We’re going to have movement and I’m going to get some angry responses for it, so let’s not waste any time getting to it. Records through Wednesday.
Not sure if Archbishop Carroll can climb as high in the Super 7 as sophomore center Ernest Aflakpui can touch, but both he and the Patriots are movin’ on up.
TIMES STAFF/ROBERT J. GURECKI
1. Chester (6-2) Last week: No. 1.
No surprise here as the Clippers stay strong as the undisputed kings of the county. Reigning Daily Times Player of the Year Rondae Jefferson was pretty impressive in a 63-61 win over two-time reigning Class AA champion Imhotep Charter (the Panthers are AAA this year, though.)
Jefferson finished with 18 points, including the game-winning shot with less than 1o seconds to go. Chester also got 14 points from Richard Granberry and 13 from Darius Robinson the night before as it throttled Abington.
2. Archbishop Carroll (7-2, 0-1) Last week: No. 3.
I watched the Patriots go toe-to-toe with reigning Class AAA state champion Neumann-Goretti last night and while they lost, I love what this team brings to the table. All-Delco point guard Yosef Yacob showed he can score almost at will when he wants to, lighting up the Saints for 24 points, and Ernest Aflakpui is already dramatically improved (more on that in a blog post today or tomorrow). Derrick Jones can pretty much get a double-double whenever he wants and Nick Jones is going to play Division I basketball eventually. I think Carroll’s point guards and Derrick Jones would give it an edge over…
3. Penn Wood (7-1) Last week: No. 2
I’ve seen the Patriots play twice in the past week or so and I have to admit to being underwhelmed both times. Tyree Bynum is having a heck of a season, leading all county scorers with 20.3 points per game and Secean Johnson does a little bit of everything. But I don’t know how the Patriots would match up with Carroll because of Carroll’s point guards. If Jerry Price can keep playing like he did against Phoenixville, Clyde Jones‘ bunch should be fine, but Price has had consistency issues before. Penn Wood would definitely get my attention with a win over Chester Jan. 8,. though.
4. The Haverford School (8-3) Last week: No. 4.
I gave serious thought to putting the Fords over Penn Wood, but I’ll hold off for the time being. Haverford School went 1-2 at the Benedictine City Classic, but coach (and 1998-99 Daily Times Player of the Year) Henry Fairfax was positively glowing about what the tournament meant for his team as it heads into Inter-Ac play.
“It was perfect,” Fairfax said. “We wanted to play the strongest schedule to prepare us for league play. …In each loss, we learned something, went back to the lab and worked on our flaws. I’d like to think it will show in the long run.”
Sophomore point guard Shawn Alston and senior big man Sema’J Reed have been keylately. Alston averages a team-best 15.9 points per game to go with 6.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists and Reed has been one of the county’s best big men. It will be interesting to see how the Fords navigate the Inter-Ac slate.
5. Ridley (8-1, 4-1) Last week: No. 7.
Let me see if I can get explain this jump in just a few words. Jon McGill, Jon McGill, Jon McGill, Jon McGill, Jon McGill and, well, yeah, Jon McGill. The Green Raiders have ripped off seven straight wins and McGill has averaged 16.3 points per game in that stretch. But Kenny Bartow has been very good, too, with double-digit points in three of the past four games. I’m intrigued by how Ridley will do with a very athletic Upper Darby team Saturday (I’ll probably make it out to that one). The schedule is pretty backloaded, though, so we’ll see how the Green Raiders hold up.
6. Penncrest (9-1, 4-1) Last week: No. 5.
Yes, the Lions keep winning, but they just haven’t been as impressive as I initially anticipated they would. In the Central League, it’s a mix and match of solid teams after Lower Merion, and you could make the case for Penncrest being the No. 2 team. Ben Casanova is coming through big-time lately with double-digit points in his past three games and he’s been a force on the glass, too. Kalvin Simpson and Rahmi Halaby have been consistent presences down low, too.
7. Glen Mills (5-3) Last week: Not ranked.
The Battlin’ Bulls make their first appearance of the year, mostly thanks to a big year from Jay’re Jackson. In five games (reported to the Daily Times, that is), Jackson averages 17.7 points per game. Quadir Jones has been pretty good, too, with 9.8 points per game, and Richard Grant and Shiheem Spencer have come on strong lately. I’m interested in seeing how this team holds up in the Del Val.
Dropped out: Interboro. Also considered in alphabetical order: Cardinal O’Hara, Episcopal Academy, Springfield, Upper Darby.
– MATT CHANDIK