Saturday, February 19, 2011

BASKETBALL: North Penn boys down Upper Dublin in districts

The North Penn boys basketball team got back in the postseason win column for the first time in nine years Friday night, the No. 8 seed Knights rallying from a 10 point second quarter deficit to best No. 25 Upper Dublin in the District One Class AAAA first round.

It was the first playoff win for North Penn since it beat Avon Grove in the 2002 district first round. The Knights also gave Ron Hassler his first district win at the school since in his third season on the sidelines. Below is Hassler's postgame comments.

The victory Friday was North Penn's seventh straight and sets up an interesting rematch with No. 9 Bensalem Tuesday at home in the second round. The Knights struggled to get anything to go through the bucket when the faced the Owls in the SOL Challenge Jan. 22 in Abington, finishing with a season-low in points as they fell 43-26. Stakes are a little higher this time, with the winner qualifying for states, while the loser has to reach the PIAA Tournament through ninth-place consolation.

Sean Brooks, who finished with a game-high 17 points, talks in the video below about the win over the Cardinals.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Why Pujols should take less money

By Christiaan DeFranco

Should the best position player in baseball — who likely will go down as one of the best hitters of all time — be the highest paid player in the game?

Well, I'm not going to say he shouldn't. Albert Pujols deserves to get paid.

Reports say his asking price to re-sign with the Cardinals is 10 years, $300 million. St. Louis reportedly has offered him something in the range of eight years at $18-23 million per.

When you consider his value, in on-field production as well as revenue for the Cardinals and Major League Baseball, Pujols warrants a lucrative contract, perhaps a record-setting one. But when you consider other factors — and his manager's recent comments that Pujols is being pressured by the players union to set the bar — maybe a decade-long, $300-million mega-deal isn't the right course of action.

Even if La Russa, by ripping the union, is just trying to ease his star player's mind and show him he has his back, the point remains the same: There is more to life, and to a career, than money.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not sneezing at a big payday. But what do you want to be known for? Alex Rodriguez is one of the best ever, but he'll be remembered for his outrageous contracts (as well as his prima-donna image, of course) rather than his talent.

And it's clear that A-Rod — throughout his career, with every strikeout, every errant throw, every pop-up with runners on, every O-fer in the postseason — has felt the weight of that money as he has tried to live up to it.

Perhaps Pujols should take a cue from Cliff Lee, who turned down more cash elsewhere to return to the Phillies. He wanted to win and he felt that being with the Phillies gave him the best shot, plus he loves it here and his wife and family do too. This organization and this intensely competitive city felt like home.

"Once you hit a certain amount, enough is enough," Lee said, after he was asked why he took less money to sign in Philadelphia.

And isn't that the point? Cliff Lee isn't starving, and his grandchildren won't either. Once you reach a certain stratosphere, isn't it less about money and more about championships and legacy and greatness?

Isn't it about immortality?

Follow assistant sports editor Christiaan DeFranco on Twitter here @cdefranco.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

SOL Continental Boys Basketball Standings Feb. 19

Current standings as of Saturday, Feb. 19
OverallConferencePPGOPP PPG Streak
North Penn19-411-351.241.2W8
Central Bucks West14-99-547.044.0L1
Central Bucks East11-127-751.952.0L2
Central Bucks South5-174-1048.654.8L2

This Week in the SOL Continental
Friday, Feb. 18
District One Class AAAA First Round
(10) Coatesville 71, (23) Souderton 59
(12) Glen Mills 29, (21) Central Bucks West 28 (OT)
(5) Neshaminy 55, (28) Central Bucks East 43
(8) North Penn 49, (25) Upper Dublin 38
(14) Pennridge 74, (19) West Chester Henderson 54

Friday, February 11, 2011

SOL Continental Girls Basketball Standings Feb. 20

Current standings as of Sunday, Feb. 20
OverallConferencePPGOPP PPGStreak
Central Bucks East20-314-048.832.7W16
North Penn16-611-346.935.1W3
Central Bucks South13-99-546.939.9L1
Central Bucks West12-118-643.038.3L1

This week in the SOL Continental
Tuesday, Feb. 15
Central Bucks East 47, Council Rock South 39

Friday, Feb. 18
District One Class AAAA First Round
(1) Council Rock North 41, (32) Central Bucks West 13
(4) Cheltenham 62, (29) Souderton 25

Saturday, Feb. 19
District One Class AAAA First Round
(8) Central Bucks East 69, (25) Chester 54
(16) North Penn 49, (17) Abington 42

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

BOYS BASKETBALL: Pennridge fans rush the court

Pennridge beats CB West in double OT and Rams fans rush the court.

North Penn 65, Souderton 55: Stats, Videos

The North Penn boys basketball team was able to end its Senior Night in winning fashion against Souderton Tuesday, grabbing the lead in the second quarter and never trailing afterwards to claim a 65-55 victory. The win keeps the Knights tied for first place in the Suburban One League Continental Conference with Pennridge, with each team having one game remaining.

Here's a couple stats pertaining to the contest, followed by video interviews from after the game.

  • The 65 points North Penn scored were the most for the season. besting the 63 the Knights compiled on Jan. 11 in their win at home against Quakertown. It was only the third time in 2010-2011 North Penn has score at least 60. Meanwhile, it was the sixth time Souderton has given up at least 60, the Indians going 1-5 in those games (The one win was beating Pennsbury 73-63 on Jan. 22 at Souderton).
  • Tuesday's victory by North Penn evened the series between the Knights and Souderton at 3-3 since the two teams both began playing in the SOL Continental. Souderton took both games in 2008-2009, the teams split in '09-'10 (each team winning at home), with NP sweeping the two games this year.

North Penn coach Ron Hassler

North Penn senior Dexter Shy

North Penn junior Wes Brooks

Souderton coach Dennis Stanton