2021 Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media Area Boys Basketball Preview

A handful of Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media area boys basketball teams lost their chance at glory last spring when the COVID-19 pandemic shut sports down during the PIAA playoffs. Archbishop Wood, Cheltenham, Dock Mennonite Academy, Methacton and Pope John Paul II were all still competing for state championships when the season was stopped in mid-March.

It will be tough to get back to that point with new-look rosters in 2021, but these schools – and all others in the area – are going to try.

Archbishop Wood returns a core of four senior starters signed to play Division I basketball – Rahsool Diggins, Jaylen Stinson, Marcus Randolph and Daeshon Shepherd. Expectations are always high in Warminster and the Vikings are a favorite in the always-competitive Philadelphia Catholic League, which plans on starting play at the end of January.

Cheltenham, Dock and Methacton may find it more difficult to make deep postseason runs. The Panthers lost eight seniors – seven of which are playing college basketball, the Pioneers need to replace six key seniors, including point guard Ralph Saint-Fleur and center Darius Ellis and the Warriors graduated the most decorated class in school history, headlined by center Jeff Woodward, forward Erik Timko and guards Brett Eberly and Owen Kropp.

PJP will try to end Methacton’s three-year run atop the Pioneer Athletic Conference. The Golden Panthers bring back some talent from 2020’s District 1-4A championship and PIAA quarterfinal team, including senior Justin Green and juniors Kevin Green and Jaden Workman.

Upper Merion finished 2020 strong to earn a spot in the PAC and District 1-5A playoffs. Experienced guards Lukas Kim and Ty Jones alongside sharpshooter Collin Bowman give the Vikings a chance to make some noise this year. Norristown was approved for participation in winter sports, but will remain in a delayed state until COVID numbers go down.

There’s plenty of returning talent in the Suburban One League.

North Penn’s Josh Jones returns for his senior season after earning Second Team All-SOL Continental honors in 2020. CB West senior Teddy Spratt was an honorable mention. These schools will be competing alongside Pennridge, a perennial contender that lost a lot from its 2020 state qualifier, and Souderton in the SOL Colonial Division.

Wissahickon’s Matt Compas and Upper Dublin’s Drew Stover were first team All-League selections as juniors in the SOL American last season. Both schools move into the SOL Liberty Division this year, joining Plymouth Whitemarsh and senior Luke DiCianno, who was second team all-league in 2020.

In the Inter-Ac, Germantown Academy is led by Villanova commit Jordan Longino. Under second year coach Matt Dolan, the Patriots bring back some experience to compete for a league title.

Archbishop Carroll

Head coach: Francis Bowe Jr. (3rd year)

Last year: 17-10; 8-6 PCL
Notable losses: Tairi Ketner, Amiri Stewart, Ryan Park, Chris Long, John Camden
Key returners: Anquan Hill, Caleb Carter, Matt Evans, Darryl Simpson, Nick Lamey, Robbie Grasso, Justin Cannon, Sal Monastero, Harold Ivey, Dean Coleman-Newsome
Season outlook: Carroll expects to be successful if it can continue to build its chemistry, utilize its size and play physically. Depth will be a challenge with a number of freshmen expected to play big minutes.

Central Bucks West

Head coach: Adam Sherman (20th season)

Last year: 15-9; 8-4 SOL Continental; District 1-6A qualifier

Notable losses: Mika Munari, Owen Haney, Jack Neri, Danny Miller

Key returners: Teddy Spratt


Head coach: Patrick Fleury (3rd year)

Last year: 25-4; 14-0 SOL American; SOL American champs; District 1-6A finalist; State qualifier

Notable losses: Zahree Harrison, Jaelen Mcglone, Brandon Scott, Sean Emfinger, Travis Coleman, David Pope, Lou Liedtka

Key returners: Michael Mcclain, Brandon Hawkins, Saleem Payne, Rasheem Dearry, Justin Savage

Dock Mennonite

Head coach: Mike Fergus (39th year)

Last year: 24-5; 15-1 BAL; District 1-2A champs; PIAA-2A quarterfinals

Notable losses: Ralph Saint-Fleur, Darius Ellis, Dallas Wilder, Devon Jainlett, Jake Destine, Cecil Barnes

Key returners: Steve Martin, Roman Kuhn, Mohamed Camara, Nathan Lapp

Season outlook: “Despite some key losses, Dock expects to be competitive in the BAL and hopefully round into shape by districts.”

