Scores/Schedule Feb 19-25 : Complete

Feb 19 – 25
District 3

Friday
Feb. 22
6A
Manheim Township 67 at Cedar Crest 59
Wilson 49 at Hempfield 59

 

Thursday
Feb 21
3A
Lancaster Mennonite 48 Kutztown 49

4A:
Bishop McDevitt 47 Lancaster Catholic 43
Northern Lebanon 34 Berks Catholic 52

5A:
Lower Dauphin 49 (OT) L-S 46
Garden Spot 66 Milton Hershey 90
Northern York 43 Ephrata 46
Donegal 49 New Oxford, 56

 

Tuesday
Feb 20
6A
Conestoga Valley 39 TWP 52

Monday
Feb 19
All 7 pm starts

5A
N York 35 LS 55
Ephrata 41 Lower Dauphin 58
Garden Spot 66 Dover 59
Donegal 61 Greencastle-Antrim 77

4A
ELCO 65 Northern Lebanon 74

3A
York Cath 44 LMHS 65

 

 

 

READING HIGH TURNS AWAY DALLASTOWN 83-71

The reward for the Dallastown Wildcats coming back from an 18 point deficit to win Wednesday night over Central York, a trip to the Geigle to face Reading High.  Clearly the Wildcats and their fans were not intimidated at all facing the defending 6A State Champs on their home floor .  Despite falling behind by as much as 20 in the first half ,Dallastown never let up.  The Wildcats fought and clawed back to within seven of Reading High in quarter four. In the end, the Red Knights depth, talent and crowd proved to be to much to overcome. Reading High came out with an 83-71 victory Friday night.

Ricki Lopez playing in his final game at the Geigle Complex led the way for Reading High with 22  I was also very impressed with Ricky’s team leadership all game long. Xavier Starks had another solid game with 13. 12 each for RJ Dixon and Larry WIngo.  Dallastown’s agent Zero Braden Caldwell had 20.  Da’Trail Alberts pumped in 16 from every angle and distance for the Wildcats.  Will Burton had a very impressive 11 points.

Reading High poured it on Dallastown from the opening tip.  Ricki Lopez worked the inside and the Reading D forced the Wildcats into some early turnovers.  After one Reading was up 25-11.  Briefly in quarter two the red Knights moved out to a 20 point lead, that’s when Dallastown got mad.  The Wildcats starting playing the pressure D, 94 foot game Reading is known for and things began to change.  Reading got a late hoop just before half to  push the lead to 46-32 at the break.

The intensity and emotion of the game and crowd really picked up in the second half. Despite everything, Reading still maintained its composure and held off the Wildcats by 13 64-51 after three. It was fever pitch time in quarter four.  The Geigle was a fan mad house when Dallastown closed the gap to 7 ,70-63 with 3:32 left.  But this was as close as the Wildcats got.  Reading played solidly down the stretch and pulled away for an 83-71 gut check win.

The Red Knights move on to the Giant Center in Hershey next Tuesday at 8:30  Manhiem Twp. will be the next opponent.

 

District 2 Tournament Previews

 

BOYS CLASS AAAAAA 2/4 Subregional

(1) Hazleton Area (21-1) vs. (4) Delaware Valley (12-10) 

(2) Scranton (15-7) vs. (3) Williamsport (13-9)  

 

FAVORITE:  Hazleton Area           

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Scranton          

DON’T COUNT OUT:  Williamsport 

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Scranton vs. Williamsport      

THE NITTY-GRITTY:  The Class 6A tourney always delivers some high drama and this year should be no different.  And even though Williamsport, often the measuring stick for gauging the level of area competition, sits at 13-9, they cannot be underestimated.  Especially this time of year.  Starting off with Hazleton Area, the 21-1 top-seed suffered their only blemish via a 65-56 loss to defending 6A state champion Reading (on the road) (on the Red Knights’ home floor).  Some valuable lessons were learned during that 19-4 second quarter disaster at the Geigle Center.  This is a squad that withstood some outstanding efforts during the regular season from top district teams such as Dallas, Nanticoke and Scranton Prep.  Not many teams are led in long-range shooting by their 6-8 senior center, but Josh Samec (15.4 ppg, 41 triples) is that type of threat.  He also snares 8 boards per game.  Another dynamic playmaker on both ends of the floor is Joey Grula.  The 6-5 senior guard/forward nets 12.3 ppg and has 17 treys.  Speaking of playmakers, look no further than 6-5 junior Da’Mir Faison.  He hits 12.7 ppg (21 triples) and is a top rebounder for Mike Joseph.  Around the arc, guards Andrew Vayda (a sophomore) and Ryan Wolk (a junior) have been steady.  Add in 6-5 senior guard Jeff Planutis (15 ppg (19 triples) and you can see why this team has been ranked by CoBL throughout the entire season.  Off the bench, Scott Shamany (6-1 senior forward) and Adrian Otero (6-2 senior forward) hit a combined 7.6 ppg.  They provide depth and both gained experience during the season when Grula was injured.  Scranton, the #2 seed, dropped seven games this season, but five of them came against powerhouse Lackawanna Division 1 teams Abington Heights and Scranton Prep.  The Knights bring a little bit of everything onto the court – good outside shooting, athleticism, and they can vary their tempo.  While they don’t have a lot of height, they play tall.  Senior guard Ky’Ron Harbin scores 16.9 ppg.  He is joined in the backcourt by seniors Robbie McAndrew (10.9 ppg) and Cameron Jordan (6.9 ppg).  They teamed up to hit 62 triples on the season.  Added depth comes from Isaiah Montgomery (senior, 3.8 ppg) and Tyjay Ash (sophomore, 3.9 ppg).  Inside, 6-4 junior forward Marcus Bauman, nets 9.3 ppg.  The wildcard team in the tourney is Williamsport.  Their 13-9 mark is bolstered by several second-half comebacks and a few victories in the closing seconds.  So, the Millionaires have definitely faced adversity and they don’t panic.  Their sole returning starter is junior guard Marcus SimmonsDarryl Wilson (senior guard) has been developing into one of their top go-to scorers.  Inside, they feature 6-5 senior center Ethen Stryker and 6-3 senior forward Al-Tamar Jason, and 6-4 senior forward D’Angelo Strachon.  And senior guard Tyler McCann provides hustle all over the court.  The Cherry and White will go 10 deep including guards Keith Jason (senior guard), Ethan Williams (junior guard), Eric Smith (6-3 senior forward), and Nassir Jones (6-1 freshman forward).  Delaware Valley, winner of the Lackawanna Division 2 race, is the #4 seed.  The Warriors get 14.8 ppg from junior guard Blake Gearhart.  He is joined around the perimeter by senior Hassan Keyes (5.2 ppg), junior Dylan Kelly (4.8 ppg), and sophomore Grant Berrios (3.5 ppg).  In the frontcourt, Del-Val has seniors Matt Campbell (6-4 forward, 2.9 ppg), and Zach Klapack (6-1 forward, 6.6 ppg) along with sophomore Jackson Shafer (6-3, 7.7 ppg).  Shafer and Klapack combined for 38 triples.                                                              

 

 

BOYS CLASS AAAAA

(1) Abington Heights (19-3) vs. (8) North Pocono (5-17)

(4) Wallenpaupack (11-11) vs. (5) West Scranton (8-14) 

(2) Dallas (18-4) vs. (7) Wyoming Valley West (5-17)

(3) Crestwood (15-7) vs. (6) Pittston Area (6-16) 

 

