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Tip of the Cap: Highlighting a few noteworthy seasons that didn't reach districts

02/15/2024, 9:30am EST
By Owen McCue

By Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)
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While we're excited for the District 1 postseason to begin later this week and the history making runs that come with them, there are a few teams who already capped their seasons with campaigns worth mentioning.

Here's a few high school squads that outperformed expectations, clinched a milestone and/or showed signs that the future is bright:

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Norristown girls
The Pioneer Athletic Conference had not treated the Eagles kindly in the first seven seasons since their move to the PAC in 2016-17. Norristown won its first Liberty Division game ever early in the new year and kept adding on. Led by senior Azjiona Golston, who was one of the top scorers in the league, the Eagles finished with four division victories, including the first win over former SOL Methacton for  the first time in a long time. The Eagles (11-12, 4-6 Liberty) double their overall win total from last season and placed third in the division, earning a spot in the PAC Final Six tournament for the first time.. The Eagles finished the regular season at 11-11, missing the District 1 6A tournament by just one spot.


Owen J. Roberts senior Luke Fryer became the third leading scorer in program history. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)

Owen J. Roberts boys
Coach Ben Condello’s group couldn’t stack enough wins against a difficult Liberty Division to reach the Pioneer Athletic Conference of District 1 6A playoffs, but the Wildcats still put together one of their best seasons in recent history. Led by senior Susquehanna commit Luke Fryer, who led the PAC in scoring and became the sixth 1,000-point scorer in program history, OJR went 8-14 for its most wins in the last seven seasons and narrowly missed a marquee win over Spring-Ford for the second straight year.

Lower Merion girls
The Aces finished a spot behind Norristown at No. 26 in the District 1 6A power rankings despite having their best season in a decade plus. Lower Merion (10-12, 5-11 Central) won 10 games for the first time since 2012, according to MaxPreps. Sophomore point guard Alexa Braslow should help coach Erin Lainey continue the program’s upward trajectory for the next two seasons.

Academy Park girls
The Knights (8-13, 7-1 Del-Val) continued a strong run in the Del-Val league, claiming a share of the league title for a third straight year as they split the season series and championship with Chester. Academy Park lost 10 in a row to start the season but went 8-3 in its final 11 games, avenging an earlier loss to Chester with a 44-42 win on Jan. 25 that proved big in the league title race and taking down District 1 5A playoff team Sun Valley. Juniors Emani Banks, Kiala Bright and Alaysia Kinlaw led the way and will be back again next season.

Pottsgrove boys
Falcons coach Scott Palladino seems like he may have things turning around in his third year since returning to the program for his second stint. Pottsgrove (11-11, 3-7 Frontier) had its most overall and division wins since a state playoff appearance in 2019, breaking a nine-game losing streak to division rival Pope John Paul II to highlight the season. While leading scorer Gabe Rinda graduates, sophomore Deymein Doctor will be the centerpiece for the future of a squad that finished two spots out of the District 1-5A field.

Quakertown boys
Much like OJR, Quakertown (8-14, 4-14 SOL) couldn’t quite hang in a challenging SOL Liberty Division, but the Panthers were competitive for the second straight year, winning eight games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2009 and 2010. Senior Wilkes commit Miles Longacre had a monster senior season that included outings of 40 and 35 points.


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By Owen McCue (@Owen_McCue)
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While we are excited for the high school postseason at CoBL, we know there were several noteworthy campaigns that didn't quite reach the district playoffs. Here's a look at a few squads worthy of highlighting for taking steps forward this season and/or accomplishing a milestone or two:

Owen J. Roberts boys
Coach Ben Condello’s group couldn’t stack enough wins against a difficult Liberty Division to reach the Pioneer Athletic Conference or District 1 6A playoffs, but the Wildcats still put together one of their best seasons in recent history. Led by senior Susquehanna commit Luke Fryer, who led the PAC in scoring and became the sixth 1,000-point scorer in program history, OJR went 8-14 for its most wins in the last seven seasons and narrowly missed a marquee win over Spring-Ford for the second straight year.

Norristown girls
The Pioneer Athletic Conference had not treated the Eagles kindly in the first seven seasons since their move to the PAC in 2016-17. Norristown won its first Liberty Division game ever early in the new year and kept adding on. Led by senior Azjiona Golston, who was one of the top scorers in the league, the Eagles finished with four division victories, including the first win over former SOL Methacton for  the first time in a long time. The Eagles (11-12, 4-6 Liberty) double their overall win total from last season and placed third in the division, earning a spot in the PAC Final Six tournament for the first time.. The Eagles finished the regular season at 11-11, missing the District 1 6A tournament by just one spot.

Lower Merion girls
The Aces finished a spot behind Norristown at No. 26 in the District 1 6A power rankings despite having their best season in a decade plus. Lower Merion (10-12, 5-11 Central) won 10 games for the first time since 2012, according to MaxPreps. Sophomore point guard Alexa Braslow should help coach Erin Lainey continue the program’s upward trajectory for the next two seasons.

Academy Park girls
The Knights (8-13, 7-1 Del-Val) continued a strong run in the Del-Val league, claiming a share of the league title for a third straight year as they split the season series and championship with Chester. Academy Park lost 10 in a row to start the season but went 8-3 in its final 11 games, avenging an earlier loss to Chester with a 44-42 win on Jan. 25 that proved big in the league title race and taking down District 1 5A playoff team Sun Valley. Juniors Emani Banks, Kiala Bright and Alaysia Kinlaw led the way and will be back again next season.

Pottsgrove boys
Falcons coach Scott Palladino seems like he may have things turning around in his third year since returning to the program for his second stint. Pottsgrove (11-11, 3-7 Frontier) had its most overall and division wins since a state playoff appearance in 2019, breaking a nine-game losing streak to division rival Pope John Paul II to highlight the season. While leading scorer Gabe Rinda graduates, sophomore Deymein Doctor will be the centerpiece for the future of a squad that finished two spots out of the District 1-5A field.

Quakertown boys
Quakertown (8-14, 4-14 SOL) couldn’t quite hang in a challenging SOL, but the Panthers were competitive for the second straight year, winning eight games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2009 and 2010. Senior Wilkes commit Miles Longacre had a monster senior season that included outings of 40 and 35 points.


D-I Coverage:

HS Coverage:

Small-College News:

Recruiting News:

Tag(s): Home  High School  Boys HS  Pottsgrove  Owen J. Roberts  Quakertown  Girls HS  Central League (G)  Lower Merion  Del-Val (G)  Academy Park  PAC (G)  PAC Liberty (G)  Norristown