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UPPER DARBY — With four seconds remaining before halftime, Upper Darby coach Bob Miller threw his arms up, put his head down and headed for the locker room.

That was the way Friday night’s game went for the Royals: Plenty going on, but nothing worth watching.

The Royals stayed with Conestoga, Southeastern Pennsylvania’s lone unbeaten team, for 10 minutes. Fortunately for the Pioneers, regulation games last 32 minutes and the visitors cruised past the Royals, 65-45, to sweep the Central League season series.

Upper Darby (13-5, 11-3) took the lead two minutes into the second quarter, then Conestoga (20-0, 14-0) outscored the host, 40-16, over the next 16 minutes to take control for good.

The outlandish scoring spree was enough to send both sides over the edge. Players from Upper Darby and Conestoga began issuing shoves in the second half. Two technical fouls were issued to the Royals.

Even the post-game receiving line was uncivil, as additional pushing took place halfway through the handshake procession.

“There’s no bad blood between the teams,” Miller said. “At the end of the game, when you get beat up and down — and I don’t mean physically, I mean on the scoreboard — we lost our poise and we lost our control. I think it started in that second quarter.”

Senior Khayri West knocked down a jumper at the top of the key and gave the Royals their first lead, 14-12, with 6:42 to play in the second. It was the Royals’ last basket until the third quarter. The Pioneers went on an 18-2 run to close out the half, prompting Miller to leave the Royals’ bench.

There were a number of incentives for Upper Darby in this one. Aside from playing an undefeated team on senior night, a win would have solidified their District One Class AAAA tournament resume.

Additionally, a win would have created the need for a four-team Central League championship tournament, which will be tabled if Conestoga finishes the season unbeaten.

The Pioneers’ lead ballooned to as many as 24 points, at 52-28 in the third quarter, and the tension grew more severe as the game wore on. The Royals scored 12 of the next 14 points, and both teams responded by increasing their levels of physicality. Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday, December 7, 2008 9:04 AM EST

Times Herald Staff

WHITEMARSH — In just the second game of this basketball season, the ultra-young Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials met up with probably the most veteran team they will face all season.

Conestoga High played just seven players Saturday night, all seniors.

PW started one senior, one junior, two sophomores and a freshman.

It was the long-fought battle of youth versus experience, and youth was not served.

The Pioneers never got out of their rhythm, played to their strengths and shot 50 percent for the night, knocking off the host Colonials, 50-43, in the championship game of the Rock the Rim Classic at Colonial Elementary School.

PW, now 1-1, did look young at times against the cohesive play of the Pioneers (2-0).

“You don’t have enough time in three weeks to give them everything they need to know without overloading their minds,” PW head coach Jim Donofrio said. “This is probably important for these guys, to be humbled a little bit.”
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Pioneers follow Cohen. Whether he’s 6-foot-8, 6-9 or 6-10, as he’s been listed, Conestoga senior Jake Cohen is bound to make his presence felt in the Central League race.

As expected, the Pioneers are among the favorites this season as the league – with the addition of Garnet Valley and Harriton – goes to a two-division format.

The Davidson-bound Cohen helped lead Conestoga to a 20-5 record last season and a share of the league title with Ridley. Both teams finished 15-3 in league play. Cohen averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Coach Mike Troy has an abundance of seniors with which to surround Cohen. Guard Mike O’Hara gave the Pioneers 14 points and four assists per game last season, while guard Mike DeAngelo added 12 points and five assists. A trio of 6-4 players, Rob Scott, Doug Jakiela and Paul Mita, give Troy some added height. Read the rest of this entry »

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