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GIRLS HOOPS: Breakdown of each subregion in District 1-AAAA tournament

The Chester County area’s chances to win a District 1 Class AAAA championship have never been higher with a record nine teams qualifying for the tournament field, which begins tonight.
Unfortunately each team has an uphill climb as the District 1 Class AAAA power rankings did the area no favors. Conestoga is the highest seed of any local team at No. 7.
Even with the majority of the teams in the double digits, plenty of teams are talented enough to clinch one of the 10 PIAA Class AAAA berths up for grabs and compete for the district title. Here’s a breakdown of each subregion in the District 1 Class AAAA tournament with area teams’ chances to earn a state playoff berth:
North Penn subregion
Teams >> No. 1 North Penn, No. 32 Penncrest, No. 16 Cheltenham, No. 17 Penn Wood.
Outlook >> North Penn arguably is the team to beat in this tournament as the Maidens showed with a convincing 77-41 win over No. 3 Garnet Valley in the Blue Chip showcase on January 31 and holding off No. 10 Central Bucks West in the Suburban One League championship game en route to a 22-2 mark. The Cheltenham-Penn Wood matchup is one of the most intriguing games in the first round with Cheltenham averaging 54.2 points per game and Penn Wood averaging over 50 per game. The winner likely will face North Penn for a state playoff berth.
Central Bucks South subregion
Teams >> No. 8 Central Bucks South, No. 25 Haverford, No. 9 Springfield (Delco), No. 24 Central Bucks East.
Outlook >> The subregion is a battle between the Suburban One Continental Division and the Central League. C.B. South (17-5) has one of the top offensives in the district with 53.4 points per game while Haverford (12-10) allows in the upper 40s. Springfield-Delco (17-4) faces a battle tested C.B. East (12-10), which allows 37.5 points per game. The Cougars allow just over 35 points per game and likely the team to get to 40 points in this first-round matchup will advance to the second round. If C.B. South and Springfield (Delco) face off for a state berth, it has the potential to be a classic.
Mount St. Joseph’s subregion
Teams >> No. 4 Mount St. Joseph, No. 29 Radnor, No. 13 Neshaminy, No. 20 West Chester Henderson.
Outlook >> This subregion is the first one that involves an area team in West Chester Henderson. The Warriors (14-7) were one of the most-improved teams in the Ches-Mont League this season and travel to Neshaminy (18-5) for their first district game since 2008. The Redskins won the Suburban One National Division championship and average 42.7 points while allowing 37.7. With a deep bench and a stingy defense that allows just 41.3 points, Henderson has a chance to pull off the upset in a tricky 13-20 matchup. Mount St. Joseph’s finished second in the AACA with an 18-4 record and is one of the toughest teams to beat at home, getting up to three games in its gym.
Boyertown subregion
Teams >> No. 5 Boyertown, No. 28 Council Rock North, No. 12 Downingtown East, No. 21 Harriton
Outlook >> Downingtown East (17-7) will look to pick up where it left off last year after a tough loss to Bishop Shanahan in the Ches-Mont championship game. The Cougars will face a tough test in Harriton (15-7), which has a defense that allows just under 40 points a game. East is 7-2 at home and defeated Harriton 43-37 in the championship game of the Harriton Tip Off Tournament in December. Boyertown (17-5) will look to rebound after a 45-25 loss to Perkiomen Valley in the PAC-10 title game against Council Rock North (12-9), which allows 37.8 points per game. A Downingtown East-Boyertown matchup for a state berth would be worth the price of admission if both teams hold home court Saturday.
Perkiomen Valley subregion
Teams >> No. 2 Perkiomen Valley, No. 31 Pennridge, No. 15 Great Valley, No. 18 Abington.
Outlook >> Great Valley (18-5) just came off its best game of the season in a 41-40 loss to Downingtown East in the Ches-Mont semifinals. The Patriots have one of the top defenses in the district, allowing just 33.9 points per game. Abington (16-6) has one of the top offensives in the district with 55.6 points. If Great Valley can limit Abington’s possessions and keep the game in the 40s, the reward could be Perkiomen Valley. The Vikings (22-2) are prime contenders to win the district title and one of top teams in the state. The PAC-10 champions allow just 36.3 points per game and average just south of 50 points per game on offense.
Conestoga subregion
Teams >> No. 7 Conestoga, No. 26 Unionville, No. 10 Central Bucks West, No. 23 Kennett.
Outlook >> Three area teams dominate this subregion led by the Pioneers (18-5), which seek to avenge a loss to Springfield-Delco in the Central League semifinals. Conestoga gets Unionville in one of the district’s intriguing first round matchups. The Pioneers allow  36.3 points per game while the Indians (12-10) allow 40.6. For Unionville to pull off the upset, the Indians will need to limit Ellie Mack’s scoring and reach 45 points. Kennett (14-7) qualified for the district playoffs for the first time since 2007-2008 and travel to Central Bucks West (17-7). The Blue Demons are one of the most dangerous teams in the first round if the shots fall with an average of 48 points per game. If Kennett can score near its average against C.B. West (allows 40.0 points), the Blue Demons’ chances of playing for a state berth in the second round will significantly increase.
Garnet Valley subregion
Teams >> No. 3 Garnet Valley, No. 30 Oxford, No. 14 Spring-Ford, No. 19 Plymouth Whitemarsh.
Outlook >> Oxford (13-9) improved from five wins to 13 as the Hornets earned one of the last spots in the district field. The reward is Garnet Valley (19-3), which won the Central League championship for the third consecutive year. The Jaguars average over 50 points per game, which is tops in the Central while Oxford allows just 34.8 points. Like Great Valley, Oxford will need to limit possessions and keep Garnet Valley from the line in order to pull off the gigantic upset. Spring-Ford (14-8) has been one of the teams that have made deep runs in the district tournament in each of the last three years, finishing fourth as a No. 16 seed last year. Plymouth Whitemarsh (16-6), which allows 33.8 points per game, will be a solid first round test.
Upper Dublin subregion
Teams >> No. 6 Upper Dublin, No. 27 West Chester Rustin, No. 11 Bishop Shanahan, No. 22 Norristown.
Outlook >> Bishop Shanahan (21-3), the Ches-Mont champions, has an excellent chance to survive this region and clinch a state playoff berth. The Eagles host Norristown in its first round matchup, which they beat 49-40 in the opening round of the Marple Newtown Holiday Tournament in December. Shanahan jumped out to a 20-4 lead after the first quarter. The Eagles lead the Ches-Mont with 52.0 points and allow just 37.0 per game. West Chester Rustin (11-11) has a tall task against Upper Dublin (18-5), the Suburban One American Division champions. The Cardinals allow just 29.8 points while the Golden Knights average 43.8. If Rustin can capitalize early and get its outside shot falling, the Golden Knights have a shot at the upset.

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