FAVORITES:  Abington Heights, Dallas           

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Crestwood          

DON’T COUNT OUT:  West Scranton, Wallenpaupack, Pittston           

BEST QUARTER-FINAL:  Wallenpaupack vs. West Scranton            

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Dallas vs. Crestwood

THE NITTY-GRITTY:  Last year, Abington Heights and Dallas met up in a district semifinal matchup which the Comets won by 19 points.  While AH remains an extremely strong, yet decidedly different style team from a year ago, the Mountaineers have certainly closed the gap.  Just how much we might find out at Mohegan Sun Arena in less than two weeks.  Top-seed Abington Heights, the Lackawanna Division 1 champion, has an incredible 1-2 punch in 1,000 point scorer Jackson Danzig (senior guard, 17.4 ppg) and all-everything junior forward George Tinsley (17.8 ppg).  With standout junior guard Trey Koehler possibly out for the season, the Comets have received about 11.5 ppg (along with 46 triples) from Jack Nealon and Corey Perkins.  That duo, along with 6-4 sophomore Mike Malone, has given Ken Bianchi (766 career wins) plenty of talent returning next year.  The Comets three losses have all come on the road this year – Scranton Prep, Downingtown East, and Methacton.  Dallas, the #2 seed, twice gave WVC Division 1 winner Hazleton Area a battle before falling to the Cougars.  Their other losses came against WVC Division 2 champion Nanticoke Area and Woodson (Va.) in a Bethlehem Christmas tourney.  Dallas comes into the tourney expecting to win it all.  The Mounts are well-coached by Mark Belenski, have senior leadership, and play very smart on the floor.  They find your weakness and go after it.  They get balanced scoring from Joey Parsons (13.9 ppg), Alex Charlton (11.8 ppg), Jay Bittner (20.7 ppg), Matt Mathers (7.7 ppg), and Nick Kocher (6.4 ppg).  Parsons, Charlton, and Kocher have combined for 83 treys.  Crestwood comes in as the #3 seed.  The Comets seem to reload every year and use their methodical pace to often frustrate teams come playoff time.  Juniors Camden Boris and Mike Palmiero (about 11.8 ppg each) have been playing very well.  Mark Atherton also gets 7.6 ppg from junior Sean Murphy, and 5.8 ppg from senior Evan Knapp.  Freshman guard Ryan Petrosky has been contributing 6.3 ppg.  Wallenpaupack, the #4 seed, will take on #5 seed West Scranton who the Buckhorns already defeated 58-53 in crossover division play.  Paupack features a young lineup that might put them into the championship conversation next year too.  Junior guards Derrick Vosburg (6.9 ppg, 25 triples) and Alex Pillar (6.3 ppg, 30 triples) are joined by sophomore Elijah Rosenthal (13.5 ppg, 46 treys).  Inside, they have 6-6 soph forward Gabe Springer (10 ppg).  Looking at West Scranton, the Invaders 8-14 season mark might be a bit deceiving as they were very competitive in most of their five season-ending losses.  In the backcourt, West has senior Shayne Merrifield (14.5 ppg, 42 triples), senior Ryan Mangan (5 ppg), and freshman Cayden Merrifield (6.3 ppg, 31 triples).  Inside, Jack Lyons has a pair of senior forwards, 6-2 Josh Hart (13.4 ppg) and 6-4 Jalen Gregory (6.6 ppg).  Pittston Area relies on a trio of seniors, guard Naseem Guillauame (9.6 ppg) along with forwards Matt McGlynn (9.4 ppg, a great outside shooter) and 6-5 Brian Miller (7.2 ppg).  The Patriots also have a pair of sophs averaging about 5 ppg in Andrew Krawczyk and Brennan Higgins.  Wyoming Valley West, the #7 seed, has senior sharp-shooter Draig Ruff who scores 26.5 ppg and has connected on 48 triples.  The Spartans also have three talented underclassmen in Sammy Solomon (6-3 soph, 4.6 ppg), Justus Simpson (soph guard, 5.7 ppg), and Mason Mendygral (freshman guard, 9.2 ppg with 47 triples).  North Pocono, the #8 seed, gets balanced scoring from the perimeter with Alec Ciaglia (senior, 5.9 ppg), Chris McLafferty (senior, 5.7 ppg), and Anthony Kosiba (junior, 6.6 ppg).  Inside, the Trojans have 6-4 senior Joe Thiel (9.4 ppg) and 6-3 junior Ryan Deom (5.7 ppg).                                                                                

 

BOYS CLASS AAAA

(1) Scranton Prep (17-5) vs. (8) Wilkes-Barre GAR (10-12)

(4) Wyoming Area (14-8) vs. (5) Hanover Area (14-8)

(2) Nanticoke Area (18-4) vs. (7) Wilkes-Barre Meyers (11-11)

(3) Valley View (14-8) vs. (6) Tunkhannock (13-9) 

 

FAVORITES:  Scranton Prep, Nanticoke Area         

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Valley View, Wyoming Area             

DON’T COUNT OUT:  Hanover Area, Wilkes-Barre Meyers, Tunkhannock           

BEST QUARTER-FINAL:  Valley View vs. Tunkhannock           

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Nanticoke Area vs. Valley View         

THE NITTY-GRITTY:  Every few years a bracket comes along that absolutely delivers one of those hoops “YES” moments.  And this one qualifies.  Not because of any juggernaut-type program in the field, but rather the great mix of solid teams and standout players from top to bottom.  It’s a good thing that three teams will advance to the state playoffs.  Top-seed Scranton Prep dropped three close early season games to Hazleton Area, Emmaus, and Williamsport before cruising through Lackawanna League Division 1 action.  That was until back-to-back losses to Abington Heights and Valley View flipped things up a bit.  The Cavs are at their best when they have a lead and control the tempo.  Their 6-8 junior forward Leo O’Boyle has been spectacular at times averaging 19.9 ppg (with 41 triples).  Inside, he is joined by 6-5 senior center Wes Simons (11.5 ppg).  On the perimeter, Andrew Kettel relies on juniors Brian Boland (6.5 ppg) and Greyson Schermerhorn (5.1 ppg) along with seniors Sam Bednarz (3.8 ppg) and Alec D’Elia (4 ppg).  Nanticoke Area, the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 champion, is the #2 seed.  Their four losses came against rival Hanover Area, Holy Redeemer, Hazleton Area, and Tunkhannock.  The Trojans are led by junior guard Nate Kreitzer (18.9 ppg, 68 treys) and 6-5 junior forward Trahjan Krupinski (14.2 ppg).  GNA also gets superb efforts from a pair of younger players, sophomore guard Colby Butczynski (9.1 ppg,) and freshman Jake Krupinsky (8 ppg) who have combined for 45 triples.  Valley View, the #3 seed, is a program loaded with developing talent, and virtually their entire lineup returns next season.  While the Cougars finished at 6-7 during league play, their signature win was a 54-53 shocker over Scranton Prep.  They have a deep guard-oriented squad led by junior Marc Kudrich (15.6 ppg, 27 triples).  He is joined by fellow junior Bobby Craig (8.7 ppg, 27 treys) and sophomores Dylan Howanitz (7.6 ppg) and Dixon Black (6.2 ppg).  Chase Combs and Jaden Duplessis (two more junior guards) score a combined 9.6 ppg.  #4 seed Wyoming Area, on the other hand, is an experienced senior-led team anchored by 6-3 center Sam Greenfield (20.4 ppg with 30 triples), a terrific player with lots of versatility.  He is joined by Aaron Zezza (10.9 ppg and 31 treys), Matt Wright (7.3 ppg), and Kyre Zielinski (8.2 ppg).  The Warriors take on #5 seed Hanover Area.  The Hawks concluded a fine regular season with an eye-catching win over WVC Division 3 winner Wyoming Seminary.  They have three players hitting double figures, senior guard Mike Piscotty (13.9 ppg), senior guard Desmond Cannon (10.4 ppg), and senior playmaker Tyler Thomas (10.4 ppg).  Piscotty and Cannon teamed up for 101 triples.  Sophomore guard Asad Whitehead nets 8.4 ppg while junior forward Evan Materna adds 5.3 ppg.  Another team that cannot be underestimated is Tunkhannock.  The Tigers have nice balance to their lineup, led in the backcourt by junior Tyler Faux (17.6 ppg, 80 treys) and senior Sean Harder (12.4 ppg, 14 triples).  Senior Matt Goodwin adds 6.4 ppg and is another outside threat with 35 triples.  Inside, Tunk features 6-4 senior forward Evan Turner (7.4 ppg) and 6-8 junior Avery Billings (4 ppg).  If the Tigers can get their inside game to be a bit more productive, don’t be surprised to see them playing at the arena.  The Wilkes-Barre schools bring in the final two spots.  Meyers, the #7 seed, is paced by standout senior guard Jawane Buckner (18.7 ppg, 51 triples).  The Mohawks are otherwise a very youthful squad with junior guards Kendell Brewster (9.7 ppg, 29 treys) and Keegan Brewster (4.7 ppg) along with a pair of freshmen in Cole Walker (guard, 7 ppg, 22 triples) and Blake Masker (6-3 forward, 3.3 ppg).  GAR features all-star junior guard Will Johnson (20 ppg, 37 treys) along with several other guards in seniors Anthony Hawk (8.7 ppg), Simon Peter (5 ppg, 32 triples), and Khalil White (4.2 ppg) along with junior Tyler Young (5.5 ppg). 

