Sunday, February 15, 2009

D1 and PCL Predictions (Feb. 17-18)


No. 16 Norristown (15-8) at No. 1 Cheltenham (22-1)
Cheltenham didn't really have a huge win in the first round over William Tennent. The Panthers are a little young and inexperienced for a top seed. Nice win for the Eagles over Upper Dublin in Round 1.
Pick: Cheltenham, 58-41

No. 9 Abington (18-5) at No. 8 Henderson (19-4)
I thought the Ghosts with Emily Leer were better than a No. 9 seed, but they only beat Pennridge by 11 in the first round. Henderson needed 41 points from Shante Evans and a strong fourth quarter to down Spring-Ford by nine points in the first round.
Pick: Abington, 44-39

No. 13 Council Rock-South (15-8) at No. 4 Lower Merion (21-2)
CR-South captured the program's first-ever district tournament win in the first round. The Golden Hawks are used to playing very good teams in intense games because of the two-times-per-year rivalry games with CR-North. But Lower Merion should be able to get to the quarterfinals.
Pick: Lower Merion, 53-43

No. 12 Chester (15-6) at No. 5 Upper Darby (21-2)
Both teams won big in the first round, Chester by 21 points and Upper Darby by 26. Upper Darby didn't play an especially tough regular season schedule, but did play tough against Lower Merion in two losses.
Pick: Chester, 46-38

No. 18 Bensalem (13-9) at No. 2 Downingtown East (21-2)
The Owls played well to upset a hot North Penn team in the first round, 36-31. Senior Sharmane Hall scored nine points and guard Kate Clarkson scored 11. But the Cougars might be the best team in the district and probably should have been the top seed - power rankings aside. Their only losses all season were to Germantown Academy and Central Dauphin. Downingtown East's last two opponents scored 15 and 14 points.
Pick: Downingtown East, 41-20

No. 10 Perkiomen Valley (18-5) at No. 7 CB East (21-2)
CB East might be better than than three of the teams seeded ahead of it. Perkiomen Valley has won 17 of its last 18 games, but didn't fact top competition.
Pick: CB East, 51-39

No. 14 Methacton (14-9) at No. 3 Council Rock-North (21-2)
The Indians rolled by 50 points in the first round. Methacton had a relatively easy win, as well. Methacton, which knocked CR-North from the district tournament last year, had the second-most Schedule Points in the district's power rating system.
Pick: CR-North, 58-42

No. 11 Downingtown West (16-7) at No. 6 Great Valley (20-3)
I think this one's a toss-up. Downingtown West played the tougher schedule, but Great Valley did have some quality wins and playe Downingtown East tough.
Pick: Downingtown West, 47-46



No. 3 Archbishop Carroll (22-1) vs. No. 2 Cardinal O'Hara (22-1)
Two of the state's top teams are playing the early game in the PCL semifinals at Gwynedd-Mercy College on Tuesday. O'Hara won the first meeting on Dec. 28 by 17 points, 61-44. Carroll seems to have trouble matching up with O'Hara. Expect O'Hara to win this game, but both teams to go very far in their respective state tournament brackets--O'Hara in Class AAAA and Carroll in Class AAA.
Pick: Cardinal O'Hara, 63-52

No. 1 Archbishop Wood (18-5) vs. No. 4 Archbishop Ryan (18-5)
Wood won the first meeting on Jan. 27 by six points, 50-44. Although an upset's not impossible, don't expect this one to be quite as close. Wood senior center Ashley Robinson scored 16 of Wood's 50 points in the first game, but the Vikings should get more scoring from the perimeter. One caveat, Wood needs a decent first quarter. If Ryan gets an early lead, anything can happen.
Pick: Archbishop Wood, 53-42