It’s the year of the bigs in HS bas­ket­ball

PW’s 7-3 McLeod, Abing­ton’s 6-7 Dixon poised for mon­ster se­nior cam­paigns

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ed Mor­lock emor­[email protected]­tu­ry­media.com @emor09 on Twit­ter

Two schools have com­bined to win the last four boys bas­ket­ball Dis­trict 1 cham­pi­onships in the largest clas­si­fi­ca­tion — Abing­ton and Ply­mouth Whitemarsh.

The Gal­lop­ing Ghosts won in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and the Colo­nials in 2016. Abing­ton beat PW in the cham­pi­onship game in 2015 and 2018 and the semi­fi­nals in 2017.

This year those two peren­nial pow­ers will face at least two times as the Ghosts move into the Sub­ur­ban One League Amer­i­can Con­fer­ence.

In ad­di­tion to the re­cent team suc­cess, Abing­ton and Ply­mouth Whitemarsh fea­ture ar­guably the two best play­ers in the area — se­niors Eric Dixon and Na­heem McLeod.

Dixon, a 6-foot-7 for­ward, will be at­tend­ing Vil­lanova af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Abing­ton.

McLeod, a 7-foot-3 cen­ter, will move on to Flor­ida State.

How these two bigs per­form when they face each other could play a key role in who wins the SOL Amer­i­can ti­tle, Sub­ur­ban One League post­sea­son tour­na­ment and Dis­trict 1 cham­pi­onship.

In the SOL Con­ti­nen­tal Con­fer­ence, de­fend­ing champs Cen­tral Bucks West lost three

key play­ers in Jake Re­ich­wein, Collin MacA­dams and Shane McCusker. Pen­nridge, who fin­ished just one game be­hind in the stand­ings, re­turns se­niors Sean Yoder and Jon Post.

In the Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence, de­fend­ing league cham­pi­ons Methac­ton re­turn all but one starter. Led by the league’s big­gest player in 6-foot-9 for­ward Jeff Wood­ward and knock­down shooter David Duda, the War­riors are primed for an­other post­sea­son push. Norristown, led by Mi­keel Allen and Ver­non Tubbs, should chal­lenge Methac­ton for the league crown.

Ro­man Catholic re­turns as cham­pi­ons of the al­ways-com­pet­i­tive Philadel­phia Catholic League. Arch­bishop Car­roll and La Salle each have new coaches this sea­son to try to over­take the Cahillites, who also won a state ti­tle last year.

Dock Men­non­ite, Faith Chris­tian Academy and Lower More­land all look to have an­other suc­cess­ful year in the Bi­cen­ten­nial Ath­letic League. FCA is com­ing off a Dis­trict 1 ti­tle, Dock re­turns two four-year starters in Jackson Scialanca and Nolan Bolton and Lower More­land has high ex­pec­ta­tions for an­other 20-win sea­son.

In the In­ter-Ac, Ger­man­town Academy will look to bounce back af­ter a down year. Sopho­more Jor­dan Longino is primed for a big sea­son af­ter av­er­ag­ing 21 points as a fresh­man.

Abing­ton

Head coach: sea­son)

Last year’s record: 26-4, 14-0 SOL Na­tional, SOL Na­tional Cham­pi­ons, Dis­trict One Cham­pi­ons

Key re­turn­ers: Eric Dixon, Lu­cas Mon­roe, Dar­i­ous Brown, Howard Bur­rell

No­table

Bran­don

Out­look: “This year’s team is look­ing to build from last year’s sea­son. The guys un­der­stand how hard they have to work to achieve the goals that they set for them­selves.”

Charles Grasty (9th losses: Rob­bie Coff­man, Xavier

Arch­bishop Car­roll

Heath, Craw­ford

Head coach:

(1st sea­son)

Last year’s record:

PCL

Key re­turn­ers: Luke House, Kiyl Mack, Shawn John­son, Cole Burkitt, Padraig Casey

No­table losses: Keyon But­ler, Devon Fer­rero, Justin An­der­son, AJ Hog­gard

Out­look: “The big­gest key to suc­cess is to build off of the suc­cess of last year’s team. Se­nior lead­er­ship will drive this team. The out­look is very bright for the pro­gram. Hard work, tenac­ity on de­fense, mov­ing the ball on of­fense and re­bound­ing will drive this team to an­other suc­cess­ful sea­son!”