 

 

BOYS CLASS AAA

(1) Wyoming Seminary (18-4) vs. (8) Lakeland (6-16)

(4) Dunmore (13-9) vs. (5) Carbondale (12-10) 

(2) Holy Redeemer (16-6) vs. (7) Montrose (13-10)

(3) Mid Valley (15-8) vs. (6) Riverside (9-13) 

 

FAVORITES:  Wyoming Seminary, Holy Redeemer          

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Mid Valley          

DON’T COUNT OUT:  Dunmore, Carbondale, Riverside           

BEST QUARTER-FINAL:  Dunmore vs. Carbondale            

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Holy Redeemer vs. Mid Valley      

THE NITTY-GRITTY:  Top-seed Wyoming Seminary captured the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3 championship via a pair of big wins over #2 seed Holy Redeemer (46-41 and 58-51).  While fans of these two teams might be planning for a third matchup in an upcoming arena party, there are enough obstacles through the brackets to keep this one interesting.  The Blue Knights have lots of current talent, and the majority of it will be back again next year.  On the perimeter, Sem features sophomore Jeremy Callahan (9.9 ppg) and Jake Koretz (7.5 ppg) who have combined for 63 triples.  Inside, they are solid with 6-2 junior Dimitri Gnall (16.9 ppg), 6-4 junior Nicholas Ganter (8.8 ppg), and 6-3 sophomore Todd Phillips (7.4 ppg).  The Blue Knights dropped narrow crossover games to Nanticoke Area and Meyers.  Holy Redeemer comes in as the #2 seed.  The Royals have played a challenging slate and get balanced scoring from their lineup.  They are led by juniors Collin Cook (13.3 ppg, 42 triples) and Nick Prociak (6.6 ppg) along with seniors JD Turosky (9.8 ppg) and Joey Judge (8.5 ppg).  They also get contributions from Sean Wills, Bryan Yencha, and Derek Answini.  #3 seed Mid Valley cruised through league play, minus three losses to division nemesis Holy Cross.  The Spartans have the type of guard-oriented lineup that could have what it takes to advance to a championship round.  They feature a terrific bunch of long-range shooters in JJ Glinsky (senior, 14 ppg), Collin Scherer (senior, 7.9 ppg), Shane Rosencrans (junior, 7.7 ppg), and Collin Hazelton (junior, 9.2 ppg).  They connected on 107 triples on the season.  Inside, MV has 6-5 sophomore Mike Miller (4.7 ppg).  Dunmore, the #4 seed, relies on Richie Grippi (senior, 9.9 ppg) along with sophs Steve Borgia (4.6 ppg) and Daniel Walsh (11.4 ppg) in the backcourt.  The Bucks also have senior forward Nate Fangio (9.4 ppg, 24 treys).  Dunmore will battle #5 seed Carbondale who they split in a pair of division matchups.  The Chargers are a mature squad with plenty of talented guards on the floor.  Senior Bobby Salitsky leads the way with 13.1 ppg while seniors Andrew Manarchuck and Bailey Rumford combine for 14.1 ppg.   Juniors Mike Zazzera and Pat Durkin team up for 15 ppg.  #6 seed Riverside is looking to rebound from a 9-13 campaign.  They feature a pair of seniors in Evan Carrubba (guard, 9.5 ppg) and Marcos Echeverrio (forward, 9.5 ppg).  The Vikes also have a duo of exciting younger players in Razen Reyes (sophomore guard, 7.1 ppg) and Michael Rickert (freshman, 10.8 ppg) who netted a combined 49 triples.  Riverside dropped both previous tilts with Mid Valley, but each game was very competitive.  Montrose, the #7 seed, finished just game behind Lackawanna Division 2 winner Susquehanna.  The Meteors are led by junior forward Brennan Gilhool (11.9 ppg) and senior guard Jacob Peck (11.2 ppg, 34 triples).  Senior forward Bryden Jerauld contributes 4.7 ppg.  Montrose also has depth in their backcourt with a trio of juniors – Evan Snyder (6.7 ppg), Andrew Rapisardi (7.6 ppg), and Tyler Rebello (6.1 ppg).  Rapisardi and Rebello combined for 38 triples.  Lakeland, the #8 seed, is a young team building toward the future.  Junior guards Silas Stearns and James Lewis hit a combined 16.2 ppg while 6-3 senior forward Rodney LaBorde adds 5 ppg (26 treys).  The Chiefs have 6-2 soph forward Noah Chup and 6-5 freshman center CJ Dippre who have teamed up for 13.3 ppg.                                                                                 

 

 

BOYS CLASS AA

(1) Holy Cross (17-6) vs. (8) Blue Ridge (2-20)

(4) Old Forge (7-15) vs. (5) Mountain View (7-15) 

(2) Elk Lake (12-10) vs. (7) Forest City (4-18)

(3) Northwest Area (8-14) vs. (6) Lackawanna Trail (4-18)

 

FAVORITE:  Holy Cross      

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Elk Lake           

DON’T COUNT OUT:  Northwest Area         

BEST QUARTER-FINAL:  Old Forge vs. Mountain View           

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Elk Lake vs. Northwest Area   

THE NITTY-GRITTY:  OK, so this appears to be Holy Cross’ tournament to lose, but there will still be plenty of drama on who secures the runner-up and state-qualifying position.  Only two teams enter the Class AA field with winning records as the overall winning percentage of the entire group is just under 35%.  And, earlier in the season, Holy Cross appeared to be matching that mark, struggling mightily amidst a 3-6 record.  So, who stepped up to create their big turnaround?  Well, nobody – and everybody – actually.  Unlike other Crusader editions which featured a clutch go-to player, everyone on this young squad has found their role.  Senior guard Patrick Galvin leads the way with 12.9 ppg (15 triples).  He is joined by a trio of juniors and a pair of talented sophomores.  Tyler Mozeleski (junior forward) nets 10.3 ppg and has 31 triples.  Tom Montefour and Declan Tokash hit a combined 13.3 ppg with 25 combined treys.  Soph guards Kieran Burrier (11.2 ppg) and Caleb Callejas (5.3 ppg) combined for 32 triples).  #2 seed Elk Lake, 7-5 in Lackawanna Division 4 play, relies on senior guard Rierdan Reyan (19 ppg, 42 treys).  He is joined by junior guard Nate Preston (6.4 ppg).  In the middle, the Warriors have senior forwards Kobe Jayne (6.7 ppg) and Drew Arnold (6 ppg).  Northwest Area, the #3 seed, has a dynamic junior guard duo in Jaxson Yaple (12.5 ppf, 48 triples) and Sam Saxe (14.9 ppg, 46 triples).  The Rangers have junior forward Tyler Stevens (7.9 ppg) and 6-4 junior center Bryce Koser (7.3 ppg) in the paint.  Old Forge, the #3 seed, has a quartet of seniors in guards Joey Verespey (11.4 ppg), Brandon Nee (10.5 ppg) and Kevin Welsh (7.2 ppg) plus forward Pat Banks (8.2 ppg).  Their backcourt of Verespey, Nee, and Welsh has connected on 92 triples.  The Blue Devils also have newcomer freshman guard Michhael DiGregorio (7.3 ppg).  Mountain View, the #5 seed, has a guard oriented squad highlighted by seniors Kyle Streich (14 ppg, 55 triples) and Alex Showalter (10.1 ppg) plus junior Mike Schermerhorn (9.9 ppg, 31 treys).  A pair of soph guards, Preston Petts and Mike Fanelli, combine for 6.7 ppg.  Lackawanna Trail enters as the #6 seed.  The Lions get plenty of players into the scoring column.  Junior guard Zach Stec nets 7.5 ppg while 6-2 senior forward Shawn Jones hits 10.4 ppg.  Jones is joined inside by junior Zac Cost (4.6 ppg).  Soph guard Josh Rzucidlo contributes 6.5 ppg.  LT also gets about 12 ppg combined from Griffin Holmes, Nico Berrios, and Richard Helbing.  Forest City has several key seniors leading the Foresters.  They are led by center Dakota Knehr-Cook (11 ppg, 19 triples) and guard Jordan Non (10.5 ppg, 30 treys).  They also get about 17 ppg combined from seniors Noah Yates and Jerrad Non plus junior Eric Paulin.  Blue Ridge, the #8 seed, gets about 17 ppg combined from junior guards Sam Cosmello and Kaleb Folk (they have 29 triples).  Inside, the Raiders feature senior forwards Charlie Randall (6-5, 5.3 ppg) and Gavin Bradley (6-3, 4.9 ppg).                                                       

 

 

BOYS CLASS A 2/11 Subregional

(1) Susquehanna Community (15-8) bye

(4) Notre Dame East Stroudsburg (11-11) vs. (5) Lincoln Leadership (6-16)

(2) Tri-Valley (11-11) vs. (7) Salem Christian (12-10)

(3) Nativity BVM (12-10) vs. (6) Weatherly (10-12)

 

FAVORITE:  Susquehanna Community             

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Nativity BVM, Tri-Valley, NDES                

DON’T COUNT OUT:  Salem Christian           

BEST QUARTER-FINAL:  Tri-Valley vs. Salem Christian             

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Susquehanna Community vs. Notre Dame East Stroudsburg     

