Friday, March 16, 2018

Philadelphia 76ers are Hoping for a Late Season Playoff Berth

Jack Gawason and Logan Waterman
Staff Writers

After years of suffering and tanking, the process is finally starting to show results. The Sixers currently have their best winning percentage since the ’03 season and are sitting at sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Their success can be credited to upcoming stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Joel Embiid is having a phenomenal season playing in all three events during all star weekend topping it off with a strong performance against the league's best players.  Ben Simmons is having a phenomenal Rookie of the Year campaign averaging 16 points, 7 assists, and 7 rebounds per game. Other key players include youngster Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and T.J McConnell. Two under the radar off season signings in J. J. Redick and Amir Johnson have paid dividends as the two have absorbed plenty of minutes along with their leadership for the youngsters.

 At the trade deadline the sixers stayed quiet besides the small addition of Trevor Booker which proved to be trade that moved Jahlil Okafor out of Philly. They seemed to be satisfied with their progress but when Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova become available they had to add them to the roster. So far both have strived adding valuable minutes replacing star players. The have won ten of their last fourteen games and four of seven important games the biggest against the Cleveland Cavaliers. If they keep playing like this a playoff berth seems likely considering they have the easiest schedule in the East for the rest of the season. With this teams youth and the success they have already shown keeping in mind that their first round draft pick is still injured this team and the city of Philadelphia could be enjoying success for years to come.

Monday, March 12, 2018

People are Going Mad for March Madness

Frank Spadavecchia and Devin Bock
Staff Writers 

All of the conference tournaments are coming to an end, which means it is time for the big dance. Left and right teams are punching their tickets into the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament. With all of the upsets and close games that have taken place this year, the NCAA Tournament is looking like it may be one of the best yet. Look at a team like St. John’s, a team that won’t make the tournament but beat two top five teams in Duke and Villanova in back-to-back games. These types of games have occurred across the country this year in college basketball. Therefore, we can only expect that these good Mid-Major teams have a solid chance to upset the higher ranked Power 5 conference teams. Leading to one of the most exciting March Madness’ we may ever see.
 Teams have two ways to get into the tournament. The easiest is by simply winning their conference. Each team has their own individual conference tournament which they have a chance to win resulting in the conference champion moving on with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Many upsets in these conference championships have already taken place. For example, teams like Nevada who were expected to breeze through their tournament lost in their championships. Number 1 seed Xavier lost in overtime to unranked Providence. These are just a few of the upsets that took place this weekend. The other way is by putting your fate in the hands of the NCAA selection committee. This means that the selection committee will look at each team’s season and determine whether or not they deserve to be in the tournament. Because of this, teams can end up being on the bubble. Teams that are on the bubble have records that are both worthy and not worthy of making the tournament. Then on Selection Sunday their fate is decided by the selection committee which will either make or break the dreams of many colleges.

 Then from this point on the real madness begins. Now teams will have to play opponents they have never played against, resulting in a totally new atmosphere of basketball. Each team has a clean slate and every game is single elimination meaning that it only takes one off-day to cause a total upset. It is this complete unpredictability that causes this mayhem and confusion surrounding the tournament. This time period of “March Madness” is the pinnacle of college basketball. For any new basketball viewers this is a perfect way to submerge yourself into the college basketball scene. So find a nice spot on your couch with some snacks in one hand and your brackets in the other cause it’s March Madness baby!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Joel Embiid From a Small African Country to NBA All Star

