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Garnet Valley has to take it up a notch in Round 2

Garnet Valley players will admit they didn’t play their best basketball in last Friday’s District One Class AAAA first-round win over 29th-seeded Upper Merion. Nevertheless, good teams find a way, and the No. 4 Jaguars (22-2) ultimately took care of business against an inferior opponent. They used a 21-0 run in the first half to pull away and led by 19 points at halftime.

The second round marks an entirely new challenge. By the looks of it, 13th-seeded Cheltenham (18-5) could be GV’s toughest opponent to date.

“We know they have one player, a sophomore (Ashley Jones), who got her 1,000th point,’ senior wing Macy Goldbach said after Friday night’s 41-23 triumph. Goldbach led all scorers with 15 points. “We know we have to play a better, consistent game for the entire four quarters.’

Cheltenham disposed of No. 20 Penn Wood in the opening round. Both teams have similar traits in that they like to push the all up the floor. Garnet Valley does the same, too, but it will be tasked with trying to match the Panthers’ athleticism. Penn Wood turned the ball over a ton, resulting in many fastbreak opportunities for Cheltenham. GV, on the other hand, is a team that takes a lot of pride in taking care of the ball.

“We know what we’re capable of doing,’ senior guard Jordan Ireland said. “We haven’t been playing our best basketball, but we know what we have to do. (Cheltenham) will be a tougher team and we expect a better game.’

Jags coach Joe Woods said “there will be a different defensive strategy’ drawn up for Cheltenham. Many teams have played a box-and-one against Cheltenham with the hopes of limiting the production of Jones, a dynamic player who tossed in 31 points in the win over Penn Wood. The Panthers have other options including Amarri Truehart, who netted 19 points in the opening round. Garnet Valley and Cheltenham tip off at 7 p.m.

The winner moves on to the quarterfinal round to take on the winner of No. 5 Abington and No. 12 Central Bucks South.

In another District One Class AAAA game:

No. 19 Radnor at No. 3 Mount St. Joseph

By now, the Raiders (17-7) are used to the underdog role.

It began last year, when they were a .500 team in the District One Class AAA playoffs, got on a hot streak and won the district championship. Coach Mark Jordan once again has his team playing its best basketball when it matters most.

Last Saturday, the Raiders defeated Strath Haven in the teams’ fourth meeting of the season. It took overtime, and the Raiders overcame their shooting woes to advance. Junior power forward Kristin Hamill led the way with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Hamill and sophomore power forward Allison Lanzone, who added six points and 10 rebounds in the Strath Haven game, present matchup problems against smaller teams.

The Mount (23-2) is annually one of the best Class AAAA programs in the state, championing the state’s biggest conference, the Catholic Academies League, for the third year in a row. Last year, MSJ made it to the state quarterfinals and is coming off a 45-31 victory over 30th-seeded Methacton in the first round. The Raiders hope to contain MSJ’s top three scoring threats, Caitlyn Cunningham, Libby Tacka and MaryKate Ulasewicz. The Mount is the ninth-ranked team in the state, according to PennLive.com.

Radnor and Mount St. Joseph get under way at 7 p.m.

In District One Class A action Friday:

No. 5 Delco Christian at No. 4 Christopher Dock

The Bicentennial League rivals will meet for the third time since Feb. 2. In the first meeting, the Knights (14-10) claimed a 45-37 victory thanks in large part to Siani McNeil’s tremendous performance. The junior guard scored 27 points, the only Dc player to reach double figures.

The second time around was a different story for the Knights. Despite 15 points from McNeil, the Knights dropped a 46-36 decision. DC has lost four of its previous six games, including a 53-41 setback to top-seeded Phil-Mont Christian in the Bicentennial League quarterfinals. Dock lost to No. 2 Faith Christian in the same round.

Delco Christian and Christopher Dock tip off at 4:30.

No. 7 Sacred Heart at No. 2 Faith Christian

The Lions (7-14), the smallest program in the Catholic Academies, lost to Faith Christian Jan. 16, 49-35. In recent games, Maddie Schneider has carried the Lions on the offensive end. The 5-11 junior center enjoyed a career day with 25 points and 12 rebounds in the team’s most recent victory, a 55-27 rout of Stuart Country Day.

Faith Christian recently captured its first Bicentennial League title. Monica Ervin poured in 23 points in a 52-46 victory over Jenkintown. Sacred Heart and Faith Christian get started at 7 p.m.

In a District One Class AAA game Saturday:

No. 5 Sun Valley at No. 4 Lower Moreland

The Vanguards (16-6) haven’t played since Feb. 3, when they suffered a 45-43 loss to Kennett. Sun Valley ended an otherwise successful regular season with losses in four of its final seven games and did not qualify for the Ches-Mont League tournament.

Sophomore forward Kate Lannon has been one of the most consistent scoring threats in the county, averaging a cool 17.7 points.

Lower Moreland fell to Jenkintown in the quarterfinals of the Bicentennial League tournament. Last year, the Lions were the No. 1 seed in the district tourney, but were bounced by Radnor in the quarterfinals. Junior guard Lauren Killion is the Lions’ most explosive offensive player.

Sun Valley and Lower Moreland tip off at 1 o’clock.

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