THE NITTY-GRITTY:  The Boys 1A sub-regional tournament is going to be very balanced and competitive.  Top-seed Susquehanna Community logged an 11-1 mark, winning the Lackawanna League Division 4.  The Sabers are led by junior guard Mason Deakin (15.4 ppg with 21 triples).  He is joined by junior guard Adam Rockwell (7 ppg, 34 treys).  Inside they have junior forwards Bryce Baldwin (6-5, 12.9 ppg) and CJ Stone (6-2, 5.6 ppg) plus senior Eric Lee (5.8 ppg).  The #2 through #4 seeds are very evenly matched.  Tri-Valley, 5-9 in Schuylkill League play, gets even scoring all over the floor.  The Bulldogs have a solid backcourt with senior Ashton Buchanan (10 ppg), juniors Nick Ziegmont and Daulton Leedy (scoring a combined 19 ppg) plus sophomore Chase Deeter (8.7 ppg).  In the middle, they have 6-1 junior center Brayden Smith and 6-1 senior forward Logan Yoder who team up to score 13.3 ppg.  #3 seed Pottsville Nativity BVM is a very athletic squad that finished 8-10 in league play, including a pair of victories over Tri-Valley.  The Hilltoppers rely on junior guards Raphael Muldrow and Sincere Walker plus senior Christian Matlock.  Senior 6-2 forward Casian Flowers and 6-3 junior center Quandre Latimer handle things in the paint.  Notre Dame East Stroudsburg is always a perennial contender.  The #4 seed Spartans are well-coached and led by junior guards Daniel Lynch and Dylan Parris plus senior guard Royce Frazier.  They also get contributions from junior guards Benjamin Jean and Paulo Villanova.  NDES also has a pair of freshmen guards in Shawn Seay and Aaron Bailey.  Defending district champion Lincoln Leadership Academy is paced by 6-3 senior forward Maurice Moore and senior guard Austin Alvarez.  The Lions also feature Jabhil Cruz, Joesiah Vasquez, Josh Gonzolez, and Adrian Pagan.  #6 seed Weatherly, one year removed from their 2-20 campaign, had their sights on a possible championship, but their late season controversy of possibly using a pair of non-resident players has got to impact their focus.  The Wreckers roster includes senior guards Johnny Arthur, Zach Moon, Joel Hinkle, and Gabriel Miller.  They also have 6-3 senior center Steph Yurchak.  #7 seed Salem Christian, who lost in the semi-finals to Nativity BVM last year, is led by sophomore guard Levi Gehman.  The Eagles also have juniors Justin Rosak and Matt Shiffer.                                    

 

 

 

 

GIRLS AAAAAA

(1) Scranton (15-7) vs. (5) Delaware Valley (3-19)

(2) Hazleton Area (13-9) vs. (3) Williamsport (6-16)  

 

FAVORITE:  Scranton           

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Hazleton Area

DON’T COUNT OUT:  Williamsport                   

THE NITTY-GRITTY:  Top seed Scranton gets the nod in the big school classification.  The Lady Knights have a frontcourt trio that will present a big challenge for any of the teams.  Senior 6-0 forward Shelby Funchess hits 13.9 ppg, Colette Mulderig (6-2 sophomore center) 13.2 gg, and 6-1 junior forward Kristen Hart adds 3.7 ppg.  Scranton does not have the spectacular playmaker running their offense as in previous seasons, but Sophia Glogowski (sophomore, 7.5 ppg 36 triples) and Erin Barrett (senior, 5.1 ppg) have been solid.  They combined for 64 triples for the Lady Knights who finished at 10-3 in league play, 3 games behind Lackawanna Division 1 champion Scranton Prep.  Hazleton Area, the #2 seed, has been riding a bit of a rollercoaster season.  The Lady Cougars picked up some momentum through the middle part of the season and seemed to be headed for a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 crown after big wins over Berwick, Lake-Lehman, and Wyoming Area.  But, some untimely injuries and sickness sent them off the rails and limping into the postseason on a 4-game losing streak.  Senior guard Maddie Mrochko is their leader averaging 15.7 ppg and 56 triples.  She is joined by junior guard Virginia Yurchak (7.5 ppg).  Inside, Hazleton has an excellent duo of forwards, 5-11 Faith Grula (9.4 ppg) and 6-0 Marissa Trivelpiece (6.6 ppg) who went down with a knee injury late in the season.  The Lady Cougars are a tenacious group, have depth (with senior guard Diamond Truluck), and plenty of talented youth (with sophomore Kyra Antolick and freshman Brooke Boretski).  Their opponent in the semi-finals will be Williamsport, a team that they rolled over 67-42.  But that was way back in early December and the gap between these two teams seems to have narrowed a bit.  The #3 Lady Millionaires have a deceiving overall mark of 6-16.  They play an independent schedule that included powerhouses such as Crestwood and North Schuylkill.  In fact, it was a closer-than-expected early February matchup against NS that began to turn their attitude around a bit.  A few days later they seemed to put everything together in a route over Central Mountain.  Port has the top guard in the entire 6A tourney in junior Jada Whaley (10.1 ppg).  She makes things happen.  She is joined by junior Fondea McClain and sophomore Katelyn Wilson who is really starting to get into the offensive flow.  Inside, they have a tough rebounder in Gabby Thomas (5-8 senior forward), Samiyah Little (5-10 sophomore center, 6.7 ppg), and Shelly Floyd (5-10 senior forward).  The Cherry and White brings some depth and noteworthy post play into this semi-final.  Delaware Valley, the #4 seed, gets about 4.0 ppg from each of their top players.  The Lady Warriors have a senior guard tandem of Shelby Brittain and Faith Fucetola.  In the middle, DV features 5-11 junior Elizabeth Bobo, 5-8 senior forward Ciera Cavallaro, and 5-11 freshman forward Brooke Acoveno.

 

 

GIRLS AAAAA

(1) Abington Heights (15-7) vs. (8) Wilkes-Barre Coughlin (1-21)

(4) Pittston Area (13-9) vs. (5) West Scranton (12-10) 

(2) Crestwood (15-7) vs. (7) North Pocono (12-10)

(3) Wallenpaupack (15-7) vs. (6) Wyoming Valley West (11-11)  

 

FAVORITES:  Abington Heights, Crestwood           

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Wallenpaupack, Pittston Area             

DON’T COUNT OUT:  West Scranton, Wyoming Valley West           

BEST QUARTER-FINAL:  Wallenpaupack vs. Wyoming Valley West            

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Abington Heights vs. Pittston Area

THE NITTY-GRITTY:  Abington Heights leads a group of very talented and competitive Class 5A teams that should deliver another exciting tourney.  The top-seeded Lady Comets really seemed to start clicking in the second half of the season behind the leadership of a trio of seniors.  Senior guards Hannah Kowalski (13.1 ppg, 30 triples) and Sharon Houlihan (7.1 ppg, 27 treys) anchor the backcourt while 6-0 forward Cassandra Ksiazek (11.1 ppg, 14 triples) is very tough on the boards.  AH also gets about 7.5 ppg combined from sophomore forward Erin Albright and freshman guard Clair Marion.  Crestwood, the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 champion, is the #2 seed.  Senior guards Julia Makowski (17.9 ppg) and Sara Hopkins (12.1 ppg) have teamed up for 66 triples.  The Lady Comets also get 11 ppg combined from freshman forward Helena Jardine and sophomore guard Sarah Richards.  Plenty of contributions also from Andrea Shipton (5-8 senior forward), Riley Magin (junior guard), Bella Termini (5-10 junior center), and Kristen Andrews (junior guard).  Lackawanna Division 2 champion Wallenpaupack comes in at the #3 seed.  The Lady Buckhorns get 13.9 ppg from junior guard Megan Guerrieri (who also has 42 triples).  She is joined on the perimeter by juniors Hannah Smith (10.5 ppg) and Rachel Tirjan (6 ppg) plus senior Olivia Gregory (3.5 ppg).  Paupack also has 5-11 senior center Erin Worzel (8.1 ppg) in the middle.  The #4 seed is Pittston Area, a team that seems to have been flying a bit under the radar this year.  Teams better not sleep on the Lady Patriots as they possess one of the top inside-outside tandems in the entire district.  Senior guard Alexa Noone nets 19.5 ppg and has connected on an incredible 80 triples.  Inside, Leah Hodick, 5-11 sophomore center, scores 15.0 ppg.  The key to their post-season fortunes might be in getting a few more points from their other top players, senior guard Mary Silinskie, 5-9 senior forward Portia Weidlich, and junior forward Emily O’Brien (combined 5.8 ppg on the season).  The Lady Pats take on #5 seed West Scranton in the quarterfinals.  The Lady Invaders feature a pair of sophomore guards in Nya Johnson (11.3 ppg) and Tatum Repshis (11.7 ppg, 33 triples).  They are joined by junior guard Neveah Ross (5.3 ppg, 28 treys).  Inside, West has seniors Nadya Brown (5-8 forward, 5.3 ppg) and Raven Rozina (5-10 center, 5.2 ppg).  Wyoming Valley West, the #6 seed, faces a tough challenge, but the Lady Spartans do have the developing lineup to already contend a year ahead of schedule.  They have a solid backcourt in sophomore Toni Amato (12.2 ppg, 45 triples) plus juniors Nicole Boutanous (10.8 ppg) and Lindsey Gruver (5.9 ppg with 24 triples).  In the paint, WVW has 5-11 junior Andi Blaski (7.2 ppg) and 6-2 senior Gracie Giza (7.8 ppg).  #7 seed North Pocono would get rolling come playoff time.  The Lady Trojans are another youthful squad that might be looking to gain valuable experience for next year.  They get 8.8 ppg from 5-9 senior forward Sarah Kaneski.  After her, they have a pair of juniors, sophs, and a freshman.  Juniors Izzy Pehanick (forward) and Brianna Ruby (guard) combine for 11.2 ppg.  Sophomore guards Lila Gaughan and Jenna Montana net a combined 11.5 ppg (Montana has 36 triples).  And freshman guard Carena Colo contributes 4.8 ppg.  Wilkes-Barre Coughlin, the #8 seed, relies on junior guard Ajalaya Butts (4.3 ppg).  The Lady Crusaders also have junior guard LeJune Berry (3.5 ppg), sophomore guard Ariana Brittingham (3.1 ppg), and 5-11 sophomore center Abby Cicon (2.6 ppg).

