District 2 PIAA Second Round Previews (Wednesday, March 11 Games)
Written by: Jon K on Tuesday, March 10th, 2020
PIAA SECOND ROUND SCHEDULE
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11 GAMES
(2-1) Holy Redeemer (19-6) vs. (12-1) Neumann-Goretti (23-4), Easton MS 7:30 pm
(2-2) Riverside (17-9) vs. (3-1) Trinity (22-3), Martz 6 pm
Holy Redeemer will be taking on District 12 champion Neumann-Goretti (23-4), regarded as the top Boys AAA team in the state. The Saints finished at 12-2 in the Philly Catholic League (losses to Bishop McDevitt and Cardinal O’Hara) and then rolled to the league championship with playoff wins over Cardinal O’Hara (71-46), Archbishop Ryan (51-41), and Roman Catholic (66-58). They captured the 3A City Title with a 69-52 victory over High School of the Future and then defeated Brandywine Heights in the PIAA First Round, 75-42. This is a team that has great senior leadership, Division 1 talent, and an excellent frontcourt. They are led by 6-8 senior forward Jordan Hall who is headed to Saint Joseph’s University. 6-6 senior wing Cameron Young (Bowling Green) and 6-7 junior forward Blaise Vespe. They all give N-G a powerhouse post game. Hall is an unselfish player who loves to dish an assist and Vespe is an outstanding defensive rebounder that can also step out and connect on a triple. The Saints are solid in the backcourt with Marist-bound Hakim Byrd (5-10 senior point guard) and mid-major prospect Hysier Miller (6-2 junior guard, 15 ppg). Off the bench, look for junior guard Chris Evans and sophomore guard Masud Stewart to contribute. Head coach Carl Arrigale won his 11th Philly Catholic League title and his team has their sights set on winning a state championship. Holy Redeemer has been very successful in driving to the basket and getting their bigs involved. They’re going to need to hit some outside shots to spread the floor a bit. The winner moves on to play either District 3 runner-up Camp Hill (18-7) or District 4 Champion Loyalsock Township (27-1).
Riverside will take on take on District 3 Champion Trinity (22-3) at Pottsville’s Mecca of high school hoops facilities, Martz Hall. The Shamrocks, rated as the #3 team in the state, rolled to their 7th straight district championship with wins over Annville-Cleona (72-32), Brandywine Heights (62-50), and rival Camp Hill (76-68). In the PIAA First Round they rolled over Parkway Center City, 82-43. Trinity has a talented lineup, but is headlined by super-sophomore Chance Westry, a 6-5 guard who averages 24.1 ppg. He netted 34 points last Saturday against Parkway CC and hit his career 1,000 point in the victory over Brandywine Heights. They also feature 6-4 senior playmaker Marcus Beckett (14.2 ppg) and 6-3 senior guard Aley Zangari (10.7 ppg). They also have 5-10 senior point guard Ben Patten (4.8 ppg), 6-4 junior guard Logan Groff, and junior guard TJ Lawson. Riverside has pulled off some impressive upsets throughout the season (home win over Holy Cross and district playoff win over Wyoming Seminary) so look for the Vikings to be a confident group taking the big stage. The winner moves on to play either District 11 champion Panther Valley (14-11) or District 12 Runner-up High School of the Future (16-11).
(2-1) Holy Cross (24-2) vs. (1-1) Dock Mennonite Academy (21-4), Liberty 7:30 pm
Holy Cross will take on District 1 Champion Dock Mennonite Academy (21-4). The Pioneers dropped the Bicentennial Athletic League semi-final game to Holy Ghost Prep, 74-69, but then rebounded with wins over Calvary Christian Academy (71-51) and Church Farm (69-49) to capture an elusive district championship. In the PIAA First Round, Dock defeated Strawberry Mansion, 70-35. The Pioneers are led by 3-year starter 6-7, senior center Darius Ellis. He scored 27 points against Calvary Christian and then reached 1,000 career points as he netted 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds against Church Farm. He is joined inside by 6-5 junior forward Devon Jainlett. Their senior point guard is Ralph Saint-Fleur who hit 24 points in their loss to HGP. Dock also has 5-11 junior guard Steve Martin (14 points against Church Farm), junior guard Dallas Wilder, and sophomore guard Roman Kuhn. This should be an excellent match-up. Holy Cross began to run the floor with precision against Sayre. Patrick Bennie and Kieran Burrier have shown a knack of getting to the basket, but they’ll have to deal with the 290 lb. frame on Ellis. This winner advances to play either District 12 Champion Math, Civics, Sciences (23-5) or District 4 Runner-up Wyalusing Valley (19-7).
(2-1) West Scranton (17-9) vs. (12-3) Archbishop Carroll (15-10), Liberty 6 pm
(2-2) Abington Heights (20-5) vs. (3-1) Gettysburg (27-3), Hamburg 7:30 pm
West Scranton will take on perennial contender Archbishop Carroll (15-10) from the Philly Catholic League. The Patriots, with only two seniors on their roster and going through a bit of a rebuilding cycle, finished at 5-7 in the highly competitive PCL Red Division. They bowed out in the league quarterfinals to Cardinal O’Hara 50-47 in overtime before defeating Freire Charter in the district 3/4 seeding game. In Saturday’s PIAA First Round, they got a solid 47-41 victory over Mount Saint Joseph. They are led by sophomore guard Grace O’Neil (17 points against MSJ) and 5-10 senior forward Erin Sweeney (13 points vs. MSJ). They also get contributions from a pair of sophomores in guard Maggie Grant and Rose Henry along with a duo of freshmen in Taylor Wilson (5-11 forward) and Meg Sheridan. Junior Karli Dougherty is a top reserve. The Lady Invaders are playing with tremendous confidence behind the senior leadership of Nya Johnson, Tatum Repshis, and Cassandra Moraca. And, even though it might not show up on the scoresheet, players like Kamden Miller have been making key contributions. While this may be unchartered territory for West, look for this to be a very close game. The winner moves on to play either District 3 Runner-up Twin Valley (22-7) or District 12 Champion Archbishop Wood (20-7).
