2010 Boys' BB Notebook (Vol. 4)

By Scott Huff 

Upper Moreland (1-6) won its first game of the season when senior Matt Worley hit a baseline jumper with 2.6 seconds left to defeat Owen J Roberts – 61-59 – in the consolation finals of the Great Valley Tournament last week.
“That win felt great, we are getting better each game,” said Upper Moreland head coach Brian Corrado. “We were down 13 points in the second half, and it didn’t look too good for us.
“It is hard for the players to be confident in themselves when we don’t get some wins,” added Corrado. “We are still learning what is about being a Class AAA team in a Quad-A league.”
The reality for the Golden Bears is that they compete in the Suburban One League American Conference that features five Quad-A schools – Norristown, Cheltenham, Plymouth Whitemarsh, Wissahickon, Upper Dublin - and one other AAA school – Upper Merion.
“It is a basketball league with exceptional competition,” said Corrado. “But we have the mindset that when we play that very high level of competition, it will make us better.
“We really take it only one game at a time,” added Corrado. “We have some good sophomores who are gaining some good experience this year.”
Golden Bears sophs Matt Kohn and Nick Corbett are getting battled tested this season.
Upper Merion (4-4) head coach Francis Bowe is also not shying away from the Quad-A challenge.
“This league really does so much for our program,” said Bowe. “I am absolutely not upset about playing PW, Norristown, Cheltenham, Wissahickon, and Upper Dublin. That competition really prepares us for districts.
“We don’t like coming home after games with losses, and some of the scores may not be pretty,” added Bowe. “Right now we’re 4-4, and it might sound a little odd to be proud of that record.”
The Vikings have a pair of superlative junior guards in James Mobley and Pat Stringfield.
“Those two players have been really exciting to coach,” said Bowe. “And their development will be advanced because of the schedule that we play.”
Coach Bowe came on board after the current non-league schedule was finalized.
“Next year, I want our kids to play some teams from District 3, District 5, and District 12,” said Bowe. “There isn’t anywhere in the state that I wouldn’t want us to play.”
But right now for both Upper Merion and Upper Moreland there is no place like home – in the Suburban One League American Conference.
Facts and Figures About the SOL American Conference
Male Enrollment – Norristown (815); Cheltenham (623); Plymouth Whitemarsh (614); Wissahickon (571); Upper Dublin (567); Upper Merion (414); Upper Moreland (408).
**Ghosts Play It Tough**
Abington (3-5) may have a losing record, but the Ghosts have played a sensational schedule so far this season.
“We are a much better team than our record,” said first year Abington head coach Charles Grasty. “We have lost to some pretty good teams.”
Abington has lost SOL non-league games to Norristown (8-0), Archbishop Wood (6-2), and Engineering & Science (6-2). The Ghosts have dropped SOL National Conference games to both Neshaminy (7-0) and Council Rock North (5-1).
Those teams have combined for a record of 32-5 and a winning percentage of .865!
“We are beginning to hit our stride,” said Grasty. “The players are new to the coaching staff, and we are getting to know each other.
“We are a guard-oriented team right now,” added Grasty. “We need to get (6-foot, 6-inch) Julian Keys some more touches inside, and we have to continue to do the things we do well.
“DJ McFadden can really get up and down the floor, and we need him to be fill the role of our scorer,” added Grasty. “He is such an unselfish player, but we need him to take more shots.
“Wesley Rines had a good tournament (Chris Smith Memorial Tournament @ North Penn),” continued Grasty. “He made the all-tournament game and scored 20 points against Methacton.”
Abington beat Methacton 59-58 in overtime in the consolation game of the tournament.
“It was exciting for the fans, but I was pulling my hair out,” said Grasty. “It was a nice win for us.”
***Pennridge Alum Goes Home Again***
Hatboro-Horsham (4-4) head coach Dennis Steinly is a 1984 graduate and played varsity basketball for the Rams.
Steinly will go back to his alma mater with the intention of derailing what has become a rare Pennridge boys’ basketball locomotive.
The Rams – who have never won boys hoops title in the history of Pennridge – are currently 8-1 this season.
“I really feel good for (Pennridge head coach) Dean (Behrens),” said Steinly. “Being a Pennridge alum, I know what he has been going through the last few years.
“Pennridge has become a very tough place to play,” added Steinly. “Pennridge (away), Souderton (away), and CB West (home) are going to be a tough stretch of games for us. It could make or break or season.”
The Hatters have gotten a wonderful contribution from senior captain Matt Kane so far this season. The three-year varsity guard helped H-H to get off to a strong 3-1 start running the offense from the point.
“Matt has been without question our most consistent player on the team,” said Steinly. “He has been our anchor, and I don’t ever worry with him on the floor.
“(Senior) Travis Bryan and (sophomore) Mike Brown have been getting a lot of attention with their ability to score,” continued Steinly. “(Senior) Shane Cummings has come off the bench and given us a spark, and (sophomore) Ryan Kelly has played very well.”
Suburban One Sports.com ‘Top Ten’
1. Neshaminy Redskins
2. Council Rock North Indians
3. Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials
4. Norristown Eagles
5. Cheltenham Panthers
6. Pennridge Rams
7. North Penn Knights
8. Bensalem Owls
9. Souderton Indians
10. CB West Bucks