Various banners hang across Colonial Elementary School Gymnasium in Whitemarsh: 23 Suburban One American regular season titles, five District 1 Championships, and three state crowns (1963, 1997, and 2010). Plymouth Whitemarsh in its storied boys’ basketball history included players such as former University of Notre Dame, Washington Redskins, and Los Angeles Rams football player John S. Pergine (Class of 1964), National Basketball Association player John Salmons (Class of 1998), and current Temple Owl Jaylen Bond (Class of 2011).
Andre Mitchell scored 11 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, Cameron Johnson pulled down 13 rebounds (six offensive), and host fourth-seeded Plymouth Whitemarsh started on a 14-0 run to defeat 20th seed Springfield (Delaware County), 49-35, in a PIAA Class AAAA District 1 second round contest on Feb. 18. Jimmy Murray and fill-in center Devon Monteiro-Gray each chipped-in 10 points for the Colonials. Springfield was led by Jordan Collins’ 13 points. Monteiro-Gray started in place of center Mike Lotito, who missed his second straight game due to injury and is scheduled to be out for one to two weeks.
PW (22-2) advances to the District 1 quarterfinals as well as the 2015 state tournament. The Colonials qualified for the second round after defeating 29th-seeded Cheltenham, 73-33, in opening round action. Twelfth-seeded Lower Merion, a 47-36 victor against 28th-seeded Penncrest, is scheduled to visit the Colonials in a District 1 quarterfinal on Feb 19; the winner of that contest will advance to participate in a District 1 semifinal on Feb. 25 at Temple University’s Liacouras Center. The Colonials hadn’t won a second round district game since Feb. 22, 2011, a 50-27 home win as the three seed against 14th-seeded Pennridge (PW would earn third place in the district and advance to the state semifinals for the third consecutive season). A District 1 title hasn’t been claimed by the Colonials since 1998, head coach Jim Donofrio’s first season leading PW.
Springfield (14-10) entered the second round as winners of nine of its last 10 games, including a 45-42 first round victory at 13th-seeded West Chester Henderson. The Cougars are scheduled to host Penncrest on Feb. 20 in a consolation game as two of eight second round losers will also earn spots in the state tournament. In 2010, the Cougars were District 1 Class AAA runners-up and were eliminated in the first round of state play against District 12’s Dobbins Tech at Southern Philadelphia; since then, the Cougars moved up to Class AAAA and haven’t yet qualified for state playoffs.
The Colonials scored the game’s first 14 points three minutes into the first quarter, including an Xzavier Malone dunk. Springfield called a timeout one minute and 19 seconds into that quarter and the Cougars deposited their first bucket with four minutes and 35 seconds remaining. PW led 19-7 after one quarter and the Cougars fouled three times compared to two by the Colonials.
Quarter two, however, displayed plenty of defense as the teams combined for 12 points (PW outscored Springfield, 8-4). The Colonials were able to control their defense by not committing a foul (the Cougars fouled three times).
In the third quarter, the Cougars outscored the hosts, 15-7. Collins swished two three-pointers as the Cougars pulled within eight. Springfield committed one foul and the Colonials fouled twice.
As for the final quarter of regulation, Springfield’s Ryan McCloskey tussled with Mitchell on the sideline for a loose ball as 1:31 remained. Five seconds later, three officials gathered together and issued a double technical: McCloskey fouled out and Mitchell was charged with his first. Mitchell hit eight of nine free throws and connected on the Colonials’ lone trey of the contest from the corner with 4:22 remaining. The Cougars committed 10 fouls, sending the Colonials to the charity stripe for one-and-ones and eventually the double bonus (the Colonials committed five).
Last season, the Colonials were seeded sixth and dropped its second round contest, 37-35, to visiting 22nd-seeded Central Bucks West. In the consolation bracket, the Colonials were eliminated at home by 30 seed Wissahickon, 52-47, finishing with 20 wins against five defeats.
This was PW’s first rescheduled District 1 game this far in the playoffs due to inclement weather since Feb. 27, 2010. The Colonials were the top seed and took care of eighth-seeded Penncrest, 39-22, at Norristown Area High School in a game originally scheduled for the day before. PW was scheduled to host Springfield on Feb. 17. However, PW’s last rescheduled District 1 game was an opening round victory as the sixth seed against 27 seed Downingtown East in 2014. Among those in attendance for Springfield vs. PW was Pergine.
Springfield (D) 7 4 15 9=35
PW 19 8 7 15=49
Springfield (D): Kevin McCormick 8, Ryan McCloskey 4, Kyle Long 2, Nick Fox 2, Jordan Collins 13, Quideer Wimes 6.
Plymouth Whitemarsh: Jimmy Murray 10, Devon Monteiro-Gray 10, Andre Mitchell 15, Xzavier Malone 7, Cameron Johnson 5, Oakley Spencer 2.