Radnor has a playoff berth after a frantic Thursday

The worst tiebreaker scenario imaginable happened Thursday for the third and final position in the Central League playoffs.

At the end of the day, Radnor, Conestoga, Haverford and Marple Newtown all had an 11-5 record against league foes. The problem was only one team could advance to face No. 2 Strath Haven in the Central League semifinal.

After some numbers crunching, it was determined that Radnor won the tiebreaker and will have the opportunity to beat the Panthers for the second time in three days.

Haverford controlled its fate at the start of Thursday’s action. A win against Conestoga would have pencilled the Fords in as the No. 3 seed. Instead, Conestoga, also needing a win, claimed a 35-30 victory. Radnor, meanwhile, upset Strath Haven by 10 points. Marple Newtown also finished 11-5 after a victory over Harriton, but the tiebreakers were never in the Tigers’ favor to begin with.

So, it’s Radnor (16-6) and Strath Haven (18-3) in the semifinal round Saturday at Marple Newtown. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 o’clock.

Meanwhile, Garnet Valley gets to sit back, relax and wait for its opponent in the final. Because the Jaguars (20-2) finished unbeaten in the Central League, they earned an automatic bye to the championship Monday night at Harriton High as part of a girls/boys doubleheader.

• • •

The District One steering committee will meet Sunday at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School to determine the postseason brackets.

In Class AAAA, Garnet Valley is a sure-fire top-5 pick. Strath Haven, Radnor, Marple Newtown and Haverford should round out an impressive bunch of Central League contestants.

In the Del Val League, the only postseason lock is Penn Wood (13-6), which wrapped up its second straight championship Thursday night. It would be surprising if Academy Park (12-9) doesn’t make it in, while Interboro (9-11) remains on the bubble in the field of 32.

Sun Valley (16-6) should have no trouble getting one of 16 available spots in the Class AAA tournament. Delco Christian is a safe bet for the Class A tourney.

• • •

The District One championship games have found a new home.

While in recent years the AAA, AA and A games were hosted by Villanova, the 2015 District One finals will be held at Upper Dublin High School Saturday, Feb. 28. The Class AAAA championship is scheduled to take place at Temple University’s Liacouras Center Friday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m.

A scheduling conflict prevented the District One title contests from being held at the Pavillion, which will be occupied for off-day practice for the ‘˜Nova women’s March 1 opponent, Creighton.

• • •

Upper Darby has struggled through a one-win season, but second-year coach Diamon Beckford recently spoke highly of freshman guard Emma Blewett, who scored a career-high 20 points in a loss to Ridley last week.

“She’s a really good shooter,’ Beckford said in January. “It’s about getting her out on that big stage, so to speak, and having her develop into that go-to player. She’s still molding and growing, so she’s still a little hesitant … but that’s to be expected. It’s about developing her and building her up so that every shot she takes looks like a good one. We want her to play point guard where she has been successful.’

• • •

Next to Beckford, the next youngest head coach in Delaware County is Ky McNichol, who has endured her share of ups and down in her first season at Springfield.

McNichol, who has had a ton of success with the Delco-based AAU Comets for several years, wanted an opportunity to run her own high school basketball program. The daughter of Academy of Notre Dame coach Mary Beth, who has more than 450 wins under her belt, and former Haverford High boys coach Terry, Ky got her first career victory Jan. 13 against Upper Darby. The team recently won three consecutive games against Downingtown West, Harriton and Penncrest.

So, the future is looking good for Springfield. While McNichol will be sad to see point senior guard Sam Tamaccio leave, she has been pleased with the progress of forward Madison D’Ambrosio, who is good for a double-double most nights, and guard Maggie O’Connell, who is fourth in the county in 3-pointers with 38. Both D’Ambrosio and O’Connell will be key to Springfield’s success going forward.

“I see potential in all of them,’ McNichol said her team. “They’re building confidence every day, with every game. I always preach one possession at a time, one game at a time. It’s not going to happen overnight, but we’re getting better. I like to say to them, ‘˜Believe in you, believe in us.”

• • •

The 2015 Delaware County Hero Scholarship Games are scheduled for April 11 at Penncrest. All proceeds go to the Hero Scholarship Fund, which provides educational scholarships for children of police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel who die in the line of duty. For more information, visit the Hero Scholarship Facebook page.

Last year’s Delco Hero Scholarship All-Star event raised $4,500

• • •

The Catholic League regular season wraps up Wednesday with a highly anticipated game between Cardinal O’Hara and Bonner-Prendergast, Nos. 1-2 in this week’s Super 7. Neumann-Goretti and O’Hara would be the top two seeds if the season ended Thursday.

The top four teams from District 12 advance to the PIAA playoffs. O’Hara and Archbishop Carroll are Class AAAA programs, while Bonner-Prendie is a Class AAA team.

• • •

Finally, the Inter-Ac League title is up for grabs Saturday at 3 when Episcopal Academy hosts Germantown Academy. EA is vying for its third championship in a row. The Churchwomen won the team’ first meeting, 47-36, Jan. 23.

To contact Matt Smith, email msmith@delcotimes.com or follow him on Twitter @DTMattSmith. For full statistical leaders, visit delcohssports.com.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply