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Basketball playoffs: East boys, girls vie for state seeding


Tuesday night capped off a busy playoff week for area cagers.

The No. 7 Central Bucks East (19-8) boys continued their journey for PIAA seeding with a tough 80-73 loss at No. 6 Methacton in playbacks. East opened the fourth quarter with a monster 19-4 run, erasing a 12-point deficit and giving the Patriots a 70-67 lead. Tyler Dandrea’s 23 points paced East. The Patriots will host No. 24 Springfield Delco in Friday’s 7/8 seed game.

East lost to No. 2 WC Henderson 68-63 in Friday’s District One 6A quarterfinals to put the Patriots in playbacks; a Dandrea 3 with 23 seconds left pulled East within two.

The Archbishop Wood boys (16-8) won their Tuesday District 12 6A PIAA play-in game 65-43 against Northeast. Wood forced a running clock. The Vikings are the district’s third seed and will take on District One’s five seed when state play begins on March 9.

Both South Hunterdon programs saw their season end Tuesday in the second round of Central Jersey Group 1 sectionals. The No. 7 Eagles (9-15) boys lost 51-33 at No. 2 Shore; Aaron Zalescik scored 16 for South Hunterdon. South Hunterdon beat No. 10 STEMCivics 60-47 last Thursday in the first round, using a 19-point third quarter to blow open the game. Alex Romano’s 21 points were his season high.

The No. 8 South Hunterdon girls (8-19) fell at No. 1 Middlesex 58-40. Kadie Fleming had a double-double; Ariday Cruz’s 12 points were a season high. The Eagles beat No. 9 Keansburg 54-42 in last Thursday’s opening round. South Hunterdon turned a two-point halftime lead into a 41-29 advantage entering the fourth. Fleming’s 18 points led the Eagles and Lucy Spreen’s 14 points were her season high.

No. 18 Council Rock South (15-10) had a difficult end to its season on Saturday afternoon when the Golden Hawks lost in overtime 57-56 at No. 10 West Chester Henderson in girls District One 6A playbacks. A state berth was at stake. Kathyrn O’Kane led the Golden Hawks with 19 points. Fiona Reckner and Liliana Metrick both added 14. CR South had its first playoff win since 2011 when it topped No. 15 Unionville in the first round on Feb. 16.

Friday night was a tough night for several area teams on the court. The No. 11 Central Bucks West (19-9) boys lost 51-43 at No. 3 Spring-Ford in District One 6A playbacks, ending their season. Matt Engle scored 14 to pace West.

The No. 8 CB East girls (19-7) headed to playbacks on Friday after falling to No. 1 Perkiomen Valley 54-25. Patriot Anna Barry scored her 1,000th career point in the fourth quarter. East travels to No. 4 Haverford in a late seeding game on Wednesday.

The Patriots topped No. 9 Neshaminy 48-39 in the Feb. 21 second round, avenging a regular season defeat and punching their ticket to states. Barry scored 17 points and defensively, Chantal van Dongeren limited Neshaminy star Reese Zemitis to just five points.

The No. 3 Solebury Spartans (16-12) lost in the Commonwealth Cup final to No. 1 Germantown Academy 92-62. Two days prior, Solebury built up a 19-point halftime lead and cruised to a 77-59 semifinal win at No. 2 Abington Friends. Makhai Anderson’s 22 paced Solebury, giving him his sixth straight game of 15-plus points. Christian Dominguez’s 11 points were two off of his season high.

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