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GIRLS HOOPS NOTEBOOK: Breaking down area teams in district playoff rankings

The Ches-Mont League and District 1 Class AAAA received some clarity once the district power rankings were obtained exclusively by the Daily Local News Sunday night.
Nine area teams would qualify for the playoffs as the district will take the top-32 teams in the Class AAAA bracket. Here is a short breakdown of each team in the rankings and their resumes with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
Conestoga (14-2, 5th)
Key wins >> Springfield (Delco) (road), Radnor (road), Haverford (road), Harriton (home).
The skinny >> A season-high seven game win streak has the Pioneers among the elite teams in the district and gives them a chance to improve their standing. Conestoga hosts Garnet Valley for the Central League title Friday and Downingtown East the next day. The Pioneers also host Council Rock North and Haverford in the final week of the regular season. Conestoga will be tested and a 20-2/19-3 record should seal a top-5 ranking and shot at the No. 1 seed in the district.
Bishop Shanahan (15-2, 10th)
Key wins >> West Chester Henderson (road), Downingtown East (home), Norristown (neutral).
The skinny >> The Eagles are contenders for the district title despite their current ranking. Shanahan hosts West Chester Henderson (12-5), has a neutral site game against Penn Charter (13-6) and a road game at Kennett (12-6) to close out the year and improve their standing. Will be at least a top-8 team if they finish regular season 20-2.
Downingtown East (12-5, 12th)
Key wins >> Unionville (road), Great Valley (home), Bishop Shanahan (home), Harriton (road).
The skinny >> The relentless schedule for the Cougars has paid off in the second half of the season with their biggest win of the season against Bishop Shanahan last Thursday, jumping them from 21st to 12th in the rankings. East closes out the nonleague slate of the regular season with two top-5 teams: A road test against Conestoga (5) and a home date against Perkiomen Valley (4). A 17-5 record will put the Cougars in the top-10 while 16-6 and 15-7 will leave them around the 10th to 15th ranks.
Great Valley (14-3, 14th)
Key wins >> Unionville (home, road), Wilson-West Lawn (home), Kennett (home)
The skinny >> The Patriots have beaten the teams on their schedule and solidified a district playoff berth along with a good chance of landing a top-15 ranking. If Great Valley wins out against its American Division opponents, a 19-3 record should give them a shot at a top-10 spot.
West Chester Henderson (12-5, 16th)
Key wins >> Downingtown East (home), Unionville (home), West Chester Rustin (home).
The skinny >> Beating Downingtown East and Unionville in the final minute has solidified the Warriors’ playoff fate. The Warriors can improve their ranking with road wins against Bishop Shanahan and Downingtown East. If Henderson accomplishes the feat, the Warriors will challenge for a top-10 spot with a 17-5 record. A split and/or losses to both will result in a 12th-18th ranking.
Unionville (10-8, 22nd)
Key wins >> Kennett (home, road), Cheltenham (road).
The skinny >> The Indians don’t have much chance to improve their ranking, but can solidify their district playoff spot with their remaining schedule. Unionville plays bubble teams Owen J. Roberts and West Chester Rustin in the final week. Wins over both will get the Indians off the bubble and into the playoffs.
Kennett (12-6, 23rd)
Key wins >> Plymouth Whitemarsh (road), West Chester Henderson (road).
The skinny >> Since a 6-0 start, the Blue Demons are 6-6 and fall firmly on the district playoff bubble. Kennett’s playoff fate will be determined in its final four games against Great Valley (home), West Chester Rustin (home), Oxford (road) and Bishop Shanahan (home). A 2-2 stretch or better should get the Blue Demons in. 1-3 or worse will leave them on bubble come Selection Sunday.
West Chester Rustin (7-9, 28th)
Key win >> Kennett (home), Great Valley (road), Oxford (home, road)
The skinny >> The only team with a losing record currently in the field, the Golden Knights’ strong schedule benefits their playoff chances. Rustin can seal a playoff berth with wins against Kennett and Unionville, both of which are on road. Unlike the majority of the field, the Golden Knights only play 20 games on their schedule (22 max).
Oxford (11-7, 32nd)
Key wins >> Kennett (road).
The skinny >> Every game is a playoff for the Hornets from this point. If Oxford wins out, the Hornets will qualify for the postseason. Host Great Valley, Ridley and Kennett at home before ending regular season at Sun Valley.
