Boys basketball: District One Class AAAA opening round game capsules

Boys Basketball

District One Class AAAA

Opening Round

Friday, Feb. 18

 (18) Spring-Ford at (15) Wissahickon

7 p.m.

The records: Spring-Ford is 16-8 overall after winning the PAC-10 Liberty Division regular-season title with an 11-2 mark ... Wissahickon is 13-8 overall after finishing 7-5 in the Suburban One League’s American Conference

Inside stuff: The Rams have won 7 of 10, with two of those losses coming to Pope John Paul II, including a 51-45 setback Tuesday in the PAC-10 championship game ... The Trojans have won five straight and are 7-3 in their last 10

Players to watch: Spring-Ford is tough on the interior, with 6-5 Zameer McDowell (10 ppg) and 6-3 Darryl Branch (18 points, 13 rebounds in title-game loss to PJP), Josh Dishman (33 treys) is a threat from the perimeter ... Wissahickon is led by Jordan Reed, Anthony McKie and Kyle Garrett

What the coaches are saying

Mike Young (Spring-Ford): “It’s nice to have a chance to play again (after losing to PJP). Our goal on defense is to hold teams under 54 points. If we do that, we feel we have a good chance to win.”

Kyle Wilson (Wissahickon): “We want to take advantage of the home game. Spring-Ford will bring a big crowd, and it is going to be a good test for us. They have some size, and they have some athleticism. Right now, we’re more concerned with how we play – how we execute.”

(20) Methacton at (13) Lower Merion

7 p.m.

The records: Methacton is 14-9 overall after posting a 10-3 regular season record in the Liberty Conference. The Warriors fell to Pope John Paul II 56-41 last Friday in the PAC-10 semifinals ... Lower Merion is 15-7 with a 12-3 slate in the Central League

Inside stuff: The Warriors’ depth has been shortened by the loss of guard Brian Miller to a torn ACL. Still, they run an 8-man rotation and look to force an up-tempo game with constant full-court pressure. Methacton has finished strong, winning 10 of 13 … The Aces have won 7 straight and 9 of 10. Offense is no problem for Lower Merion, which has three consecutive games with 70-plus points.

Players to watch: Methacton is balanced, with 3 players – 5-10 guard Evan Galloway, 6-3 forward Scott Markle and 5-9 guard Mike Handley – all averaging between 9 and 11 ppg. Brendan Casper, a 6-2 sophomore center, has been a find on the inside, averaging nearly 12 ppg over his last 10 outings … The Aces are guard-oriented, led by the three-headed backcourt monster of 6-2 Mike Robbins, 6-1 Raheem Hall and 5-10 Darius Hall. Eric Green, a 6-2 forward, is Lower Merion’s most consistent inside player.

What the coach is saying

Jeff Derstine (Methacton): “We’ve been an up-tempo team all year. We’ve played great defense and our guys play well together. Our goal was to win the PAC-10 championship. We lost a playoff game, but the nice thing about that is we’re not finished. We still have the district playoffs.”

(32) Perkiomen Valley at (1) Chester

7 p.m.

The records: Perkiomen Valley is 10-13 overall, 6-7 in the PAC-10 Liberty ... Chester, the Del Val champs, is 21-1, with 15 straight wins. The Clippers only loss this season was a 62-57 setback to Delaware-power Sanford

Inside stuff: The Vikings have lost their top 2 players - Andrew Kenney (17 ppg), Chris Stewart (9 ppg) – to injuries. Another starter Brett Davis is also out with an ankle injury. PV won its PAC-10 final, hammering Owen J. Roberts 63-32, but has lost 8 of its last 10 … The Clippers have won six state championships overall. In each of the last seven years, Chester has earned either a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the district tournament.

Players to watch: Depleted PV will need big games from guards Erik Ragusa and Ian Rykaczewski and stellar efforts from 6-2 forward Terrance Thinna and unproven 6-8 center Marcus Williams to hang with the Clippers … Chester is loaded, with 6-5 forwards Lamon Church (14 ppg) and Erikk Wright patrolling the paint. The backcourt is anchored by Maurice Nelson (12.7 ppg)and DeQuann Walker.

What the coaches are saying

Larry Yarbray (Chester): “Our kids look at the bracket just like everybody else. They want to prove to everyone they’re the best. They’re licking their chops for a good game.” (From the Delco Times website)

Jim Stinger (Perk Valley): “We’ll have our hands full with Chester. The other day we were working on 5 on 8 drills. That's the kind of pressure we expect to see. We’ll be starting four underclassmen, so it should be an experience for them.”

- DAVE KURTZ