Friday, March 6, 2015

Boys' Hoops: Preview of Quarterfinal Playoffs


Boys' Hoops: Preview of Quarterfinal Playoffs

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Philadelphia Electrical's James Suber (left, No. 15) and Philadelphia Electrical will take on second-ranked Archbishop Carroll in a PIAA Class AAA quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Archbishop Ryan. In a Class AA quarterfinal, Ahmad Gilbert (No. 21, right) and fourth-ranked Constitution will meet District 2's Holy Cross at 1 p.m. Saturday at William Allen in Allentown.


Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter overcame a major scare from Holy Ghost Prep in the second round of the PIAA Class AAA state tournament.

Next for the 18-11 Chargers, who escaped the Firebirds in overtime, is a quarterfinal matchup, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Archbishop Ryan, against talent-filled Archbishop Carroll (23-4).

"We know we're going in as the underdog," PET coach James "Flames" Lewis said Thursday afternoon. "We're fine with that. That's usually been the case since I've been here."

Lewis was preparing his squad to face Carroll twin towers Derrick Jones and Ernest Aflakpui, who stand at 6-foot-6 and 6-9 respectively.

"Their strength is inside, obviously," Lewis said. "We have to do a good job in the interior if we're going to have a shot at beating them."

PET's James Suber, a 6-6 senior, will likely be matched against Aflakpui. That leaves someone else, probably 6-4 guard Anthony Harris at the start, to defend Jones.

Against the high-leaping Jones, Lewis said it's important "to keep him away from the basket and be physical with him."

Last year in a District 12 third-place playoff, the Chargers nipped the Patriots, 48-46, at Ryan. That gives Lewis and company hope of again slaying the giant.

Pick: Carroll, with senior guard Austin Tilghman as the driving force, prevails, 59-45.

Here is a look at the weekend's other boys' basketball state quarterfinal games.


Class AAA

Neumann-Goretti (24-4) vs. Allentown Central Catholic (29-0), 7:30 p.m. at Souderton. The Vikings are powered by 6-4 senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. The 2,000-point career scorer, who is drawing interest from Temple and others, averages 23.3 points.

Pick: N-G, 68-65.

Class A

Math, Civics and Sciences (13-14) vs. Church Farm (25-4), 6 p.m. at Ryan. The Griffins have solid guards, including Aondofa Anyam and Tyler Ofray. Can they find a way to defend 6-9 Mike Watkins and 6-6 Terquin Mott in the paint?

Pick: MC&S, 67-54.


Class AAAA

West Chester Rustin (19-10) vs. Chester (24-5), 1 p.m. at Coatesville. In a District 1 semifinal last month, the Clippers, spurred by Mahir Johnson and Tyrell Sturdivant, eased to a 72-56 win.

Pick: Chester, 68-53.

Lower Merion (23-7) vs. La Salle (21-6), 1 p.m. at Colonial Elementary School. After surprising Roman Catholic, the Aces, who have excelled at spreading the floor and finding the open man, clash with Dave Krmpotich and the Explorers.

Pick: Lower Merion, 48-42.

Abington (24-5) vs. Martin Luther King (25-5), 3:30 p.m. at Colonial Elementary School. Sean Colson's squad, which easily handled Pennsbury, has become a dark-horse candidate to claim state gold.

Pick: King, 62-54.

Class AA

Constitution (25-5) vs. Holy Cross (22-6), 1 p.m. at William Allen in Allentown. The Generals have too many weapons for Connor Callejas (18.9 ppg.) and the Crusaders.

Pick: Constitution, 69-51.

Del-Val Charter (19-7) vs. Elmer L. Meyers (21-7), 2:30 p.m. at William Allen. DaShon Giddings and the Warriors continue their late-season run with a taut win over the Mohawks.

Pick: Del-Val, 52-51.


Rick O'Brien Inquirer Columnist
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Rick O’Brien has been at The Inquirer since 1993, primarily covering high school sports in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Reach Rick at

Rick O'Brien Inquirer Columnist
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