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CoBL-area D-III Power Rankings: Feb. 6, 2023 (MBB)

02/06/2023, 12:00pm EST
By Josh Verlin

Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)

Grant Sareyka (above) and Lancaster Bible return to the CoBL-area power rankings. (Photo courtesy LBC Athletics)

There’s only two weeks left in the Division III regular season, so these are our penultimate rankings of the 2022-23 season. We’ve got one newcomer to the rankings and a little bit of moving and shaking, but there’s still enough time left in the season for teams to change their fortunes and make a run at March Madness.

(Ed. Note: A reminder that CoBL's Division III coverage area includes from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, up to State College and over to the Lehigh Valley).   

Previous Rankings: Preseason | Nov. 29 | Dec. 12 | Jan. 9 | Jan. 23

Others to watch
Cairn (13-8, 8-2 CSAC), Eastern (14-7, 7-5 MAC Commonwealth), Delaware Valley (10-11, 5-7 MAC Freedom), Gwynedd Mercy (10-11, 4-4 Atlantic East), Lycoming (13-8, 8-4 MAC Freedom), PSU-Harrisburg (11-10, 8-4 United East), Rosemont (7-10, 5-1 CSAC), Susquehanna (12-9, 7-3 Landmark)


10. PSU-Abington Nittany Lions (LR: 10)
Record: 16-6 (10-3 United East)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Penn College (W, 73-71), @ Morrisville State (W, 63-52), @ Wells (L, 62-60), vs. PSU-Berks (W, 64-59), @ St. Mary’s (W, 70-44), @ Gallaudet (W, 84-66)

The Nittany Lions had a busy last couple weeks but went 5-1 in their six games, all while Darrion Harris (15.7 ppg) remains sidelined due to injury. Boyertown grad Alex Salata III (17.3 ppg) continues to play some high-level hoops, scoring 80 points over his last three games while shooting 12-of-20 from the 3-point arc and 20-of-23 from the foul line. Chester product Brian Randolph continues to be steady, scoring in double figures in 15 straight, with a couple double-doubles in the last couple weeks as well. That game at LBC in the season finale looms large.

Next Up: vs. PSU-Harrisburg (Feb. 8), @ Penn College (Feb. 11), @ Lancaster Bible (Feb. 18)


9. Muhlenberg Mules (LR: 7)
Record: 13-8 (8-6 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Swarthmore (L, 88-65), vs. Gettysburg (W, 72-62), @ Dickinson (L, 77-61), @ McDaniel (W, 78-65)

The Mules slipped a couple spots as they’ve now lost three of their last five games, though two of them were to top-15 programs in Johns Hopkins and then Swat. The schedule is set up for the Mules to nab one of the five Centennial playoff spots, with home games against Haverford and Washington; as long as they can split at F&M and Ursinus, they should be in the postseason. Giovanni Rubino (17.3 ppg) has scored in double figures in 11 straight, and Dan Gaines (16.2 ppg) had a string of eight straight with 10+ snapped against McDaniel; they got a nice boost from Luke Gordos in the win over McDaniel, the sophomore guard from the U.K. going for a career-high 22 points on 8-11 shooting.

Next Up: vs. Haverford (Feb. 7), @ Franklin & Marshall (Feb. 11), @ Ursinus (Feb. 15), vs. Washington College (Feb. 18)


8. Lancaster Bible (LR: OTW)
Record: 14-7 (11-1 United East)
Last Two Weeks: @ St. Mary’s (Md.) (W, 77-45), vs. PSU-Harrisburg (W, 80-66), vs. Gallaudet (W, 85-56), @ Suny-Morrisville (W, 91-79), @ Wells (W, 87-65)

The Chargers have ripped off seven straight wins to get to first place in the United East Conference, their only (and last) league loss coming at PSU-Harrisburg back on Jan. 17, an uncharacteristic 8-of-29 (27.6%) night from the 3-point arc costing them in that three-point defeat for a team that makes 35.4% on the season. The Christian Academy alum Grant Sareyka, second on the team in scoring, has had three 20-point games in the recent wing season, including 26 points against Wells; leading scorer Jordan Shrewbridge (17.2 ppg) had 32 against SUNY-Morrisville. That one against PSU-Abington could be for the top seed in the UEast tournament; they haven’t won a conference tournament title since 2017-18, with a couple conference championship game appearances since then, including last year.

