March 30, 2012


NOTE: We had said from day one, that there was Chester, Philadelphia Neumann-Goretti and a bunch of teams that didn't look much better than each other and that's about the way the season ended. Some teams that were in the Top 20 most of the year faded either in District play or state play. A few stepped up and did much better than expected and a few fell mainly because of injuries to key players. As always we look at the season from the first day all the way through till the end to determine where teams finish in the final ratings. One team, Lower Merion, stayed true to where we had them rated most of the season although they couldn't get much done in two losses to Chester. Two teams we thought highly of, Philadelphia Constitution and Philadelphia Imhotep Charter disappointed a little during the season but came back strong and both won a state title. Beaver Falls, New Castle and Shaler of the WPIAL didn't quite make it as far as we expected (although Beaver Falls did play in the final) but Shaler and New Castle were both stopped by good play by their opponents and the loss of key players at the end. Three District 11 AAAA schools, Emmaus, Parkland and Bethlehem Freedom hung around the ratings all winter, but none made the final ratings. Emmaus and Freedom did not even make the state tournament and Parkland was beaten handily by Roman Catholic in the first round.


1. Chester (32-0) (District 1 AAAA)

Extended their winning streak to 58-games which puts them in at #5 all-time in Pennsylvania behind only 1. West Philadelphia 1976-1978 at 68, 2. Pittsburgh St. James 1950-1952 at 66, 3. Allentown 1945-1947 at 60 and 4. Carbondale 1992-1994 at 59. The state title was their second consecutive and eighth overall which broke the tie with Farrell at 7 for the most state titles in Pennsylvania history. The Clippers started the season at #2 behind Philadelphia Neumann-Goretti but moved up on January 29 and stayed there ever since.



2. Philadelphia Neumann-Goretti (28-3) (Philadelphia Catholic League/District 12 AAA)

The Saints won their third consecutive state championship and have a four year 70-game winning streak in Philadelphia Catholic League games, including both regular season and playoff games. They started the season as #1 and stayed their until the lost to Brooklyn South Shore and fell to #2 on January 29. The Saints other two losses were to DeMatha Catholic and Washington Gonzaga.



3. Philadelphia Constitution (23-9) (Philadelphia Public League/District 12 A)

The Generals started the season at #13 and kept moving up and down as they were playing a very strong schedule losing to strong national and state teams. They lost their first game of the year to Chester, then in the City of Palms Classic they lost games to Plano Prestonwoo, Imhotep Charter and Electrical Charter. Then came a loss to Friends Central and Newark St. Benedict's, New Jersey. That made their record 9-9 on January 29. They would not lose another game winning their last 14 in a row and taking the PIAA A State title.



4. Lower Merion (29-4) (District 1 AAAA)

The Aces did not fare well under the bright lights of the AAAA state final against Chester, but then again no other team did either all the way through the tournament. Two of their losses came at the hands of the Clippers, the other two were to Roman Catholic and Emmaus. They did avenge the loss to Roman Catholic with a big win in the state Round of 16.



5. Central Dauphin (29-3) (District 3 AAAA)

The Rams made it to the PIAA semifinals, where they lost to Chester by 19. It was a big loss, but actually the closest game Chester had during the state tournament. The other two losses were to Harrisburg, their Mid-Penn playmate who they went 2-2 with for the year.



6. Philadelphia Imhotep Charter (22-8) (Philadelphia Public League/District 12 AA)

The Panthers won their third PIAA AA State Championship in four years with their win over Beaver Falls. They started the season strong, then faded a little and finished fourth in District 12, but fought their way to the final game where they won.



6. Beaver Falls (28-3) (WPIAL/District 7 AA)

The Tigers raced through the WPIAL tournament and through the state tournament until they met up with Imhotep Charter in the finals and lost an overtime game. They had lost their first game of the year and then another when they had six players on suspension for two games. But they had a fabulous season coming up just short.



7. Philadelphia St. Joseph's Prep (21-6) (Philadelphia Cath. League/District 12 AAAA)

The Hawks lost four of their last seven games, but two were to Catholic League King, Neumann-Goretti, the second in overtime by two points for the Catholic League title. It was widely know that Speedy Morris' team had three super players and could have made a splash in the PIAA AAAA State tournament, but just before the tournament one of them, 6-4 Jr Miles Overton, had to have surgery on his thumb and was out for the season. They did beat John Bartram for the District 12 championship but were then knocked off by Central Bucks West 48-44 in the first round of states without him. They had a good enough year to make this high rating though anyway. Another loss was to Lower Merion and another came at the hands of Radnor Archbishop Carroll which they later avenged in the Catholic League semifinals.



8. Shaler (25-4) (WPIAL/District 7 AAAA)

The Titans were in the top 5 before tourney time, then were upset in WPIAL quarterfinals, but bounced back and made it to the PIAA Quarterfinals where they lost to Erie Cathedral Prep. But they were playing without their center and only true big man in 6-4 senior J.P. Holtz (injured foot) and also star guard and Penn State recruit 6-3 Jr Geno Thorpe was in deep foul trouble and played just 12-minutes in that final game.



