Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
The gym at Haverford College was put into its two-court setup for the Delco Pro-Am playoffs on Wednesday night, with two sets of two games each determining who would be left to play for the title this weekend.
4) Take Your Game to Another Level vs. 5) Omega Medical
This was the highlight game of the night, with almost every player on the court a current professional basketball player either in Europe or in the NBA.
The atmosphere was fantastic, with a few hundred people crowded around Court 2 to watch Omega Medical take down TYGTAL, 63-61. More than just a rematch of the 2011 Delco Pro-Am title game, it was also something of a Big 5 grudge match.
Omega Medical’s roster is heavily dominated by former Villanova Wildcats: Maalik Wayns, Kyle Lowry, Antonio Peña and Reggie Redding all started on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, a trio of TYGTAL starters–Dionte Christmas, Mark Tyndale and Mardy Collins–are three of the best Temple Owls of the last decade.
“You know it’s personal, now we’ve got one up on them,” Wayns said. “We’ve got a good team, we’ve got good guards, and we beat the defending champs.”
Along with all the Villanova players, Omega Medical is bolstered by former Virginia guard Sean Singletary and Shipley alum Ky Howard, who’s transferring after one season at NJIT.
Peña scored the first 11 points of the game for his team, as Omega Medical jumped out to a 26-16 lead that became a 35-19 halftime advantage. TYGTAL came out strong in the second half, taking a 40-39 lead on a Christmas 3-pointer with 12 minutes remaining.
A 43-43 tie quickly became a 52-43 Omega Medical advantage, as they played front-runner for the remainder of the game. Tyndale went 1-for-2 on a pair of free throws with his team down 59-57 and 41.2 seconds remaining; a pair of Wayns free-throws with 13.2 seconds left made it a 63-58 contest.
Jamal Nichols hit a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left, but Lowry was able to escape the defense on the final inbounds play and dribble out the win.
2) Millennium vs. 7) Harcum/Werner Coach
With the clock under 10 seconds until the end of the first half, John Salmons dribbled up to the 3-point line, then backed off. He paused, wiped his face on his Delco Pro-Am shirt, then calmly launched a shot that caught nothing but net as the buzzer sounded.
It was that kind of night for Salmons and Millennium, who went into that break up 20 points and coasted to a 81-67 victory over Werner Coach, the summer version of Harcum College’s squad.
The 43-23 halftime lead was cut to 54-46 with 10 minutes left on a Jordan Goodman jumper, but that would be the last time Werner Coach would threaten. That lead was back up to 75-56 with 5:20 remaining and hovered around 15 for the rest of the game.
Salmons–currently with the Sacramento Kings–finished with 17 points, third on his team to former Florida Atlantic wing Paul Graham, who scored 25, as well as former Siena guard Kenny Hasbrouck, who had 19. Also scoring in double figures for Millennium was point guard A.J. Picard, who had 15 points; the Souderton native will be a senior at D-III Cabrini this fall after transferring from D-II Goldey-Beacom.
Goodman, a sophomore at Harcum, capped off an impressive summer with a 35-point outing, nearly triple what any other player on his team had. The 6-foot-9 wing is one of a number of Division I prospects on the Harcum squad, and he had everything going on Wednesday night–hitting treys, driving to the lane and even throwing in a few mid-range jumpers as well.
1) Temple/Under Armour vs. 8) Holy Family
Rest assured, Temple fans–there’s still a chance that a group of Owls can take home the Delco championship. Recent TU alum Scootie Randall’s 24 points led Temple/Under Armour, the league’s top seed, to a 69-55 win over Holy Family.
Holy Family was the only small-college team to make it to the playoffs, though the D-II squad had some help. Syracuse guard Trevor Cooney and Utah State’s Matt Lopez (formerly of La Salle) brought some Division I talent to the team, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with Randall and friends.
Along with Randall, fellow 2013 grad Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (13 points) and 2012 grad Ramone Moore (11) finished in double figures, while T.J. DiLeo and Josh Brown added nine and eight, respectively. Holy Family was led by junior wing Xavier Williams, with 17 points.
Temple/Under Armour got out to an early 14-6 led, but Holy Family responded with 10 straight to take their only lead of the contest. It was 34-20 at halftime and the lead only expanded from there, getting as large as 19 points.
3) Radano & Associates vs. 6) JT Ballas
Radano never even needed to get off the bench. JT Ballas wasn’t able to field a team, so Radano advanced by forfeit. Look for their St. Joseph’s-centric core of Langston Galloway, Halil Kanacevic, DeAndre Bembry and Garrett Williamson–along with Ryan Brooks, Cameron Ayers and Ryan Ayers–to make a run at the Delco title.
Semifinals: Sat., Aug 3, 6:00 PM
Court 1: 1) Temple/Under Armour vs. 4) TYGTAL
Court 2: 2) Millennium vs. 3) Radano & Associates