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By Christopher A. Vito,

A look around the county at the top players you need to know as basketball season tips off:


These five players can catch fire offensively and take over a game single-handedly:

1. Soutiri Sapnas, Jr. G, Marple Newtown: As a sophomore, the speedy shooting guard established the Tigers’ single-season scoring record by recording 527 points in 25 games.

2. Duane Johnson, Sr. F, Penn Wood: A big-game player, he averaged 13 points in the Patriots’ nine losses but upped the ante to 23 points in 23 wins for the state quarterfinalists.

3. Calvin Newell, Sr. G, Strath Haven: A 10-game casualty last year as a transfer from Ridley, he scored fewer than a dozen only once. He scored a season-best and county-high 41 points against Radnor.

4. Tom Brennan, Sr. F, Sun Valley: The county’s leading-returning scorer from last season, he tossed in 24 points per game in the always-competitive Del Val League.

5. Khayri West, Sr. F, Upper Darby: He averaged a modest 9.3 points per game overall, but turned up his play amidst the Royals’ District One playoff run (15.0 ppg in last five games).

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By Christopher A. Vito

UPPER DARBY — Jamal Melvin spent last weekend reflecting on his play.

He did not skimp on his duties at home or his schooworkl, but the Monsignor Bonner point guard devoted plenty of time to pondering what he brings to the basketball court.

“There’s no one that thinks higher of his game than Jamal Melvin,” Friars coach Brian Daly said following Bonner’s 59-50 nonleague win Tuesday against Academy Park. “I think both he and I knew he wasn’t playing the way he should be playing.”

Melvin completed a 180-degree turn between the Friars’ season-opening loss last Friday and their first win of the season.
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Sunday, December 7, 2008 7:08 AM EST

D.J. Irving scored 21 points to lead the Archbishop Carroll boys basketball team to a wild, 86-84. triple-overtime victory over La Salle Friday night.

Irving hit a field goal with six seconds left in regulation, but the Explorers came down the court and nailed a bucket at the buzzer to send the game to the extra session. The Patriots then built a six-point in the second overtime, before the Explorers rallied again to keep the contest alive.

Ben Mingledough finished with 15 points, while Andre Wilburn had 13 points and nine rebounds and Juan’ya Green contributed 19 points and six assists.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008 7:08 AM EST

Aaric Murray registered a triple-double and the Glen Mills basketball team rolled past University City, 64-36, in a game played at the Unionville Tournament Saturday afternoon.

The La Salle-bound Murray finished with a mind-boggling 20 points, 17 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.

Reggie Miles chipped in with 10 points and dished out eight assists.

Chester 56, Imhotep 39

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