Abington Heights will go up against District 3 Champion Gettysburg (27-3). The Warriors captured the district title with wins over Hershey (53-26), York Suburban (48-29), West York (48-38), and Twin Valley (46-40). In the PIAA First Round, they rolled over West Chester East, 56-39. Gettysburg is a balanced squad with talent all over the floor. Inside, they have 5-10 senior forward Taylor Richardson (9.7 ppg) and 6-2 senior center Lily Natter (5.1 ppg). On the perimeter, sophomore point guard Anne Bair (12 points vs. Twin Valley) averages 10.2 ppg. She is joined by sophomore Camryn Felix (8.9 ppg) and senior twin sisters Madison and Cheyenne Proctor (hitting a combined 12.3 ppg). Additional depth comes from sophomore forward Briana Abate and sophomore guard Skye Shepherd. Abington Heights came out of the halftime locker room last Saturday with an outstanding defensive effort and newly found offensive attack. It worked. The Lady Comets are going to need another effort like that to get by the Warriors. The winner advances to play either District 1 Runner-up Great Valley (23-4) or District 7 Runner-up Trinity (20-5).
(2-1) Scranton Prep (26-0) vs. (11-3) Allentown CC (15-10), Hazleton 7:30 pm
(2-2) Dallas (23-5) vs. (12-1) Lansdale Catholic (23-3), Easton MS 6 pm
Undefeated Scranton Prep will go up against Allentown Central Catholic, the #3 team our of District 11. The Vikettes, guided by 1,000+ game winner Mike Kopp (in his 44th year of coaching), comes in with a 15-10 overall mark. After losing to unbeaten powerhouse Bethlehem Catholic 39-26 in the semi-finals, they bounced back to defeat Tamaqua, 49-41. In the PIAA First Round on Saturday, they rolled over Athens, 41-15. While ACC may be in a bit of a transition year, they do have a core of several talented players. Leading the way is 5-10 senior center Maria Traglia. She is joined by 5-9 sophomore forward Julia Roth who netted 19 points against Tamaqua. Emily Vaughan, their 5-7 junior guard, was selected to the EPC Second Team. The Vikettes also have a trio of younger players in sophomores Hanna Hoeing (a 5-9 forward) and Jadeyn Hagadus (a guard) plus junior guard Maria Saccani. Scranton Prep has been playing superbly behind the scoring of Cecelia Collins and Rachel Rose (combined for 41 points on Saturday). The Classics come into this match-up very focused. The winner moves on to play either undefeated District 11 Champion Bethlehem Catholic (28-0) or District 1 Champion Gwynedd Mercy Academy (16-9).
Dallas continues their successful season by taking on District 12 Champion Lansdale Catholic. The Lady Crusaders (23-3) finished at 10-0 in the Philly Catholic League Blue Division. In the PCL playoffs, they lost in the quarterfinals to Archbishop Wood, 81-42, before bouncing back to win the district title over Audenreid, 65-45. In the PIAA First Round, they defeated Bermudian Springs, 63-48. The Lady Crusaders are led by 5-10 junior forward Timaya Lewis-eutsey, a 1,000-point scorer who averages 24.3 ppg. Their senior guard, Riley Devitis (17 points on Saturday) hits 14.5 ppg. Lauren Edwards (9.2 ppg), their 5-9 sophomore forward and Gabby Casey (9.5 ppg), their 5-8 freshman guard, combined for 25 points against Bermudian Springs. They also rely on senior point guard Mia Rosenberger, and freshman guard Alana Ciccocelli. Against Bermudian Springs, they ran an effective 2-3 match-up zone. Dallas continues to get great efforts from Lauren Charlton, Deanna Wallace, and Bella Hill. The winner moves on to play either Bonner-Prendergast (12-3, 9-16) or District 3 Runner-up Eastern York (19-8).
(2-2) Susquehanna (18-8) vs. (3-1) Lancaster Country Day (23-4), Hazleton 6 pm
Susquehanna Community, coming off a thrilling first round win over Chester Charter Academy, will take on District 3 Champion, Lancaster Country Day (23-4). The Cougars won the district championship with victories over Veritas Academy (59-43), Lebanon Catholic (56-29), and Greenwood (44-42). They defeated Northeast Bradford in Saturday’s PIAA First Round, 45-30. LCD features a pair of 1,000-point scorers in 6-0 senior center Ashanti Duncan (15.4 ppg) and 5-11 senior forward Annabella Copeland (13.0 ppg). Kaela Stankiewicz, a 5-6 senior guard, averages 10.1 ppg and Genesis Meadows contributes 10 ppg. The Lady Sabers got a sensational effort from senior guard Taylor Huyck (28 points) on Saturday. If they can contain Duncan, this will be a terrific match-up. The winner advances to play either District 4 Champion Northumberland Christian or District 6 Champion Bishop Guilfoyle (15-10).
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