The boys basketball season is entering the home stretch and it is not too early to be thinking about district playoff time. In Class AAAA, the top 16 teams get a home game in the tournament with the top eight getting two games at home. Right now it looks like Great Valley and Conestoga , if they continue to win, will garner top eight spots.
The rest of the Ches-Mont League teams appear to be battling for top 16 spots and the area teams better get into the top 16 because it does not look like many Ches-Mont teams, if any, are built to win on the road in the upcoming playoffs. And in Class AAAA their is no dominant team this year and it looks like six or eight teams could win the district title. We will know more when the seedings come out in three weeks.Down in Oxford the 13-3 Hornets are playing very good basketball and Saturday, Oxford defeated Coatesville 53-44 in a nonleague battle. It was Hornets' coach Sean Harvey's 198th career win putting him two wins shy of the 200 mark. Harvey is one of the most underrated coaches in all of District 1. This year's Hornets team is comprised of football and soccer players, but at 13-3 no one should take Oxford lightly.
Great Valley lost a close one to a very good Philadelphia Electric team in the Kobe Bryant Tourney on Saturday. The loss will help the Patriots come district playoff time because Philly Electric is one of the better teams in southeastern Pennsylvania as their win over Math, Civics and Sciences proved.
Kennett lost a real tough one to Bishop Shanahan 49-46, last Friday but the good news for the Blue Demons was the play of junior forward Vaughan Jenkins, who had been struggling lately. Jenkins, the best passer in the Ches-Mont, was very active and scored 15 points in the losing cause. With fellow junior Jackson Hyland having a great year, if Kennett can find some points from the other three players on the floor, the Blue Demons may be a tough out in the playoffs.
Downingtown East went to Coatesville and knocked off the Red Raiders last Thursday and sophomore center Cary Angreline went off for 23 points in the second half of the victory. Angeline is a definite Division 1 prospect in football and now it looks like basketball also.
The Ches-Mont Final Four is really up for grabs this season with only Great Valley looking like they are a lock to be in the mix. With Coatesville struggling, the National is a crap shoot and every game counts more than in past years.
On the Bishop Shanahan bench this season is former St. Joseph's University head coach Harry Booth, who guided the Hawks in the 1970s. Booth is the grandfather of Eagles' star Mike Booth, and is head coach Ken Doyle's assistant. Shanahan has moved up to Class AAAA this season but will be back down to Class AAA next season.
Westtown is really starting to roll now as they are currently on a six-game winning streak. Sophomore point guard Jair Bolden is getting everyone involved in the offense and big center George Papagianas is starting to look more comfortable in the offense. Scary thought that a team with as much talent as Westtown is actually starting to play better.
Big games coming up this week as West Chester Henderson visits Downingtown East on Tuesday and West Chester East and West Chester Rustin tussle on Saturday.
With District 1 in Class AAAA not having a dominant team with Chester and Lower Merion having down years for those two programs, the district seeding will matter more than ever. The right matchup, along with a team playing well at the right time, and who knows who could win the Class AAAA District 1 title this season.
On a football note, Coatesville offensive lineman Colin Raysor has announced he will play his collegiate football at Lafayette University. And Coatesville junior Jay Stocker is getting major Division 1 looks also for the Red Raiders.
Daily Local News
Boys Basketball Top 10
1. Westtown (12-5): Westtown looks good in win over Life Center.2. Conestoga (13-2): Pioneers take down Strath Haven.3. Great Valley (13-2): Patriots lose to Philly Electric.4. Church Farm (8-4): Griffins rout Devon Prep.5. Oxford (13-3): Hornets clamp down on Coatesville.6. Downingtown East (9-6): Cougars starting to get hot.7. W.C. Rustin (8-6): Good win over Glen Mills for Golden Knights.8. W.C. Henderson (8-7): Warriors fall to Owen J.Roberts.9. Malvern Prep (7-9): Friars win over Chestnut Hill.10. Bishop Shanahan (10-6): Eagles win over Kennett.