I didn’t get a chance to post this when it came out. Back-to-back off days coincided perfectly with a dire need for Christmas shopping, so there’s that. Additionally, I’ll have a good-sized blog post Monday catching up on all of the stuff that transpired this week. Until then, here’s the method to the madness of the Super 7. Records are different than the ones indicated in the paper because I have Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s results. Here we go.
1. Chester (4-2) Last week: No. 1.
The Clippers’ superb 61-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of Lone Peak (Utah) at the prestigious City of Palms Classic, and then they dropped the fifth-place game to Whitney Young (Ill.). Before people start thinking Chester isn’t legit, remember that maxpreps.com had Lone Peak ranked No. 1 and Whitney Young ranked No. 5 nationally before the COP tournament, so the Clippers didn’t exactly lose to scrubs. Reigning Daily Times Player of the Year Rondae Jefferson averaged 18.5 points per game in the tournament, and Richard Granberry averaged 11.5 points per game. The Clippers will get a chance to take down both of those teams in January rematches.
2. Penn Wood (6-0) Last week: No. 2
Tyree Bynum just keeps doing Tyree Bynum things as the 5-11 guard is leading the county in scoring at a robust 20.8 points per game. He’s found a running mate in forward Secean Johnson – as chronicled in this week’s notebook – who’s averaging 16.2 points per game. The Patriots have been very impressive as all six of their wins have been by double digits and they should prove a threat to Chester for the Del Val title.
3. Archbishop Carroll (5-0) Last week: No. 3.
I took in tonight’s game against Plymouth Whitemarsh and it’s safe to say the Patriots will be a threat to take home the Catholic League and should be able to make a run in the AAA state tournament. Sophomore forward Derrick Jones is the real deal, as you’ll read in the Sunday Times, and he proved it with a 22-point, 17-rebound, 7-block effort. All-Delco Yosef Yacob has to be seen to truly be appreciated to the fullest, and Nick Jones and Joe Mostardi both lit up the Colonials for 17 points.
4. The Haverford School (6-1) Last week: No. 5
Other than a loss to nationally-ranked St. Benedict’s (N.J.), the Fords have been really good this year. Shawn Alston is a triple-double threat every night, and he, Sean Lloyd and Eric Anderson all have three games of 15 or more points this year. Haverford School welcomed back Chris Morgan in Friday’s 67-58 win over Boys Latin (Md.). That’s a big boost especially since Lloyd will be ineligible for Inter-Ac play after transferring in the offseason.
5. Penncrest (6-1) Last week: No. 4.
The Lions showed some mettle in taking out Conestoga in double overtime thanks in large part to Rahmi Halaby‘s 11 points and 12 rebounds and Ben Casanova‘s 11 and 10. I’ll talk more about Halaby Monday, but I think he’s vastly underrated. He had a nice game when I saw him against Academy Park in the season opener and he showed some toughness and skill against powerhouse Lower Merion. I thought Penncrest would be able to keep things interesting with the Aces, but the Lions just aren’t quite on that level. Still a solid team, though.
6. Interboro (4-1) Last week: Not ranked.
The Bucs will probably go back to not being ranked after getting drilled by a solid but not great Cardinal O’Hara team. Yes, the loss of Christian Irons is a big reason, but it doesn’t explain a 22-point loss. Irons had been doing great things prior to the injury – that will be discussed Monday – and Chris Simmons has been stepping up his game, too. Interboro will need Irons badly if it wants to do big things in league play.
7. Ridley (3-1) Last week: No. 6.
I don’t think I’m giving the Green Raiders enough respect. Scratch that. I wasn’t until Friday’s 42-29 win over Haverford. Jon McGill has been a beast in the early going. His 11 fourth-quarter points against the Fords helped seal the win and he’s a threat to go off for 20 any night. Kenny Bartow‘s been coming through with some big games and Ameer Staggs does a little bit of everything for Ridley. I suspect the Green Raiders might have something to say about how the top of the Central League winds up.
Dropped out: Springfield, Upper Darby. Also considered in alphabetical order: Cardinal O’Hara, Glen Mills, Springfield, Upper Darby.
– MATT CHANDIK