Germantown Academy

Head coach: Matt Dolan (2nd year)

Last year: 15-12; 5-5 Inter-Ac

Notable losses: Juan Adames, Zach Anderson, Tayshaun Mack, Tom McDonnell, Luke Traina

Key returners: Jordan Longino, Casey Traina, Jake Hsu

Season outlook: “We are excited about the upcoming season. The returning group has a ton of experience and excited to carry the momentum from last season. The Inter-Ac is always challenging and we look forward to competing in January.”


Head coach: Rick Fedele (1st year)

Last year: 1-21; 0-14 SOL American

Notable losses: Jack Marvin

Key returners: Zehier Cheeze, Logan Fischer, Noah Schlosser

Season outlook: “In the short amount of time working with the players we have players with a good attitude.  We have a nice blend of seniors, juniors and sophomores to re-build our program.  The goal is to finish better then when we started.”


Head coach: Wes Emme (11th season)

Last year: 8-16; 6-8 BAL; District 1-A semifinals

Notable losses: CJ Jackmon, Jake Haury

Key returners: Sean Mizzoni, Jadan Welch, Jake Hilton, Iman Jackson

Season outlook: “A solid core of returning players committed to improvement after a challenging season and amidst unparalleled circumstances in 2020. We have a bounce and a fun group of returning ball players that will be strong in the backcourt led by starters, Sean Mizzoni and Jadan Welch. Look for Seniors Roan McCall, Emmet Tweh and brothers Cole and Will Krinvic to be valued stars in their roles.”

La Salle

Head coach: Mike McKee (3rd year)

Last year: 10-2; 3-11 PCL

Notable losses: Jake Timby

Key returners: Sam Brown, Horace Simmons Jr., Nix Varano

Lower Moreland

Head coach: Seth Baron (10th year)

Last year: 10-14; 7-8 BAL

Notable losses: John Przybylinski

Key returners: Jack Doneker, Justin Sandler, Joey Morozin, Andrew Ung, Roy Shimon, Eyal Khakin, Jared Shein

Season outlook: “Our first year back in the SOL after many years and looking forward to the competition.”


Head coach: Patrick Lockard (1st year)

Last year: 28-2; 16-0 PAC; PAC champs; District 1-6A champs; State quarterfinalist

Notable losses: Jeff Woodward, Erik Timko, Brett Eberly, Owen Kropp

Key returners: Cole Hargrove, Brett Byrne, Ryan Baldwin

Season outlook: “We are looking to compete within the PAC. With our league only schedule, we want to focus on staying competitive within our league. Each game becomes more meaningful with the restrictions this year. Our division will be a tough, competitive one, but we believe Methacton to be in that tier competing for a conference championship.”

North Penn

Head coach: John Conrad (10th year)

Last year: 12-16; 5-7 SOL Continental; District 1-6A second round

Notable losses: Kolby Barrow, Mike Chaffee, Carter Houlihan, Matt Swanson

Key returners: Josh Jones, Joe Larkins

Season outlook: “Given what’s going on in the world today, we are just happy to have games on the schedule and are optimistic the kids will get the chance to play.”


Head coach: Dean Behrens (23rd year)

Last year: 21-9; 9-3 SOL Continental champs; SOL Tournament champs; District 1-6A quarterfinals; PIAA-6A second round

Notable losses: Paul Croyle, Trent Fisher, Christian Guldin, Anthony Phillips, Connor Pleibel

Key returners: Colin Post, Luke Yoder Jr.

Season outlook: To be successful Pennridge wants to build team chemistry, limit turnovers, limit opponents to one shot per possession, play solid defense and have consistent foul shooting. “There are many players battling for varsity minutes. We are looking for players to step up and prove they belong on the varsity level. Our goal is to win the Colonial Division of the Suburban One.”

