This week’s notebook highlights Quakertown coach Kevin Keeler as well as Cheltenham and William Tennent. To view photos of the CR North/Pennsbury and William Tennent/Neshaminy games, please visit the Photo Gallery.
By Scott Huff
Quakertown head coach Kevin Keeler collected his 300thcoaching victory when the Panthers captured a thrilling 37-32 Suburban One League Continental Conference overtime victory over North Penn Friday night. The veteran coach, who began his 30th season as head coach of the Black Cats this season, has shown tremendous patience in gaining his milestone victory.
Quakertown collected 10 wins in the 2009-2010 season, and Keeler was just six wins short of that elusive 300 victories. The Panthers finished the 2010-2011 season with a 1-20 record and followed with a 2-20 record in the 2011-2012.
“Losing is brutal,” said Keeler. “It creates a mentality of acceptance, and it is very difficult to overcome. And it’s not like we have a basketball factory here at Quakertown.”
Quiz – How many Division I players has Keeler coached in his nearly three-decade tenure at Quakertown?
Answer will come a bit later.
“I have been doing this a long time, but I still get excited and nervous before every game,” said Keeler. “And to be able to beat a team like North Penn for the 300th win was fantastic. We played some great defense to come up with that win, and what happened after the game was very special.
“(Quakertown Athletic Director) Sylvia Kalazs presented me with plaque after the game at midcourt,” added Keeler. “I was a little stunned by the gesture. It was a great feeling.”
The feeling must have been similar to the glory days for Quakertown hoops. The Panthers captured back-to-back Suburban One League titles in 1988-1989 and 1989-1990 under Coach Keeler as both Q-town squads racked up impressive 22-4 records.
“Robbie Gluck – who went on to play college basketball at Bloomsburg – was a great player on those teams,” said Keeler. “I remember back then it was us and Plymouth Whitemarsh playing for championships. But that was a while ago.
“The league we play in now is just do darn good,” continued Keeler. “We are almost like a 2A team playing in a 4A league. We have 17 players on both our varsity and junior varsity, and some teams that many on the varsity. It is tough, at times, for us to compete.”
Quakertown, though, has collected some wins along the way this 2012-2013 season. The Panthers have beaten Christopher Dock (45-39) and Saucon Valley (49-44) in addition to the win over North Penn. (see below for win four)
“Mark Repsher has been our leading scorer and has done a real nice job of scoring in double figures,” said Keeler. “And Brett Wolf came up with 13 big points in the second half against North Penn.
“On most nights, we are going to play all 11 players that dress for varsity,” added Keeler. “We are still looking for combinations that work well together.”
Answer to quiz question – how about one Division I player – Brett Roseboro.
The 6-10 Roseboro was recruited by and offered a scholarship to Marquette but transferred to St. Bonaventure without playing for Marquette. He then transferred after two seasons with the Bonnies to the University of Maryland – Baltimore County. The 2009 Quakertown grad is currently on the UMBC roster.
“I really think I’ve only had about five to seven players go on to play at any level of college basketball,” said Keeler. “Kenny Gula is at Moravian right now, but there haven’t been a whole lot of other players. We just go out and work hard.”
And after 29-plus years, Keeler has earned every one of his 300 precious victories.
By the way, Keeler had to wait less than 24 hours for victory 301 as the Panthers defeated Upper Perkiomen 44-35 in a non-league game sparked by an 18-point scoring effort by Wolf. It was the first time Quakertown had won back-to-back games in three years.
Continental Conference Notes:
Hatboro-Horsham took over sole possession of first place as the Hatters topped Central Bucks South – 47-42. Both teams entered the game unbeaten in the conference. Ryan Kelly (16), Zach Quatrro (13) and Michael Brown (11) scored in double digits for the Hatters. Matt Scamuffo led the Titans with a team-high 14 points that included four 3-pointers.
Souderton kept pace with the conference leading Hatters as the Indians captured a 47-34 victory over Central Bucks East. Souderton was paced in scoring by Austin Murphy with a game-high 13 points, while Brendan Wagner scored 11 points for the Indians. East settled for a leading scorer with less than double figures as Matt Stauffer led the Patriots with nine points.
Central Bucks West evened its conference record as the Bucks collected a 66-42 victory over visiting Pennridge. CB West’s Jared Kelly scored a game-high 17 points that included five 3-pointers, while Cal Reichwein added 16 points that included four 3-pointers. Jeff Garner and Alex Krivda led the Rams with 10 points each.