9. Montour (24-5) (WPIAL/District 7 AAA)

For the second year in a row, the Spartans pushed Philadelphia Neumann-Gorretti to the limit before losing in the PIAA AAA state final. To get there they defeated two previously undefeated teams in New Castle and General McLane. They also avenged a loss to Hampton in the state semifinals.



10. New Castle (27-1) (WPIAL/District 7 AAA)

The Red Hurricane had their undefeated season ruined in the PIAA AAA Round of 16 by Montour in overtime. New Castle was severely hurt in that game when 5-11 Sr guard Corey Eggleston, who averaged 18.2 points per game, missed most of the game after sustaining a thigh bruise in the second quarter. They still ended as the state's highest scoring team averaging 78.8 per game.



11. Philadelphia Roman Catholic (17-10) (Philadelphia Cath. League/District 12 AAAA)

The Cahillites were at #10 in the final regular season ratings and despite 10 losses still had a decent season with much of their team returning for next season. During the season they split with Lower Merion, lost twice to Neumann-Goretti (once in overtime), lost to St. Joseph's Prep and Archbishop Carroll of the Catholic League and to out of state teams, Jersey City St. Anthony, Montverde Academy, Florida and Mount Vernon, New York. The also defeated PIAA AA state champion, Philadelphia Imhotep



12. Philadelphia Boy's Latin Charter (25-7) (Phila. Public League/District 12 AAA)

Among their seven losses were two to PIAA AAA state champion Neumann-Goretti, two to PIAA A state champion Constitution and one to PIAA AA state champion Imhotep Charter. They finished second to Neumann-Goretti in District 12 AAA and lost again to Neumann-Goretti in the state semifinal.



13. Erie Cathedral Prep (21-6) (District 10 AAAA)

The Ramblers were the surprise team of AAAA in March, winning the D-10 title, not surprising, but reaching the state semifinals before losing to Lower Merion was surprising. They were on a 12-game winning streak before the loss to Lower Merion. They lost a season opening game to General McLane, lost by one point to Erie Strong Vincent, then beat them twice later. Other losses were out of state to Cleveland St. Ignatius, Jamesville-Dewitt, New York and Buffalo Canisius, New York.



14 Abington Heights (24-6) (District 2 AAA)

The Comets are another surprise team and new to the ratings. They lost four of their six games in a four game stretch from January 19 to 31, then won 11 in a row until the state quarterfinal loss to Boys' Latin Charter. They had just knocked off favorite Berks Catholic the game before that.



15. Berks Catholic (28-3) (District 3 AAA)

The Saints in their first year were hoping for a match up with either Boys' Latin Charter, Neumann-Goretti or both before the loss to Abington Heights. They had wins over Harrisburg, Philadelphia Electrical Charter and Philadelphia Communications Tech during the season and had an upset loss to York Catholic and PIAA A state champ, Philadelphia Constitution as their only losses.



16. Hampton (25-5) (WPIAL/District 7 AAA)

The Talbots were a young team that's only losses after December were to undefeated, at the time, New Castle and then the season ending loss to Montour, a team they beat in the WPIAL semifinals. Their other big win came in the PIAA AAA quarterfinals when they beat Radnor Archbishop Carroll, 45-44.



17. Radnor Archbishop Carroll (20-8) (Philadelphia Catholic League/District 12 AAAA)

The Patriots had really picked it up the second half of the season winning 16 of their last 20 games, including wins over both Roman Catholic and St. Joseph's Prep in the same week which pushed them into the Top 10 at that time. They then lost to St. Joseph's Prep in the Catholic League semifinal, won three in a row before losing in the PIAA AAA Quarterfinal to Hampton 45-44. Besides a loss to Neumann-Goretti they only had two other losses to PIAA schools, Archbishop Ryan and Wissahickon.



18. Gateway (21-7) (WPIAL/District 7 AAAA)

The Gators did not do as well as expected during the regular season but got on track enough to win the WPIAL AAAA championship before losing to Shaler in the PIAA AAAA Round of 16. They did have a win near the end of the season over PIAA AAA runner up Montour and also beat a hot AAAA playoff team in Pittsburgh Central Catholic.



19. Harrisburg (21-7) (District 3 AAAA)

The Cougars split four games with Central Dauphin, including losing in the PIAA AAAA quarterfinals when they were without 6-2 Sr Haiishen McIntyre who was out because he needed surgery on his knee. They did beat the Rams in overtime in the District 3 quarterfinals but then lost the championship to Chambersburg.



20. General McLane (26-1) (District 10 AAA)

The Lancers stayed undefeated until losing to Montour in the PIAA AAA quarterfinal. District 10 was not really strong this year, but they did get an early season win over AAAA District 10 champion, Erie Cathedral Prep. d Christian, Texas, Pompano Beach Blanch Ely, Florida and Fort Myers Bishop Verot, Florida. They then lost consecutive two point games to Division A Public League foes, Vaux