On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we’ll publish capsules previewing each PIAA state tournament game involving Delco teams. For full previews, check out Gametimepa.com/Delco or pick up a copy of the Daily Times on Friday.
GARNET VALLEY (26-2) VS. ARCHBISHOP CARROLL (14-9)
at Lansdale Catholic
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
This is a dream all-Delco showdown for fans of local high school basketball.
Garnet Valley is 26-2 overall, the Central League champions and ninth-place finishers out of District One. Archbishop
Carroll has a 14-9 overall mark and a District 12″championship” in its back pocket. Let’s be real — the District 12 crown, while a nice little accolade I’m sure, is hardly a big deal for Catholic League teams who tend to treat District 12 finals as a glorified warm up for states. I’m just saying…
Carroll hasn’t faced a team at its level since mid-Feburary, when Bonner-Prendergast beat the Patriots in the Catholic League quarterfinals. Coach Chuck Creighton’s team has been hard to figure out all season. Yes, the talent is there, but can they put things all together against a good team? Carroll proved it can beat Cardinal O’Hara in the regular season, but the Patriots could never really build on that win.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars reeled off three straight wins in playbacks to make it back to the PIAA Class AAAA tournament for the second year in a row. Once considered a favorite in District One, the Jags could be a real sleeper in states, but it will be interesting to see how they match up against a Patriots team that has been there, done that before.
People have made a fuss that Catholic League basketball is far superior than Central League ball. Well, you have one of the top-6 Catholic League squads facing off against the best program in the Central, so I guess we’ll find out soon.
When they’re going good, the Patriots are a sharp-shooting team that executes the fundamentals very well. They’ll rely on the likes of leading scorer Lexi Stover and Julia Gantz.
The Jaguars’ five starters — Jordan Ireland, Madison Ireland, Macy Goldbach, Sam Tomasetti, Haley Warden — are a fine-tuned machine that works in unison, and when things are clicking on both sides of the ball, the Jags are as good as any team in the area. They rely on a spread, share-the-ball scoring attack, but they’ll be challenged by the Patriots and their solid on-the-ball defenders (Margaret Filipelli, M.J. Valeri, Lexi Stover, Ann McKnight are all very could at this). I could see this being a real low-scoring affair between two defensively solid teams.