Monday, February 11, 2008

Dist. 1 AAAA First Round Observations

A few thoughts from the first round ...

1. Nice win for Great Valley (22-3) over North Penn. A lot of people thought the Knights would pull the upset. It wasn’t even close. But the Patriots really need to defeat Cheltenham (15-10) in the second round. Yes, Cheltenham played a tough schedule and has a talented young team. But the Panthers also lost during the regular season to CB East, CR-North, Norristown and Upper Dublin--all seeded much lower than Great Valley.

2. It is tough to score vs. Abington (21-4). The Ghosts have not given up more than 46 points in regulation this season. On Saturday, Abington held Garnet Valley to 11 points in the first three quarters of a 51-26 win. Look for another low-scoring game against Boyertown.

3. William Tennent (17-8) rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat rival CB East. The Panthers had lost the two regular season meetings. Tennent has a lot of talent and can be tough to stop when it is playing well. But the Panthers are going to have to play extremely well to stay in the game with Spring-Ford.

4. Conestoga guard Katie Dunn scored 18 points in a 49-33 win over Chichester. Chelsea Shine and Kristen Johnson are very talented, but the Pioneers (20-5) need to continue to get strong backcourt play to contend for a district title.

5. It’s difficult to understand a system that seeds three teams from the Central League above the first-place team in the SOL Continental.

6. Methacton (69 points), Upper Dublin (66) and Cheltenham (62) scored the most points in the first round.

7. If you want to follow some of the other district basketball tournaments, here are some of the other PIAA Web sites: District 11, District Three and District Seven (WPIAL).

8. I don’t see the sites listed on the District One Web site for the girls Class AAAA semifinals, and the boys just lost their original semifinals site--Villanova--at the last minute. You'd think there would be a contract for something like that. Anyway, I hope they don’t try to put important games at Plymouth-Whitemarsh’s Colonial Elementary School again. There's little seating and even less parking. And there are so many excellent gyms in the area.

9. Click here for the new state rankings from the Harrisburg Patriot-News. They break the rankings into five pages. What a terrible layout. If their intentions are to annoy readers and drive them away from their Web site, they are doing a terrific job. I can never get past the second page.

10. League records in the first round:

Ches-Mont Nat.3-0
SOL American3-1
SOL Continental3-2
SOL National2-4
Ches-Mont Am.1-2

(Note: I am a little embarrassed to say that I can't figure out what league Garnet Valley is from. Help?)

Bucks County Bonus No. 11: has Archbishop Wood ranked No. 1 in the state. That's great for the Vikings, and they could very well be the best team in Pennsylvania. But I don't think too much of these MaxPreps-style sites, which count on coaches to report everything. They usually have humongous gaps in information. The accuracy is highly questionable. The same poll has Archbishop Carroll at No. 8. I think Wood, O'Hara and Carroll are clearly the top teams in Pennsylvania (not necessarily in that order), with Germantown Academy at No. 4. There are years when the best PIAA teams are as good as or better than the top teams in the PCL. Not this year. I also think the PIAA needs to create a separate class for private schools. But that's a huge debate for another year.