Thursday, December 25, 2014

Boys' Hoops: Preview of Class AAAA semifinal playoffs

PIAA CLASS AAAA BOYS' BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS

Boys' Hoops: Preview of Class AAAA semifinal playoffs

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Conrad Chambers and Chester (25-5) will clash with La Salle (22-6) in a PIAA Class AAAA semifinal playoff at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Coatesville Area High.

PIAA CLASS AAAA BOYS' BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS

Semifinals

Tuesday

ABINGTON VS. NEW CASTLE

7:30 p.m. at Chambersburg High.

Abington (25-5)

Coach: Charles Grasty.

Projected starters

Matt Penecale 6-2 Jr G

Anthony Lee 6-3 Jr. G-F

Khari Jefferson 6-5 Sr. F

Lazaros Mackrides 6-5 F

Amir Hinton 6-2 Jr. G

Key reserves

Jordan Neely 5-10 jr G

Mark Bond 6-6 Sr. F

Juan Barrow 5-11 Sr. G

Notes. The Ghosts are bidding for their first state title since 1974. In 1975, the squad, guided by Jim Wilkinson, reached the final before losing. . ... Penecale, a three-year starter, is the floor general. ... Lee missed the early part of the season due to injury suffered while playing QB in football. ... Lazaros Mackrides, with 49 three-pointers, is the school's single-season leader in that category. He passed current coach Charles Grasty (48) in Saturday's quarterfinal win over Martin Luther King.

NEW CASTLE (29-0)

Projected starters

Drew Allen 6-0 Sr. G 6-0

Jake McPhatter 5-11 Sr. G/F 5-11 Sr.

Anthony Richards 5-8 Sr. G

Malik Hooker 6-1 Sr. G

Stew Allen 6-3 Sr. C

Notes. New Castles, the District 7 champ, is from suburban Pittsburgh. ... For the Hurricanes, Hooker, who will play football at Ohio State, averaged 23.8 points in the regular season. ... Four of the five starters have football scholarships. Hooker with Ohio State, McPhatter with Ball State, Drew Allen with Robert Morris (FCS/I-AA), Stew Allen with Duquesne (FCS/I-AA). ... Richards signed with Division II West Virginia Wesleyan for basketball. He has exactly 300 career 3-pointers (had three in PIAA quarterfinal). Became the fourth WPIAL player ever with 300.

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LA SALLE vs. CHESTER

7 p.m. at Coatesville Area High.

La Salle (22-6)

Coach: Joe Dempsey.

Projected starters

Najee Walls 5-11 Jr. G (9.9 ppg.)

Chuck Champion 6-0 So. G

Dave Krmpotich 6-7 Jr. F (11.5 ppg.)

Jalen Herdsman 6-5 Sr. F

Shawn Witherspoon 6-0 Jr. G (9.4 ppg.)

Key reserves

Sean Greenberg 6-3 Sr. G

Dan Corr 6-1 Jr. G

Shane Stark 6-4 So. F

Notes. Witherspoon and Herdsman (11 rebounds) each scored 14 points in Saturday's semifinal romp over Lower Merion. ... Krmopitch has a scholarship offer from Lafayette. He had 18 points in opening round vs. Conestoga. ... Witherspoon had season-high 19 points, 5 boards, and 2 assists vs. Conestoga. ... Explorers committed only 8 turnovers vs. Lower Merion. ... Walls (13 points vs. Lower Merion, all in the second half), Champion and Corr are three-point threats. ... In 2011, La Salle reached state quarterfinals before losing to eventual champ Chester, 68-50.

Chester (25-5)

Coach: Larry Yarbray

Fourth straight district title; 11th in 13 seasons; 23rd overall

Projected Starters

Khaleeq Campbell 5-6 So. G

Conrad Chambers 6-0 Sr. G

Adeolu "Gabe" Adesina 6-8 Sr. F

Tyrell Sturdivant 6-8 Sr. F

Mahir Johnson 6-2 Sr. G

Key reserves

Keyonte Watkins 5-8 Jr. G

Brewster Ward 6-3 Sr. G

Marquis Collins 6-7 So. G-F

Jahmi Bailey 6-3 So. G

Notes. Chester has won eight state titles, with the last coming in 2012. ... The Clippers are trying to reach the state final for the 19th time. ... Sturdivant (15.7 ppg.) and Johnson (18.7 ppg.) came over from Glasgow (Del.)...Sturdivant is headed for Stony Brook... Johnson has drawn interest from Coppin State and Philadelphia University...Sturdivant had 17 points and 18 boards in district final vs. Pennsbury.

Rick O'Brien Inquirer Columnist
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About this blog
Rick O’Brien has been at The Inquirer since 1993, primarily covering high school sports in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Reach Rick at robrien@phillynews.com.

Rick O'Brien Inquirer Columnist
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