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Suburban One League: Boys Basketball Playoff Preview (Feb. 9, 2024)

02/09/2024, 2:45am EST
By CoBL Staff

By CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)

The Suburban One League Tournament is in its ninth year and finally feels like its beginning to hold more importance to the teams around the league. The four division winners all qualify as well as four wild cards given to the teams with the next four best records, with district power rankings the tiebreaker.

The top four seeds host quarterfinals on Friday and winners advance to the semifinals Saturday with games played at the higher seeded team. The SOL Tournament concludes with a girls/boys championship doubleheader at Holy Family University on Monday. 

Here’s a quick preview of Friday’s boys quarterfinal round:


Junior Ryan Mulroy, above, and Upper Dublin enter the SOL Tournament coming off their first outright division title in 22 years. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL File)

(8) Neshaminy at (1) Upper Dublin, 5:30 p.m.

Upper Dublin’s looked like a contender in 5A all season while playing a schedule loaded with 6A opponents. Neshaminy might be the last team in, but it comes into the bracket in its best form of the season.

The Cardinals are riding high after their first outright division title in 22 years and looking for more of a postseason stay after falling out in last year’s SOL semis and the first round of districts. Junior Ryan Mulroy is a do-it-all player on the wing, an athletic scorer, rebounder and defender that makes things go. Senior Brady Fogle is a knock-down shooter, the type of player who can get the crowd into it while sophomore Kobe Bazemore is a bundle of energy at the point. Idris Rines and Anthony Oliviera-Schultze give UD some size and versatility inside and the trio of Noah Cohen, Brandon Altman and Chris Kohlbrenner do a bit of everything.

Neshaminy won nine of its last 10 games, including six in a row to close the regular season with wins over division champions Bensalem and Central Bucks East during that stretch. Senior 6-3 guard/wing Nate Townsend, who can play with strength toughness inside when needed, is a recent PSU-Harrisburg commit. He and speedy and shifty senior point guard Emeer Coombs do most of the damage offensively for Neshaminy, both consistently in double figures and capable of dropping 20+ on any given night. Senior guard Guy Horton and  freshman guard Logan Gale are two of the other key backcourt pieces with 6-4 junior forward Max Currie a fixture inside.


(5) Abington at (4) Cheltenham, 7 p.m.

The next-door rivals met in the regular season, Abington picking up a 72-61 win on its home floor, but despite being higher in the district rankings, it’s the Ghosts making the quick trip to the SOL Freedom champions. Regardless of where the game is, it’s going to be intense anytime these two come together.

Abington coach Dan Marsh, in his first year with the Ghost boys after a successful run with the girls, has a deep group of upperclassmen to rely on, with a few younger sparkplugs mixed in. Seniors Jeremiah Lee, Aaron Jones, Jayden Flournoy, Kellen Ingram and junior Paul Glants lead a group that often goes 10 deep or more, in order to play the type of aggressive style that Marsh wants. 

Cheltenham’s no stranger to that under Pat Fleury, which is part of the reason these matchups always produce fireworks. Junior guard Josiah Hutson, who reached the 1,000-point mark this season, is a third-year starter at point. Senior Nile Tinsley is a do-it-all type who has embraced his leadership role. Senior 6-4 wing Kevin Addison comes off the bench, but he might be the team’s most dangerous piece with his length and athleticism. Junior guard Osei Johnson, freshman guard Kamal Mason and sophomore 6-8 forward Peyton McClendon are some of the other key pieces.


PW and senior Jaden Colzie, above, face CB East in a rematch of last season's title game. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL File)

(7) Plymouth Whitemarsh at (2) Central Bucks East, 7 p.m.

The rematch of the 2022-23 SOL title game, which the Colonials won convincingly, gives the Patriots a chance to host and perhaps get some payback.

East captured its fourth straight SOL Colonial title behind a veteran group, including four-year starter Jake Cummiskey, a 6-foot-3 left handed slashing guard who can score and playmake. Seniors Tyler Dandrea, Justin DiRoberto and Dhruv Mukund are the other most experienced Patriots, all double-figure scoring threats. Senior 6-6 forward Miles Demby is a nice piece down low. The Patriots don’t come in playing their best ball as they dropped three of their last six, but they’ve got enough postseason experience to figure things out.

Longtime PW coach Jim Donofrio has a team that’s looked good at times and showed its inexperience at others. Senior Jaden Colzie is still a top player in the district, the point guard able to distribute but also score and when he gets hot, there’s not a lot teams have been able to do to slow him down.Sophomore Mani Sajid has been very good in his first year starting, the guard possessing a smooth offensive game and plenty of confidence. Senior 6-5 wing Jahseir Sayles was a starter on last year’s SOL and District 1 title team.


(6) CB West at (3) Bensalem, 7 p.m.

Neither of these teams were in the SOL tournament, much less the postseason in general, last year but now present an interesting matchup of squads likely to be tough outs in the District 1 tournament. They played a good one Jan. 11 with Bensalem walking away with a 50-47 win.

Despite being one of the smaller squads in terms of stature, Bensalem has found a way to win this year. Junior 6-2 forward Jaidyn Moffitt has the looks of a football player but he blends his physicality with finesse to be a force for the Owls. Coach Ron Morris has his two sons in the backcourt — Antonio a potent scorer and Noah a deadly sharpshooter. Junior guard Amir Drummond has blossomed this season to give them another weapon.

C.B. West has been one of the best turnaround stories this season, carrying a 16-6 record into Friday night after a 6-16 campaign a season ago. Senior Matt Engle is a throwback point guard with athletic wings Bowen Gugger and Julian Phillips able to do some scoring damage. Senior 6-2 forward Sam Jankowski sprinkles in a little bit of passing, scoring, rebounding and what else might be needed. The emergence of junior guard Roman Kulesa has helped this team take a huge step forward this season.

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