District 2 Basketball Tournament (Boys 4A Preview)

Written by: on Monday, February 17th, 2020





(1) Scranton Prep (16-6) vs. (8) Berwick (3-19)

(4) Western Wayne (9-13) vs. (5) Hanover Area (10-12)

(2) Valley View (15-7) vs. (7) Wyoming Area (7-15)

(3) Tunkhannock (15-7) vs. (6) Nanticoke Area (6-16) 


FAVORITE:  Scranton Prep           

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Valley View               

DON’T COUNT OUT:  Tunkhannock, Western Wayne             

BEST QUARTER-FINAL:  Western Wayne vs. Hanover Area              

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Valley View vs. Tunkhannock             


     The Boys 4A bracket may not be powerful as a year ago, but it will definitely deliver some terrific competition.  Three teams will advance to the state tournament, so semi-final losers will have a second opportunity in the consolation game.  Scranton Prep, the #1 seed, came into February in great position to win the Lackawanna League Division 1 crown.  However, losses to Scranton (52-50) and Valley View (65-63 in doble overtime) put them into a must-win situation against top rival Abington Heights.  Although the Cavaliers nearly erased a 22-point deficit, they dropped their third consecutive game to end the season.   A pair of other losses, at home to AH and in the Lynett Tournament final to Holy Cross were also by 2 points or less.  Prep is a very streaky team and can turn a small deficit into a commanding lead quickly.  Inside, they have a sensational duo of forwards, 6-7 senior Rhys Merritt (15.8 ppg) and 6-4 sophomore Robert Rossi (10.4 ppg).  Merritt can hit a triple from anywhere on the floor (34 on the year) and Rossi is accurate in the paint.  Michael Skoff, a solid junior guard, hits 10.1 ppg and has 34 treys.  One of their clutch players is junior guard Gavin Bednarz (10.4 ppg) who netted 20 points against Abington Heights.  The Cavs split their two division games against #2 seed Valley View.  The Cougars come into the tournament losing 4 of their final 6 games, but a big win included the noteworthy one over Scranton Prep.  They also had a big January home victory over Abington Heights, 60-33.   Valley View plays with terrific energy, efficiently moving the ball around the floor, working it inside with precision.  They have a talented 6-4 freshman in Adam Howanitz (15 ppg).  In the backcourt, junior Zack Kovalchik leads the way with11.7 ppg.  He is joined by seniors Nick Tomassoni (6.5 ppg) and Connor Kelley (9.2 ppg with 35 triples).  TJ Noto (junior forward) adds 5 ppg.  Tunkhannock comes in at the #3 position.  The Tigers dropped four of their division games to top contenders Holy Redeemer and Wyoming Seminary.  They have a balanced lineup that plays very well on both ends of the floor.  Jake Frisco is their senior point guard who hits 6.2 ppg and has 20 triples.  He is joined by Ryan Harder, an outstanding 6-3 junior guard who nets 16 ppg and has 44 treys.  Inside, 6-5 junior center Jack Chilson also averages double digits with 10.9 ppg.  Another versatile player is 6-3 freshman Ben Chilson who hits 6.7 ppg and has connected on 27 triples.  The Tigers are definitely looking to make a playoff impact.  Western Wayne, the #4 seed, has one of the most dominating players in the entire district this season.  Zachary Rovinsky, their 6-7 senior forward, scores 22.8 ppg and has 30 triples.  He is also a recent 1,000-point scorer.  The Wildcats began the season at 5-1 before dropping 7 of their last 9 games.  Included was a narrow 61-60 division crossover loss to top-seeded Scranton Prep and they finished with a big win over North PoconoRovinsky is joined by 6-2 junior forward Matt Henneforth (7.2 ppg with 25 triples) and 6-6 sophomore forward Thomas Chernasky (8.4 ppg).  The ‘Cats also have a solid junior guard in Zane Janiszewski (8.5 ppg with 28 treys).  Hanover Area, the #5 seed, finished the season strong by winning 6 of their final 9 games.  The Hawks have a trio of talented seniors in playmaker Asad Whitehead (12.7 ppg), guard Khairi Carson (11.5 ppg with 19 triples), and Auggie George (8.1 ppg).  Todd Kolbicka, a junior, has 34 treys on the season.  Nanticoke Area struggled to find much division success as eight of their losses came to the front-runners.  The Trojans are led by 6-3 senior guard Colby Butczynski (14 ppg with 35 triples).  He is joined by junior guard JJ Bielecki (9 ppg with 34 treys).  Jake Krupinski, a junior forward, averages 11.9 ppg and has 19 treys.  Wyoming Area, the #7 seed, is anchored by 6-4 senior Sam Solomon who contributes 13 ppg.  In the backcourt, the Warriors have senior multi-sport standout Cole Coolbaugh (9.9 ppg with 38 triples) along with junior Jake Greenfield (9.7 ppg with 43 treys).  They also get 7.4 ppg from junior Jesse MikoliczykBerwick comes in at the #8 seed.  The Bulldogs are led by junior Blane Cleaver (9.7 ppg), sophomore Mike Doll (7.5 ppg), freshman Sean Murphy (6.0 ppg) along with senior Eric Montes.        


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