 

 

GIRLS AAAA

(1) Scranton Prep (20-2) vs. (8) Tunkhannock (8-14)

(4) Berwick (15-7) vs. (5) Lake-Lehman (13-9) 

(2) Nanticoke Area (19-4) vs. (7) Valley View (10-12)

(3) Wyoming Area (15-7) vs. (6) Dallas (12-10) 

 

FAVORITES:  Scranton Prep, Nanticoke Area           

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Berwick, Wyoming Area             

DON’T COUNT OUT:  Lake-Lehman, Dallas           

BEST QUARTER-FINAL:  Berwick vs. Lake-Lehman           

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Nanticoke Area vs. Wyoming Area

THE NITTY-GRITTY:  While Class AAAA certainly has its frontrunners, you could reasonably argue that this field is going to be very competitive in several quarterfinal and semifinal rounds matchups.  Fortunately, the consolation winner will also advance to that state playoffs.  Top seed Scranton Prep, the Lackawanna Division 1 champion, dropped a pair of games this year, to Holy Redeemer and Abington Heights back in December, but has been perfect since.  The Classics are led in scoring by freshman guard Rachel Rose (15.6 ppg, 35 triples).  She is joined on the perimeter by Kathleen Rose (junior, 7.7 ppg) and Claire Szymanski (senior, 5.6 ppg).  Inside, Prep is anchored by 5-9 senior Holly Daveski (6.8 ppg) and 5-10 junior Elisa Penetar (5.3 ppg).  Freshman guard Cecilia Collins hits 3.8 ppg.  Defending district champion, Nanticoke Area, the #2 seed, will have some extra motivation after losing the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 title to Holy Redeemer.  The Trojanettes are a skilled ball-handling team that has terrific on court chemistry.  They have a pair of senior guards in sharpshooter Lisa Radziak (14 ppg, 72 triples) and Katie Butczynski (7.4 ppg).  GNA also has a quartet of juniors in Alyssa Lewis (guard, 10.4 ppg), Amiah Lukowski (guard, 6.9 ppg, 29 treys), Jilann Baron (forward, 5.1 ppg), and Bella Czeck (forward, 4.5 ppg).  Wyoming Area, the #3 seed, was beginning to slip off the radar a bit after a late season slide.  That was until their upset win over Nanticoke in their finale.  The Lady Warriors have the pieces to put together a run to the championship, but the question is which team is going to show up.  They are paced by 4-year starter Sarah Holweg (16 ppg, 46 treys).  She is joined in the backcourt by seniors Addison Orzel (6 ppg) and Aleah Kranson (5.8 ppg).  WA also has a pair of sophomores in Cassidy Orzel (9.8 ppg) and Nicole Silinskie (5.6 ppg, 25 triples).  The next two teams, #4 seed Berwick and #5 seed Lake-Lehman, both finished 12-5 in the highly-charged WVC Division 2.  The Lady Dawgs get 19.2 ppg (including 51 triples) from senior guard Reese Mensinger.  She is joined by freshman guard Renny Murphy (5 ppg, 15 triples).  In the middle, Berwick has 6-1 senior center Roni Isenberg (7.8 ppg) and 6-0 junior forward Megan Dalo (7.3 ppg).  Lake-Lehman, who dropped a game to Berwick last week, is going to be one of the teams to beat next season.  The Lady Knights feature three juniors in Madison Borum (12.2 ppg), Savannah Purdy (13.5 ppg, 24 triples), and Corinna Scoblick (9 ppg).  Sophomore Sarah Salus nets 9.5 ppg (with 24 treys) for the Black Knights.  Even through #6 seed Dallas has cooled off a bit from their red-hot start, the Lady Mountaineers are capable of pulling off an upset.  They are another team with ample underclassmen talent.  They are led by a pair of senior guards in Hanna Johnson and Olivia Johnson who score a combined 11.3 ppg.  Junior guard Gianna Centrella nets 8.7 ppg (with 27 triples).  Inside, 5-10 junior Samantha Kern provides 5.6 ppg while sophomore Morgan MacNeely adds 4.8 ppg.  Valley View, the #7 seed, competes in the rugged Lackawanna Division 1.  The Lady Cougars are yet another squad in the Class 4A field with lots of talent coming back next season.  Senior guard Jenn Nguyen hits 5.5 ppg.  She is joined by juniors Tori Duffy (5.1 ppg) and Arianna Nardelli (5.6 ppg) along with sophomore Mia Rudalavage (7.1 ppg).  Those three players have connected on 45 treys.  Valley View gets 9.5 ppg from 5-10 senior forward Abby Pidgeon.  #8 seed Tunkhannock gets 11.8 ppg from seniors Jessica Ell (30 triples) and Samantha Generotti.  The Lady Tigers also get about 20 ppg from juniors Rebecca Avery and Abby Ritz.                                                                    

 

 

GIRLS AAA

(1) Dunmore (22-1) vs. (8) Wilkes-Barre Meyers (9-13)

(4) Mid Valley (15-7) vs. (5) Riverside (13-9)

(2) Holy Redeemer (20-3) vs. (7) Montrose (12-10)

(3) Holy Cross (18-5) vs. (6) Hanover Area (10-12)

 

FAVORITES: Dunmore, Holy Redeemer          

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Holy Cross            

DON’T COUNT OUT:  Mid Valley, Riverside            

BEST QUARTER-FINAL:  Mid Valley vs. Riverside            

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Holy Redeemer vs. Holy Cross

THE NITTY-GRITTY:  The Class AAA field includes several top-rated teams that have been in the statewide Top 10 discussion all season.  That speaks volumes to the reputation and caliber of these programs.  Starting at the top, Dunmore captured the Lackawanna Division 3 championship, their only loss coming to cross-borough rival Holy Cross during their first-half meeting.  The Lack Bucks are led in the backcourt by senior Kelly Quinn (11 ppg, 36 triples) and junior Lisa Tallo (10.3 ppg, 32 treys).  Inside, they are steady behind the play of 6-1 junior center Victoria Toomey (16.3 ppg) and 5-10 junior forward Gianna Delfino (7.3 ppg).  Dunmore, with a seemingly never-ending supply of impressive younger players has a promising pair of freshman guards in Anna Talutto and Alexis Chapman.  Holy Redeemer, the #2 seed, came away with a playoff win last weekend to secure the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 Championship.  The Lady Royals look poised to grab another district championship as they are now healthy and playing very well.  Sam Rajza is their senior playmaker, hitting 7.8 ppg (with 26 triples).  Junior guard Julia Andrejko nets 12.3 ppg with 21 treys.  She is joined by senior Lauren Wasiakowski (7.2 ppg), junior Sara Kuderka (5.9 ppg), and sophomore Cameron Marcinkowski (7.3 ppg).  HR is a team that gets the basket often behind the efforts from 5-10 sophomore forward Samantha Yencha (13.1 ppg).  Holy Cross, the #3 seed, is led by senior guard Lexi Walsh (15.6 ppg, 25 triples).  The Lady Crusaders like the 3-ball and it’s an integral part of their success.  Junior forward Haley Bestrycki nets 10.2 ppg (with 26 treys).  Junior guard Abby Sempa scores 9.5 ppg (with 26 triples).  And freshman guard Abby Lentkowski contributes 7.3 ppg (17 triples).  The also get about 9 ppg combined from guards Mollie Burda (senior) and Caroline Kranick (junior).  Mid Valley, the #3 seed, is paced by junior guard Emily Morano (14.8 ppg, 32 triples).  The Spartanettes also feature senior guard Lauren Owens (9.6 ppg) and junior guard Morgan Haefele (3.6 ppg).  Inside, MV has 6-0 senior forward Kiana Williams (9.8 ppg).  Mid Valley will take on #5 seed Riverside, a team that twice defeated them during league play.  The Lady Vikings have a lineup with a pair of juniors and a trio of freshmen.  Junior guards Julia Antoniacci (12 ppg, 34 triples) and Haley Tilberry (5.3 ppg) are joined by freshmen Kayla Rose (5-9 forward, 12 ppg), Emily Taylor (guard, 8.3 ppg), and Alese Karpinski (guard, 6.4 pph).  Hanover Area, the #6 seed, has a pair of solid senior forwards in 5-8 Genesis Rodriguez (13.5 ppg) and 5-11 Victoria Benning (12.2 ppg).  On the perimeter, the Lady Hawks have junior Sara Whitesell (4.8 ppg, 17 triples) and sophomore Sarah Tuzinski (5.4 ppg, 13 treys).  Montrose, the #7 seed who finished 3 games out of the lead in Lackawanna Division 4 action, gets 8.2 ppg from junior guard Harper Andre (30 triples), 6.7 ppg from 5-11 senior forward Radvile Vaiciulyte, 5 ppg from 6-0 senior center McKenzie Newhart, and 5.7 ppg from sophomore guard Annalise Ely.  Wilkes-Barre Meyers comes into the tourney as the #8 seeed.  The Lady Mohawks get 5.7 ppg from senior guard Erin Morris.  Senior Amanda Gray nets 7 ppg (with 32 triples).  Inside, they have sophomore forward Allycia Harris (10.9 ppg), 5-10 senior center Sarah Bottger (3.3 ppg), and 6-0 junior forward D’Nayia Ballard (4.3 ppg).        