Kate Crum scored a career-high 20 points of the bench in Downingtown East’s 55-47 win over Bishop Shanahan last Thursday. Crum’s previous career high was 10 points. 12 of her 20 points game in the fourth quarter… Ciara Forde averaged 21.0 points in the past week, scoring 21 points each in a loss to Downingtown East and a win over Unionville Friday. Forde is third in the Ches-Mont with 14.2 points per game. Sam Pancoast led Unionville with a career-high 18 points in a 49-31 win over Unionville last Thursday. Pancoast has scored 18 points in a game three times this season… Emily Shallow had a career-high 13 points for Oxford in a 42-27 loss to West Chester Rustin… Katie Causer scored a career-high 10 points in Downingtown West’s 51-39 win over West Chester East last Thursday. Hannah Supplee had a season-high 16 in the win.
Kate Crum earns player of the week honors after her career night against Bishop Shanahan last Thursday. Crum had a career-high 20 points to lead Downingtown East to a 55-47 win over Shanahan, ending the Cougars five-game losing streak to the Eagles which dated back to December 21, 2013. In the fourth quarter, Crum had 12 of the Cougars 20 points, including three 3-pointers. Crum finished four of five from 3-point range from the game and scored 16 of her 20 points in the second half.
Honorable Mention >> Ciara Forde (Bishop Shanahan), Sam Pancoast (Unionville), Ellie Mack (Conestoga).
Previous Winners >> Miranda Hill, Kennett (Week 1); Ellie Mack, Conestoga (Week 2); Ciara Forde, Bishop Shanahan (Week 3); Jess Hussey, Kennett (Week 4); Paige Warfel, Downingtown East (Week 5); Emma Bertrando, West Chester Henderson (Week 6); Paige Warfel, Downingtown East (Week 7).
Great Valley at Kennett, (Thursday, 7:15 p.m.); Coatesville at Bishop Shanahan, (Thursday, 7:15 p.m.); Garnet Valley at Conestoga (Friday, 5:30 p.m.); Great Valley at Oxford, (Friday, 7:15 p.m.); Downingtown East at Conestoga, (Saturday, 1 p.m.); Bishop Shanahan vs. Penn Charter in Blue Chip Showcase at Spring-Ford HS (Saturday, 1:30 p.m.); West Chester Henderson at Bishop Shanahan (Monday, 7:15 p.m.); West Chester Rustin at Kennett, (Monday, 7:15 p.m.); Perkiomen Valley at Downingtown East (Tuesday, 6 p.m.); Kennett at Oxford (Tuesday, 7:15 p.m.).
Daily Local News
Top-10 Rankings (Week 8)
1. Conestoga (15-2): Extended win streak to seven games with victories over Lower Merion and Penncrest this past week. Host Garnet Valley (for Central League title) and Downingtown East on back-to-back days in toughest stretch of season.
2. Bishop Shanahan (15-2): Five-game winning streak against Downingtown East was snapped last Thursday, but Ciara Forde’s 21 points helped the Eagles rebound with win over Unionville. Wins against Coatesville and West Chester Henderson will clinch Ches-Mont playoff berth.
3. West Chester Henderson (12-5): Defeated Avon Grove last Thursday to extend winning streak to seven games, tied for longest in area. If victorious over Downingtown West tonight, travel to Bishop Shanahan for first place in Ches-Mont National Monday.
4. Downingtown East (12-5): Cougars snap five-game losing streak to Bishop Shanahan for biggest win of season as they return to thick of Ches-Mont playoff race. Travel to Conestoga and host Perkiomen Valley in big nonleague games this week.
5. Great Valley (14-3): Nine day layoff for the Patriots due to the Winter Storm Jonas. Will clinch Ches-Mont American playoff berth with wins over Kennett tonight and Oxford Friday.
6. Unionville (10-8): Sam Pancoast had 18 points as Indians earned season sweep of archrival Kennett. Win over Octorara tonight will set up home date with West Chester Rustin for Ches-Mont American Division playoff berth.
7. Kennett (12-6): Loss to Unionville snapped three-game winning streak for Blue Demons. Host Great Valley and West Chester Rustin with chance at locking up District 1 Class AAAA playoff berth.
8. West Chester Rustin (7-9): Favorable schedule hosting Sun Valley and Octorara as Golden Knights look to hold on to second place in Ches-Mont American. Only team with under .500 record that would currently qualify for district playoffs.
9. Oxford (11-7): Hornets have three straight home games this week against Great Valley, Ridley and Kennett. Will clinch district playoff spot if they win final four games of regular season.
10. Villa Maria (8-9): Lost to Gwynedd Mercy last Thursday to fall below .500 mark. Close out AACA schedule with road games at St. Basil and Villa Joseph Marie.

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