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Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Boys Basketball Team of the Decade Tournament

Collin Gillespie (left), Matt Cerruti (center), and Keith Otto (right) of Archbishop Wood celebrate after defeating Meadville in the PIAA Class 5A boys' basketball championship game at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA on Friday, March 24, 2017. Mark Palczewski | Special to PA Prep Live.

Basketball fans were robbed of Selection Sunday this spring when the NCAA Tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

To fill that void in your life, the Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media sports staff is putting together a bracket consisting of the best 16 boys basketball teams in the area from the 2010 decade.

The bracket will be revealed in the Sunday, April 5 editions of the Reporter and the Times Herald and online the same day at PaPrepLive.com.

We are asking high school basketball coaches and fans in the area to send in suggestions. Nominate teams and argue their case by emailing rolsports@21st-centurymedia.com.

There are a number of things the committee of writers will consider when deciding who belongs in the field-of-16.

First, the only eligible teams are those from the 2009-10 season through the 2018-19 season. This means the Archbishop Carroll team that won the state championship in 2009 and the Methacton team that steamrolled through District 1 in 2020 will not be included.

Next, we will be looking at accomplishments. How many games did the team win? Did it bring home a league championship? How far did it go in districts? States? Hardware will go a long way in earning a spot in the field.

Last, we will be judging the talent on the floor. How many players went on the play at the college level? Any professionals? How talented were the teams they went up against? Strength of schedule matters.

Some schools are sure to have multiple entries in the field. Abington and Plymouth Whitemarsh, for example, combined for five District 1 championships during the 2010s and made noise in the state playoffs.

Abington won district titles in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019. The Galloping Ghosts also reached the district quarterfinals and state semifinals in 2014.

“It’s been great,” Abington head coach Charles Grasty said of his team’s success. “We’ve been fortunate enough to have some really good players. Before all of this craziness happened, a bunch of the guys were home for spring break and they got to work out. Guys for the last 10 years came back to play. It was a really nice run. You had guys from the ’14 team all the way up to guys from last year’s team. It was really neat to see those guys come back.”

PW started the decade with what will surely be one of the favorites in this tournament. The 2010 Colonials were loaded with talent from top-to-bottom and took home the state championship. Later in the decade, PW reached the District 1 Final Four every year from 2015 to 2018, bringing home gold medals in 2016.

“In that 10-year run we had six teams that represented well,” Colonials head coach Jim Donofrio said, “At least three of those teams are high-level – really four – ‘16, ’17, ’18, ’10 and ’11. It’s hard to argue.”

From the Philadelphia Catholic League, Archbishop Carroll, Archbishop Wood and La Salle College High School also have multiple teams that put together 20-plus win seasons and made deep postseason runs.

Plenty of other schools in the area have had dominant seasons. Send in your nominations and let the debates begin when the bracket is revealed Sunday April 5.

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