UPPER DUBLIN 59, CONESTOGA 39
Marc Conran's goal is to play football in college, possibly at the Division III level. While he's sorting out his options in that sport, he handles the role of hard-working power forward on the hardwood.
"He's got non-stop energy," Upper Dublin coach Josh Adelman said. "He flies around, dives for loose balls, does all the little things. He's that guy for this team."
Friday night, in the opening round of the fourth annual Upper Dublin Invitational Tournament, Conran produced 14 points and six rebounds as the Cardinals eased past cold-shooting North Penn, 59-39, in Fort Washington.
In football, as a two-way end, Conran helped Upper Dublin go 9-2 overall and place second in the Suburban One League American Conference. He was a second-team all-league selection on offense and third-team choice on defense.
"I didn't take much time off after football," the 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior said. "I wanted to get back into basketball as soon as I could."
Conran and the Cardinals, seeking to win their tournament for the first time, will play Conestoga, which earlier defeated Germantown Academy by 53-44 in overtime, for the title at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Against the Knights, who shot 3 for 28 from three-point territory, the hosts were without starter Simeon Fryer. The 6-4 sophomore forward is sidelined with a concussion suffered in practice.
"We just had to pick up the pieces," said Conran, who said he planned to visit Ursinus Saturday. "Everybody had to do their part."
Conran, of Ambler, was joined in double-figure scoring by 6-5 forward Zach Greenberg (15 points) and guard Kevin Woods (12).
In the first quarter, with the aid of Greenberg's fastbreak layup and Conran's inside bucket, Upper Dublin jumped out to an 11-0 advantage.
Late in the second stanza, after Conran gathered an up-for-grabs ball and scored, the Cardinals were comfortably in front, 27-10. North Penn was 1 for 16 from beyond the arc before intermission.
"We did our best to get out on their shooters," Conran said. "And then, after the shot, we focused on closing out and getting the rebound."
Upper Dublin is looking to improve on last season's 8-14 mark. "If we stay healthy and play as a team, we can be very competitive in the American Conference," Adelman said.
In Conestoga's win over GA, juniors Andrew Diehl and Martin Dorsey paced the Pioneers with 17 points apiece.
North Penn 5 9 11 14-39
Upper Dublin 13 16 13 17-59
NP: Cordell Lord 2, Aaron Dean 4, Jason Jones 9, Noah Melchior 6, Brian Coleman 3, Suleyman Hakim 4, Jim Lim 4, Joseph Richards 5, Kevin Shue 2.