This season was a return to normalcy for the Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media area boys basketball teams.
Gone were mask requirements on the floor and social distancing on the bench. Players were able to play in front of their friends, classmates, parents and fans. The spectators were treated to great basketball all season long.
The Suburban One League Liberty Division featured a four-team race that came down to the final game of the regular season. Plymouth Whitemarsh and Upper Dublin shared the league championship with matching 12-4 records while Abington and Wissahickon finished one game behind at 11-5.
Cheltenham went a perfect 16-0 to win the SOL Freedom title before going on to win the SOL Tournament crown. Upper Moreland finished second in the Freedom Division before going on a run to the District 1-5A semifinals.
In the Pioneer Athletic Conference, Methacton won its fourth league title in five years while Norristown reached the District 1-6A championship game — its first district title game appearance since 2009 — and PJP reached the D1-4A final.
Faith Christian Academy and Dock Mennonite Academy represented the Bicentennial Athletic League well. The Lions won the District 1-1A championship while the Pioneers reached the District 1/11-3A Regional championship game.
In the Philadelphia Catholic League, Archbishop Carroll and Archbishop Wood made deep state playoff runs. The Patriots made it to the PIAA-4A semifinals while the Vikings went all the way to the PIAA-6A final.
Local teams accomplished a lot this season, but it wouldn’t have been possible without outstanding individual efforts. Those players are recognized as members of the 2021-2022 The Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media All-Area Teams.
Moses Hipps, So., Archbishop Carroll >> Hipps finished third in the PCL in scoring with 18.9 points per game. He was one of the best shooters in the league, hitting 76 threes at a 40.6% clip. Hipps helped the Patriots earn a PCL playoff berth when he scored a game-high 26 points in a 72-66 win at La Salle in the final week of the regular season. He averaged 22 points per game during the Patriots run to the PIAA-4A state semifinals.
Justin Moore, Sr., Archbishop Wood >> Moore led Wood in most major categories as the Vikings went 11-2 in PCL play. He averaged 15.2 points, 6.1 assists and 4.4 rebounds in his first season after transferring in from Bishop McDevitt.
Rasheem Dearry, Sr., Cheltenham >> Dearry averaged 15.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while leading the Panthers to an undefeated record through most of the season. The SOL Freedom and SOL Tournament champions suffered their first loss in the District 1-6A semifinals against eventual champion Lower Merion after starting the season 27-0. Dearry averaged 16.1 points during the Panthers six-game district and state playoff run.
Sam Brown, Sr., La Salle >> Brown averaged 15.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and three assists for the Explorers, who finished fifth in the PCL, this season. The Rutgers football commit used his physicality to get to the rim at will while shooting 47.1% from the field.
Qudire Bennett, Jr., Plymouth Whitemarsh >> Bennett averaged 18.4 points and 6.4 rebounds for PW this winter. He hit arguably the biggest shot of the season in the SOL Liberty Division. His double-overtime game-winner lifted the Colonials to a win over Upper Dublin, 47-44. The basket ended up earning PW a share of the league title when it finished tied atop the standings with Upper Dublin.
Justin Savage, Cheltenham
Horace Simmons, La Salle
Brett Byrne, Methacton
Cole Hargrove, Methacton
DJ Johnson, Norristown
Derrius Lucas, Abington
Jalil Bethea, Archbishop Wood
Carson Howard, Archbishop Wood
Josiah Hutson, Cheltenham
Nix Varano, La Salle
Abington: Connor Fields
Archbishop Carroll: Dean Coleman-Newsome
Archbishop Wood: Tyson Allen, Bahsil Laster
CB West: John Lee
Cheltenham: Brandon Bush
Dock Mennonite: Nathan Lapp, Tomir Johnson
Faith Christian: Gerald Pinkney
Germantown Academy: Blake Smith
Hatboro-Horsham: Noah Schlosser
Jenkintown: Jake Hilton
Lower Moreland: Brian Grant
Norristown: Zaki Gomez
North Penn: Joey Larkins
Pennridge: Matt Campione
Pope John Paul II: JP Baron, Kevin Green, Jaden Workman
Plymouth Whitemarsh: Jaden Colzie
Souderton: Jay Bonnet, Aleks Smith
Springfield: Ben Cooney, Dylan McKenzie
Upper Dublin: DJ Cerisier, Seaton Kukla, Colin O’Sullivan
Upper Merion: Ty Jones
Upper Moreland: Byron Hopkins, Matt Tiernan
Wissahickon: Earl Stout, Josh Twersky