 

 

GIRLS CLASS AA

(1) Northwest Area (13-9) bye

(4) Mountain View (10-12) vs. (5) Lackawanna Trail (5-17)

(2) Old Forge (10-12) bye

(3) Wyoming Seminary (13-9) vs. (6) Elk Lake (7-15)

 

FAVORITE:  Northwest Area          

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Old Forge, Wyoming Seminary             

DON’T COUNT OUT:  Mountain View          

BEST QUARTER-FINAL:  Wyoming Seminary vs. Elk Lake           

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Old Forge vs. Wyoming Seminary      

THE NITTY-GRITTY:   Top seed Northwest Area finished a game ahead of Wyoming Seminary for the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3 championship even though the teams split their regular season matchups.  This race is a bit wide open.  The Lady Rangers are led by junior Brenna Babcock (16 ppg) and sophomore Reagan Harrison (11.4 ppg) who have teamed up for 33 triples.  Northwest also gets 5.2 ppg from senior Jordan Harrison and 4.6 ppg from junior guard Trista Babcock.  Old Forge, the #3 seed, finished 5-7 in the high octane Lackawanna Division 3.  The Lady Devils definitely have the firepower to once again advance to the arena.  Lindsey Welsh (sophomore forward) leads the way with 12.7 ppg along with senior guard Alexandra Nocera (11.5 ppg).  Freshman guard Olivia Ciullo hits 9.1 ppg while senior Anna Osieski adds 3 ppg.  Inside, Jen Regan (5-10 senior center) contributes 3.2 ppg.  Wyoming Seminary, the #3 seed, is led by a duo of sophomore guards, Ally Vezendy (8.8 ppg) and Alex Wesneski (11.9 ppg) who have teamed up for 53 triples.  In the backcourt, junior guard Annemaakie Reitsma nets 4.5 ppg.  Inside, the Blue Knights have Julia Gabriel (senior) and Mia Raineri (junior) who combine for 9.6 ppg.  Mountain View, the #4 seed, is paced by senior guard Erika Freely (16.1 ppg).  She is joined by senior guard Lucy Adams (5.2 ppg).  In the paint the Lady Eagles feature 5-10 junior Sydney Newhart (7 ppg), junior Makenzie Bell (4.3 ppg), and junior Samantha Jones (4 ppg).  Lackawanna Trail has a trio of seniors in guards Allison Decker (7.4 ppg) and Lexie Kwaitkowski (8.4 ppg, 22 triples) plus 5-8 forward Laurelann Penn (7.2 ppg).  The Lady Lions also have junior guards Cali Fauquier and Rachel Beemer who score a combined 10.2 ppg.  #6 seed Elk Lake, who lost in last year’s district championship game, relies on senior forwards Abigail Johns (7.5 ppg) and Rose Warner (6.1 ppg).  On the perimeter, the Lady Warriors get 7.1 ppg from senior Eliza Bosscher and 7 ppg from freshman Tamara Voda.

 

 

GIRLS CLASS A 2/11 Subregional

(1) Susquehanna Community (19-3) bye

(4) Lincoln Leadership (12-8) vs. (5) Nativity BVM (6-16)

(2) Weatherly (14-8) bye

(3) Salem Christian (18-4) vs. (6) Forest City (8-14)

 

FAVORITE:  Susquehanna Community               

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Weatherly              

DON’T COUNT OUT:  Salem Christian, Forest City   

BEST QUARTER-FINAL:  Salem Christian vs. Forest City               

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Weatherly vs. Salem Christian         

THE NITTY-GRITTY:  Susquehanna Community comes into the tourney as the clear favorite to win it all.  Expectations are high with the top-seeded Lady Sabers seeking to navigate through the state tournament as well.  Their playmaker is sophomore guard Taylor Huyck (15 ppg, 40 triples).  She is joined by junior Bethany Maby (9.5 ppg, 25 treys), senior Emily Lawrenson (4.4 ppg) and sophomore Mackenzie Heath (5.5 ppg).  Inside, 6-2 sophomore center Mackenzie Steele is solid averaging 10.1 ppg with Skyla Wilson (5-8 senior forward) and McKenzie Rhone (junior forward) combining for 7.1 ppg.  Weatherly comes in as the #2 seed.  The Lady Wreckers finished 7-8 in Schuylkill League play and are led by junior guard Emily Zoscin (18.3 ppg).  They also feature sophomore guard Tabitha Hinkle, junior guard Lindsey Hoffman, and junior guard Abbey Hernandez.  In the middle, they have 5-7 junior forward Megan Peifer and 5-8 senior Kate Ache.  Salem Christian, the #3 seed, comes in with a lofty record, and the Eagles should be able to back it up.  They have height inside with seniors Ally Barnes and Rachel Aston.  On the perimeter, they have junior Anna Krage along with a pair of sophomores in Sarah Nagy and Amanda Wirth.  They dropped a 44-34 loss to Weatherly back on February 11.  Lincoln Leadership Academy, the #4 seed, relies on their backcourt duo of senior Zeleny Ramos and junior Ramsey Rodriguez.  They take on #5 seed Pottsville Nativity BVM.  The Golden Girls feature freshman guard Samantha Heenan (8.3 ppg) and 5-8 senior forward Madison Clark (6.8 ppg).  And Forest City, the #6 seed, cannot be overlooked as the Lady Foresters have a very competitive squad anchored by senior MacKenzie Hartman, a 1,000 point scorer who hits 13.1 ppg.  She is joined on the perimeter by junior Maggie Kowalewski.  In the middle, 5-10 senior forward Skylar Fortuner nets 6 ppg.                           

 

 

 

 

Dominating Defensive Performance Helps Lift Berks Catholic Into Semifinal Round As Saints Handle Northern Lebanon

When talking about the top high school athletic programs in the midstate, it is downright impossible to have any such conversation without including the Saints of Berks Catholic. No doubt about it, any list that would be devoid of having Berks Catholic mentioned would simply be incomplete at best. If nothing else, it’d certainly be fair to say that the school on located on the western banks of the Schuylkill River in Reading have not just won in a handful of sports over the last few years, they’ve downright dominated.

On the gridiron, the Saints’ achievements truly stand on their own merit. Over the course of the last half decade alone, Berks Catholic has appeared in five consecutive district title games at Hersheypark Stadium, coming away with the gold hardware the last three years, before eventually bowing out in the PIAA Western 4A Final the last two seasons. And although the Saints’ postseason football romps have come up just shy of the ultimate prize, it’s really no surprise to see that Berks Catholic has gone on to achieve remarkable success on the hardwood as well. A fact that becomes crystalized when considering what the Saints’ core group of hoopsters consists of.

Venture over to the Forino Sports Complex on a crisp fall Friday evening sometime and you’re likely to hear just a few of these very same names being blared over the loudspeaker as they game-changing plays all over the field for the Saints–Luis Garcia, Brandon George, Tre Dabney, and Terry Derr just to name a few.

The scary part about that list? That doesn’t even include everyone who makes the transition of turning in the oblong-shaped pigskin for the smooth leather of the roundball at the start of the winter months where more often times than not, Berks Catholic has gone on to enjoy the same type of success no matter what the playing surface.