Dan Flavin
Staff Writer

A young NBA center, who was injured in his first two seasons, held on a tough minute restriction, and playing on a team with a lot of other young stars still found a way to shine in the league. In his second season he is now averaging 23 points 11 rebounds and 3 assists per game Joel Embiid has now been named as a starter in his first All-Star game.
  Joel Embiid is now getting recognition for all of his hard work. Growing up in a small town in the country of Cameroon, he played volleyball as a young kid and got into basketball when an NBA Basketball Without Borders camp came to his town. He played there and stood out. Scouts noticed him and decided to offer him to play at Montverde Academy. After showing his defensive skill that was rooted from his history of volleyball. He improved in his four year career and emerged as a young star. He got multiple offers from colleges, but decided to attend Kansas University.
  His career at Kansas only lasted one year. After his freshman season he was a unanimous first overall pick, but a couple weeks before the draft he suffered a stress fracture in his foot and needed surgery, which caused him to fall to the Philadelphia 76ers with the third pick. He missed his whole rookie season, but his recovery was going well, until he injured his foot again. The second injury also required surgery causing causing him to miss his second consecutive season. After missing so much time fans were beginning to worry, but Embiid reassured them that it was all a process. He then coined a phrase that can be heard all around Philly, “Trust the Process”
  His long awaited debut took place on Oct. 26, 2016, but with a strict minute restriction he only played 13 minutes and scored only 6 points. The whole 2016 season he played only an average of 25 minutes a game before tearing his meniscus to miss the majority of the season. The sixers new first overall pick Ben Simmons also missed the season with a broken foot, but through all of the injury fans still found themselves trusting the process.
  The 2017-18 season is the best we have seen from the Sixers in a long time. Many supporters saying the process is over. After the sixers second straight first overall pick and young stars all over the roster the future is looking bright. Ben Simmons is leading the Rookie of the Year race and Embiid is now an all star starter. As of Jan. 24, 2018 they are the 6th seed in the east and are 7-3 in their past ten games. Now every fan is hoping for an injury free playoff season. Philly is Trusting the Process and loving it.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

NHS Boys Basketball is in the midst of a strong season

Justin Fischetti
Staff Writer

On the night of Jan. 10, 2018, the NHS Varsity Boys Basketball team found itself in a close battle with Holy Ghost Prep. With the team down a point in the final seconds, starting point guard Kevin Dougherty would not let the chance for a signature win getaway. With the game on his hands, he quickly drove to the hoop where he absorbed contact by Holy Ghost players and made the tough, but clutch bucket to give New Hope a one point lead with three seconds left. He would calmly sink the susquent ‘and one’ free throw to extend the lead to two. Holy Ghost had one more chance to win it, but missed a 3 at a buzzer, sending the New Hope crowd at Solebury School into celebration with a 48-46 win.
  Despite the high school gym renovations getting in the way, the NHS Varsity Boys Basketball team is in the midst of a great season, with the Holy Ghost win the highlight moment of the season thus far. Although they started the season with three straight losses to Upper Moreland, Upper Perkiomen, and Church Farm, they have responded from the slow start by winning nine of their thirteen games since, and now have a 9-7 record with six regular season games remaining as of Jan. 26. Teams New Hope has beaten over this stretch include Calvary Christian Academy, Delaware County Christian, South Hunterdon, the aforementioned Holy Ghost Prep win, and a surprisingly dominant 19-point win over a Christopher Dock team that had an 11-1 record heading into the game.
 After a Jan. 27 game against William Tennent, the remainder of the regular season will pit New Hope against rival teams that it had already played earlier in the season, including Valley Forge Military Academy and Lower Moreland. New Hope is already in good position for making the playoffs, but will need to come up with some huge wins in these final weeks of the regular season against those rival teams to solidify their playoff seeding and have a home playoff game.
  New Hope is led in scoring by point guard Kevin Dougherty with 13.9 PPG (points per game), and power forward Nick Garritano is not far behind with 12.7 PPG. Garritano also leads the team in rebounding with 8.2 rebounds per game. Center Topher Taylor also contributes with 9.3 PPG and 6.3 rebounds per game, and he also succeeds on the defensive end with 2.9 blocks per game. Also on the defensive side, small forward Morgan Shadle contributes with his lockdown defense and hustle. Rounding out the starting lineup is shooting guard Connor Wallace. The Lions also receive a spark off the bench from small forward Patrick Cooney, shooting guard Reese Sterling, small forward Frank Spadavecchia, and center Caleb Shiel.
  The overall success from the team comes despite the issues the high school gym renovations are causing. Due to the high school gym being unavailable due to the renovations, and the middle school gym not being suitable enough to host a home game, New Hope must play its home games at the nearby Solebury School gym instead. Despite this, many New Hope students make it to the games regardless and continue to provide a home-like atmosphere for the team with their support. However, in the middle of February the high school gym renovations will have progressed far enough to allow it to support a home game. If New Hope can finish the season strong and earn a home playoff game, then the high school gym will be available in time to allow the first ever NHS Varsity Boys Basketball game at the newly-renovated gym to be playoff game in mid-February.

