Springfield’s boys basketball team entered last Friday’s twice-postponed game with Radnor with a simple imperative: Beat a team with an 0-15 league record and make the playoffs.
The Cougars didn’t. But the District 1 Class 5A power rankings still nudged the Cougars into the playoffs. Until the Cougars declined the invite.
Springfield won’t be participating in the District 1 Class 5A tournament, its athletic department confirmed Sunday, despite the Cougars finishing 16th in the standings. The final postseason spot, per brackets posted on the District 1 web site, will go to Upper Moreland, the 17th seed.
Springfield, which qualified for the state tournament last year, went 8-14, despite an 8-8 Central League mark. It won just two of its last nine games, yet snuck into the top 16 on strength of schedule as results trickled in Saturday. The 16th seed would’ve entailed a third meeting with top-seeded Penncrest; the previous two ended with the Lions winning by 27 and 29 points.
So with Springfield having left Radnor Friday resigned to its season having ended, the decision was made not to take up the lifeline that the math sent its way.
The brackets were released Sunday and are unofficial until noon Monday.
Without Springfield, the 5A tournament will feature seven Delco teams and two All-Delaware County matchups when play opens Wednesday, Feb. 21. No. 3 seed Chester will host No. 14 Academy Park in a league encounter. Chester beat AP by 17 and 37 points in league play.
The more intriguing matchup is the 6-11 game in which Marple Newtown, winners of eight of nine, travels to Sun Valley. The Vanguards bested Marple, 59-42, Jan. 13 before the Tigers’ hot streak.
Penncrest will host Upper Moreland. The winner gets No. 8 Chichester, which hosts No. 9 Holy Ghost Prep. No. 13 Strath Haven ventures to No. 4 Wissahickon.
Two Class 6A games get underway this week, with No. 9 Garnet Valley hosting No. 24 Downingtown West, the last team into the field. The winner will travel to No. 8 Upper Darby, which receives a first-round bye, Tuesday, Feb. 20 with a states berth on the line. Garnet Valley beat Upper Darby in both meetings this season.
Also in 6A, No. 21 seed Penn Wood hopes to return to states, a journey which starts at No. 12 Downingtown East Friday. The winner gets fifth-seeded Coatesville.
In Class 2A, Delco Christian garnered the second seed and will host No. 3 Calvary Christian in the semifinals Feb. 23. The winner goes to states and the district final.
Christian Academy hits the road in the Class A first round, traveling to No. 4 Phil-Mont Christian. The winner gets top-seeded Faith Christian.