Updates here for the PIAA Class AA boys basketball championship between Imhotep Charter and Greensburg Central Catholic:

START GAME

Whoops.  Nature called and wouldn’t stop talking.

Apologies.

4:15 left 2nd, Imhotep leads 27-15

From what I’ve been able to see, Imhotep’s athletic ability is ruling the game.  Brandon Austin moves inside and GCC can’t cut off his drives.

Imhotep on a steal by Austin, lead 36-21 under1:00

END HALF: IMHOTEP 36, GREENSBURG CENTRAL CATHOLIC 21

START 3RD

Imhotep keeps the pressure on, leads 40-26 at 5;46

TO at 5:02 … Imhotep 40, GCC 27

Pace has slowed, two FT by David Appolon give IC a 42-27 lead at 3:12

Kyhree Woten of Imhotep starting to put on a show.  5-for-5 from field and just had a grand dunk wiped away by foul call … IC leads GCC 50-31

Wooten with steal and dunk at :30 ..Imhotep leads 55-31

END 3RD: IMHOTEP CHARTER 55, GREENSBURG CENTRAL CATHOLIC 31

START 4TH

Won’t get to the mercy rule (40-point lead), but Imhotep is giving it a go with a 59-31 lead with 6:22 to play

TO at 4:43 … Imhotep 62, GCC 31

Imhotep leads  64-34, toying with boys Class AA championship game record margin of victory (31)

Imhotep wins it 67-34, establishes boys Class AA championship game record for margin of victory at 33

FINAL: IMOTEP CHARTER 67, GREENSBURG CENTRAL CATHOLIC 34

 

Updates here for the PIAA Class AAA boys championship game between defending champion Neumann-Goretti and Montour:

Montour keeping early pace with NG, tied 5-5 at 4:54 1st

Both teams missing plenty from floor (33.3% for Montour, 26.7% for NG)

Montour with 9-5 lead at 2:21 … all nine points between Dillon Buechel (5)  and Austin heter (4)

Tied at 9-9 under 1:00

Big trey by Kevin Sciulli late 1st … 12-9 Montour

END 1st: MONTOUR 12, NEUMANN-GORETTI 9

START 2ND

TO at 6:22, Montour leads 15-11

NG rallies, ties game at 17-17 … Montour TO at 4:34

NG finds a little smoke at the end of the quarter, lead 24-21 at the half

END HALF: NEUMANN-GORETTI 24, MONTOUR 21

NG strikes quickly, opens lead to 26-21 and gets turnover … Montour will have to get to work now

Nice reverse lay Devin Wilson closes it to 26-23, NG

Big trey by derrick Stewart of NG makes it 29-25 at 5:30  … And Jimmy Sciulli of Montour responds with a 3

Montour gets lead at 4;51, 30-29

TO at 3:54, Montour 30-29

Nice run by Goretti, retake lead at 31-30

Heter down low, M leads 32-31

Pace is strong now, lots of lead changes, M up 34-33 at 1;45

N-G gets nice play along baseline by derrick Stewrat for and one, 38-34

END 3rd: NEUMANN-GORETTI 38, MONTOUR 34

START 4th

NG unloads quickly, raise lead to 42-34

Goretti running Montour, up 44-34, M coach Adam Kaufman trying to call and can’t get TO

NG calls TO with 4:34 left … Montour getting close to miracle tim, must come out with strong run out of the TO

NG running away … lead 48-34 with 2:36 left .. Montour definitely in Miracle Land now after NG 15-0 run

Trey by Aaron McGee at 2:14 gets it back to 10, 48-38 NG

Down to 1:40, NG leads 49-38

Timeout at 1:00, McGee makes jumper to close to 49-40, but M burned a lot of clock setting up the shot

NG Derrick Stewart wraps it up, 51-40 at 47.2

Buechel cans a 3 at ;39 to make it 51-43, but it’s too little too late

NG’s Ja’Quan Newton dunks at 23.2 … 55-43 with 23.2 left … Montour subs

FINAL: NEUMANN-GORETTI 55, MONTOUR 45

 

Here we go again.  The annual  slapfest between the state’s public and private schools continues, brought to you by the PIAA basketball finals.