Without question, the mindset and DNA of a winner is an intangible factor that teams either simply have or they don’t. And when speaking about Berks Catholic on the basketball floor, it’s become pretty apparent that the Saints have that exact moxie by the boatload. And when you add in talented ingredients such as Casey Jack and Keba Mitchell who just so happen to be among the best in Berks County to a mix of already-proven footballers, you certainly come away with a dish that is deserving of fine-dining acclaim during hoops season.

For most teams, last year for the Saints would be considered a banner year that most would celebrate and regard as the best in a generation. But as we have come to discover, this season has morphed into a mission of completing some unfinished business as far as Berks Catholic was concerned.

Yes, although Berks Catholic would come up empty in terms of capturing the Berks, District 3 or PIAA titles, the Saints did not exactly make quiet exits for each of those three tournaments during the 2106-17 campaign.

In a game that will forever go down in history as one of the greatest “tall tales” in Berks County sports history in terms of it’s almost-unthinkable circumstances surely for years and decades to come, the Reading Red Knights were able to turn the lights out on Berks Catholic both literally and figuratively as Reading went on to be crowned the king of Berks after besting the Saints 61-39 in a game that will forever be remembered as the night defined by an infamous power outage that left everyone inside Santander Arena in the dark for quite some time.

After their second-place finish in the county title game a year ago, the Saints proceeded to roar their way through the District 3 playoffs before eventually stubbing their toe against Middletown in the semifinal round by the narrowest of margins, 44-43. From there, Berks Catholic set their sights on the state tournament before their stellar season would come to an end in a second round defeat at the hands of Audenried.

But with a rejuvenated and refreshed outlook on this season, the Saints have been on a tear proving to everyone that they are most certainly out to make amends for their playoff shortcomings.

After soaring through the regular season with a 20-2 overall record and going undefeated in Berks play, Berks Catholic would make it a successful return trip to the BCIAA Tournament this year as the Saints navigated past Governor Mifflin and Conrad Weiser where they would be able to exact some payback against an old nemesis, as BC went on to unseat mighty-Reading from the throne, 51-46 in the championship game.

Ironically, for a team that was expected to be a postseason fixture yet again this year at the start of preseason practices like that of Berks Catholic, the same might not be said for their opening opponent in the 2018 District 3 4A tournament.

When trying to prognosticate and project each year in Lancaster Lebanon League Boys’ Basketball, there are inevitably your prohibitive favorites that you can take to the bank along with a certain few that exceed the preseason expectations set forth by the general public and surprise the masses. When touching on this year’s edition of the Northern Lebanon Vikings, the latter is more apt the description.

Yet in many ways, we probably should have seen this coming. Bolstered by a nine man senior class that has paid their dues and then some over the course of their careers, the Vikings have shown themselves to be the most-talked-about squads in the L-L this season.

But make no mistake about it, this group of Vikings has been more than just a feel-good story. These Vikings have consistently shown the ability to rise up and bite even the best of them.

When talking about L-L Section 3 basketball, the conversation more often times than not is centered around two main programs—Lancaster Mennonite and Lancaster Catholic. And while it is generally apropos to do that given the way that both programs tend to rise to the up above the fray on an annual basis, let’s just say that both the Blazers and Crusaders have to be overjoyed in knowing that they do not have to gas up the bus and venture north to Fredericksburg any time soon.

While the Vikes started out this season with a bang by racking up the wins in bunches, it still somewhat felt like Northern Lebanon was playing amidst the drone of persistent naysayers. But those very same skeptics were forced to be silent following the night of January 9th. That would prove to be the moment where NL would put the rest of the league on notice.

On a night that may have seemed like any other, the Vikings welcomed the Blazers from Lancaster Mennonite to their impenetrable den, coming away with a dramatic 63-62 triumph that kept the Vikes unbeaten in Section 3 play up until that point as NL would then be tripped up on the road at Lancaster Catholic the very next night. A game that would prove to stick in the Vikings’ craw for the remainder of the season.

To their credit, the aforementioned setback to Lancaster Catholic did nothing to deter NL’s hot start as the Vikings went on to post victories in seven of their next eight contests which set up Northern Lebanon v Lancaster Catholic Part II.

In a game that was defined by it’s palpable levels of pregame excitement and anticipation, the Vikings and Crusaders proceeded to battle it out over the course of the next 32 minutes and then some inside the renowned yellow walls of Northern Lebanon’s cozy confines.

In the end, it would come down to a Johnny Besecker trifecta over several outstretched arms of Northern Lebanon defenders just as final seconds ticked off the clock, still much to the chagrin of those in Viking Country as the Crusaders made it a happy bus ride home to Lancaster city with the 55-54 thrilling victory in their possession.

But all was not lost for Northern Lebanon following their last second loss to Catholic. No, far from it in fact.

Although the Vikes went on to drop their last two regular season games against Mennonite and ELCO respectively, Northern Lebanon’s body of work was solid enough for the Vikings to earn their first trip to L-L League Playoffs for the first time in four seasons for an opening round game at Hempfield. Once there, the Vikings would give Section 1 champ Black Knights all they could handle in the early going before eventually running out of steam against the solid all-around weapons maintained by one of the best 6A teams in all of District 3. A remarkable achievement of reaching the league tournament that was certainly deserving of praise and recognition no matter what the outcome would decide that night in Landisville.

Immediately following their abrupt exit from the L-L tourney, the Vikings were then able to right the ship and exact some revenge in their own right against fellow Lebanon County foe ELCO as the Vikes were able to climb out of a seven point halftime deficit, topping their rivals from Myerstown by a 74-65 count, in front of a raucous sell-out crowd in Fredericksburg.

And with it, Northern Lebanon was able to latch onto their underdog collar yet again as the Vikings made their second trip of the year across the Berks County line, this time of the upmost significance, for a Thursday night date with the high-flying display known as Berks Catholic in the second round of districts.

At center court of Berks Catholic’s gymnasium floor lies a painted caricature of a Saint Bernard’s likeness. And ironically enough, that would prove to be a fitting indication of how the opening quarter would play out as the Saints began the game by hounding their guests relentlessly on defensive end.

The Saints wasted little time in taking command of the scoreboard as Berks Catholic opened up the game with a quick 4-0 spurt following a nice move inside by 6’4” senior center Keba Mitchell only to see Alex Yeager answer back with an early triple for Northern Lebanon which cut the lead down to one at 4-3 just two minutes into the contest.

But from that point on however, Berks Catholic was deemed clear for takeoff.

Aided by a persistent, tenacious level of defense that led to more than it’s fair share of Northern Lebanon turnovers, the Saints proceeded to string off a 8-0 run which made it 12-3 in favor of the home-standing Saints at the 3:50 mark of the opening period as the Vikings were forced to call a timeout and adjust in the face of the early Berks Catholic salvo.

Yet once Northern Lebanon was able to find their footing and settle into a groove offensively, the Vikings started chipping away at BC’s advantage.

Aided by a 3 ball that was splashed home by 5’11” senior guard Caleb Light, the Vikes had cut the deficit in half at 12-6 before a knockdown jumper stuck by Alex Yeager got NL within four at 12-8 as the Vikes closed the books on the opening quarter of play with a 5-0 blitz.

Once the second quarter got underway, the Vikings were able to cut it to within three at 14-11 following another jumper by Caleb Light who would go on to finish with team-high scoring honors for the Vikes by posting a 14 point performance.

After his early second quarter jumper, Light helped cut the margin down to just one at 14-13 following a pair of freebies from the charity stripe at the 5:20 mark, helping serve notice to Berks Catholic that Northern Lebanon was here for the fight.

And just as they had all season long, the Vikings just kept pushing and pushing as they would eventually meet Berks Catholic on the scoreboard at 16-16 at the five minute mark thanks to a Cameron Gensler trifecta before the 6’2” senior big man would go on to convert from the free throw line shortly thereafter to give NL their first lead of the night at 17-16.

But unfortunately for those who made the trek from Lebanon County, that brief, fleeting moment would prove to be NL’s first and only lead for the remainder of the contest.

Ignited by the adversity of which they were facing, Berks Catholic responded with a championship-like rebuttal as the Saints went on to close the half with a scintillating late-half volley.

Sparked by a floater in the lane that was converted by BC senior forward Tre Dabney, Keba Mitchell went on to record his first highlight-reel play of the night as BC’s towering senior center rose above the crowd huddled around the rim anticipating a rebound as Mitchell plucked the ball out of the air and finished above the fray with an emphatic two-handed put-back dunk which clearly put momentum on Berks Catholic’s bench near the conclusion of the first half.

When all was said and done, the Saints were able to shut Northern Lebanon out for the remainder of the quarter as Berks Catholic bounded into the dressing room with a noticeable extra pep in their step as BC went into the break leading 26-17.

Although the first half clearly did not end the way Northern Lebanon had originally intended, the first few minutes of the final half allowed the Vikings to have the opportunity to find some momentum and perhaps inch back closer to their hosts on this night.