North Penn failed to hold an eight-point lead with four minutes left in the game as the Knights fell to Quakertown by a 37-32 margin in an overtime contest. North Penn – which led 28-20 with four minutes left – would manage just four points over the final eight minutes of the game.
Continental Conference Standings:
Hatboro-Horsham Hatters – 4-0
Central Bucks South Titans – 3-1
Souderton Indians – 3-1
Central Bucks West Bucks – 2-2
Central Bucks East Patriots – 1-3
North Penn Knights – 1-3
Pennridge Rams – 1-3
Quakertown Panthers – 1-3
SOL American Conference
Cheltenham is in the conference penthouse after the Panthers knocked off defending conference champion Wissahickon – 57-45. Cheltenham is a perfect 4-0 in the conference and is in a first place tie with Norristown for the top spot in the standings.
“After the game, I didn’t have to tell the kids how big a win this was for us,” said Cheltenham head coach Brian Johnson. “We play against Wissahickon in the summer – and in the fall – and we know how good they are. Chase Wilson, Gordon Bentley, and Chris Vila are all excellent basketball players.
“We have a team with upperclassman, but we are very inexperienced on the varsity level,” added Johnson. “We felt that we needed to go out and challenge ourselves with our non-league schedule. We wanted to play good basketball teams that play different styles of basketball.
“We may not have won as many of those games that we would have liked,” continued Johnson as the Panthers have dropped games to Glen Mills, Pennsbury, Central, Frankford, and St. Vincent (Maryland). “But we have a team that wants to compete in the playoffs, and playing good teams is going to get you ready.”
Senior Aaron McGlawn has been more than ready for the Panthers.
“Aaron is our only three-year starter, and he has played at a very high level this year,” said Johnson of his team’s leading scorer. “He is our captain and he has become a very vocal leader for this team.
“Guy Henderson is a two-year starter for us, and he has been playing very well,” added Johnson of his 6-foot, 4-inch senior. “He is mostly an inside player for us, and he has taken advantage of his opportunities.”
The Panthers will have an opportunity to remain unbeaten in conference play. They would have to be considered favorites in conference games against both Upper Moreland and Upper Merion this week.
American Conference Notes:
Plymouth Whitemarsh snapped a four game losing streak and at the same time snapped a four game Upper Merion winning streak as the Colonials marched to a convincing 79-35 victory over the Vikings. Anthony McKie continued his role as one of the best scorers in the area with a 33-point performance for PW, while UM high scoring Justin Lewis was held to seven points.
Norristown kept a share of the conference lead as the Eagles soared to a 70-46 victory over visiting Springfield. The Eagles showcased their entire roster in the win and were led in scoring by senior guard Luke Kelley with 13 points. Game-high scoring honors, though, were reserved for Spartan senior guard Matt Krewson with 14 points.
Upper Moreland won its second conference game as the Golden Bears clawed Upper Dublin – 53-49. Matt Kohn was once again the featured scorer for the winners with a 20-point effort. Simeon Fryer led the Flying Cardinals with 13 points.
Wissahickon is the defending conference champion and the Trojans suffered their first conference loss of the season in a 57-45 setback to Cheltenham. Wissahickon was led in scoring by Chris Vila with a team-high 18 points, while Chase Wilson added 15 points for the Trojans. Aaron McGlawn scored a game-high 25 points for the Panthers.
American Conference Standings:
Cheltenham Panthers – 4-0
Norristown Eagles – 4-0
Wissahickon Trojans – 3-1
Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials – 2-2
Upper Moreland Golden Bears – 2-2
Upper Merion Vikings – 1-3
Springfield Spartans – 0-4
Upper Dublin Flying Cardinals – 0-4
SOL National Conference
William Tennent won its first conference game of the seasonand at the same time stopped a six-game losing streak as the Panthers routed Neshaminy – 59-30.
“It was good to get a win,” said William Tennent head coach Robert Mulville. “We have played a very tough schedule, and we haven’t been able to come up with too many wins. The theory is that you get better playing the good teams, and our goal is to be better in January than we were in December.”
One player that should become better and better for the Black Cats is 6-foot 8-inch sophomore Horace Spencer. Spencer had a monster game against Neshaminy with 26 points – 14 rebounds – and 6 blocked shots.