Next Up: @ Penn College (Feb. 8), vs. St. Mary’s (Md.) (Feb. 11), @ PSU-Berks (Feb. 14), vs. PSU-Abington (Feb. 18)


Ryan Hughes (above) had his first double-double of the season last week. (Photo courtesy Ursinus Athletics)

7. Ursinus Bears (Last Ranking: 8)
Record: 14-7 (9-5 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: @ Franklin & Marshall (W, 77-73), vs. Dickinson (W, 70-61), @ Haverford (W, 72-66), @ Gettysburg (L, 72-67)

The Bears were poised to move up a few more spots, but the loss to Gettysburg kept it a more modest rise, that defeat snapping a four-game winning streak in which they shot at least 48% from the floor in each. The Bears only need one win to wrap up a Centennial playoff berth, which shouldn’t be a problem; seeding is really all that’s up for grabs, though it would be tough for them to break into a top-two seed over Hopkins (12-2) or Swat (13-1). Senior guard Ryan Hughes (18.1 ppg) has still scored in double figures in every game this season, with a 19-point, 11-rebound, five-assist, four-block outing against F&M his first double-double of the season. 

Next Up: vs. Swarthmore (Feb. 7), @ Washington College (Feb. 11), vs. Muhlenberg (Feb. 15), vs. Johns Hopkins (Feb. 18)


6. Gettysburg Bullets (LR: 6)
Record: 12-9 (9-5 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: @ Johns Hopkins (L, 76-60), @ Muhlenberg (L, 72-62), @ Franklin & Marshall (W, 72-64), vs. Ursinus (W, 72-67)

It was tough to figure out where exactly to rank Gettysburg — on the one hand, the Bullets lost to Muhlenberg this week; on the other, they beat Ursinus for the second time this season. Garnet Valley product Carl Schaller led the way as the Bullets pulled into a tie for third place in the Centennial, scoring a career-high 22 points (a new best by one point) to raise his team-leading scoring average to 12.9 ppg. Elijah Williams, a senior wing from Washington D.C., has scored in double figures in 10 straight, including two double-doubles in that run, to raise his average to a career-best 10.4 ppg while hitting 50.3% from the field.

Next Up: vs. Dickinson (Feb. 7), @ Haverford (Feb. 11), vs. McDaniel (Feb. 15), vs. Swarthmore (Feb. 18)


5. Widener Pride (LR: 4)
Record: 13-7 (8-4 MAC Commonwealth)
Last Two Weeks: vs. Alvernia (L, 88-80), @ Mary Washington (L, 83-66), @ Stevenson (W, 81-74), vs. Eastern (W, 93-82)

The Pride have dropped three of their last six games, though they bounced back from back-to-back losses with back-to-back wins, the 93 points against Eastern the most they’ve scored in a game this season, going 16-of-29 (55.2%) from downtown; Dominic Dunn had 29 points 10-12 FG (7-8 3PT) with eight rebounds and five assists, and Pat Holden scored 23 points (5-7 3PT), while three others found double figures. They’re 1.5 games back of Alvernia in the MAC Commonwealth and split the season series, but there are no easy wins in the conference, and Hood/Eastern are both right behind them with five losses.

