sean Neylon (13.9 ppg) is second on Catholic in scoring, and La Salle HS product Jake Timby made his return to the court four games ago after missing the first nine games due to injury, but he’s yet to return to the starting role he held as a sophomore.


Boys’ Games

Jake West (above) and Archbishop Carroll host Cardinal O'Hara on Friday night. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

It’s a busy night on the boys side on Friday night, and a little less so on Saturday and Sunday. Friday sees big matchups across the board, starting with the Catholic League, where Archbishop Ryan hosts Roman Catholic, West Catholic hosts Father Judge, Bonner hosts St. Joe’s Prep and Archbishop Carroll hosts Cardinal O’Hara, all of whom should be highly-competitive games that factor into the final league standings. 

Still on Friday, In the Inter-Ac, Malvern Prep hosting Germantown Academy is the best of the three matchups in the Suburban One, Bensalem vs. Central Bucks South, Pennridge hosting Council Rock North and Souderton hosting Neshaminy are the highlights. And don’t forget about the Friends’ Schools league: Academy New Church hosting Westtown is usually a high-level clash, as the Lions have been the closest of anybody to knocking off the Moose the last few years. 

Saturday’s slate features more non-league games, including some intriguing afternoon matchups. Holy Ghost Prep hosts Upper Dublin at 1:30 PM, the same time as North Penn hosting Dock Mennonite and Pennridge hosting Perkiomen Valley, all of which should be quality matchups. Penn Wood hosting Garnet Valley (2:30 PM), Downingtown West hosting Reading (3 PM) and Methacton hosting Plymouth Whitemarsh (4:30 PM) are also good options, and at 7:30 PM, Archbishop Wood plays Math, Civics & Sciences at the Kroc Center in Camden (N.J.) 

Sunday’s slate is light locally, though Neumann-Goretti, Westtown and Imhotep will all play at the HoopHall Classic in Springfield, Mass. If you need to see some Catholic League hoops because it’s a Sunday afternoon in January, Lansdale Catholic hosts La Salle at 2:30 PM.


Girls’ Games

Anna Azzara (above) and Spring-Ford have a big PAC game against Perkiomen Valley. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

The marquee game on the girls’ calendar this weekend comes Friday night in Royersford where defending PAC champion Spring-Ford hosts undefeated Perkiomen Valley in a rematch of last season’s title game. The Rams have lost two of their last three with a league loss to Methacton and another defeat against Friends’ Central last weekend, but their still in the top tier of the District 1-6A power rankings and a force to be reckoned with as juniors Anna Azzara and Mac Pettinelli lead the way. The undefeated Vikings have a couple of young D-I prospects in sophomore forward Quinn Boettinger (14.9 ppg) and sophomore wing Grace Galbavy (13.1 ppg).

Before their matchup at the Hopes for Hope event (more on that below) on Sunday, Villa Maria and Neshaminy also get tough tests Friday night. The Hurricanes face Germantown Academy, which is coming off an impressive win over Notre Dame earlier this week while Neshaminy has an intriguing SOL crossover matchup against a Souderton squad that’s won 11 games in a row. Another good SOL crossover game pits a surging CB East team against a dangerous Pennsbury squad. Both talented squads would like to avoid losing ground in their respective divisions.

On Saturday, a few squads, including Westtown and Archbishop Wood, head to New York for the Rose Classic. Locally, two games stick out on the slate. Upper Dublin and North Penn meet up at Upper Dublin a little after noon. Both squads are right around .500 in league and could use a win to boost their season. Penn Charter and Archbishop Carroll play at Father Judge in a high-level game.

Last week’s Blue Star HSI at Jefferson kicked off a busy January of high school girls hoops showcases, continuing with the Hoops for Hope event Sunday at Ursinus. Mount St. Joseph, Sanford (Del.), Haverford High, Notre Dame, Villa Maria, Neshaminy, West Chester Rustin, Archbishop Carroll, Archbishop Wood and Penn Charter make up the field (CLICK HERE for our preview). 


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