Four straight years Berks Catholic and Reading High have faced off for the BCIAA Boys Hoop Title. The first three went the way of the Red Knights. Wednesday night at the Santander Arena in Reading, BC jumped out quickly and hung on late to win the Berks County Basketball Tourney 51-46 over Reading High. The victory marked the 700th career win for Berks Catholic Head Coach Snip Esterly.
Tre Dabney had a huge night for the Saints. Tre had a game high 18 points and led the stellar defensive effort by Berks Catholic. Luis Garcia had 10 points and 9 each for Keba Mitchell and Casey Jack. Reading High was led by Xavier Starks 14 points.
After a jittery start by both teams, Berks Catholic set the tempo of the game in quarter one. The Saints D kept the red Knights in check and led 14-4 after one. Reading picked up the intensity in quarter two. The Red Knights pressure D forced some BC turnovers to close the gap, but at the break it was Berks Catholic 21 Reading High 13.
Starting quarter three Reading moved the intensity up another notch. It was turning into a Red Knight tempo and game but BC still hung on to a 36-30 lead after three. Quarter four was just a free for all. Both teams letting it all hang out and leaving nothing in the tank. BC managed to pull out to a ten point lead with 4:44 left. Then the Red Knights came storming back. The BC lead was only two with 2:24 left. Again and again BC took the best the Red Knights had to offer and held there own from the field and free throw line despite star Keba Mitchell fouling out. The Saints prevailed in the end to capture the title 51-46.
Both Berks Catholic and Reading High have first round bye’s and will open at home in the District Three tourney next week.
All year long the talk in Berks County basketball has been, is it Reading High or is it going to be Berks Catholic this year. Well you now have your wish. At Santander Arena Wednesday night, Reading High and Berks Catholic won impressively and will face off for the Berks County Basketball Tourney Title. Reading dispatched Exeter 54-26 and Berks Catholic made it three victories this year over Conrad Weiser 53-33.
Reading’s balanced scoring attack was led by Ricki Lopez with 12 and Wesley Butler with 10. Luis Garcia was the man for Berks Catholic with 16 points , Keba Mitchell had 12 and Tre Dabney 9 for the Saints.
Berks Catholic is clearly one of the favorites in the BCIAA Boys basketball tournament. There quarterfinal matchup was with a lower seeded Governor Mifflin team playing its best basketball of the season. The Saints moved out quickly and then held off a spirited Mifflin rally to defeat the Mustangs 59-49 Friday night.
A strong second half by Kyran Mitchell made him the Saints leading scorer with 17. Casey Jack had 13 and once again a strong inside effort by Keba Mitchell controlled the glass. Mifflin Senior Casey Klahr had quite a night in his final Mifflin game. Casey’s 24 points came from all over the floor and kept the Mustangs in the game throughout.
Before you even got settled in your seat Berks Catholic pulled out to a ten point advantage. When the Saints Luis Garcia drained a three to end the first quarter it was 23-6 BC on top. Berks Catholic extended the lead to 18 in quarter two before Mifflin seemed to gain some momentum. A mini run going into the half made the score BC 29 Mifflin 18
Mifflin kept the momentum going coming out of the half. The Mustangs closed it to 32-26 at the 4:44 mark of quarter three, but that’s as close as Mifflin would get. BC led 39-31 after three. Keba Mitchell stepped it up in quarter four with a block and a slam on back to back possessions to ignite the Saints once again. The BC lead moved out to 13 with 4:28 left. Mifflin never stopped battling, but came up short as the Saints withstood the Mustang stampede 59-49.
That’s (21-2) for Berks Catholic and on to the BCIAA Semi finals at Santander Arena Monday vs Conrad Weiser in Boys game one. An up and down year for Governor Mifflin ends with the Mustangs finishing at (9-14).
Growing up in Indiana I learned to enjoy the post season tournaments that match up big schools vs small schools, county vs city and the schools that rarely schedule one another. These games are filled with emotion. It is great for the teams, coaches and most importantly the fans. Such was the case at Exeter High School Friday night at a doubleheader of quarterfinal matchups. In game one, it was a Berks II runner up Conrad Weiser vs Berks III champ Kutztown. Balanced scoring by the Scouts and keeping Cougars Lorencz Jean-Baptiste in check translated to a 62-50 victory Friday night.
Scoring from all over the floor and leading Weiser was Alex McKenzie with 16 points. Solid performances were turned in by Nathan Dobb who had 15 and Alex Drukenmiller with 12. Jean-Baptiste still managed 21 hard earned points to lead Kutztown. Dane Fegley had a good shooting night with 15 points.
Dane Fegley started out hot from behind the arc for Kutztown. The Cougars jumped out fast and led after one 15-8. Then Alex McKenzie and the Scouts began to chip away at the lead in quarter two. An Alex Druckenmiller three with a minute in the half gave the Scouts there first lead and at the break it was Conrad Weiser 27 Kutztown 25.
