ed note: This year we will again post the top ten in the state. Thanks to MASN!




Updated 3/31/03



MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2003


1. Philadelphia St. Joseph's Prep 30-2 - Philadelphia Catholic League champion. Finished 2nd in the Alhambra National Catholic Invitational in Cumberland, MD. Defeated Cumberland Bishop Walsh 93-47 in first round and then Severn Archbishop Spalding, MD 54-52 in semifinals. Lost championship game to Arlington Bishop O'Connell 60-50 to end season.


2. Philadelphia Cardinal Dougherty 24-4 - Finished runnerup to St. Joe in Philadelphia Catholic League. Had wins over PIAA AAAA runnerup, Chester along with Catholic League powers St. John Neumann and Roman Catholic.


3. Philadelphia St. John Neumann 18-8 - Despite having 8 losses the Pirates defeated Philadelphia Public League champion, John Bartram along with power Strawberry Mansion.


4. Philadelphia John Bartram 24-4 - Philadelphia Public League champion. Beat all the Public powers, including Simon Gratz twice. Also defeated Chester.


5. Philadelphia Roman Catholic 19-8 - Had wins over Simon Gratz, Lancaster and gave #1 St. Joe Prep their only regular season loss.


6. Philadelphia Simon Gratz 23-6 - Finished runnerup to John Bartram for Public League championship.


7. Harrisburg 26-4 - Won District 3 AAAA championship, then was upset in 2nd round of state tournament by Coatesville. Nagging injuries and flu bug held Cougars back in February and March but still had better season than any PIAA school, including big 64-37 win over eventual AAAA state champion, State College.


8. Philadelphia Martin Luther King 22-5 - Split two games with Public League champion, John Bartram winning in overtime in early February then losing in playoff semifinal. Beat Simon Gratz in regular season final game in overtime.


9. Philadelphia Franklin Learning Center 22-4 - Knocked out of Public League playoffs in semifinals by Simon Gratz. Beat Chester in Farrell Christmas Tournament.


10. Philadelphia Strawberry Mansion 21-5 - Lost to ML King in Public League quarterfinals.


11. Trinity 33-0 - Won second AA state championship in two years. Has won 75 of last 76 games.


12. State College 25-6 - Despite losing District 6 AAAA championship to Altoona and looking suspect during state tourney run, the Little Lions turned in on in the western finals with a huge 59-35 win over Altoona and kept in going with a 76-71 overtime win over Chester, in a great game, for the AAAA state title. Should be strong again next year with a ton of returnees.


13. Chester 27-7 - Wadded through the east side of the AAAA bracket with some close calls but just didn't have quite enough to turn back State College in the finals. With most of the team returning is a favorite along with State College and Harrisburg to wear the AAAA crown next year. Four of the six regular season losses came to Philly powers, Cardinal Dougherty, John Bartram, Franklin Learning Center and Strawberry Mansion.


14. Lancaster Catholic 35-0 - Some at Hershey called this team the best in the PIAA. They sure were on a mission with big wins over Steelton-Highspire twice and over our AAA favorite Harriton. But we stick by our guns because the Harriton game (an overtime win) could have gone either way and we know that both Chester and State College defeated Harriton by more than the Crusaders. Whatever they had the best season of any Lancaster County team in history. The 35 wins was reported in one Lancaster paper as being the most by a large school. This is not true. My records show that several large schools won 36 games. I may provide that list on the District 3 page later.


15. Harriton 25-5 - The Rams had Lancaster Catholic where they wanted them in the fourth quarter leading by 11, but let the game slip away by going away from what they were doing to get the lead. Then they missed free throws down the stretch and Lancaster Catholic took full advantage and the Rams season was over early.


16. Altoona 25-5 - Mountain Lions defeated State College to win the District 6 AAAA title, then made it to the western final before losing to State College to split the season series with the state champs, 2-2.


17. Steelton-Highspire 22-9 - Lost to Lancaster Catholic in District AAA championship game, but then roared through east AAA bracket, including 62-56 win over previously undefeated Blue Mountain (30-1), before meeting Lancaster Catholic again in the east final. This one was much closer with the Rollers even leading by seven in the 3rd quarter, but they could not hold it and fell 66-60.


18. Coatesville 24-10 - The 'Ville was hot down the stretch losing only to Chester in District 1 AAAA semfinals and again in East finals after January 28. Included was the win over Harrisburg in states.


19. Glen Mills 24-7 - Another hot District 1 team in February and March. Three of seven losses were to Chester, including in the east semifinals. Also upset by Council Rock North in District 1 quarterfinal. Knocked off District 11 champ, Parkland 63-61 and District 3 runnerup, Lancaster 68-64 in first two rounds of state tournament before losing to Chester.


20. Lancaster 25-7 - After December 14, the Tornados only losses were to Lancaster Catholic in the Lancaster-Lebanon Championship game, Harrisburg in the District 3 AAAA championship game and to Glen Mills in the second round of state tournament.


NOTE: Western AAAA teams, Penn Hills, Upper St. Clair, Pittsburgh Oliver, Hempfield Area and Plum were closer to the AAAA teams in the east than in years past. All would be in a PIAA top 20, if not for the Philly teams. But remember the Philly Public League enters the PIAA next year. Also the east teams were not that strong this year either. WPIAL teams take a page from State College's book and play some out of area teams. The Little Lions got around this year and it paid off. They played Harrisburg, Williamsport twice (both wins), Penn Hills and Pittsburgh Oliver (both losses) and AAA west power Franklin on the road along with the state's #2 AAA team, Harriton (both wins).


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