Top-seeded Chester leads way into districts

The District 1 Class 5A boys basketball tournament will feature six Delaware County schools. Somehow, the round of 16 games to be played Wednesday, Feb. 22 won’t include any of those teams encountering each other.

Via the final district power rankings released Sunday, Delco’s representation in 5A is perfectly staggered for teams to avoid each other, while Friday’s opening round of the 6A bracket includes both Delco qualifiers earning home games.
Chester (17-5) is the top seed in 5A and will host Upper Moreland in the first round on Feb. 22. Penncrest (16-6) is third, setting up an all-Central League affair with No. 14 Harriton.

The other four teams hit the road. Ninth-seeded Strath Haven (13-9) visits No. 8 Upper Merion. No. 10 Springfield (13-9) gets No. 7 Holy Ghost Prep. Glen Mills (12-10) ventures to West Chester Rustin as the 12 seed, while No. 13 Academy Park (12-10) meets Bishop Shanahan.

Game times will be made official when the brackets are Monday.

Marple Newtown (10-12) finished 17th, just outside the 16-team field.

The top eight of the 6A tournament earn byes to next Tuesday’s second round, with seeds 9-24 contesting the first round Friday. Del Val Champion Penn Wood (15-6) is the 11th seed; the Patriots, who’ve been eliminated in the first round in overtime each of the last two years, will welcome sub-.500 Neshaminy (9-13) to the Shoebox. The winner gets No. 6 Pennsbury.

Garnet Valley (14-8) draws the 16th seed and will host No. 17 Methacton. Top seed Perkiomen Valley awaits the winner.

Seven teams qualify for the (ludicrously) expanded PIAA playoffs in 5A, while 10 go from 6A despite the change in classification greatly diluting the number of schools.

Delco Christian (12-10) earned the third seed in Class 2A, which begins its tournament Feb. 24 (after the Bicentennial League’s postseason). The Knights will visit second-seeded Dock Mennonite in a bid for one of the district’s two state berths.

In Class A, Christian Academy (8-13) earns the fifth seed. It travels to No. 4 Plumstead Christian for the opener Feb. 24. Three teams progress to states.

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