Big challenge for Phila. Electrical

Constitution's Ahmad Gilbert (21) locks arms with Philadelphia Electrical's James Suber during the second quarter. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

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

Next for the 18-11 Chargers, who escaped in overtime, is a quarterfinal at 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. "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 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, likely will be matched against Aflakpui. That leaves someone else, probably 6-4 guard Anthony Harris at the start, to defend Jones.

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

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

Here is a look at the weekend's other boys' basketball quarterfinals.


Class AAA

Neumann-Goretti (24-4) vs. Allentown Central Catholic (29-0), 7:30 p.m. at Souderton. ACC is powered by 6-4 senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman. The 2,000-point 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. Church Farm has solid guards, including Aondofa Anyam and Tyler Ofray. Can the Griffins 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, Chester, 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, Plymouth Meeting. 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. Sean Colson's King 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.