Before the weekend is over, the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies could be boasting as many as three District 1 girls' basketball champions.
Just to send four teams to the district finals in Class AAAA, AAA, and A is quite an accomplishment for a league with just seven members.
"The strength of the league is amazing," said coach John Miller, whose Mount St. Joseph team will go after the big prize Friday night, the District 1 Class AAAA crown. The 25-3 Magic moved up to Class AAAA this season after capturing two AAA district titles.
The opponent for the second-seeded Magic, at 7 at Villanova University, will be top seed Council Rock North (25-1), no stranger to district Class AAAA play.
North, which won a district title in 2006, earned its spot in the title game by beating No. 5 seed Lower Merion, 45-32, in the semifinals Wednesday night at Norristown High.
The Mount topped No. 4 seed Downingtown East, 48-27, in the other semifinal.
The other Catholic Academies teams vying for district titles are Villa Maria Academy (20-6) and Villa Joseph Marie (14-11) in Class AAA and Sacred Heart (10-12) in Class A.
The top-seeded Hurricanes will be making their fourth straight appearance in the AAA district finals when they meet the sixth-seeded seed Jems at 4 p.m. Saturday at Villanova. The Hurricanes already hold a pair of victories over Villa Joe from the regular season.
"Those are the teams you have to look out for - the ones that come on at the end of the season," Hurricanes coach Kathy McCartney said. "That makes them more dangerous. They are very athletic."
Villa Maria won a district crown three years ago but finished runner-up the last two seasons.
Sacred Heart will play Delaware County Christian (24-2) at 5 p.m. Friday at Villanova. Delco Christian, which won the Class A title last season, will look to 6-foot-3 Emily Homan. The Lafayette-bound Homan averages 17 points and 14 rebounds.
In the lone final that does not feature a Catholic Academies team, Christopher Dock (18-6) and Springfield of Montgomery County (18-8) will play at 2 p.m. Saturday at Villanova for the Class AA title.
With only one full day between their semifinal and championship games, the Magic had to go looking for a place to practice Thursday.
"They were setting up for some kind of school activity in our gym," Miller said. "We took our practice to La Salle High. We just want to be sure we're mentally prepared. After 28 games of the season, it's more important that you be mentally prepared.
"North is very talented. Their overall team strength and height will be a challenge for us."