The Broad Street Bullies are back

Jay MacDowell and Matt Benda
Staff Writers

The Broad Street Bullies have bullied their way back among the other division leaders. They’re in third place in the Metropolitan division falling behind only the Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils. With a record of 24 wins and 16 losses, they are only five points behind the division leading Washington Capitals.
  In the past ten games, the Flyers have won eight with two of those coming in overtime from center Travis Konecny.
  In recent years the Flyers have been overshadowed by their Western Pennsylvania rival, the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, but this year they have passed them. The Flyers have only a 1-point lead to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets. Hopefully, the Flyers will maintain their playoff spot position because last year their season came to an early end when they fell just short of a spot. The Flyers last playoff run came in the 2015-2016 season when they were knocked out within a few rounds.
  This season looks promising as the look to have their young talent lead the team. Key players such as Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny provide strong offense and defense at key times in the game. Ivan Provorov, in his second season with the Flyers and in the National Hockey League, has been a brick wall, holding opposing teams to minimal goals. Maybe this young talent has kickstarted a successful season for the Philadelphia Flyers.

NHS Girls Basketball Honor Seniors by Winning Senior Night Game

Georgia Pappas and Eric Locke
Staff Writers

With a final score of 55-18, the NHS girls basketball team victoriously took the win against Plumstead Christian on Jan. 19 in honor of their graduating players, Sarah Wilson and Olivia Keenan, in their senior night game.
  The offensive lineup allowed the Lions to travel up and down the court within seconds, with players like Sarah Wilson travelling down to the basket for an open shot. Wilson also contributed incredible 3-point shots and precise passing combinations, as well as juniors Jordan Sherman and Zoe Palau.
  The upperclassmen of the girls’ team pulled out their skills during the game as well as the freshmen of the group. Juliana Covino, Kate Dougherty, Rachel Saxton and Shannon Herbert were determined and quick on their feet in order to help their team get the win for their seniors.
  The few times the ball got on the other side of the court, the girls provided solid defense against Plumstead and blocked shots left and right. And once the girls got the ball again and went for the shots, they kept shooting and didn’t give up with strong rebounds.
  The players of New Hope played a strong game all the way through, even while they were up by over 30 points. At the end of the second half, NHS was up 33-5. By keeping the ball on their side, smooth and strong passing, and excellent rebounding skills, the team was unstoppable. The team next year will surely miss the seniors, and for now we’re hoping for great things from this incredible group of athletes.

The Super Bowl is Set!

Alexander Young & Blake Doherty
Staff Writers

On Sunday, Jan. 21, this year’s Super Bowl match up was set, featuring the New England Patriots, and the local underdogs, the Philadelphia Eagles, in the biggest sports event of the year. The Patriots return to the Super Bowl, looking to repeat and remain on top of the sports world. Tom Brady is looking for his sixth Super Bowl victory and to solidify his legacy as the greatest player to play the game of football. While the Eagles coming off a season to remember look to rally behind their backup quarterback and win their first super bowl. The city of Philadelphia is buzzing with excitement as the eagles will get a rematch of the Super Bowl 13 years ago where the Patriots defeated the Eagles 24-21.
  Even with the faith of the fans of Philadelphia, the Eagles are clear under dogs, with backup quarterback Nick Foles having little to no playoff experience, compared to Tom Brady who is competing in his eighth Super Bowl appearance.The Eagles are going to need to play very conservatively and play the field position and rely on their elite defense to keep them in the game. The Eagles defense is going to have play their best game of the season in order for the Eagles to keep this game competitive and at least give Nick Foles a chance to win the game. The game plan for the Eagles should be to try and hold the ball on offense as much as possible and keep Brady on the sidelines.
  However, with all against the home team, all fans have to do for this Sunday is have faith, and believe in what the Eagles have accomplished so far, and hopefully continue their success again in the biggest game of their franchise. As for the Patriots and their fans, they have the chance to make history and tie the Steelers for the most Super Bowls by a franchise. This would also be Tom Brady’s sixth Super Bowl, solidifying himself as the greatest player in NFL history.