District 2 PIAA Second Round Previews (Tuesday, March 10 Games)
Written by: Jon K on Monday, March 9th, 2020
PIAA SECOND ROUND PREVIEWS
TUESDAY, MARCH 10 GAMES
(2-2) Dallas (20-7) vs. (3-5) York William Penn (21-7), Shamokin 7:30 pm
(2-3) Pittston Area (18-9) vs. (12-1) Archbishop Wood (21-5), Freedom 7:30 pm
Dallas (20-7) advanced to take on York William Penn, the #5 team out of District 3. The Bearcats (21-7) dropped a 78-61 district quarter-final loss to 2-seed New Oxford before defeating Elizabethtown (61-49) and Shippensburg (87-65) in the playback rounds. In the PIAA First Round, they rallied from a 47-43 deficit to finish on a 26-12 run to defeat District 11 Champion Southern Lehigh, 69-59. York, a perennially strong program, has a current squad which plays exceptional, relentless defense. They create opportunities to get their offense rolling. In their win over Southern Lehigh, 6-3 junior forward Rashim Lee (4.9 ppg) came off the bench to lead the way with 18 points. They also got 17 points from 6-4 senior guard Cameron Gallon (11.6 ppg, Third Team All-State last year) and 11 points from junior guard Antoine Beard (10.3 ppg). Additional contributions come from 6-3 senior forward Branden Mutunga, 6-4 senior forward Isiah Carroll (9.6 ppg), and senior forward Kevin Glover (4.8 ppg). Off the bench, senior guard Mario McLaurin will also see action. Dallas will need to limit their turnovers amid the Bearcats’ defensive pressure. The winner advances to play either District 12 Champion Archbishop Wood (21-5) or Pittston Area (203, 18-9).
Pittston Area, fresh off their emotional, first-ever state playoff victory, next takes on one of the premier programs in the entire state in District 12 Champion Archbishop Wood (21-5). The Vikings, who appeared in Hershey two of the last three seasons, boast an all-Division 1 lineup of juniors. They finished the Philadelphia Catholic League at 13-1 with their only loss to powerhouse Neumann-Goretti, 66-55. In the PCL playoffs, they defeated Archbishop Carroll in the quarterfinals (72-68 in OT) before losing to Roman Catholic in the semis (83-73). They got by Martin Luther King in the 5A City Title, 60-57. In Friday’s PIAA First Round, they rolled over Strath Haven, 72-45. The Vikings are led by a pair of 1,000-point scorers in their 6-3 point guard Rahsool Diggins and 6-4 shooting guard Marcus Randolph. Jaylen Stinson is a versatile 6-1 guard. Inside, they feature a pair of 6-5 juniors in Daeshon Shepherd and Muneer Newton. Added contributions come from 6-5 junior Robert Jackson. Pittston Area has earned their spot among the final 16 teams, but the bracket could not have served up any bigger challenge. The Patriots need to stick with what got them this far, showing a lot of tenacity and their never-get-rattled attitude. The winner advances to take on either Dallas (2-2, 20-7) or York Williams Penn (3-5, 21-7).
(2-2) Valley View (18-8) vs. (12-1) Bonner-Prendergast (19-5), Liberty 7:30 pm
Valley View takes on District 12 Champion Bonner-Prendergast (19-5) in the Second Round. The Friars finished 11-3 in the Philly Catholic League with losses to Neumann-Goretti, Archbishop Wood, and Bishop McDevitt. They lost in the PCL quarterfinals to Roman Catholic, 61-59, before grabbing the 4A City Title over Imhotep Charter, 64-58. In Friday’s PIAA First Round, they got a big 78-40 win over Eastern York. Although Prendie graduated a pair of stellar players, they managed to pulled things together for another championship run, especially with the addition of senior standout Oscar Uduma, an excellent football player who elected to play hoops. His contributions have given the Friars a versatile lineup of five guards. In the backcourt, Tyreese Watson (6-4 senior) and Donovan Rodriguez (6-2 senior) contributed 34 total points in their win over Imhotep. They also have 6-0 junior guard Malik Edwards and 6-2 senior playmaker Connor Egan. Off the bench, 6-6 senior forward Christian Johnson will see plenty of playing time. They can also light things up from the perimeter as seen from hitting 10 of 19 triples against ‘Tep. Big challenge for sure, but Valley View needs to stick with what got them this far. The winner moves on to play either Archbishop Carroll (12-3, 17-9) or District 3 Runner-up Bishop McDevitt (23-5).