Next Up: @ Lebanon Valley (Feb. 8), vs. Hood (Feb. 11), @ Albright (Feb. 14), vs. York (Feb. 18)


4. Neumann Knights (LR: 3)
Record: 15-6 (5-3 Atlantic East)
Last Two Weeks: @ Cabrini (L, 67-65 OT), @ Marywood (L, 73-69), vs. Immaculata (W, 80-62)

It was not a great two weeks for the Knights, who lost a couple games they’d like to have back against a pair of sub-.500 squads, and then took it out on an Immaculata squad which has been creeping up on them in the Atlantic East standings. That still puts them two games behind Marymount with four games to play, though they can get one of those back when Marymount visits on Wednesday. They’ve been without Jalen Vaughns for three of the last four contests, and need to get the star 6-7 forward back in the fold for the stretch run, as he’s averaging a team-high 23.7 ppg and 9.9 rpg and is on the short list for area Player of the Year, of which he’s the defending honoree.

Next Up: vs. Marymount (Feb. 8), @ Gwynedd Mercy (Feb. 11), vs. Cabrini (Feb. 15), @ Centenary (Feb. 18)


3. Alvernia Golden Wolves (LR: 5)
Record: 16-6 (10-3 MAC Commonwealth)
Last Two Weeks: @ Widener (W, 88-80), vs. York (W, 70-56), @ Eastern (L, 78-74), @ Albright (W, 92-78)

Despite a few stumbles, the Golden Wolves are still atop the Commonwealth, and feeling good after beating crosstown rival Albright over the weekend, with both Malik Green and Robert Mullan scoring 25 points, while Jakob Kelly added a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double in support as Alvernia completed the season sweep on Albright. Only three games left, which means they get a nice week off to prep for their season final and the postseason; they need to win all three to secure the playoffs, depending on how Widener does. Mullan, a 6-1 junior guard from Highland Regional (N.J.), has really come on strongthe second half of the season, the 25-point outing his high-water mark as he’s scored in double digits in five straight and 10 of the last 11.

Next Up: vs. Messiah (Feb. 8), vs. Lebanon Valley (Feb. 11), @ Hood (Feb. 18)


Freshman guard Nate Ellis (above) leads a balanced DeSales in scoring. (Photo courtesy DeSales Athletics)

2. DeSales Bulldogs (LR: 2)
Record: 18-4 (12-1 MAC Freedom)
Last Two Weeks:  @ King’s (W, 79-59), vs. Lycoming (W, 90-47), @ Wilkes (W, 65-54), @ Misericordia (L, 73-65)

The Bulldogs were in position to be the top spot in the poll and riding an eight-game win streak, but they shot just 4-of-22 (18.2%) from 3-point range in an eight-point road loss to Misericordia this weekend, Scott Coval’s group continues to display remarkable balance, with a top seven all averaging between 11.1 ppg (freshman Nate Ellis) and 7.1 ppg, with three of those top seven (including Ellis) coming off the bench in all 22 contests. With only one senior in its top eight, the future is bright, but so is the now, as they’ll be the top seed in the Freedom tournament no matter what happens these last three games.

Next Up: vs. Delaware Valley (Feb. 8), vs. Stevens (Feb. 14), @ Arcadia (Feb. 18)


1. Swarthmore Garnet (LR: 1)
Record: 19-2 (13-1 Centennial)
Last Two Weeks: @ Muhlenberg (W, 88-65), @ Johns Hopkins (L, 77-67), vs. Washington College (W, 86-56), vs. Franklin & Marshall (W, 76-62)

Aside from the one stumble against Hopkins, which has become its main rival in the Centennial, Swarthmore continues to roll on towards yet another berth in March Madness, which seems all but assured if they close out the regular season with four wins, which would be their sixth straight trip to the tournament — the only six trips in program history. Swat’s top three scorers are all making more than 40% from 3-point range, and the Garnet’s 38.3% mark from beyond is 20th in the nation; they’re also 13th in rebound margin (9.0).

Next Up: @ Ursinus (Feb. 7), vs. McDaniel (Feb. 11), @ Haverford (Feb. 15), @ Gettysburg (Feb. 18)


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