Saturday, March 26, 2011

PIAA Boys' Basketball Round-Up

On the campus of Penn State, three games are down, with one to come this evening. The city of Philadelphia is 3-0, with Math, Civics, and Sciences, Neumann-Goretti, and Imhotep Charter all taking home state championships.

In the Class A championship game yesterday afternoon, MCS Charter downed Lincoln Park 70-55. Sophomore Jeremiah Worthem was the story of the day for MCS, as he took charge in the second half and led his team with 22 points and 12 rebounds. For Lincoln Park, senior Chaquille Pratt led the way with 27 points. Junior center Devontae Watson contributed 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 blocked shots for Lincoln Park. Saint Joseph's and Temple are two of the schools heavily recruiting Watson. According to Rick O'Brien's article in the Inquirer (linked here), both SJU's Phil Martelli and Temple's Fran Dunphy were in attendance for the game.

Watson is not the only player that Temple and SJU were looking at. Jeremiah Worthem, who scored his 22 points on an array of jumpers, drives, and emphatic fast-break dunks, has also been offered by both schools. According to Mike White of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (linked here), Martelli offered the sophomore a scholarship after the game. Rick O'Brien's article states that Worthem has offers from SJU, Temple, Drexel, and Rice. That interest, and those offers, are only going to grow as Worthem's stock continues to increase.

Last night, Neumann-Goretti won their second consecutive Class AAA title 55-45 over Montaur. Montaur actually held the lead late in the third quarter before Neumann upped the defensive intensity and just about ran Montaur off the court. The Saints had a balanced scoring attack, but the spark plug for them down the stretch was 6'2 freshman guard Ja'Quan Newton. Newton scored 13 second-half points, mostly coming off steals and fast-break opportunities. He was a terror on the defensive end, doing everything in his power to shut down Devin Wilson and the other Montaur guards. Helping Newton out were Derrick Stewart (14 points and 10 boards) and Johnny Davis (12 points). Neumann lost four starters from last year's state championship team, but still returned to Happy Valley this weekend, and they will return home state champs once again. With four of their five starters returning next year, they will be prohibitive favorites to win Class AAA yet again. Rick O'Brien's article on the game can be found here.

Moments ago, Imhotep Charter's Class AA game came to an end. They too will return to Philadelphia state champs, after a resounding 67-34 win over Greensburg Central Catholic. Greensburg kept the contest close at the beginning but just didn't have the talent or depth to deal with Imhotep.

Tonight, Chester will look for the Class AAAA state title against Mount Lebanon.

Image of Jeremiah Worthem above from Christopher Weddle of the Centre Daily Times.

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