Delco Times boys basketball Super 7, Dec. 16

We’re two weeks into the boys basketball season, and the balance that we expected in the league has left just two teams without a loss and only one without a win (Interboro). Friday marks the fourth round of the Central League schedule, and while the other leagues haven’t yet begun sorting themselves out, there have been plenty of nonleague barometers to give us an idea where things stand.

Here’s the Super 7 that accompanied the notebook in Thursday’s paper, and you can also find stat leaders posted. (Records through Dec. 15)

1. Archbishop Carroll (4-0) Last week: No. 1

The Patriots don’t have the prospects of national interest as in the recent past, so instead of fielding invites for tournaments all over the country, Paul Romanczuk has sculpted a daunting local schedule, a benefit for those of us drawing league-to-league comparisons. Carroll remains undefeated, having topped District 11 power Parkland and a pair of District One teams in Abington and Cheltenham. The outside threat of Colin Daly has been the big key this season, and not just for the 13 3-pointers he’s rattled home. His shooting threat creates so much space for the fledgling post contingent, the mid-range game of Ryan Daly and Josh Sharkey’s dribble-drive prowess.

2. Ridley (5-0) Last week: No. 3

The first major test is out of the way with Tuesday’s win over Conestoga in decisive fashion. Ridley’s big question entering the season was secondary scoring, and a 10.8 ppg average from Ryan Bollinger goes a long way toward mitigating that. A little more shooting from Liam Thompson would help, but Jimmy Bramwell’s solid minutes and workmanlike effort in the post have solidified that potential area of thinness. You do wonder, however, at what point coach Mike Snyder expands beyond the seven-man rotation to which he’s unfailingly adhered.

3. Episcopal Academy (6-1) Last week: No. 4

When Kyle Sacchetta is winning games like he did Tuesday against Phelps School, it says a lot about the team mentality Craig Conlin has fostered. Not many teams have their fourth scoring option step up so prodigiously with the game on the line. They’re getting exactly what they need from the backcourt trio of Sacchetta, Conner Delaney and Matt Woods, averaging a combined 30 points per game to balance out the nights when Nick Alikakos is merely average in the post. And that’s with Woods not yet scoring more than 14 points in a game, a feat he accomplished eight times last year. He’ll eventually have that 5 3-pointer, 24-point game to really embellish those numbers.

4. Chester (1-2) Last week: No. 2

What to make of the Clippers? The first is not to overreact: They have two losses by six total points against a very good Sanford team from Delaware and J.P. McCaskey, which gave PIAA champ Roman Catholic all it could handle in the AAAA semis last year. Neither is a bad loss by most non-orange-and-black metrics. The pieces just don’t seem to be gelling. Marquis Collins is scoring and their one win came via a great night by Khaleeq Campbell, but the balance isn’t there yet. One issue off the bat: The post duo of Jordan Camper and Maurice Henry, which combined for 10.5 ppg last year, is checking in at a mere 6.3 this year (just 1.3 for Henry). That has to correct itself.

5. Penn Wood (3-1) Last week: No. 5

Whatever the Patriots are doing is working. The gap from them to the seventh team in these rankings, Bonner-Prendie, was stark Tuesday in a 75-51 win on the road. Penn Wood has changed dynamics so markedly from last year’s star-dominated team to immaculate balance that features five players each averaging at least 7.8 ppg. Calvin Melton is tops at 13.5, and while he may not be a threat to ascend to the elite scorer ilk of Malik Jackson, he’s getting it done. We’ll know more Thursday when they entertain Carroll.

6. Academy Park (2-3) Last week: No. 6

Judgement on the Knights’ record has to be momentarily reserved. They lost to western power Allderdice, one of the Ches-Mont favorites Downingtown West by one and Strath Haven on opening night sans four regulars stuck on the football field. They’re among the most reliant in the county on the 3-pointer, averaging eight makes per game. But they also have the athleticism and depth to run eight to 10 guys deep, an aid to shifting to the full-court press for fresh legs and blank foul totals.

7. Bonner-Prendergast (4-1) Last week: NR

The Friars, much like Penn Wood, lack that marquee scorer, with Keith Washington the only double-figures average. Their schedule hasn’t been particularly daunting either, though Hatboro-Horsham and Springfield were both District One Class AAAA qualifiers last year. It’ll be interesting to see how this group progresses. They throw so much at you in the post with John Hargraves and Dylan Higgins plus freshman wing Chris Haynes. They have a lot of guys who can hit 3-pointers, aided by the emergence of Mike Perretta off the bench. There are some good pieces here.

Dropped out: Penncrest.

Honorable mention: Penncrest (3-3, the Lions anticipate Justin Ross’ absence due to a wrist injury being brief. That’s a good thing given the scoring imbalance without him against Strath Haven); Garnet Valley (2-2, with Conestoga and Lower Merion out of the way early, you’d expect some wins to be in the offing for the high-scoring Jags); Strath Haven (4-1, the potential for low-post dominance offered by John Harrar, Josh Singleton and Kyree Fuller is going to get the Panthers wins on a lot of nights in the Central League, especially since it worked so well against one of the taller teams in Penncrest); Radnor (4-2, the Raiders are collecting wins consistently, perhaps often enough to sneak into the top half of the Central League); Haverford School (5-3, you have to be impressed by the job Bernie Rogers has done early on, filling the void left from last year. Jack Marshall’s emergence as a consistent post scorer is vital in that quest); Delco Christian (2-1, the Knights are missing over half of their starting lineup, though that’s not stopping Wyatt Harkins from putting up big numbers and fostering hope of what the full assemblage could look like).

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply