Freedom boys emerge with 6A title
Getting through the District 11 Class 6A boys’ basketball tournament can serve as barometer for the upcoming state tournament.
Just ask Freedom and Northampton.
The two staged the anticipated battle expected, but Freedom’s overall balanced proved to be the deciding factor in the Patriots’ 58-48 victory at Easton Area Middle School Saturday afternoon.
Yet, both teams are near mirror images of each other heading into the final stage of their postseasons.
Freedom (18-8) is still enjoying the moment of capturing their first district title since 1976, and the Patriots have reassured themselves of their overall depth in the process.
Along with the scoring do of brother Caleb and Malek Mims, Freedom can rely on the supporting cast of Taj Montgomery and David Barnes as well as some new found offense from Frank Falco, who helped the Patriots to the title with 11 second-half points against Northampton.
The Patriots will meet Downingtown East, District One’s eighth seed, at Allen’s Sewards Gym Saturday at 4 p.m.
Downingtown East (15-12) is led by leading scorers guards David Owsik and Jayden Rowe.
“It was a total team win and that’s what we’ve been preaching the last couple of weeks,” said Freedom head coach Joe Stellato. “They really shared the ball and that’s what has helped us to win. Now, we have to keep moving forward.”
While Northampton doesn’t have the presence of the Mims brothers, the Konkrete Kids (16-9) have relied on their balanced attack all season, one that nearly led them to their first district title since 1973. They did manage to make their second district final appearance in the past three years.
Dante Rodriguez, Zach Gula, Issac Harris, and Spencer Cole all have paced the Kids’ offensive attack throughout the season, and helped the seventh-seeded Kids knock off Class 4A champion Allentown Central Catholic, second-seeded Liberty and third-seeded Easton in their previous three contests.
The Kids will open the state playoffs against Lower Merion, District One’s sixth seed, also at Allen’s Seward’s Gym in an earlier 2:30 p.m. tipoff. The Aces have dropped two of their last three games, losing to Chester in the quarterfinals before they bounced back to defeat Pennridge. They then lost the fifth-sixth-place game in the district to Coatesville.
Sophomore 6-foot-8 center Demetrius Lilley already has received a scholarship offer from Texas A&M. Another one of their standouts for the Aces is Sam Brown, son of the Philadelphia 76ers’ head coach Brett Brown.
“They are a solid team from a very competitive District One area,” said Kids’ head coach Coy Stampone. “I know it will be a tough challenge, but we played hard and be prepared.”