The third quarter saw the Scouts extend the lead to as much as eight points. Kutztown battled back and going to the 4th it was 40-38 Conrad Weiser. The Scouts moved out quickly in the 4th, but the Cougars were within two 49-47 with five minutes left. The Cougars went cold at just at the wrong time. Weiser made some key free throws down the stretch and pulled away at the end for a 62-50 victory.
Conrad Weiser (15-8) moves on to face Berks Catholic in a BCIAA semi final matchup Monday night at the Santander Arena. Kutztown is now (19-3) and awaits the draw for the District Three playoffs.
It all came down to the final regular season Berks I game for Muhlenberg and Governor Mifflin. Both teams have had up and down seasons. The victor of Tuesday nights matchup would move on to play in the BCIAA basketball tournament. The Mustangs moved out quickly and played high quality basketball all night long. Governor Mifflin defeated Muhlenberg 69-44 and qualify for Berks League post season tournament.
Two Mifflin Seniors had outstanding performances on Senior night. Ben Walmer hit from everywhere on the floor and poured in 24 points. Casey Klahr getting back into the swing of the offense for the Mustangs had 18. Bryce Black was a rebounding machine and contributed 11. Makai Washington did everything he could for Muhlenberg. Washington had 5 three pointers in his 22 points.
It was a good opening quarter for the Mustangs. Mifflin led by as many as 13 points but the Mules rallied late to make it 18-10 after one. Jahmere Evans got saddled with three early fouls. Evans foul truble would be a huge blow to the Mules all night long. Mifflin ran quality offensive sets in quarter two while the Mules had difficulty without Evans. As the quarter progressed the turnovers mounted for Muhlenberg, and so did the deficit. By halftime it was Governor Mifflin 39 Muhlenberg 18.
Mifflin would have an answer with each Muhlenberg run in quarter three. The Mustangs extended the lead to 54-30 after three. The fourth quarter was not much more than a game of keep away. Governor Mifflin rolled past Muhlenberg 69-44.
Governor Mifflin (9-13) has earned a spot in the Berks Tourney that begins Friday. Muhlenberg made great strides under first year Head Coach Ty Nesby . The Mules set a team record for made three pointers this year and finished with a record of (9-13)
Back on January 18th Muhlenberg handed Exeter a 54-48 defeat across town at the Mules home floor. Now it was Exeter’s turn to play host. On the heels of a two game win streak Muhlenberg was playing for their post season lives in Berks County and District 3. IN one of the most entertaining games I have covered all year, Exeter came back from a six pint halftime deficit to beat Muhlenberg 70-64.
In a game of great plays and outstanding performances Exeter’s Alex Javier stood out. Alex led all scorers with 21 points. Riley Dobraniecky and Anthony Wise chipped in 12 a piece for the Eagles. Jahmere Evans was fearless all night long for Muhlenberg. He and Dre Kipp paced Muhlenberg each with 19 points.
Things got started quickly in the first quarter. Clearly Muhlenberg wanted to play up tempo and Exeter said lets do this. Sharpe passing, fast breaks and aggressive offense by both teams had Muhlenberg on top 19-15 after one. In quarter two. the Mules showed some flash. Fast breaking, three pointers and fearless inside moves had the Mules on top by six at the break,
There was no backing down by Exeter after the break. The Eagles got out on the fast break and got hot from beyond the arc in quarter three. They blew past Muhlenberg with a 19-8 quarter and held 53-48 lead into the fourth. Muhlenberg gave it a valiant effort in the final quarter. The MulesTgot to within three with 2:22 left but no closer. Exeter hung on for a whole lotta fun 70-64 win.
The12-8 Eagles of Exeter still has Sch. Valley and Daniel Boone on the schedule before the Berks County Tourney opens next week. Muhlenberg now 9-12 has a win or go home matchup with Governor Mifflin Monday to make the Berks County Tourney field.
Technically it is a non-league game but when Wilson and Berks Catholic get together in any sport there are fire-works. Each team trying to gain more momentum going into next weeks Berks County Tournament. Both teams came out playing as if it was a post season game. Tough, physical defense was played by both teams well away from the basket. It came down to a steal on the final possession for Berks Catholic to sew up a 32-31 barnburner with Wilson WL Thursday Night at BC.
Berks Catholic’s Keba Mitchell proved to be a matchup problem for Wilson all night long. Keba was working inside on the offensive an defensive ends. The Senior was able to manage a game high 14 points. Keba hit key free throws down the stretch for BC to bring home the victory Freshman Stevie Mitchell was solid all night long and led Wilson with 13 points.
BC and Wilson settled into deliberate offensive sets right from the start. Neither team shot well at all in the first quarter and there were very few second chance opportunities. It was six all after one. Both teams tied to get the ball inside in quarter two Tough interior defense coupled with good rebounding translated to a very low scoring half. Wilson was on top 12-11 at the break.
