By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/28/12
The District 1 tournament produced a number of surprises as the top two seeds (Great Valley and Garnet Valley) finished fifth, and fourth, respectively.
Now, though, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament begins and the “third season” comes into focus with numerous teams believing they can win it all.
The most intriguing matchup in the first round has to be Garnet Valley and District 3 champion Manheim Township, who meet Wednesday at Exeter High. These two teams began the year as state favorites; Garnet Valley is the defending state champion and Manheim is 24-0, having defeated District 1 runner-up Conestoga in its biggest non-league game.
In the PA Independent State Tournament, Episcopal Academy handed Notre Dame a 9-7 defeat – avenging a loss in the final day of the Inter-Ac League season and helping it win the seasons series, 2-1.
This week’s rankings:
1, Moorestown (23-0) – The Quakers routed Shawnee, 19-8, to claim the South Jersey Group III title. They play Thursday vs. Mendham at Hunterdon Central HS for the NJ Group 3 title. Prev: No. 1
2, Radnor (19-4) – The Red Raiders emerged as the hot team in the post-season and claimed the District 1 title for the second time in three years. They open PIAA play Wednesday against Hatboro-Horsham at West Chester East at 4 p.m. Prev: No. 6
3, Conestoga (14-7) – The Pioneers have peaked late, and took it all the way to the District 1 finals. Now they must regroup after falling to Radnor and play a third time against Great Valley – the team they stunned in the quarterfinals, 10-9. That first-round PIAA game is Wednesday at 6 p.m. at West Chester East. Prev: No. 7
4, Harriton (19-4) – The Rams, who took third in District 1, face District 11 champion Nazareth in the first round of the PIAA tourney Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Emmaus. Prev: No. 3
5, Garnet Valley (20-3) – The Jaguars lost two games in a row last week for the first time since early in the 2011 season. They face a major challenge in the first round of states Wednesday when they meet 24-0 Manheim Township at Exeter at 5 p.m. Prev: No. 2
6, Great Valley (22-1) – The Patriots have a chance to get revenge on Cponestoga – the only team it lost to all year – in the first round of the states Wednesday at West Chester East at 6 p.m. Prev: No. 6
7, Shawnee (17-3) – The Renegades were defeated by Moorestown, 19-8, in the South Jersey Group III title game. Their only losses this year were to Moorestown (twice) and Ridgewood (two-time defending state champion). Prev: No. 5
8, Episcopal Academy (16-6) – The Churchwomen tied for their eighth straight Inter-Ac championship (with Notre Dame) and then avenged a 18-11 loss to the Fighting Irish by handing them a 9-7 loss in the PA Independent Schools tourney. Prev: NR
9, Notre Dame (20-3) – The Fighting Irish dropped the State Independent championship game to Episcopal Academy 9-7. Their season, though, had many high points, including a share of their first Inter-Ac League title with EA and had victories over Radnor and Hatboro-Horsham. Prev: No. 8
10. (tie) Strath Haven (14-9) – The Panthers earned the No. 6 seed out of District 1 and face District 12 champion Archbishop Carroll in the first round of states Wednesday at Plymouth Whitemarsh at 6 p.m. Prev: No. 10
10. (tie) Hatboro-Horsham (19-4) – The Hatters had to get into the Top 10 based on an impressive 15-13 victory over Springfield-Delco in the District 1 seventh-place qualifier game. They meet Radnor in the first round of states on Wednesday at West Chester East at 4 p.m.
Honorable mention: Archbishop Carroll (13-8), Boyertown (17-5), Clearview Regional (17-4), Council Rock North (15-4), Friends’ Central (17-4), Henderson (17-3), Merion Mercy (17-3), Springfield-Delco (17-6), Upper Dublin (16-4).