District 2 Basketball Tournament (Girls 4A Preview)

Written by: on Monday, February 17th, 2020





(1) Scranton Prep (22-0) vs. (8) Wyoming Area (13-9)

(4) Lake-Lehman (16-8) vs. (5) Nanticoke Area (12-10) 

(2) Dallas (20-4) vs. (7) Valley View (12-10)

(3) Berwick (14-8) vs. (6) Western Wayne (14-8) 


FAVORITE:  Scranton Prep             

KEEP AN EYE ON:  Dallas                

DON’T COUNT OUT:  Berwick, Lake-Lehman, Nanticoke Area              

BEST QUARTER-FINAL:  Lake-Lehman vs. Nanticoke Area              

BEST SEMI-FINAL:  Dallas vs. Berwick 


     For teams in the Girls 4A bracket, there is some good news and some bad news.  The bad news is that top seed Scranton Prep appears to be a clear favorite among a very talented group of teams.  The good news, however, is that three teams will advance into the state tournament – and that is going to make for a fun consolation playback game.  Starting off with the undefeated Classics who average 61.8 ppg and allow 30.3 ppg, they are led by an incredible pair of junior guards in Rachel Rose (19.9 ppg with 45 triples) and Cecelia Collins (15.8 ppg, with 24 triples).  They make things happen all over the floor.  Maria Belardi, a sophomore guard, hits 8.7 ppg and has 21 triples.  She came up big in their win over rival Abington Heights last week.  Another sophomore guard, Lizzie Neville, contributes 3.3 ppg.  Two more junior underclassmen also get into the flow, 5-8 junior forward Meredith Purcell (4.4 ppg) and guard Maggie Mills (3.1 ppg).  The #2 seed, Dallas, lost four games on the season (to Hazleton, Old Forge, Wyoming Valley West, and Lake-Lehman).  They did get a pair of late season wins over Hazleton Area to secure the WVC Division 1 title.  Their UPenn-bound 6-0 senior playmaker, Lauren Charlton, nets 15.6 ppg and has 62 triples.  Deanna Wallace, junior guard, has been clutch, hitting 8.7 ppg and connecting on 22 treys.  The Lady Mounts also have several key role players, senor Morgan MacNeely (5 ppg), junior Claire Charlton (4.1 ppg), senior Haley Habrack (3.6 ppg).  And, the impact off the bench from junior Bella Hill (7.2 ppg) has been tremendous.  Somewhat lost, to some extent, amid the division playoff picture is #3 seed Berwick.  The Lady Bulldogs have quietly put together another stellar season and could definitely get on a playoff roll.  Their squad is young (three juniors and two freshman) so this is also a great learning opportunity.  Versatile junior guards Katie Starr (14.1 ppg) along with Renny Murphy (10.9 ppg, 26 triples) are their catalyst.  The Lady Dawgs also feature a pair of freshmen in Sarah Steeber and Morgan Nevel (combined 8.1 ppg) also with junior guard Emily Quimet.  One team that burst out of the playoff shadows has been Lake-Lehman.  After starting out 2-6, the #4 seed Black Knights have gone 14-2 with both losses to WVC Division 2 Champion Holy Redeemer.  So, while many observers were surprised by their recent upset wins over Dallas and Hazleton Area in the WVC playoffs, this is a very youthful team which has grown and matured behind the leadership of their standout senior guard, Sarah Salus (a 1,000-point scorer who nets 15.8 ppg and has 29 triples).  A pair of sophomores are very talented, Claire Dougherty (13.6 ppg) and Chase Purdy (9.3 ppg).  Purdy, who only has 8 triples on the season, connected on a memorable one in the closing seconds Saturday night to secure the WVC title.  The Black Knights also have a pair of freshmen who are making key contributions, Lia Keefe (5.9 ppg) and Hailey Kline (4.8 ppg).  Nanticoke Area, the #5 seed, is a talented squad that has struggled a bit with finding winning consistency in the realigned WVC divisions.  The Trojanettes are led by sophomore guard Riley Baird (14.1 ppg with 42 triples) and 5-11 junior center Lauren Casey (12.9 ppg).  They also get solid efforts in the backcourt from senior Emily Hauer (6.3 ppg) and junior Abigail Cullen (7.2 ppg) who have combined for 56 triples.  Their opening round game against Lake-Lehman should be a good one.  Another 4A playoff team with plenty of young players in their lineup is Western Wayne.  The Lady Wildcats are led by a pair of sophomores and freshmen.  Soph guards Kaeli Romanowski (18.5 ppg with 19 triples) and Kathy Shepherd (7.1 ppg with 32 treys) lead the way.  Inside, 6-0 senior center Coral Swoyer hits 5.8 ppg.  Back on the perimeter, freshmen guards Skylar Long and Jaque Morris hit a combined 8.9 ppg with Long connecting on 19 triples.  Valley View is the #7 team.  The Lady Cougars are certainly battle-tested from the rugged Lackawanna League Division 1 as 6 of their 10 losses were to West Scranton, Scranton Prep, and Abington Heights.  They are led by 5-11 junior forward Skylar Bianchi (14.1 ppg) along with a trio of senior guards – Jadyn Swartout (10.1 ppg, 17 triples), Faith Kendricks (9.8 ppg with 17 triples), and Mia Rudalavage (4.2 ppg).  Coming in at #8 is Wyoming Area.  The Lady Warriors really changed the trajectory of their season.  After starting 4-7, they finished with a solid 9-2 mark.  A pair of seniors pace WA, forward Cassidy Orzel (13.4 ppg, 36 treys) and guard Nicole Silinskie (10.8 ppg, 34 triples).  Freshman forward Morgan Janeski hits 7.7 ppg, junior forward Maria Amato adds 4.9 ppg, and senior guard Mackenzie Nocchi contributes 5.6 ppg (with 17 triples).                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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