The third quarter saw Wilson out in front by only as much as three points A layup near the end of the quarter by Jack Hargelbarger sent it to the fourth tied at 22. BC gained some momentum in the fourth The Saints were able to maintain a three point lead for mostly by making opportunities from the charity strip. Wilson had a chance to win by forcing a turnover after a missed free throw with 16.3 left. Great team D by BC had the game end when the Saints stole the ball and time ran out. The final was Berks Catholic 32 Wilson 31.
BC moves to 16-2. The Saints are clearly one of the favorites to win the county title. Wilson drops to 13-7 but will certainly make the field in the Berks Tourney and the District Three race.
Wilson and Governor Mifflin opened Berks I league play against one another in early January. In the first matchup at Wilson, the Bulldogs controlled most of the game and prevailed 54-39. Tuesday in almost a mirror image performance in Shillington, the Bulldogs jumped out early and came out on top over Governor Mifflin 52-37.
Freshman Stevie Mitchell led a balanced Wilson attack with 13. Logan Horst had another solid game. Horst had key rebounds and blocks inside and another good performance beyond the arc. Bryce Black had 9 to lead a hard luck Mifflin offensive effort.
It was a slow starting affair with Wilson up 4-2 at the 3:28 mark of quarter one. The first quarter ended with Wilson on top 11-6. The second quarter was almost exactly like the first. Wilson had deliberate, productive offensive sets, Mifflin seemed to struggle getting into any offensive rhythm. We went to half Wilson ahead 24-12.
Wilson never let Mifflin in this game. The Bulldogs played lights out D all night long and rarely let Mifflin have any second chances on the offensive end. After three Wilson stretched the lead to 38-21. The final was Wilson 52 Governor Mifflin 37.
Wilson (13-6) has a cross town showdown with Berks Catholic on Thursday. Governor Mifflin (8-11) hosts Reading High Thursday.
Streaks collided Friday as Berks Catholic visited Conrad Weiser. The Scouts came in to the matchup winners of seven in a row and were undefeated in League play. The Saints had won nine straight and were undefeated in League play as well. Something had to give. Berks Catholic jumped out to a quick lead and finished strong to defeat Conrad Weiser 58-43.
“Mr. In and Out” Casey Jack led the way for Berks Catholic with 21 points. Casey had two three pointers and several nice post up moves in the contest. Keba Mitchells 14 points don’t tell the whole story of how his presence inside changes a game. Tre Dabney chipped in 11. Conrad Weiser’s Nathan Dobb is a hidden gem. Nathan had 24 points from everywhere on the floor. Dobb had some really nice jump shots off the dribble and was solid from charity stripe.
A fast start by Tre Dabney got Berks Catholic out quickly. A nice put back by Keba Mitchell to finish the quarter had the Saints up 19-5 after one. Berks Catholic maintained a 14-17 point cushion throughout quarter two and at half led 32-17 over the Scouts.
Nathan Dobbs single handedly kept Conrad Weiser in the game. His three pointer with 5:29 left in quarter three closed the gap to 12. But some great interior D by the Saints and key blocked shots by Keba Mitchell allowed BC to move out to a 47-30 lead at the end of the third quarter. The Saints played keep away in quarter four and came away with a 58-43 win.
BC now (14-2) has a tough five game week ahead. A re-match with the Scouts and a clash with Wilson to finish a back to back to back stretch awaits the Saints. Weiser (11-7) looks to regroup at an improving Twin Valley on Tuesday.
The Kutztown Cougars came into Wednesday nights matchup with the Wyomissing Spartans riding high. 15 straight wins and number one in the District Three AAA power rating. Wyomissing entered with only five wins and was still searching for team chemistry. So I guess the writing was on the wall for this one, or was it. Wyomissing fought the Cougars tough all night long. The Spartans forced OT and then let Dom Wise take over. Wyomissing upset Kutztown 54-47 Wednesday night.
Dominic Wise was a one man wrecking crew for the Spartans and got better as the game wore on. 12 of Wise’s game high 26 points came in the overtime. Wise also had 15 rebounds. Dominic was tasked to guard Cougar standout Lorencz Jean-Baptiste LJP ended with only two field goals, but did tally 15 points.
After a very slow start both teams finally settled in. Kutztown picked up the pace toward the end for the quarter and held an 11-7 advantage after one. Things turned around in the Spartans favor in quarter two. Some deliberate offensive sets and key free throws vaulted the Spartans to a 21-17 halftime lead.
Kutztown made a run to start the second half. LJP and Brayden Eck made some nice moves to the basket and the Cougars were solid from the charity stripe. At the end of three it was Kutztown 32 Wyomissing 26. Wyo got back in the game early in the final quarter and it went back and forth the rest of the way. Both teams had a shot to win in regulation but failed. It was extra basketball time and time to shine for Dom Wise. Wise controlled the defensive end and the Spartan offensive flowed through him the entire extra period. The Cougars had no answer for Mr. Wise and the Spartans pulled away for the 54-47win.
Kutztown (15-2) now needs to regroup against Oley Valley on Friday. Wyomissing (6-10) meets up with a much improved Twin Valley on Friday as well.