Upper Dublin's Celebration Proves To Be Worth The Wait

Posted: February 14, 1997

Upper Dublin's celebration late Tuesday night after tying for the Suburban One American Conference Freedom Division basketball title was delayed.

But so were the Cardinals' chances of reaching that plateau.

Upper Dublin (14-10) had to win its last three games, which it did, and Methacton would have to lose two of its last three, which it did, for the Cardinals to finish as cochampions for the second year in a row (last year with Upper Merion). But after the 59-43 win at Springfield on Tuesday, coach Jeff Huddleston and his players had to wait for the final score of the game between Methacton and Upper Merion.

``We kept the kids in the locker room, told them to relax, keep their uniforms on,'' Huddleston said. ``We called Upper Merion, and then told the kids we had to go out and cut down some nets.

``I have to admit I had some goose bumps. There were some tears welling up in my eyes.''

Huddleston sent his players back onto the court and they went after the nets.

``I'm just so happy for these kids,'' said Huddleston. ``A kid like Mark Novitsky typifies this team. He's a senior who made the varsity for the first time this season, but he hasn't played because he has a stress fracture of the leg.

``But he's at practice every day. He helps out with everything we ask. He's typical of the dedication this group has shown.''

Sophomore Tom Barlow's career-high 24 points led the Cardinals' win over Springfield.

And now Upper Dublin has a home district Class AAAA playoff game tonight with Norristown, after the athletic directors had to go to the fourth tiebreaking procedure for deciding playoff seeding.

Upper Dublin and Methacton had split their two head-to-head meetings (No. 1), and had the same records within the Freedom Division (7-3) - the second tiebreaker - and against Liberty Division teams (2-3), the third. That brought the decision to their records against the third-place team, Upper Merion.

The Cardinals had beaten the Vikings twice, while Methacton's 74-62 loss on Tuesday not only cost it first place outright, it also cost the Warriors a home playoff game.

Beating the buzzer. Mike deMartelaire didn't want to compare his game-winning shot against Pottstown Tuesday night - which gave Lansdale Catholic its first-ever Pioneer Conference basketball championship - to anything he might do on a football field.

But he did admit that, ``The way we won was a little bigger.''

DeMartelaire had to go the length of the court, with his team trailing Pottstown, 36-34, and 4.5 seconds showing on the clock, and fire up a three-pointer for the title-clinching points.

``He must have jumped from 25, 26 feet and landed inside the [three-point] arc,'' said Crusaders coach Chris Mooney of deMartelaire's shot.

``It wasn't like a prayer,'' deMartelaire said of his shot, ``but I thought, `Oh my God, it's going in.' ''

The game-winning situation was set up when Pottstown's Chonn Lacey went to the line in a one-and-one situation and the Trojans (20-3) leading by two points. Lansdale (17-7) took a time-out before Lacey's first shot.

``I told them if he misses, don't call a time-out,'' said Mooney. ``Get the ball to Mike right away.''

The win earned the second seed in the district's Class AAA playoffs for the Crusaders, and dropped Pottstown to fifth. Both teams have to wait until next weekend to play in quarterfinal games.

Record for Plummer. Every point Abington Friends' senior Lamar Plummer scores for the rest of this season will add to his school scoring record. Plummer now has 1,577 points in four varsity seasons, bettering the former school career mark of 1,550 held by Mark Thompson.

And with two more wins, coach Steve Chadwin will reach the 300-victory plateau at the school.

One more game. Several Pennsbury alumni will take part in the third annual Rick Block Memorial Game at the school tomorrow at 8 p.m.

Proceeds from the game go to an annual school scholarship awarded in Block's name, and to his family. Block was a former Pennsbury standout who died in an airline accident in 1994.

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