This is a big week for high school basketball in the Philadelphia area. The District 12 PIAA semifinals will be held on Tuesday, March 20 and Wednesday, March 21 for five of the city’s best teams. There will be a semifinal doubleheader at Southern High on Tuesday night.
In the first game, Constitution High (21-9) will battle Math, Civics & Sciences (19-9) at 6 p.m. Constitution has been playing great basketball. The Generals walked away with the Public League championship. Savon Goodman and Daiquan Walker are the key players for Constitution. Goodman, a 6-foot-7 senior, averages 27.5 points a game. He’s one of the most explosive players in the city. Walker is also a big time player. He averages 19.3 points a game. The 6-foot-2 senior averages 19.3 points a game. He was named MVP of the league championship game.
MC&S is the defending Class A state championship. Danny Jackson, MC&S head coach, has an impressive team, which features 6-foot-6 forward Jeremiah Worthem and 6-foot-4 guard Malik Starkes. Worthem is the team’s leading scorer. He averages 18.7 points a game. Starkes is capable of putting the ball in the basket. He averages 14.1 points a game.
In the second game, Neumann-Goretti (26-3) will battle Boys’ Latin (25-6). The tip-off will be at 7:30 p.m. Neumann-Goretti won its fourth consecutive Catholic League championship a month ago. The Saints edged St. Joseph’s Prep, 59-57, in an overtime thriller at the Palestra. After that game, N-G defeated Boys’ Latin, 66-57 for the Class AAA city title. A year ago, the Saints won the state championship.
They have some great players such as 6-foot-2 Ja’Quan Newton, 6-foot-4 John Davis and 6-foot-5 Derrick Stewart. Davis and Stewart have given N-G some dominate play around the basket. Newton is an exciting player in the open court. He averages 15.4 points a game. Davis tallies 13.6 points a game.
Maurice Watson, a 5-foot-9 senior, is Boys’ Latin’s leading scorer. Watson is the No. 2 scorer in city history with 2,338 career points. He recently moved past basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time scoring list. Watson averages 22.2 points a game. He will be playing his college basketball at Boston University next season. Yahmir Greenlee plays in the backcourt with Watson. Greenlee, a 5-foot-9 standout, averages 13.6 points a game. Up front, Boys’ Latin has 6-foot-4 Carlos Taylor to provide some scoring inside and from the perimeter. Boys’ Latin lost to Constitution for the league title.
On Wednesday, Imhotep Charter will play Holy Cross at Bethlehem Liberty. The game begins at 7 p.m. Imhotep Charter is the defending PIAA Class AA champion. Andre Noble, Imhotep Charter head coach, has two outstanding players in 6-foot-2 senior Khyree Wooten and 6-foot-6 junior Brandon Austin. Wooten leads the team in scoring. He averages 15.6 points a game. Austin averages 10.6 points a game. Both players were solid contributors to last year’s state title team. Imhotep Charter is coming off a big 65-54 win over Bishop McDevitt. Austin had 24 points and 11 rebounds in that contest.
In a couple days, the state championship games should be set for this weekend.