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PIAA District 1 Class AAAA semifinals
Thursday, 26 February 2009

By Bill Martin
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Tuesday night the PIAA District 1 Class AAAA semifinals took place at Temple’s home court, the Liacouras Center.  Two hard fought games were played on the evening, with the winners advancing to play on Friday in the finals.  

In the first game Penn Wood with Tyree Johnson and company, took on Conestoga who is led by Davidson commit Jake Cohen.  The second contest of the night pitted Temple commit Khalif Wyatt and his Norristown squad, against future West Virginia Mountaineer Dalton Pepper and his Pennsbury team.

The Penn Wood/Conestoga game was pretty close throughout with Conestoga leading after the first quarter.  It was however a different story in the second quarter, with Penn Wood outscoring them 16-9.  Penn Wood did not trail after halftime but was unable to really pull away.  Conestoga got within 4 at one point in the fourth, but clutch free throw shooting by Penn Wood preserved and extended the lead.  They ended up winning the game by the score of 62-52.

In the second game, due to some hot shooting early in the first quarter, Norristown jumped out to a double-digit lead and never looked back.  Pennsbury did cut the lead down to 7 at the end of the first quarter, but Norristown pretty much preserved their 7 point lead for the rest of the game and ended up winning by 7, 60-53.

Here are the evaluations of the standout players in these two contests.

Penn Wood vs. Conestoga

Penn Wood

Tyree Johnson (2010, 5-9 PG)
Tyree was spectacular in this game and gave the opposing guards fits.  He used a variety of dribble hesitation moves along with a crossover, to leave defenders in his wake.  When he drove to the hoop he was able to take it himself or dish off to open teammates after drawing the defense.  With his aggressive attacking of the hoop Tyree got himself to the charity stripe and converted all but 1 of his 8 free throw attempts. Not only was he finishing well around the hoop but Tyree was also able to hit from behind the arc.  One such 3 pointer he knocked down off the dribble.  Defensively Tyree was a terror displaying extremely quick hands.  He had a couple steals and also forced quite a few bad passes.  2 of his steals resulted in easy breakaway layups for him.  Tyree finished the game as Penn Wood’s leading scorer with 23 points.

Shawn Oakman (2011, 6-8 PF)
This was not great game offensively for Shawn, but he did rebound the ball well and was able to score on a couple put backs after grabbing offensive rebounds.  He also scored on a reverse layup but did not do much else offensively.  Shawn missed a midrange jump shot and all 3 of his free throw attempts.

Aaron Brown (2011, 6-5 SF)
Aaron put together a solid performance in this one, finishing with 11 points.  He was thriving from around the foul line as he knocked down 3 jumpers in that vicinity and also hit 5 of his 6 free throw attempts.  Aaron did struggle some finishing around the hoop.  He missed a pair of well-contested layups and also a hook shot in the post.

Duane Johnson (2009, 6-4 SF)
For his first bucket of the game, Duane tipped away a pass and after grabbing the loose ball, he got out on the break for a dunk.  While his first score was an open dunk, he did score on a couple more difficult baskets.  He hit a one-hand jump shot over his defender in the lane and also had a great baseline drive past his defender for a tough layup.  In the 4th quarter Duane scored the 1000th point in his high school career.  He also blocked a shot on the defensive end.


Jake Cohen (2009, 6-10 PF/C) committed to Davidson
Jake played a great game and managed to keep Conestoga in the contest, but in the end it was not enough.  This game really showed off Jake’s versatility.  He was able to score out of the post, driving close to the hoop and even stepped out and knocked down a shot with his foot on the 3 point line.  Jake played physically inside, drawing a lot of fouls and converted once he got to the line.  By my count he went 11 for 11 from the free throw line.  Besides his scoring Jake also displayed exceptional passing ability for a big man.  The entire offense ran through him as he touched the ball on almost every possession and was able to find open teammates.  Defensively Jake forced tough shots and was able to block shots without leaving his feet.  He finished with a very impressive 25 points, 10 boards, 6 blocks and even had 4 assists. 

Norristown vs. Pennsbury


Khalif Wyatt (2009, 6-2 PG/SG) committed to Temple
Khalif was very tightly defended for the entire game but he still managed to get his shot off.  He can shoot with a defender right on top of him because he has a high release point and can shoot while fading away slightly.  Besides his shooting Khalif was also able to drive and finish around the hoop.  Khalif made some beautiful passes in this game and really trusted his teammates to make plays.  He has had bigger games offensively but it was not needed on this night as Norristown consistently had the lead.  That being said he still finished with 17 points.


Dalton Pepper (2009, 6-6 SG/SF) committed to West Virginia
Early in the game Dalton settled for two many outside shots and was not getting them to fall.  As the game wore on he looked more to exploit his size and strength advantage under the hoop.  He positioned himself very well keeping his man in front of him.  He would then catch a pass over his defenders head for an easy lay in.  He also scored after grabbing offensive rebounds and was strong on the boards throughout the game.  Dalton did get a couple 3 pointers to fall later in the game and had some great takes to the hoop.  He finished with 28 points but it was not enough to beat Norristown.

Dante Devine (2010, 6-0 PG/SG)
Dante hit a pair of threes and played solid defense, but really did not do much else.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 April 2009 )
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