Spring-Ford embarks on its first journey to the PIAA State Boys Basketball Tournament March 8 against Cedar Crest at Milton Hershey High School at 6:30 p.m.
The Rams, under first-year head coach and Spring-Ford product Chris Talley, enter the tourney as the No. 7 team from District 1, which qualified 10 teams in the field of 32. Cedar Crest is the No. 2 team from District 3 after dropping a narrow 54-52 decision to York in the district title game.
Cedar Crest has a well-balanced ballclub that is led by Andrew Eudy, a dominant 6-6 senior center who is averaging 10.4 points per game. He is followed by 6-0 sophomore guard Evan Horn (10.0), 5-9 junior guard Josh Bucher (7.9) and 6-1 junior forward Nick Miller (7.4).
Spring-Ford (24-4) earned the No. 7 spot with a 65-51 victory over Central Bucks West March 1 in a PIAA seeding game. Nick Stanek scored a career-high 31 points in that contest.
Stanek, a 6-4 senior, shot 10-for-16 from the field with three 3-point field goals and was also a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line. He grabbed nine rebounds as the Rams established a new single-season victory mark, breaking the total of 23 it shared with the 2003-04 squad.
Cameron Phillips, a 5-10 sophomore swingman, scored nine points, and 5-10 senior guard Drew Kakareka netted eight for the Rams, who broke open a 44-38 lead after three quarters. Kakareka shot 8-for-8 at the foul line as part of a 20-for-21 effort at the charity stripe for the team.
The Rams also start 5-8 senior guard Ryan Cass, 6-4 senior forward Gary Hopkins and 6-0 senior guard Josh Tupper. Support comes from 6-5 senior forward Alex Epps-Ortiz, 5-6 sophomore guard Matt Gnias, 6-0 junior forward Mike Olsen and 6-3 junior forward Jake Freedman.
Talley's assistant coaches are Matt Kurtz, Dan Hoff and Jason Kopowitz.
Evan Dunn scored 18 points for the Bucks (15-12) while Cal Reichwein had 11 and Kyle Salvitti added 10.
Central Bucks West became the eighth seed from District 1 and faces District 11 champion Parkland in the first round of states. That game is scheduled for Freedom High School in Bethlehem at 7:30 p.m. March 8.