With the state playoffs lurking, it's a good time to check out the rest of Pennsylvania.
Here are the rankings (regardless of classification):
1. Philadelphia Neumann-Goretti (25-1) (PCL/District 12 AAA)
The Saints got out to a 41-27 halftime lead over Carroll and went on to a 75-59 win in the Philadelphia Catholic League Championship. Carroll made a run in the third quarter, but the Saints tacked on 19 points in the fourth quarter to win going away. Lamin Fulton shot 5-for-9, 5-for-6 (one trey) to lead with 16 pts. Tyreek Duren had 17pts two assists and three steals, Danny Stewart had 14 points, 15rebs, 4blks, Tony Chennault had 12pts, seven boards, three assists, Not to be lost in the shuffle is this: Billy Shank posted nine total points and notched one trey apiece in the first and second quarters. N-G now walks with the CL legends. This is the league’s 91st hoops season. Only twice has a team gone undefeated through the regular season and playoffs: N-G these last two years (38 total games) and Roman in 1990-91 (34 total games). Roman also went perfect in ’33 and ’34, but that accomplishment was a different animal; no playoffs back then…..It mattered little that Tony Chennault had to sit out the Philadelphia AAA City Championship as the Saints rolled Dobbins Tech 75-44. They led 23-14 at the end of the first quarter, upped it to 41-29 at the half and extended it to 58-34 after three quarters. Lamin Fulton led with 25pts, Tyreek Duren had 19pts and Danny Stewart added 14pts, 12rebs, 6blks and five steals.
2. Penn Wood (23-3) (District 1 AAAA)
Shawn Oakman, a 6-9 junior center, powered the defending state champions with 22pts, 9rebs (four on offense), four assists, three blocks and a steal as the Patriots blew past Souderton 71-49 in the District 1 AAAA Semifinal. Tyree Johnson and 6-5 jr f Aaron Brown (nine boards and two assists) each had 15pts, wing guard Will Brown notched 12pts and two blocks…..Penn Wood won their first District 1 AAAA Championship since 1992 with a 54-49 overtime victory over Plymouth-Whitemarsh before 6,500 at Villanova's Pavilion. The Patriots trailed 16-6 after the first quarter but a 14-1 run, Penn Wood made from the second quarter into the middle of the third, turned a 21-11 deficit into a 25-22 lead. Aaron Brown led with 20pts including eight of Penn Wood's 13 points in overtime. There were eight lead changes, with Plymouth-Whitemarsh coming out strong and fizzling in the end, while Penn Wood got stronger. Tyree Johnson backed Brown with 16pts and Will Brown added 11pts. 6-8 Jr Darian Barnes went scoreless, but grabbed 11 rebounds before fouling out.
3. Plymouth-Whitemarsh (25-2) (District 1 AAAA)
The Colonials completely dominated West Chester Bayard Rustin in a 79-47 victory in a District 1 AAAA Semifinal. C.J. Aiken, the 6-foot-10 senior, was a monster inside for P-W finishing with 12pts, 11rebs and 10blks for a triple-double. He had five of those blocks in the first quarter as the Colonials built a 13-point lead. Jaylen Bond, ended with 17pts and 13rebs. Stephon Baker finished with 12pts off the bench…..Plymouth-Whitemarsh got out to a nice first quarter lead over Penn Wood in the District 1 AAAA Championship, but could not hold on and lost 54-49 in overtime. The Colonials were a woeful 16-for-31 from the charity stripe and with each shot that clanged off the rim, their confidence crumbled just a bit more and Penn Wood’s became all the more fortified. The one player who was able to beat the Penn Wood pressure was senior guard Whis Grant, who scored a game-high 23pts. on the Patriots. A real glaring stat was C.J. Aiken and Jaylen Bond, P-W's monstrous one-two inside punch, finished with a combined 17 points, but the duo scored only six in the second half and overtime.
