The PIAA quarterfinal-round boys' basketball playoffs are on tap this weekend. And the area is well-represented, with at least one local squad involved in 10 of the 16 contests.
The action is highlighted by a Class AAAA doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Norristown. Pennsbury clashes with Roman Catholic at 3 p.m., and Martin Luther King squares off against Plymouth Whitemarsh at 5:30.
In the top half of the Class AA bracket on Saturday, a pair of District 12 squads, Conwell-Egan and Mastery North, look to keep their seasons alive against District 2 champ Mid Valley and District 4 titlist Loyalsock Township, respectively.
In Class AAA on Friday night, Neumann-Goretti, Imhotep Charter, and Archbishop Carroll aim to continue their dominant ways. The white-hot trio have won six state games by an average margin of 32.2 points.
Class A play also continues Friday, with Constitution and Math, Civics and Sciences looking to set up an all-Public League semifinal on Tuesday.
Here is a closer look at the quarterfinal matchups.
Imhotep Charter (21-9) vs. Susquehanna Township (22-6), 6 p.m. at Reading's Geigle Complex. The Indians' balanced attack features 6-1 guards Dejour Williams (15.6 ppg.) and Nehemiah "Bud" Mack (13.5).
Pick: Imhotep, 78-63.
Neumann-Goretti (26-2) vs. Bishop McDevitt (22-5), 7:30 p.m. at Reading's Geigle Complex. McDevitt's bid to upset Quade Green and the Saints is headed by 6-foot-4 senior guard Milik Gantz, a Division I prospect averaging 18.4 points.
Pick: N-G, 69-51.
Archbishop Carroll (21-6) vs. New Castle (22-5), 7 p.m. at Chambersburg. The Red Hurricanes, who beat La Salle for top AAAA honors last season, are sparked by guards Marquel Hooker (14.5 ppg.), Robert Natale (12.6), and Geno Stone (10.1).
Pick: Carroll, 73-56.
Constitution (21-8) vs. St. John Neumann (27-1), 6 p.m. at Hamburg. The catalysts for the Golden Knights are Nasza Short, Kevin Anderson, and Otis Anderson. The 6-4 Short is a double-double threat.
Pick: Constitution, 81-64.
Math, Civics & Sciences (13-13) vs. Millersburg (19-8), 7:30 p.m. at Hamburg. The young Indians are led by 6-1 forward Christian Keiter (14.5 ppg.) and 6-1 guard Christian Wingard (13.1).
Pick: MC&S, 74-55.
La Salle (21-6) vs. J.P. McCaskey (22-10), 3 p.m. at Spring-Ford. The Explorers must focus their defensive attention on two juniors: 6-4 wing Kobe Gantz and 5-9 point guard Randolph Speller. Speller drained nine treys in a first-round win over Abington.
Pick: La Salle, 55-48.
Pennsbury (25-6) vs. Roman (26-2), 3 p.m. Saturday at Norristown. The Falcons need another big effort from 6-8 center Derrick Woods to upend Tony Carr and the Cahillites.
Pick: Roman, 66-56.
M.L. King (21-8) vs. Plymouth Whitemarsh (26-3), 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Norristown. The subplot in the one: PW's Xzavier Malone, fresh off a 27-point showing, goes up against his former teammates.
Pick: M.L. King, 63-58.
Conwell-Egan (18-8) vs. Mid Valley (27-4), 4 p.m. at William Allen. The Spartans, winners of 12 of their last 13 games, have their hands full against savvy guard Stevie Jordan (16.4 ppg.) and the Eagles.
Pick: C-E, 72-55.
Mastery North (16-9) vs. Loyalsock (25-3), 5:30 at Central Dauphin East. Behind point guard Kyle Datres, a North Carolina baseball recruit, the Lancers halt a strong run by Terrence "Nip" Cook's Pumas.
Pick: Loyalsock, 68-57.