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SATURDAY, APRIL 24

Track and field
Nice, to-the-point story on Central Bucks South half-miler Tom Mallon. From the Buck County Courier.

Basketball
Plymouth-Whitemarsh’s outstanding Jaylen Bond heads to Pitt. Hope he protect the Panther trademark. From the Norristown Times-Herald.

Lacrosse
Former Unionville coach Lee Krug takes over at newbie program Octorara. From the Philadelphia Inquirer.

 

Maybe you saw Saturday’s PIAA Basketball Championships games on PCN. Maybe you didn’t.

Either way, enjoy what the state’s sports writers had to say about the games:

CLASS AAA BOYS

Plymouth-Whitemarsh 58, Penn Wood 51

Delaware County Times here and here.

Philadelphia Inquirer here and here.

Norristown Times-Herald here and here (with video).

Harrisburg Patriot-News here.

CLASS AAA GIRLS

Archbishop Wood 49, Indiana 39

Bucks County Courier-Times here, here and here.

Indiana Gazette here.

Philadelphia Inquirer here.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review here.

Harrisburg Patriot-News here.

CLASS AA BOYS

South Fayette 49, Strawberry Mansion 47

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette here.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review here.

Philadelphia Inquirer here.

Interesting take on a key moment late in the game from Ted Silary of the Philadelphia Daily News here. Includes a supporting photo.

Harrisburg Patriot-News here.

CLASS A GIRLS

Bishop Guilfoyle 49, Northern Cambria 29

Altoona Mirror here.

Johnstown Tribune-Democrat here and here.

Harrisburg Patriot-News here.

 

What a great set of PIAA boys basketball finals this weekend. All four games were battles, games in which the will was more important than talent and reputation.

Some of the memories will last a long time: T.J. McConnell’s 32-point, 32-shot, it’s-my-game performance in Chartiers Valley’s 65-63 loss to nationally ranked Neumann-Goretti … Sewickley’s Tom Droney stepping up and playing his leader’s role despite throwing up four times before his team’s 43-38 win over Reading Central Catholic … the sheer desire showed by South Fayette in its 49-47 win over favored Strawberry Mansion … and Plymouth-Whitemarsh’s exceptional turnaround, led by Whis Grant and C.J. Aiken, to stun Penn Wood 58-51.

All four games had something going on, all similar in the sense that they were all tests of will, but all with their own nuance.

The girls’ games? Um, a little less dramatic, save for York Catholic’s tremendous comeback against Villa Maria Academy in the Class AA game? Villa took a 22-2 lead that York Catholic whittled to two, only to watch Villa’s outstanding Kayla McBride take charge for the win. And Archbishop Wood turned a one-point game into a 10-point runaway in the fourth quarter.

In all, it was an entertaining weekend that drew more than 20,000 fans to Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center.

I’ve attended basketball finals somewhat sporadically over the years, watched some on PCN, and have no expertise in the history of the PIAA basketball championships whatsoever. But I have to believe the four games were among the best sets in years. It’s almost impossible to get two games full of drama; four is a gift.

And that’s what the fans received in State College this weekend.

Really, can a basketball fan ask for any more than that?

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