Fran­cis

Bowe 20-8, 10-3

Cen­tral Bucks East

Jr.

Head coach: sea­son)

Last year’s record: 13-12, 5-7 SOL Con­ti­nen­tal, dis­trict play­off berth

Key re­turn­ers: Ben Markowitz, Leo Master­son, Nick Rog­gio No­table losses: Kyle Cas­sidy, Collin Stein, Jesse Rivera Out­look: “This sea­son will hinge on how quickly our in­ex­pe­ri­enced new com­ers can ac­cli­mate to the speed of the var­sity game.”

Erik Hen­ry­sen (9th

Cen­tral Bucks South

Head coach:

(15th sea­son)

Last year’s record:

SOL Con­ti­nen­tal

Key re­turn­ers: Tommy Kuypers, Ian McCaw, Cole Prezel­ski, Brady Prezel­ski, Mark Kan­nengieszer, Alex Di­etz

No­table losses:

Jack Johns

Out­look: “The Ti­tans are look­ing for­ward to the up­com­ing sea­son and want to build from last year’s play­off ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Ja­son

Chel­tenham

Camp­bell 14-9, 8-4 Nate Robin­son,

Head coach: sea­son)

Last year’s record: 14-9, 10-4 SOL Amer­i­can, dis­trict play­off berth

Key re­turn­ers: Kyin Healey, Tim Myarick, Zahree Har­ri­son, Bran­don Scott

No­table losses:

Ahmab Bick­ley

Patrick Fleury Jack

Dock Men­non­ite

(1st Clark,

Head Coach: sea­son)

Last year’s record: 24-6, BAL Pres­i­dents champs, BAL tour­na­ment champs, Dis­trict 1 fi­nal­ist Key re­turn­ers: Jackson Scialanca, Nolan Bolton, Dar­ius El­lis, Ralph Saint-Fleur, Steve Mar­tin, Troy Vasey

No­table losses: Miz Nyag­wegwe, Caleb Pfleiger, Dan Love­less

Mike Fer­gus (42nd Out­look: “Dock looks to build on their suc­cess while re­turn­ing a good mix of vet­er­ans and new­com­ers. Four-year starters Scialanca and Bolton pro­vide bat­tletested lead­er­ship, El­lis pro­vides a ma­jor paint pres­ence, Saint- Fleur was last year’s 6th man, and a good group of new­com­ers and JV grad­u­ates pro­vide depth.”

Jenk­in­town

Head coach:

Sea­son)

Last year’s record: league, Dis­trict berth

Key re­turn­ers: Trevor Brock­well, Adam Gi­ammanco, Cade Laf­ferty No­table losses: Patrick Mor­rin, Ted Fo­ley, Ja­cob Schwartz Out­look: “Our team has a healthy blend of size and ex­pe­ri­ence re­turn­ing. Af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing fin­ish to our sea­son in 2018, and with a large ma­jor­ity of min­utes re­turn­ing, we look for­ward to the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete in our very com­pet­i­tive league and dis­trict play­offs. We have sev­eral com­pet­i­tive non-league matchups in­clud­ing the rekin­dling of lo­cal ri­vals like New Hope, Spring­field Town­ship, and Up­per More­land along with a trip to the Jer­sey Shore to bat­tle Main­land Re­gional and Wild­wood High School.”

La Salle

Wes Emme 9-15,

(8th 7-9

Head coach: sea­son)

Last year’s

PCL

Key re­turn­ers: Zach Crisler, Kon­rad Kiszka, Allen Pow­ell, Ti­tus Beard, Jack Rothen­berg, Khalil Diar­rah

No­table losses:

Sean Si­mon

Out­look: “With a good group of re­turn­ing se­niors, La Salle looks to im­prove from last sea­son.”

Mike

McKee record: 15-8; Matt McMa­hon,

Lower More­land

(1st 8-5

Head coach: sea­son)

Last year: 20+ wins, BAL champs, Dis­trict 1⁄11 fi­nal­ist, state berth los­ing to Over­brook in the first round

Key re­turn­ers: Joey Cer­ruti, Shane Co­hen, An­drew Fin­negan, Jake Him­mel­stein, Bryce Horn, For­rest Keys, Jor­dan Zoubroulis Out­look: “Ex­pec­ta­tions are high. If we play team bas­ket­ball and cause the chaos we want to on de­fense we can have a very strong sea­son.”