(2-1) Dunmore (25-1) vs. (12-3) Neumann-Goretti (17-9), Freedom 6 pm
(2-2) Holy Redeemer (21-6) vs. (12-2) Imhotep Charter (15-13), Martz 6 pm
Not sure that a preview is even necessary here. It’s Dunmore. It’s Diamond. It’s going to be a great game. Neumann-Goretti (17-9) finished a somewhat modest 9-3 in the Philly Catholic League with a pair of losses to powerhouse Archbishop Wood and West Catholic. They defeated Archbishop Ryan in the PCL quarterfinals (67-34) before losing to West Catholic (66-54) in the semis. They rolled over Constitution in the 3/4 seedings game, 81-45. In the PIAA First Round, the Saints led by 13 points before Saint Basil Academy rallied to go up by 5 with 2:13 left. N-G fought back to prevail, 64-61. Diamond Johnson, their Rutgers-bound sensational senior guard, netted 36 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, made 3 steals and dished 3 assists. While being mysteriously left off of the McDonalds All-American team roster, she was selected to be the first female to participate on the Inverson Classic 24K Showcase in April. While this team is clearly centered around Johnson, players like sophomore Mihjae Hayes, 5-10 junior Christie Ricks, 5-8 junior Sierra Bermundez, and Omolye Jordan make Neumann-Goretti a challenging opponent. Johnson is going to get her points via some NBA-range triples, but they key to this game may play out under the basket. Second chance points for the Saints will spell bad news for the Lady Bucks. The winner moves on to play either District 12 champion West Catholic (18-9) or District 4 Runner-up Loyalsock Township (24-4).
Holy Redeemer gets to play their PIAA Second Round game at Pottsville’s iconic hoops venue, Martz Hall. That is always special treat for fans. They take on District 12 Runner-up Imhotep Charter (15-13). The Panthers rolled to the Philly Public League Championship with wins over Thomas Edison (79-37), Freire Charter (67-37), Central (74-49), and Mastery Charter North (49-44). They lost the 3A City Title to West Catholic, 71-46). In Friday’s PIAA First Round, they rallied in the second half to defeat Pequea Valley, 58-47, as they created 20 second half turnovers. Imhotep likes to run a full court press. They rely on 5-10 senior forward Alyssa Herder and sophomore guard Taniyah Finney (each netted 16 points against PV). They also have junior guard Ayasha Thomas, sophomore guard Janai Smith, and freshman forward Samya Stevens. The Royals have excellent ball handlers and terrific balance. This should be a great matchup. The winner advances to play either defending state champion Delone Catholic (3-1, 25-1) or District 11 Champion North Schuylkill (22-5).
(2-1) Old Forge (19-6) vs. (3-2) Steelton-Highspire (15-8), Shamokin 6 pm
(2-2) Holy Cross (17-9) vs. (3-1) Linden Hall (21-2), Easton MS 6 pm
Old Forge will take on District 3 Runner-up Steelton-Highspire (15-8). The Steamrollers defeated York Catholic in the District 3 semifinals (57-49) before losing to Linden Hall (73-53) in the championship game. In the First Round, they got by District 12 Champ Parkway Northwest, 74-36. They have had their share of injuries this season and only suited up 7 players last Friday. They were led by sophomore Jalasia Hull (16 points vs. Linden Hall), Sa’Aje Bradley-Cross (13 points vs. LH), and senior Aziyah Rorie (13 points vs. LH). The Lady Devils got a big win last Friday over Moravian Academy as they got 44 combined points from Olivia Ciullo and Linsdey Welsh. The winner moves on to play either District 4 Champion Mount Carmel Area (21-5) or District 6 Champion Bishop Guilfoyle (21-6).
Holy Cross will take on District 3 Champion Linden Hall, located in Lititz. The Lions won the District 3 title with wins over Upper Dauphin (76-38) and Steelton-Highspire (73-53). In Friday’s First Round, they rolled over South Williamsport, 55-32. Linden Hall features a pair of Nigerian-born Division 1 recruits in Favour Mbeledeogu (6-1 senior guard headed to Manhattan) and Jumoke Adaramoye (6-2 senior forward headed to Univ. San Francisco). Another budding Division 1 prospect is Mercy Ademusayo, a 6-5 junior center who netted 18 points and grabbed 11 boards against Steel-High. In the backcourt, they feature senior point guard Naomi Brabbam, sophomore Jenadia Jordan, and sophomore Anastaysia Astapenka (16 points vs. South Williamsport). Off the bench, 5-7 senior guard Marta Celebic contributes. The Lions play an aggressive, relentless style and they create problems with their length. Holy Cross has played an extremely challenging schedule and should present some matchup challenges of their own with standouts like Kaci Kranson and Abbey Lentowksi. The winner moves to play either District 11 Champion Mahanoy Area (21-5) or District 1 Champion Sacred Heart Academy (8-16).
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