4. Radnor Archbishop Carroll (22-4) (PCL/District 12 AAA)
Juan’ya Green, steped up nicely in D. J. Irving’s absence (there’s a hard cast on his hand), had 20 points, six rebounds, five assists, four steals, two blocks. Ben Mingledough managed 16 points, nine boards. Thin frosh G Yosef Yacob fared well in a very difficult situation, with older/stronger guys continually hounding him in Carroll‘s 75-59 loss to Neumann-Goretti in the Philadelphia Catholic League Championship…..Then in the battle for District 12 AAA Third Place (loser out) with Simon Gratz, Carroll had to go it without Ben Mingledough, a 6-foot-4 swingman, who sat out, per PIAA rules, after being whistled for a pair of technicals in Monday's Catholic League championship loss to Neumann-Goretti plus pg D.J. Irving who was sidelined for a second straight game with a broken right hand. Simon Gratz held an eight-point advantage with 1:29 to play. From there, the Patriots rose up from near-dead, incredibly ended the contest with a 13-0 scoring run and emerged from Archbishop Ryan High with a hard-to-believe 48-43 victory.
Juan'ya Green led with 24pts - 14 in fourth quarter, 6rebs, four assists, 4blks and two steals. Soph forward Pat Finnegan and freshman combo guard Yosef Yacob, both normally reserves, delivered eight and seven points, respectively. Finnegan hauled in a team-high 12rebs. Yacob's left-wing trey gave Carroll a 44-43 lead, its first since the second quarter, with 42 seconds to go.
5. Mount Lebanon (25-1) (WPIAL/District 7 AAAA)
The Blue Devils fell behind Upper St. Clair 9-1, but slowly came back and pulled away for a 51-42 win in a WPIAL/District 7 AAAA Semifinal. Mt. Lebanon scored all its eight points in the first quarter on free throws. Upper St. Clair held an 18-15 lead, but the Blue Devils went on a 7-0 run to end the second quarter and grab a 22-15 halftime advantage. Mt. Lebanon held a 36-33 advantage heading into the fourth quarter and scored the first six points to get some breathing room. Paul Lang led Mt. Lebanon with 16pts, 10 in the second half…..Mt. Lebanon won the WPIAL/District 7 Class AAAA Championship, beating Gateway, 57-51 at the Palumbo Center. Evan Pierce scored 21pts, all in the second half. and Luke Hagy scored four points and made two steals in the final minute to seal the top-seeded Blue Devils' championship, their second under coach Joe David.
6. Philadelphia Strawberry Mansion (24-1) (PPL/District 12 AA)
The Knights bounced back from their only loss and defeated Philadelphia Prep Charter 64-60 to capture the District 12 AA #4 seed and will open the state tournament against the District 3 #1 seed, Trinity the same team that ended their season last year. Devonte' Newbill led with 24 points and Saadiq Berry added 12 points.
7. Philadelphia Imhotep Charter (22-5) (PPL/District 12 AA)
Won their second consecutive Philadelphia Public League Championship with a 58-46 victory over AAAA Champion, John Bartram. Ameen Tanksley led with 16 points and 6-8 Erik Copes scored only 4 points but finished with 13 boards and seven blocks…..The Panthers then won the Philadelphia AA City Championship with a 51-42 victory over West Catholic. Erik Copes led with 12pts, 5rebs and 5blks. Tyhiem Perrin and Bakari White both scored 10 points.
8. Chartiers Valley (25-1) (WPIAL/District 7 AAA)
TJ McConnell scored 32 points in a 75-58 win over West Allegheny in a WPIAL/District 7 AAA Semifinal. Forward Matt Noszka added 16pts and guard Steve Burda had 13pts for the Colts…..Won WPIAL/District 7 AAA Championship with a 63-50 victory over Hampton. T. J. McConnell, who faced a box-and-one much of the night, finished with 34 points (his average), 26 in the second half and 15 in the fourth quarter. He was 11 of 18 from the field, playing on his future home court. A Duquesne recruit, McConnell was 2 of 6 from 3-point range and 10 of 15 from the free-throw line. Wayne Capers scored 16 and Steve Burda added 11 for the Colts.
9. Philadelphia LaSalle (19-5) (PCL/District 12 AAAA)
Won the Philadelphia AAAA City Championship and District 12’s #1 AAAA seed in the state tournament by edging Philadelphia John Bartram 42-40. The Little Explorers overcame a 24-13 deficit in the second quarter, and they cut it to 26-24 at the half. Troy Hockaday led the way with 15 points and Steve Collins added 12 points.