Seth

Methac­ton

Baron

(8th Head coach: sea­son)

Last year’s cham­pi­ons

Key re­turn­ers: David Duda, Jeff Wood­ward, Mar­cus Gi­rardo, Brett Eberly, Owen Kropp, Ben Chris­tian, Conor Smith, Ai­den Ha­zlett No­table losses: Noah Kitaw, Miguel Prince

Out­look: “The 2018-2019 Methac­ton War­riors re­turn a strong and ex­pe­ri­enced group of play­ers. Hav­ing lost only one starter in Noah Kitaw, the core of this team has been play­ing to­gether for two full years. David Duda, Jeff Wood­ward, Brett Eberly, Mar­cus Gi­rardo, Owen Kropp, Ben Chris­tian, Conor Smith, and Ai­den Ha­zlett gained valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence last sea­son and look to pro­vide strong lead­er­ship for the team this year. In ad­di­tion to the re­turn­ing core, there is a tal­ented group of new­com­ers led by Ju­nior Erik Timko, that will look to step on the floor and make an im­me­di­ate im­pact. We ex­pect the com­pe­ti­tion in the PAC to be ex­tremely tough and we look for­ward to chal­lenge of com­pet­ing against strong op­po­nents all sea­son long!”

Jeff

Der­s­tine record:

Norristown

(9th 18-8, PAC

Head coach: Dana “Binky” John­son (2nd sea­son)

Last year’s record: 18-10, 7-3 PAC Lib­erty, PAC play­off berth, Dis­trict 1 play­off berth, State play­off berth

Key re­turn­ers: Mar­cus San­ford, Ver­non Tubbs, Mi­keel Allen No­table losses: Dar­ius Hopewell

North Penn

Head coach: sea­son)

Last year’s record:

SOL Con­ti­nen­tal

Key re­turn­ers: AJ

McIver

No­table losses: AJ Catan­zaro, Chris Cole­man, Joey Lind­say Out­look: “We hope to be in a po­si­tion to com­pete for the con­fer­ence ti­tle and earn a spot in the dis­trict play­offs. We have a lot of new faces in the pro­gram so it’ll be a chal­lenge get­ting ev­ery­one on the same page and ready to com­pete.”

John

Con­rad 13-12, 6-6 Mitchell,

(8th Tali

Perkiomen Val­ley

Head coach:

(7th sea­son)

Last year’s record: 13-12. Ad­vanced to Dis­trict play­offs, elim­i­nated by Ne­shaminy in third round.

Key re­turn­ers: Tyler Strechay, Zack Krause, Aj Hansen, Con­ner McShea, Ian Streeper, Bryce Streeper

No­table losses: An­drew Light, Car­son Parke, Dante Graves, Kevin Bern­abe

Out­look: “Although the team lost 4 starters from last sea­son, this year’s group re­turns much of the scor­ing. The se­nior class pro­vides depth and based on their off­sea­son per­for­mance and work­outs, has high ex­pec­ta­tions that through hard work they can earn suc­cess. We re­turn both size and ex­pe­ri­ence. They en­joy push­ing each other to im­prove and are ris­ing to the task of pro­gram lead­er­ship. Sev­eral un­der­class­men in Dougherty, Parks, Quinn, and Gansz will be asked to step up and con­trib­ute. The PAC should be highly com­pet­i­tive this year with many teams hav­ing post­sea­son as­pi­ra­tions.”

Phil-Mont Academy

Michael

Poys­den

Chris­tian

Head coach: sea­son)

Last year’s record: 13-13 over­all, 8-8 Bi­cen­ten­nial League, Con­sti­tu­tion Con­fer­ence. Dis­trict 1 semi­fi­nal­ist.

