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PIAA basketball

States preview: Wood, CB East, NH-S teams hope for one shining moment


The PIAA basketball tournaments begin on Friday. Five area teams – the Archbishop Wood girls and boys, the Central Bucks East girls and boys, and the New Hope-Solebury girls – are alive and begin a run that they hope ends in Hershey between March 21 and March 23.

Here is the tournament preview:

Archbishop Wood boys (16-8)

Wood is the District 12 No. 3 seed after its 65-43 win over Northeast on Feb. 27. The Vikings will play District One No. 5 seed Methacton at Cardinal O’Hara on March 9.

The well-rested Vikings have played just one game since Feb. 16. Wood had been playing its best basketball of the year, bringing a 10-game win streak into the PCL quarterfinal where the Vikings were stunned by Father Judge 78-71. One of the 10 wins was a Feb. 4 62-51 victory over Devon Prep, in which Jalil Bethea became Wood’s all-time leading scorer and coach John Mosco won his 200th game at Warminster.

Last trip to states: 2023. Lost in semifinals to Roman Catholic 66-56.

Last 10 games: 9-1

Fun fact: Bethea is the first PCL player to make the McDonald’s All-America game since Quade Green in 2017.

Archbishop Wood girls (21-5)

Wood is the District 12 5A champion. The Vikings will host District One sixth seed Radnor at home on March 9.

Wood ran the table in the PCL this year, going 14-0 and beating Archbishop Carroll 54-52 in a double overtime thriller to win the Catholic League title. Wood steamrolled Freire Charter 74-34 on Leap Day to win the District 12 crown. The well-balanced Vikings beat every other PCL team by double digits.

Last trip to states: 2023. Beat South Fayette 61-54 in the final to win their third straight state title and first as a 5A school.

Last 10 games: 10-0

Fun fact: All four upper class starters – Ava Renninger (first), Emily Knouse (first), Alexa Windish (second) and Lauren Greer (honorable mention) – earned All-PCL honors.

Central Bucks East boys (20-8)

CB East is the No. 7 seed out of District One in the 6A bracket; beating Springfield (D) 71-55 in the final seeding game gave the Patriots their 20th win. They will play at District Three runner-up Chambersburg on March 9.

The SOL Colonial Division has existed for four seasons and the Patriots have been champs or co-champs in every one. East earned the No. 7 seed and a first-round bye in the District One tournament. The Patriots beat No. 10 Perkiomen Valley 49-44 in the second round to earn a states berth for the second straight year.

Last trip to states: 2023. Lost in first round to Archbishop Wood 61-37.

Last 10 games: 6-4

Fun fact: CB East had three different high scorers in their final three District One playoff games: Justin DiRoberto (15 points) vs. WC Henderson, Tyler Dandrea (23) vs. Methacton and Jake Cummiskey (19) vs. Springfield.

Central Bucks East girls (20-8)

CB East is the seventh seed out of District One in the 6A bracket, after a 39-38 revenge win over Upper Dublin in the District One 7/8 seed game. The Patriots travel to District Three runner-up Dallastown on March 8.

The SOL Colonial runner-up, East punched its ticket to states in a meaningful way. The Patriots beat Neshaminy 48-39 in the District One 6A second round, not only topping the SOL Tournament champs but also avenging a 40-25 loss three weeks earlier. Sniper Anna Barry averages over 13 points per game. Jess Lockwood also averaged double figure points.

Last trip to states: 2018. Lost in first round to Central Dauphin 33-28.

Last 10 games: 4-6

Fun fact: Senior co-captain Barry joined the 1,000 point club on Feb. 23.

New Hope-Solebury girls (13-10)

The District One 3A champion, NH-S will play District 12 No. 3 seed Pickett Mastery North at Bensalem on March 8.

As the smallest school in the Suburban One League, NH-S had to punch above its weight nearly every night. Seventeen of the team’s 21 regular season games were against 5A or 6A opponents. The Lions went a more than respectable 8-8 in SOL play. Izzy Elizondo and Emily Wilson led the offense, averaging 16 and 12 points per game. Junior Ella Dudick leads the Lions, averaging eight rebounds per game.

Last trip to states: 2023. Lost in second round to Lancaster Catholic 64-54.

Last 10 games: 6-4

Fun fact: NH-S outscored its two District One playoff opponents 38-4 in the first quarter. Both games were 20-plus point wins.

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