You know what I’m talking about.  Every year, folks with a vested interest in the public v private issue rush to the state basketball brackets and scream, “Eureka! We have found evidence of disparity and unfairness!  We must correct this injustice by being unjust ourselves and throw the private schools out of  – pick one – (Class AA and A, the PIAA basketball playoffs, all PIAA playoffs, the PIAA altogether, America)!”

There’s no doubt the drumbeat will continue: 10 of the 16 teams are private schools. Yes, I include the charter schools in the private category even though they are creations of public school districts, which make them public schools.  But in practice, they act more like private schools.  If you consider Imhotep Charter and Lincoln Park Charter, the boys’ AA finalists, public schools, well, your breakdown is 8 publics and 8 privates.

But that steams the public school backers just the same.  As always, they whip out the stats and point to the argument that private schools dominate the basketball brackets despite the fact that only 18 percent of PIAA member schools are private.

Indeed, the only pure public v public matchup among the eight classes comes once again in boys AAAA between Chester and Mount Lebanon. So a 50-50 fight isn’t a fair fight, in the public mind.

I really can’t add much new to the tired, old arguments that swirl around this issue, save for a change of language.  When the issue arises, as it inevitably does at this time of year, it is always framed as “public schools” vs. “private schools.”  I think it’s time to frame this debate properly.

Thus, let RodFrisco.com be the first to call this “government schools” vs. “private schools”.  Why?  Because it’s accurate.

Yes, I know.  The private schools have their hands in the public till at least partially because the government schools have to provide bus transportation for private school students in their government school district.  And they damn well should, given the amount of taxpayer money private-school parents cough up to the state for virtually no return.

But I get a laugh out of the government school proponents carping about the extraordinary advantages conferred upon private schools in athletics because the private schools can draw from multiple government school districts while the poor wittle government schools with their multimillion-dollar budgets and their multimillion-dollar state subsidies (well, until now) are stuck with whoever limps through their front doors.  Or million-dollar stadium gates.

(Here’s where I always add the disclaimer:  I’m a government school graduate – Clearfield Area High School, Class of ’75 – in large part because I was barely aware that private schools even existed in the Great White North and because my parents had a whole bunch of kids, precluding any thoughts of paying additional tuition.  For the record, I had a blast at Clearfield, at least when I wasn’t being turned down for dates or getting thrown out of my homeroom for being a smart-ass, trends that continue to this day. Well, not the dating requests, Mrs. Frisco.)

The point is, I have some trouble dredging up sympathy for the government school plight in athletics, especially since I’m a big believer in constitutional principles and  believe that kids who attend private school should not be counted differently or treated differently than their government-school counterparts.

Of course, the government types have been emboldened by two recent developments.   First, Ohio’s serious look at what it calls “Competitive Balance” (I just adore euphemisms) might well bleed into Pennsylvania, where the topic is not quite as white-hot, but soon could be.

Second, for years the government vs. private issue was pretty much limited to basketball, but that’s changing.  Private schools are making inroads into PIAA championships that had been more or less the domain of government schools, sports like football, wrestling, soccer and swimming.  Just this school year, a private school – Bethlehem Catholic – won a PIAA dual meet wrestling championship for the first time, prompting Lehigh Valley wags to name Bethlehem Catholic head coach Jeff Karam Recruiter of the Year.

In football, four private schools – PIAA champion Allentown Central Catholic, runner-up Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt, Archbishop Wood and Erie Cathedral Prep – all reached the Class AAA semifinals, the first time four private schools had filled a semifinal bracket in the 24-year history of the PIAA Football Championships.

So the Issue That Will Never Die will remain alive (but not particularly well) now that it’s had in annual PIAA basketball bracket booster shot.  In the meantime, enjoy the games.

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