Key re­turn­ers: Lyle Tip­ton, Daniel Olinger, Joshua Black­burn, Rahiim McIn­tyre, Michael DiBenedetto, Ben Chi, Trevor Tip­ton, Nathan Black­burn

No­table losses:

Evan Li

Out­look: “Phil-Mont is very ex­cited about the up­com­ing sea­son. They open the sea­son at the Ore­land Li­ons Tip-off Tour­na­ment against Bishop McDe­vitt. The Fal­cons first round op­po­nent in the Wild­wood Board­walk Bas­ket­ball Clas­sic is Cum­ber­land Re­gional High School from New Jer­sey. In ad­di­tion, the Con­sti­tu­tion and Pres­i­dents Di­vi­sion of the BAL will present some very stiff com­pe­ti­tion. There are many teams that are re­turn­ing very tal­ented play­ers. Each night will be a huge chal­lenge. The team looks to make an ap­pear­ance in the BAL League Cham­pi­onship Tour­na­ment and hope­fully a run in the Dis­trict and State play­offs.” Glenn Dolton (10th Joel Sch­nei­der,

Ply­mouth Whitemarsh

Head coach: Jim Donofrio

Last year’s record: 28-2, 14-0 SOL Amer­i­can, SOL Amer­i­can champs, SOL post­sea­son tour­na­ment champs, Dis­trict 1 fi­nal­ist, state berth

Key re­turn­ers:

Ja­son Cherry

No­table losses: Ah­min Wil­liams, Ah­mad Wil­liams, Ish Horn, Alan Glover, Danny Cooper Na­heem McLeod,

Pope John Paul II

Head Coach:

(1st sea­son)

Last year’s record:

PAC

Key re­turn­ers: Tyshyre DeVeauxMalachi, Chris White, Sean Bustynow­icz, Drew McKeon No­table losses: Ai­dan McCarthy, Dan Cirino, Vince Viney and Julien An­drews among a to­tal of 12 se­niors grad­u­ated.

Out­look: “We have an ex­cit­ing mix of se­nior lead­ers and tal­ented un­der­class­men. For what this team lacks in Var­sity ex­pe­ri­ence, they make up for with their com­pet­i­tive spirit and pos­i­tive en­ergy. When they put it all to­gether this group is ca­pa­ble of great team bas­ket­ball.”

Bren­dan

Quak­er­town

Stan­ton 6-15, 4-6 in Head coach:

(1st sea­son)

Last year’s record:

SOL Amer­i­can

Key re­turn­ers: Eli Or­tiz, Matt Lu­cas, Sam Rice,Sean Har­ri­son, Nick Mes­tayer

No­table losses: Jon Rey, Juszyn­ski, Grey Mitchell Out­look: “I am ex­tremely ex­cited for my first year as Head Coach at Quak­er­town af­ter three sea­sons of be­ing the Head Coach at Penn State Le­high Val­ley. I feel like we are in an ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive league with great coach­ing, play­ers, and ri­val­ries. I feel like we have the ta­lent and the depth to com­pete for a Dis­trict 1 play­off po­si­tion. I am look­ing for­ward to see how our se­niors han­dle their big­ger roles and how the sopho­mores and fresh­man to per­form un­der the bright lights.”

Michael

DeCaro­lis 6-16, 4-10

Spring­field-Montco

Head coach: sea­son)

Last year’s record: SOL Amer­i­can

Key re­turn­ers: Jor­dan Wil­son Krew­son, Ben

Barry DeVine (2nd 4-18, Kevin 1-10

Pauls, Rit­ten­house,

Spring-Ford

Head coach: sea­son)

Last year’s record: 15-11

Key re­turn­ers: Noah Baker, Robert Bobeck, Ryan Ha­gan, Ro­nan Bell, Ryan En­gro, Dante Bo­nanni, Patrick Ko­valeski

No­table losses: Nestor Diaz, Austin Hokan­son, Har­ri­son Pierce Out­look: “Spring-Ford re­turns an all-league and all area per­former in Se­nior Noah Baker. Robert Bobeck, Ryan Ha­gan, Patrick Ko­valeski and Tre Medearis all have some Var­sity ex­pe­ri­ence which they look to build upon. The fo­cus is to be fun­da­men­tally sound and play­ing our best bas­ket­ball down the stretch. We look for­ward to com­pet­ing in a tough league against teams who have high ex­pec­ta­tions.”

Chris

Up­per Dublin

Tal­ley

(6th

Head coach: Chris Mon­a­han (2nd sea­son)

Last year’s record:

SOL Amer­i­can

Key re­turn­ers: Bazel Brady, Brian Klam­mer, Mike Slivka, Corby Watkins, Ja­son Wil­liams

No­table losses: Ny­jee Cory Stover, Mike Ryan

Out­look: “We lose a lot of pro­duc­tion from last year’s team, but we have re­turn­ing guys who played mean­ing­ful min­utes last sea­son that are ea­ger and able to re­place that. It’s a group that likes to com­pete and work. Our suc­cess de­pends on our en­ergy and ex­e­cu­tion on both ends of the floor.”

