Temple University’s Liacouras Center in North Philadelphia provides entertainment such as concerts, family shows, and Temple men’s and women’s basketball. Formerly known as the Apollo of Temple, the Liacouras Center is managed by Global Spectrum.
The Liacouras Center is scheduled to attract audiences for four high school basketball games and one NCAA Division 1 men’s contest during Feb. 25, Feb. 26, and Feb. 27. Below is a detailed list of those events:
PIAA Class AAAA District 1 Boys’ Basketball semifinals (Wednesday Feb. 25, 6 and 7:30 PM ET)
The Liacouras Center has been selected to host the PIAA Class AAAA District 1 boys’ basketball semifinals for the fourth consecutive season. Thirty-two teams entered and four of those squads remain in the quest for the district title: Ridley (nine seed), Plymouth Whitemarsh (four), Abington (six), and Pennsbury (seven).
·In the first of two semifinal games scheduled to tip off at 6 PM ET, Abington will clash against Suburban One National rival Pennsbury. Abington participated in the district semifinals in two of the last three seasons (2012 and 2013). Pennsbury played in a 2014 semifinal and defeated top-seeded Conestoga, 58-36, at the Liacouras Center. The Abington vs. Pennsbury matchup will be the fourth meeting between the rivals this season (Abington won all three meetings).
·Following the first semifinal, Ridley encounters the Plymouth Whitemarsh Colonials at approximately 7:30 PM ET. Ridley enters the game with playoff wins against West Chester Rustin, Great Valley, and top seed Conestoga. PW won its first three playoff games against Cheltenham (73-33), Springfield (Delaware County) (49-35), and Lower Merion (47-36). The Colonials are making their first district semifinal appearance since 2011 when PW, as the three seed, lost to second seed Council Rock North, 58-50, at Villanova University’s Pavilion. Ridley will attempt to reach the district final for the first time since 1986 (Abington defeated Ridley, 72-62, for the title), while the Colonials’ last district championship game was a 54-49 overtime loss against Penn Wood in 2010.
Houston Cougars at Temple Owls men’s basketball (Thursday Feb. 26, 7 PM ET)
In American Athletic Conference action, visiting Houston (9-17, 1-13 AAC) travels to North Philadelphia on a five-game losing streak. Temple (19-9, 10-5 AAC), however, has won seven of its last 10 but dropped the previous two games (67-58 at SMU and 55-39 at Tulsa). This season, Houston is 1-8 on the road while the Owls are 12-2 at home. The Owls’ last home game was on Feb. 14, a 66-53 victory against AAC rival East Carolina; Will Cummings led the Owls with 17 points and Temple junior forward Jaylen Bond (Plymouth Whitemarsh Class of 2011) pulled down 16 rebounds.
PIAA Class AAAA District 1 Girls Basketball Championship (Friday Feb. 27, 6 PM ET)
The Liacouras Center plans on hosting two high school basketball games on Feb. 27. The first game is the 2015 PIAA Class AAAA District 1 Girls’ Basketball Championship, scheduled to tip-off at 6 PM ET. Eight teams were scheduled to compete in quarterfinal games on Feb. 23 and the four victors move on to semifinal action for Feb. 25 at Council Rock South.
In the top half of the bracket, 16 Spring Ford defeated eight seed North Penn in quarterfinal action while the other round of eight game featured five Abington take down four Garnet Valley. The bottom of the bracket quarterfinals saw seven Upper Dublin lose at two Central Bucks West and 11 Downingtown East upset three Mount St. Joseph’s Academy.
North Penn captured the 2014 district championship and Spring Ford finished second in the state playoffs. In 2013, Spring Ford earned the district crown and state title.
PIAA Class AAAA District 1 Boys’ Basketball Championship (Friday Feb. 27, approximately 8 PM ET)
The 2015 District 1 boys’ title game will have a different feel: Chester, winners of 11 of the past 13 district championships and 23 overall, won’t compete for a district or state title. Chester, the 11 seed in 2015, lost to Abington in overtime in the second round and was eliminated from the playoffs by 14 Coatesville in playbacks. It’s the first time since 1992 the Clippers won’t participate in the state playoffs.
This will be the second consecutive district title game the top seed won’t participate. In 2014, second seed Chester tipped five Pennsbury, 52-49, in the District 1 Championship.
Ridley has appeared in three title games (1941, 1949, and 1986) but would be looking for its first crown. PW is 5-4 all time in district title games but hasn’t achieved district gold since 1998, a 73-58 victory against Hatboro-Horsham. Abington won the district title in 1982 and 1986 but lost in 1973 and 1983. Pennsbury lost in both of its championship appearances (59-47 to Chester in 1999, and against Chester in 2014).