District 2 Basketball Tournament (Boys 3A Preview)

Written by: on Monday, February 17th, 2020





(1) Wyoming Seminary (21-2) vs. (8) Carbondale (4-18)

(4) Riverside (14-8) vs. (5) Mid Valley (13-9)

(2) Lakeland (17-5) vs. (7) Lake-Lehman (6-16)

(3) Holy Redeemer (15-6) vs. (6) Dunmore (9-13) 


FAVORITES:  Wyoming Seminary            

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Lakeland, Holy Redeemer            

DON’T COUNT OUT:  Riverside, Mid Valley             

BEST QUARTER-FINAL:  Riverside vs. Mid Valley             

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Lakeland vs. Holy Redeemer     



     The top-seed, Wyoming Seminary, comes into the tournament riding a 19-game winning streak after a 1-2 start which included losses Philly Catholic League powerhouse Cardinal O’Hara and Dallas.  The Blue Knights captured the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2 championship with a pair of wins over #3 seed Holy Redeemer and then rallied for an impressive 55-52 victory over Crestwood on Saturday night to again win the WVC overall title.  This is a team that does not panic, but has the maturity to let the game come to them.  They have a great blend of standout junior and senior players.  Jeremy Callahan, a senior guard, leads the way with 14.1 ppg (45 triples).  He is joined by their steady point guard Jake Koretz (12.6 ppg).  A pair of talented versatile forwards really give them some inside punch, 6-4 senior Todd Phillips (13.8 ppg, 24 triples) and 6-6 junior Ethan Meuser (13 ppg).  They also get a combined 9.7 ppg from junior Aidan Murphy and senior Alex Meuser.  While there are definitely challengers to the Blue Knights, they are a clear favorite, especially considering that they are currently playing their best hoops of the season.  One team that has had their share of success this season is #2 seed Lakeland.  The Chiefs finished the season 13-3 with a pair of close losses to Lackawanna League Division 3 powerhouse Holy Cross (one in double OT).  In the backcourt, Lakeland has junior Caleb Vigil (14 ppg,) and senior Nick Bertholf (12.5 ppg,) who have combined for 70 triples.  Inside, they have a pair of 6-4 senior forwards, Chris Mellon (7.5 ppg) and Tim Prawdzik (6.5 ppg).  They run the floor very well.  A potential semi-final matchup against #3 seed Holy Redeemer awaits.  The Royals won 13 of their final 15 games with both division losses to #1 seed Wyoming Seminary.  They are led by sophomore point guard Justice Shoats (16.9 ppg, 15 triples).  He is very quick and can get to the basket or feed the ball inside to one of their stellar forwards, 6-5 sophomore Matthew Proiak (9.9 ppg) or 6-9 senior Jared Piontkowksi (9.3 ppg).  Junior guard Mason Mendygral contributes 9.8 ppg (32 triples).  One of the teams which may be flying a bit under the radar is #4 seed Riverside.  The Vikings resume includes home wins over #2 seed Lakeland and AA powerhouse Holy Cross.  In both games, they were able to dictate the tempo and drive to the basket.  They are paced by a superb pair of junior guards that can really put points on the board, Brandon Reed (16.8 ppg, 27 triples) and 1,000-point scorer Michael Rickert (16.7 ppg, 64 triples).  That duo is joined by senior guard Michael Antoniacci (6.8 ppg).  Inside, they feature junior forward Todd Monahan (7.9 ppg) along with versatile 6-3 senior forward Collin Kneiss (5.3 ppg with 22 treys).  Riverside will take on #5 seed Mid Valley in the opening round.  The Spartans have built a winning tradition over the years and were hoping to contend for their division championship, but came up short to Holy Cross and Lakeland twice, plus a loss to Riverside.  They have a sensational freshman guard, Danny Nemitz, who nets 14.5 ppg (24 triples).  He is joined by junior Tyler O’Connor (10.4 ppg) and senior Jordany Cardenas who have combined for 33 triples.  Mike Miller is their senior center who contributed 7.8 ppg.  Dunmore comes in at the #6 position.  The Bucks are led by 6-1 senior forward Thomas Dougherty (12.1 ppg, 23 triples).  Frank Ruggerio is their junior guard with 42 treys (9.2 ppg).  Ian Cowder (senior guard) hits 6.1 ppg and Dom Temperino (6-2 junior forward) adds 6.6 ppg.  Lake-Lehman, the #7 seed, comes in with a 6-16 mark, but the Black Knights finished their season strong with wins over Wyoming Area and Hanover Area.  They will also look to get some playoff experience and build upon that learning as four of their top players are juniors, including three that average double-digits in scoring.  Guard Max Paczewski nets 12.7 ppg and has 42 triples.  He is joined by Josh Kane with 10 ppg.  Inside, L-L features Neil Dougherty (10.2 ppg) and Hayden Klopp (5.4 ppg).  Carbondale is the #8 seed.  The Chargers have 6-4 junior center Jaheim Brooker (6.3 ppg), 6-3 junior forward Ray Ofner (13.1 ppg), and senior guard Liam Fox-Newcomb (4.9 ppg, 30 triples).  Two teams will advance to the state tournament.         



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