10. Philadelphia Communications Tech (18-3) (PPL/District 12 AA)
The Phoenix season ended earlier than they wanted when they were upset by Philadelphia Prep Charter 58-57 in the Public League AA Semifinal.
11. Reading (27-2) (District 3 AAAA)
The Red Knights built a 24-12 lead early in the second quarter, but some sloppy play with the ball and Wilson’s ability to get to the rim in the second half saw them lose all but one point of that lead in a District 3 AAAA Semifinal. Then in the last 12 seconds, Trenity Burdine came up with two steals to seal a 34-33 victory. Burdine with 18pts and Xavier Mumford with 12pts, scored 30 of Reading’s 34 points in the game…..Reading took a 16-13 first quarter lead over Hempfield in the District 3 AAAA Championship game but saw the Black Knights pull in front 26-23 at the half. A basket by Hempfield to start the third put Reading behind 28-23, but then Trenity Burdine took over scoring 11 of his game-high 20pts in the rest of the quarter as the Red Knights led 36-29 heading into the final eight minutes. They would extend the lead to 39-29 to start the fourth, but Hempfield made a run and cut the lead to 43-41. But after a couple of made foul shots, Burdine scored five points in about 15 seconds and the lead was back up to 52-41. The final was 54-46. Yamil Echavarria scored 14pts and Xavier Mumford grabbed 10 rebounds to back up Burdine.
12. Hempfield (27-1) (District 3 AAAA)
The Black Knights led only 19-16 after the first quarter but kept expanding on that lead throughout the game and defeated York 69-53 in the District 3 AAAA Semifinal game. Christian Walck controlled the tempo of the game and led with 21pts and Mike Uehlein with 18 points and Taylor McDuffie with 17 points controlled the paint and York really had no real answer for the threesome…..Hempfield saw their chance at an unbeaten season end when they lost to Reading 54-46 in the District 3 AAAA Championship. Christian Walck had a good game with 18pts, Zach Sheetz had 12pts (4 treys) and Taylor McDuffie added 10pts. Despite McDiffie scoring 10pts, Hempfield could never really get their inside game going as Reading was nearly as big inside and too quick for the Black Knights.
13. Eastern York (26-0) (District 3 AAA)
Overcame a 26-19 halftime deficit with a big third quarter and eased to a 66-52 victory over East Pennsboro in the District 3 AAA Semifinal. Rutgers-bound Andrew Nicholas scored 10 of his 28 points in the third, Austin Tillotson scored eight of his 17, and Nate Bollinger eight of his 14 as Eastern outscored the Panthers 31-11 in the third quarter. Tillotson also contributed nine rebounds and seven assists…..In the District 3 AAA Championship the Golden Knights got out to a 25-7 lead at the beginning of the second quarter, but saw Lancaster Catholic get hot and tighten up their defense in the second and third quarters. Eastern trailed after three 48-45 and had to get a basket by Nate Bollinger with 2.7 second left to pull out a 55-53 victory and win the District title. Nicholas led the way with 15pts, Tillotson had 14pts and Davin Zimmerman came off the bench for 10pts.
14. Hampton (21-3) (WPIAL/District 7 AAA)
Hampton held West Mifflin (14-8) to six points in the first half and held off a late Titans' rally to post a WPIAL/District 7 AAA Semifinal win, 38-31. Bill Luther led Hampton with 15 points…..Lost in the WPIAL/District 7 AAA Championship to Chartiers Valley 63-50. The Talbots started 6-7 Bill Luther (17pts), 6-5 Tim Donegan (14pts) and 6-8 T.J. Brown. Hampton out rebounded Chartiers Valley, 27-17. The game was deadlocked, 20-20, at halftime. In the third quarter, Hampton trailed, 31-28, with three minutes left when the Colts briefly went wild.
