March 26, 2014 |
IN A RECENT CHAPTER of Philadelphia's esteemed Book of Basketball, a deep and dangerous team put together a wonderful season that ended against an opponent that was just a little bit better. The Philly team was stacked with undergraduate talent; in fact, it lost only one significant player to graduation. So the team expected - and was expected - to have another outstanding season; but that did not happen for La Salle. Not far away, a senior-laden team made a late-season run and finally performed to its capacity.
March 25, 2014 |
HERSHEY - David Krmpotich was nearly flawless in his verbalization of the La Salle High basketball season as he stood in front of a gaggle of reporters after the upstart Explorers lost in the Class AAAA championship Saturday night at the Giant Center in Hershey. "This is awesome that we could even get here," the 6-7 junior forward said. "This is amazing. We did not expect this. Really, our 65 practices this year shaped us into the team we were today. " The only missing words were melancholy, but his face, speckled in crimson and dripping with disappointment, said it all. In fact, "awesome" might be an apt description of an Explorers' season that needed all 65 practices to coalesce late, solidify an identity and eventually become District 12's first AAAA title contender.
March 24, 2014 |
HERSHEY, Pa. - La Salle's impressive and surprising run at its first state basketball championship finally ended. With considerable athleticism and toughness, much of it gained on the gridiron, New Castle completed a perfect season by beating the Explorers, 52-39, Saturday night in the PIAA Class AAAA boys' final at the Giant Center. "I don't know if it was the difference in the game, but we certainly got bullied at times," La Salle coach Joe Dempsey said. The Hurricanes, whose starting lineup featured four senior starters with football scholarships, went 31-0 en route to their first title.
March 23, 2014 |
In its drive to the PIAA Class AAAA boys' basketball final, La Salle - a newcomer to this territory - knocked off perennial state-tournament powers Lower Merion and Chester. The last obstacle for the junior-laden Explorers is New Castle, of suburban Pittsburgh. The District 7 champs, with a football-studded lineup, arrive with a lofty record of 30-0. "They've got some tough players," La Salle coach Joe Dempsey said. "They're 30-0. The coaches have made sure their kids are ready to play every night.
March 20, 2014 |
EVERYTHING was coming undone for La Salle High School. Minutes earlier the Explorers held a commanding 11-point lead over Chester in the PIAA semifinals. Now, their lead was just three, and Chester had the ball off a La Salle turnover. Just when everything was going wrong, the Explorers' junior class stepped up and made it right. Najee Walls calmly stepped to the line and hit two free throws, then came up with a steal and a layup to seal last night's 61-54 win that gave the Explorers their first berth in the Class AAAA state championship against New Castle on Saturday at 8 p.m. in Hershey.
March 19, 2014 |
Few musicians of any genre have had the wide-ranging influence across vastly different styles of a Jimi Hendrix. One look at the roster of axmen who are congregating to celebrate Hendrix's legacy at the Keswick on Friday is proof of that. The lineup for this year's "Experience Hendrix" tour includes blues legend Buddy Guy, César Rosas and David Hidalgo of Chicano rock band Los Lobos, virtuoso guitar stylist Eric Johnson, second-generation iconoclast Dweezil Zappa, and metal six-string-slinger Zakk Wylde.
March 19, 2014 |
Up against a hungry St. Joseph's Prep team, La Salle boys' hockey squad followed the blueprint that served it so well over the years. Find a way to win. The third-seeded Explorers did just that Monday night as they came back from a 4-1 deficit and defeated No. 1 St. Joseph's Prep, 5-4, in overtime and won their fourth consecutive Class AAA Flyers Cup at the Skatium in Havertown. Coty Thomas scored his second goal of the game 3 minutes, 46 seconds into overtime to cap off an amazing Explorers comeback.
March 18, 2014 |
JALEN HERDSMAN might not be much of a bowler, but that doesn't mean his work between the lanes didn't help his skills on the court for La Salle High. Well, indirectly anyway. High school basketball can become a grind after hours of schoolwork during the day followed by hours of practice in the evening and gobs of homework at night. And then - lather, rinse, repeat - for months. With that in mind, it may seem peculiar for Herdsman and La Salle to have appeared so energized in Saturday's PIAA quarterfinal win against Lower Merion, which had previously vanquished District 12 top-seed Roman Catholic.
March 17, 2014 |
Among European travelers, more and more people are cruising. Of course, cruising is - in many ways - anathema to the "backdoor travel" philosophy that I've been preaching for 30 years. But I've learned it can be done thoughtfully and independently. Recently I gave my new guidebook, Rick Steves' Mediterranean Cruise Posts , a shakedown cruise of its own. I sailed in the western Mediterranean on Royal Caribbean and in the eastern Mediterranean on Celebrity. I admit that I'd thought cruising was some kind of Vegas-on-the-sea experience.