However Berks Catholic would have none of that. In fact, not only were the Saints able to continue keeping NL at arm’s length, they able to expand upon their lead even further from there on.

It didn’t take Berks Catholic very long to regain the same traction that they enjoyed at the end of the opening sixteen minutes. No, in fact it only took just a few seconds to be precise as a sweet back door layup scooped up and in by BC’s Luis Garcia on the Saints’ opening possession helped set the tone for the next few minutes which would clearly be defined by Berks Catholic’s hot-start.

After the early Garcia bucket, BC’s leading scorer for the night, 6’4 senior guard Casey Jack, got in on the action as well with a strong take to the tin that was followed up with a steal and lay in on Northern Lebanon’s ensuing offensive possession that helped open the floodgates as the Vikings were forced to call another timeout, now facing a 34-17 hole right out of the chute.

However Northern Lebanon’s second half thirst would not be quenched until near midway through the third quarter as an Alex Yeager jumped finally gave relief to the Vikings as Yeager’s bucket made it a 34-19 ballgame with 4:30 left in the third frame.

But even that proved to be too close for comfort as far as BC was concerned as the Saints would later see their lead swell to 20 points after an old-fashioned three point play authored by Casey Jack along the baseline with the free throw added on top gave the Saints a 42-22 lead with one minute left on the third quarter clock before the clock would eventually expire with Berks Catholic in command, leading Northern Lebanon 42-24.

As mentioned, Casey Jack would go on to finish with game-high scoring honors for the Saints with a 17 point night at the office.

New quarter, same ole’ Saints.

Yes, Berks Catholic was able to continue laying their foot on the accelerator as yet another Luis Garcia backdoor move, good for 2 of his 14 on the night, made it a 20 point bulge in favor of BC once again at 48-28 at the 4:30 mark of the final period.

And although Michigan Daub would be able snatch his first points of the evening by knocking down a pretty baseline jumper almost immediately after the Garcia bunny from close range, it remained a 20 point lead in favor of the home team as the Saints were on the precipice of officially securing their ticket to the District 3 4A semifinal round as BC looked out over their perch with a 50-30 advantage.

Yet to their credit, Northern Lebanon played every last second over the course of the 32 minutes for which they were guaranteed as evidenced by Spencer Mullins checking into the contest and delivering solid minutes. An effort that would eventually be rewarded with a nice post move inside which made it a 52-34 ballgame which would also happen to be the score at the conclusion of the contest as Berks Catholic made good on their quest to advance to the Monday night semifinal round at Penn Manor, handling their business over a gritty Northern Lebanon squad.

“Give them a lot of credit,” Northern Lebanon head coach Chris George said after his team’s defeat at the hands of Berks Catholic. “They’re one of the best defensive teams in the area. We knew it. We preached it to them the last few days… We did a nice job in spots being patient and at other times we just didn’t,” George added bluntly. “Almost all their points came off turnovers in the first half. It’s a backbreaker. Offensively just to be sloppy like that really hurt us.”

NEXT UP: Although Northern Lebanon’s quest for a District title came to an end against Berks Catholic, the Vikings still have a chance to qualify for the state tournament. Something that should not get lost in the shuffle even despite the sting of Thursday’s setback.

“Obviously the ELCO win was really big for us at home and big from the program,” Coach George detailed regarding the week that was for the Vikings. “This was a really good experience for us, playing games like this for our program, George went on to say. “Our program hasn’t been in this spot for a long time so you just try to focus on the positive of tonight… I think you can take a lot of positives from today.”

For Berks Catholic, the redemption tour continues on as the Saints look forward to an anticipated rematch with Middletown in the semifinal round, just like one year ago as the Saints and Blue Raiders begin their preparations in earnest for one another with tipoff set for 6:30pm at Penn Manor High School in Millersville on Monday night.

District 2 Upcoming Games (by Site)

 

 

DISTRICT 2 UPCOMING GAMES BY SITE

 

 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23

 

Pleasant Valley HS

Boys 1A (7 pm):  (4) ND Dame East Stroudsburg (11-11) vs. (5) Lincoln Leadership (6-16)

 

Berwick HS

Girls 2A (6 pm):  (1) Northwest Area (13-9) vs. (4) Mountain View (11-12) 

Girls 6A (7:30 pm):  (2) Hazleton Area (13-9) vs. (3) Williamsport (6-16)  

 

PITTSTON AREA HS

Boys 3A (6 pm):  (2) Holy Redeemer (17-6) vs. (6) Riverside (10-13) 

Boys 3A (7:30 pm):  (1) Wyoming Seminary (19-4) vs. (4) Dunmore (14-9) 

 

SCRANTON HS

Girls 4A (6 pm):  (1) Scranton Prep (21-2) vs. (4) Berwick (16-7) 

Boys 5A (7:30 pm):  (1) Abington Heights (20-3) vs. (4) Wallenpaupack (12-11)  

 

Kings College

Girls 4A (6 pm):  (2) Nanticoke Area (20-4) vs. (3) Wyoming Area (16-7)  

Boys 5A (7:45 pm):  (2) Dallas (19-4) vs. (3) Crestwood (16-7) 

 

Valley View HS

Girls 2A (6 pm):  (2) Old Forge (10-12) vs. (3) Wyoming Seminary (14-9) 

Girls 6A (7:30 pm):  (1) Scranton (15-7) vs. (4) Delaware Valley (3-19)

 

Catasauqua HS

Girls 1A (6 pm):  (4) Lincoln Leadership (12-8) vs. (5) Nativity BVM (6-16) 

Girls 1A (7:30 pm):  (3) Salem Christian (18-4) vs. (6) Forest City (8-14)

 

 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24

 

PITTSTON AREA HS

Girls 3A (1 pm):  (2) Holy Redeemer (21-3) vs. (3) Holy Cross (19-5) 

Girls 5A (2:30 pm):  (2) Crestwood (16-7) vs. (6) Wyoming Valley West (12-11)      

 

SCRANTON HS

Boys 2A (1 pm):  (2) Elk Lake (13-10) vs. (3) Northwest Area (9-14) 

Boys 2A (2:30 pm):  (1) Holy Cross (18-6) vs. (4) Old Forge (8-15) 

 

Lackawanna College

Boys 4A (4 pm):  (1) Scranton Prep (18-5) vs. (4) Wyoming Area (15-8)

Girls 3A (5:30 pm):  (1) Dunmore (23-1) vs. (4) Mid Valley (16-7)   

Girls 5A (7 pm):  (1) Abington Heights (16-7) vs. (4) Pittston Area (14-9)  

 

Kings College

Boys 4A (1 pm):  (2) Nanticoke Area (19-4) vs. (3) Valley View (15-8)  

Boys 6A (2:30 pm):  (1) Hazleton Area (21-1) vs. (4) Delaware Valley (12-10)  

 

Tunkhannock HS

Boys 6A (2 pm):  (2) Scranton (15-7) vs. (3) Williamsport (13-9)  

 

 

 

 

WILSON WL IMPRESSIVELY OVER CARLISLE 70-49

Most coaches will tell you that they want there team peaking going into the tournament.  Well for Wilson, this team looks to be peaking at just the right time.  A tough first quarter turned into an almost flawless three quarters of basketball. The Bulldogs scored the most points all season in route to a 70-49 victory over Carlisle Tuesday night in West Lawn.

Stevie Mitchell sparked the offense for Wilson.  Off the bench Mitchell had a game high 19 points and had several key assists.  Bryce Calloway was solid with 11 and a great sign for the Bulldogs Evin Timochencko had 10 points and ran the floor effectively. Carlisle’s Ki Barnes got off to a hot start and finished with 16.

The first quarter was all Carlisle.  Great offensive movement, running the fast break well and hot shooting had the Wilson home crowd in a gasp  It was 19-11 Herd after one.  And when Wilson in bounded the ball in quarter two, everything changed. Wilson began to run it ‘s offense with extreme purpose and precision.  If Wilson didn’t make a shot, the Bulldogs got the rebound and scored. Carlisle’s basket suddenly had a lid on it and when they missed Wilson made sure there were no second chances. By Halftime Wilson had broken away and led the Herd spirit  by eight 30-22.

In the third quarter Wilson kept up the pressure, but Carlisle held there own  Wilson only increased the lead slightly to 39-29 after three.  IN the fourth quarter, well that’s when the track meet broke out.  Up and down the floor both teams went in a no holds barred, leave nothing in the tank fourth quarter.  Wilson scored almost as many points in the fourth quarter as they did an entire overtime game with Berks Catholic.  The Bulldogs took advantage of some less than stellar Carlisle defense to run off with the 70-49 victory.

.WIlson moves on in the winners section of the PIAA District Three Tourney.  The Bulldogs are off  to Hempfield Friday night.