PIAA QUARTER-FINAL ROUND PREVIEWS
SATURDAY, MARCH 16 GAMES
(2-1) Holy Cross (22-5) vs. (12-1) Constitution (21-9), Martz Hall 2:30
District 2 champion Holy Cross (22-5) came away with a 50-38 second round win over District 1 Champion Delco Christian on Wednesday. That sets up another meeting with a familiar state playoff nemesis, District 12 powerhouse Constitution (21-9). Last year these two teams met up in the semi-finals with the eventual state champion Generals prevailing, 69-64. Two years ago, the Crusaders dropped a match-up in the second round, 63-53. This year Constitution defeated Mastery Charter North in the Philly Public League semi-finals (72-67) before losing to Imhotep Charter (63-41) in the championship game. The Generals then claimed the AA City (District 12) Title, 78-74 over Math, Civics, Sciences. In the state playoffs, they had a close 53-50 victory over Moravian Academy before rolling over Northeast Bradford, 59-28. They are led by 6-0 junior guard Keshaun Hammonds (20.4 ppg) who has 54 triples and 6-5 senior playmaker Jabari Merritt (14.8 ppg and 9.5 rpg). Merritt hit 25 points and grabbed 10 boards in the victory over MCN and Hammonds netted 22 points in the loss to ‘Tep. They also feature 5-10 sophomore guard Quadir Miller (8 ppg, 16 points against MCN), and 6-3 senior guard Jihad Saunders (5.7 ppg and 6.7 rpg). They also get contributions from a trio of senior guards – Kasim Toliver, Xzavier Wayman, and Abdul Riggins. The Generals average 65 ppg. The winner moves on to play either District 12 Runner-up Math Civics, Sciences or District 5 Champion North Star (23-3) on Tuesday.
(2-1) Susquehanna Community (21-6) vs. (1-1) Jenkintown (26-1), Hazleton 1
District 2 Champion Susquehanna Community (21-6) got by District 3 Runner-up Greenwood, 46-36, on Wednesday. The Lady Sabers will next take on defending state champion Jenkintown who has won 46 of their last 47 games. Their only loss this season (46-45 to Abington Friends back on January 25) snapped their 36-game winning streak. The Drakes rolled to the District 1 championship with wins over Faith Christian (62-31) and The Christian Academy (51-16). They kept the momentum going through the state playoffs with victories over Harrisburg Christian (68-15) and Sullivan County (60-44). They do have several veteran players which provide experience and leadership, but they also feature a trio of talented underclassmen. Senior guard Mia Kolb (12.9 ppg), a 1,000 point scorer, leads the way. She is joined by twin sister Natalie, who averages 10.5 ppg. They combined for 9 steals in the win over Warrior Run. Sophomore Carly Mulvaney scores 10.5 ppg. Two other sophs, Molly Walsh (a guard) contributes 7 ppg while Lauren Brockwell (a forward) hits 4.5 ppg. In their second round win, they placed five players into double-digit scoring, led by Mia Kolb with 18. They play terrific defense and caused 29 turnovers against Warrior Run. Susquehanna Community has benefitted from a challenging non-league schedule and also have a 49-44 District 2/11 Championship win over Weatherly, another Elite 8 team. The winner will advance to take on either District 4 Champion Lourdes Regional (21-6) or District 22 Runner-Up Weatherly (18-8) on Tuesday.