“Horace has been super the last few games,” said Mulville in reference to Spencer’s performances against both Constitution (Philadelphia) and TC Williams (Virginia) in the Jameer/Pete Nelson Classic played at Widener University over the holiday. “He got a chance to compete against excellent players, and he also got to see players play before and after our games. He saw the type of player that he wants to become.
“He may be only a sophomore, but he has played 30 varsity games already,” added Mulville. “He started every game as a freshman, and he continues to get better. He expects a lot of himself, and we expect a lot from him.
“Horace has demanded the ball much more in our offense,” continued Mulville. “And his team mates have done a good job of getting him the ball and making an effort to get the ball inside.”
Junior Matt Alden has made a solid contribution to the Panthers this season.
“Matt is a very focused player and a team player,” said Mulville. “And he is much quicker to the basket than most people realize.
“Right now, we are focused on Abington (Tuesday),” continued Mulville. “We look at that game as a great opportunity to play another good basketball team. It is going to be a real challenge for us.”
National Conference Notes:
Abington kept its share of the conference lead as the Ghosts captured a key 75-65 victory over Harry S Truman. Abington had some super numbers recorded by Anthony Durham in the win with 24 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, and five steals. Merdic Green – who has now scored over 1000 points for his career – led the Tigers with 21 points.
Bensalem kept its share of the conference lead as the Owls soared to a 55-40 victory over Council Rock South. Bensalem was once again led in scoring by senior guard Leo Vincent with 22 points, while Golden Hawk senior Christian Crane led all scorers with 23 points.
Council Rock North kept pace with the conference leaders as the Indians captured a critical 58-49 victory over Pennsbury. Rock North guard Rip Engel was super for the Indians with a 27 game-high performance that included 13 of 15 from the free throw line. Shawn Pepper (18) and Mekhi Bryant (17) led the Falcons.
Neshaminy is still in search of its first win of the season as the Redskins dropped its eighth straight game of the season in a 59-30 loss to William Tennent. Neshaminy was led in scoring by Conner McGarry with 12 points, while Horace Spencer led the Panthers with 26 points.
National Conference Standings:
Abington Ghosts – 4-0
Bensalem Owls – 4-0
Council Rock North Indians – 3-1
Harry S Truman Tigers – 2-2
Pennsbury Falcons – 2-2
William Tennent Panthers – 1-3
Council Rock South Golden Hawks – 0-4
Neshaminy Redskins – 0-4
1. Abington Ghosts
2. Hatboro-Horsham Hatters
3. Norristown Eagles
4. Council Rock North Indians
5. Bensalem Owls
Suburban One League – ‘On Deck’
Tuesday – January 8, 2013
Wissahickon Trojans (3-1) @ Upper Merion Vikings (1-3)
Norristown Eagles (4-0) @ Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials (2-2)
Springfield Spartans (0-4) @ Upper Dublin Flying Cardinals (0-4)
Cheltenham Panthers (4-0) @ Upper Moreland Golden Bears (2-2)
Hatboro-Horsham Hatters (4-0) @ North Penn Knights (1-3)
Central Bucks East Patriots (1-3) @ Quakertown Panthers (1-3)
Souderton Indians (3-1) @ Pennridge Rams (1-3)
Central Bucks South Titans (3-1) @ Central Bucks West Bucks (2-2)
Council Rock South Golden Hawks (0-3) @ Neshaminy Redskins (0-4)
Truman Tigers (2-2) @ Pennsbury Falcons (1-2)
Bensalem Owls (4-0) @ Council Rock North Indians (3-1)
Abington Ghosts (4-0) @ William Tennent Panthers (1-3)
Friday – January 11, 2013
Upper Merion Vikings @ Cheltenham Panthers
Norristown Eagles @ Wissahickon Trojans
Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials @ Upper Dublin Flying Cardinals
Upper Moreland Golden Bears @ Springfield Spartans
Quakertown Panthers @ Hatboro-Horsham Hatters
Central Bucks West Bucks @ North Penn Knights
Pennridge Rams @ Central Bucks East Patriots
Central Bucks South Titans @ Souderton Indians
William Tennent Panthers @ Council Rock South Golden Hawks
Pennsbury Falcons @ Abington Ghosts
Bensalem Owls @ Truman Tigers
Council Rock North Indians @ Neshaminy Redskins