15. Bethlehem Liberty (22-5) (District 11 AAAA)
The Hurricanes had dropped out of the ratings after losing Anthony Gonzalez to a torn meniscus in his right knee on January 12. Preliminary indications were he'd be out for the season. And they lost three games without him, including to Nazareth twice. But they opened the District 11 AAAA Round of 16 by jumping out to a 20-0 lead and cruised past visiting Bangor 69-36. Jarrod West had a game-high 18pts and Darrun Hilliard added 13pts…..Then in the District 11 AAAA Quarterfinal, Gonzalez came back from the injury and scored 12 points and Liberty put the defensive clamps on Allentown Allen in a 50-35 rout. Hilliard led with 13pts…..In the District 11 AAAA Semifinal, Liberty's Darrun Hilliard, who connected for four 3-pointers among his game-high 26 points and enabled the Hurricanes to avenge two previous losses to Nazareth with a 58-45 victory…..In the District 11 AAAA Championship, Liberty crushed Whitehall 55-37. Brandon Holland scored a career-high 23 points, making seven 3-pointers, in sparking Liberty to their second district gold in four years and eighth overall. Holland was 8-for-9 from the field overall and 7-for-8 from beyond the arc in a stunning performance considering all of the attention his teammates receive. Darrun Hilliard, the 'Canes' highly recruited hoops star, scored 14 points.
16. Hughesville (23-2) (District 4 AA)
Brian Gerney (18pts) scored eight points in the game's final three minutes and his clutch shooting helped Hughesville defeat South Williamsport, 45-37 in a District 4 Class AA boys semifinal. Hughesville had taken a 24-6 lead early in the second quarter, but saw South come back and force a tie at 35-35.….Addison Hanford (18pts) and Brian Gerney (16pts) combined for 34 points while Hughesville played remarkably stifling defense as it defeated Loyalsock, 48-30 to win the District 4 AA Championship.
17. West Chester Bayard Rustin (23-4) (District 1 AAAA)
Was beaten badly, 79-47, by Plymouth-Whitemarsh in the District 1 AAAA Semifinal. Cory Blake finished with a team-high 18pts and 7rebs, but 12 of his points came in the second half, after PW’s lead had been hovering in the 20s. Anthony Nash added nine points while the team’s leading scorer this season, guard Rondell White, finished with just five. The trio ended up having a combined nine shots blocked by P-W’s 6-10 C. J. Aiken…..Took Third Place in the District 1 AAAA tournament with a 49-46 win over Souderton. Cory Blake led with 17 points and Anthony Nash had 14 points.
18. Loyalsock (22-3) (District 4 AA)
in a District 4 Class AA boys semifinal Loyalsock point guard Antoine Ellison-Love banked in a game-winning 25-foot 3-pointer with four seconds remaining. The latest in a string of last-second, game-winning shots Ellison-Love has hit over the last two seasons lifted Loyalsock to a dramatic 49-46 win over Lewisburg in the District 4 Class AA semifinals. Isaac Bittle led with 15pts and Ellison-Love had 9pts and 10 assists…..Lost to Hughesville 48-30 in the District 4 AA Championship. Guard Antoine Ellison-Love and forward Isaac Bittle, Loyalsock’s dynamic duo, were held to 14 combined points by Hughesville’s tight defense.
19. Philadelphia Roman Catholic (16-8) (PCL/District 12 AAAA)
The Cahillites move back into top 20 as the knocked off Philadelphia Frankford 53-50 in the District 12 AAAA Third Place game. Roman jumped to a 7-0 lead, led 11-7 after the first quarter, 26-16 at the half and 37-29 after three. Kevin Regan led with 18 points and 17rebs, WG Rakeem “Rahk” Brookins, bound for Tulane, scored 14 points, had 7rebs and 6 assists. Soph G Daiquan Walker had a strong outing with 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the floor (two treys).
20. Philadelphia Frankford (21-4) (PPL/District 12 AAAA) Lost to Roman Catholic 53-50 in the District 12 AAAA 3rd, 4th Place game. Frankford sr. PG Dehaven Brown missed a three to tie as time ran out on the Pioneers. Terrell Clark led with 18pts, 11rebs and Rodney Walters had 10 points.
DROPPED OUT: Souderton (23-4) (District 1 AAAA) After a 71-49 loss to Penn Wood in the District 1 AAAA Semifinal and a 49-46 loss to West Chester Bayard Rustin in a District 1 AAAA 3rd & 4th Place game. Coatesville (21-6) (District 1 AAAA) Lost to Upper Dublin 62-58, in a ninth-place consolation semifinal.