Ensemble pays tribute to Sandburg

Photo provided The Matt Wilson Arts and Crafts Ensemble will perform "The Carl Sandburg Project" on Saturday, Feb. 28, on the campus of Montgomery County Community College.

The Phantoms (11-12) are the ninth seed while the Patriots (10-12), from the Southern Chester County League, are the eighth seed. The winner will take on top-seeded Holy Ghost Prep (24-0), which is ranked first in its class in the state and has a first-round bye. That game is scheduled for Saturday.

Both sides have had a two-week layoff since their final games. They have practiced and scrimmaged other teams since that time.

Coach Bill Detweiler's Phoenixville crew has not played since dropping the play-in game to Perkiomen Valley in the fourth-place run for the Pioneer Athletic Conference Final Four playoffs. Detweiler, in his second year with the team, has taken both his ballclubs to the district playoffs. Phoenixville played five games in seven days down the stretch of the regular season.

Coach Jim Nolan, in his eighth year at the helm of the Pats, is making his sixth straight trip to districts. This is Great Valley's second year in the SCCL after leaving the PAC-10.

"We're getting ready and the kids are excited," Nolan said. "There is always a layoff in triple A. You get used to it after a while."

The Patriots are led by senior point guard Malcolm Weaver and 6-foot-5 senior forward Ryan Power. The Patriots have more size in 6-6 senior forward Brian Friis, 6-8 senior center David Bushnell, 6-4 senior center Donte Woody and 6-2 senior forward Dan Tartaglio. Junior guard Shane Stackhouse is another floor leader for the Pats, who defeated two PAC-10 teams in Upper Perkiomen and Pottsgrove.

"We hope our height will be an advantage," Nolan said. "But they (Phantoms) have good quickness with (Alex) Johnson and (Ryan) Thomas, and (Jon) Hogga can shoot."

Johnson, a senior, and Thomas, a junior, are both averaging 13.6 points per game. Hogga, a freshman, has drilled 28 shots from 3-point range. Juniors Chris Ellis and Paul Lewis are active players in rebounding and defending and are also capable of scoring, too. Jeff Ward, a 6-6 senior, is a banger underneath the boards.

Junior point guard Drew McCall (11.8 ppg) has been sidelined with a broken shooting hand and is not expected to play. He did have his cast removed Monday, but Detweiler said he is not physically ready to play.

"It should be real interesting," Detweiler said. "Great Valley is well-coached. Jimmy does a great job. In the past they have used a variety of defensive looks. They are big with size.

"The Power kid can really shoot. When he is hot, he is as good as anybody. Weaver is good with the basketball, and they have a good surrounding cast. They play a tough schedule, like us, so their record is deceiving."

Detweiler hopes the Phantoms do not come out slowly, which they did in several contests late in the season.

"It will be tough to be rusty, especially playing at their court," he said. "We have to start off quick."

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