Up­per Me­rion

6-16, 4-14 Scott, Head coach: sea­son)

Last year’s record: 4-17(2-8PAC) Key re­turn­ers: Chris Clark, Lukas Kim, Matt Choi, Nick Shep­perd, Dom Breece

No­table losses:

Pugh

Out­look: “Win­ning ball games in the PAC al­ways prove tough be­cause the play­ers re­ally de­velop to play an­other year and the dif­fer­ent sys­tems for each coach are crafted to high­light their strengths and ex­pose your weak­nesses. The op­ti­mism is high at Up­per Me­rion, de­spite com­ing off of a four-win sea­son. Los­ing al­ways pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to learn and it fu­els the fire. These guys get a year older and can un­der­stand the men­tal as­pect of the game more and more. We just want to keep it sim­ple and fo­cus on the mi­nor de­tails of the game that make a big dif­fer­ence. We are all ex­cited to face the new chal­lenges this year.”

Ja­son Quen­zer (6th Jon

Up­per More­land

Eyer, KJ Head year)

Last year’s record: 9-13

Key re­turn­ers: Chris­tian O’Don­nell, Beau Wool­lens, Tyler Ib­bot­son, Jahire John­son Out­look: “The Up­per More­land Bas­ket­ball team will have a young group this year. The team will be led by se­nior cap­tain Chris­tian O’Don­nell. The team will look to get bet­ter and build some chem­istry in the pre-sea­son in hopes it trans­lates to a suc­cess­ful sea­son on the court. The team looks for­ward to com­pet­ing on both ends of the floor game in and game out.”

coach:

Sean

Wis­sahickon

Fee­ley

(2nd Head coach: sea­son)

Last year’s record: 19-8, 11-3 SOL Amer­i­can, Dis­trict 1 semi­fi­nal­ist, state qual­i­fier

Key re­turn­ers: Ed­die Fortes­cue, Cole Hirsch, Car­men Ostroski, Tyler Caso

No­table losses: Zach Reiner, Max Rapoport, An­thony Lawrence Out­look: “Wis­sahickon Boys’ Bas­ket­ball team is re­build­ing af­ter a run in 2018 that took them to the semi­fi­nals at Tem­ple and into the state play­offs. The Tro­jans are for­tu­nate in this re­build­ing process in the fact that they re­turn three tal­ented play­ers, and a host of young skilled play­ers. Ed­die Fortes­cue (6’), and Cole Hirsch (6’2”) are two se­nior start­ing guards that were im­pact­ful play­ers last year, and Car­men Ostroski (6’4”) is a ver­sa­tile wing that has tran­si­tioned from sixth man to a more im­pact­ful start­ing role this off-sea­son. Ostroski has the abil­ity to play from the point to the cen­ter po­si­tion, and he has a silky touch from be­hind the 3-point line. Fortes­cue is a player with an end­less mo­tor, and he is im­pres­sive at both ends of the court. Fill­ing out the ros­ter are two tal­ented se­nior for­wards in Tyler Caso (6’3”) and Mau­rice Wil­lis (6’5”), and mul­ti­ple un­der­class­men guards like Har­ri­son Wil­liams, Matt Com­pas, An­drew Buck, D’Shan Love, Justin Rap­pa­port, Alex Rich­man, and Jackson In­tri­eri. The team hopes to be com­pet­i­tive in a tough con­fer­ence that matches them up against the tough teams of PW and new con­fer­ence foe Abing­ton.”

Kyle Wil­son (20th

BOB RAINES — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE

Abing­ton’s Eric Dixon, shoot­ing, and Ply­mouth Whitemarsh’s Na­heem McLeod, right, are sched­ule to face twice this sea­son af­ter the Ghosts moved to the Sub­ur­ban One League Amer­i­can Con­fer­ence.

BOB RAINES — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE

Sean Yoder and Pen­nridge will try to im­prove upon their se­cond place fin­ish in the Sub­ur­ban One League Con­ti­nen­tal Con­fer­ence last year.

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA FILE

Ed­die Fortes­cue and Wis­sahickon hope for an­other big sea­son af­ter reach­ing the Dis­trict 1 semi­fi­nals last year.

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