Plymouth Whitemarsh

Head coach: Jim Donofrio (23rd year)

Last year: 12-13; 9-5 SOL American; District 1-6A qualifier

Notable losses: Caelin Peters

Key returners: Luke DiCianno, Zuri Jerman, Qudire Bennett, Zende Hubbard, David Harris, Taji Hubbard

Season outlook: “We have benefitted from our rebuilding season of a year ago, when we were an inexperienced, young team taking on a tough schedule and going through a lot of growing pains.  We return 12 players, 4 of whom were starters, and a deep bench that offers us the chance to diversify our playing style.  We are a much more experienced, confident, and hungry team that is setting the goal of putting our program back into championship contention.”


Head coach: Tim Brown (5th year)

Last year: 13-9; 7-5 SOL Continental; District 1-6A qualifier

Notable losses: Dom Natale, Andrew Vince, Jack Towsen, Brian Reiner, Jason Price

Key returners: Evan Kutzler, Ben Murawski

Season outlook: “We will lack experience but make up for it in toughness and will to win.”

Springfield Montco

Head coach: Rob Fusaro (1st year)

Last year: 6-17; 2-12 SOL American

Notable losses: James Joseph, Ethan Hamilton, Gabe Harris

Key returners: Matt Leibfreid, Austin Maggioncalda, Ben Cooney

Season outlook: “The first week of practice was very encouraging. Each player has been building a strong confidence in themselves and their teammates. We are looking forward to the start of the season.” 

Upper Dublin

Head coach: Chris Monahan (4th year)

Last year: 10-12; 4-10 SOL American

Notable losses: Bazel Brady, Jason Williams, Will Mead, Amare Johnson, Aidan Pullian

Key returners: Drew Stover

Season outlook: “We have loads of new faces this year – some coming up from JV, some from transfers. I’m expecting that we play very hard, compete, and get better every day.”

Upper Merion

Head coach: Jason Quenzer (9th year)

Last year: 11-11; PAC playoff qualifier; District 1-5A qualifier

Key returners: Lukas Kim, Ty Jones, Collin Bowman, Madison Tatom, Frank Herman, Kalil Lawson

Season outlook: “As a team, the first time we saw each other was December 7th and the energy and enthusiasm had never been higher.  We have a group of guys who love the game and love to compete.  There will certainly be some cobwebs to brush aside, but we all will be grateful to get back on the court.  No matter what the winter schedule looks like, we will be ready to give all we have.”

Upper Moreland

Head coach: Dan Heiland (1st year)

Last year: 16-8; 7-7 SOL American; District 1-5A qualifier

Notable losses: Beau Woollens, Tyler Ibbotson

Key returners: Jahaire Johnson, Jourdan Gregg, Byron Hopkins, Matt Tiernan, Jake Tiernan

Season outlook: “The goal of this season is to build off last season’s success, compete for a league title, earn a spot in district playoffs and make a run. We return a good group of core guys from last year’s team with a lot of others with varsity experience that can contribute at a high level. We will be leaning on our seniors to lead us this season, with the others following suit and stepping up when called upon. This group has worked extremely hard and I know they are hopeful to put together a memorable season.”


Head coach: Kyle Wilson (22nd year)

Last year: 12-11; 10-4 SOL American; District 1-6A qualifier

Notable losses: Carmen Ostroski, Harrison Williams, Andrew Buck, D’Shan Love, Justin Rappaport

Key returners: Matt Compas, Stefan Lowry, Jackson Intrieri, Josh Twersky, Wil Kunzier, Morgan Wilson, Earl Stout

Season outlook: “We are excited for the season. Last year we had a difficult start (0-5). In the first two games, we lost Carmen Ostroski (back injury) for 4-5games and starter Josh Twersky for 14 games (Broken wrist). We showed a great deal of character with younger players fighting to get us into the playoffs and turning things around. Senior guard Matt Compas is primed for a big season and he has drawn a great deal of college attention. Jackson Intrieri, Stefan Lowry and Josh Twersky bring a great deal of experience and are prepared for the highly competitive league play. This year’s team has the versatility on both ends of the court to compete and be an imposing force against most teams.”

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