H.S. Basketball: Six WVC teams head to second round of PIAA state playoffs

Mar. 11—All in all, Wyoming Valley Conference basketball fared quite well in the first round of the PIAA state playoffs.

Seven teams went into the first round and six emerged with victories. The lone exception was the Hazleton Area boys, who fell 80-73 to West Chester Henderson in Class 6A.

Last year, the WVC also had eight teams in states, but only three managed to win first-round games. Then two lost in the second round. Only the Lake-Lehman girls made it to the quarterfinals where they lost to eventual Class 3A state champion Dunmore.

Six teams — four in girls and three in boys — will play Tuesday in the second round. The Dallas girls play in the second round on Wednesday.

Tickets for all games are $8 — plus, of course, a processing fee — and available only at by following the basketball link under sports and clicking on the bracket for the game you want to attend.

Here is a look at the six games, starting with the girls.

Hazleton Area (24-4) vs. Cardinal O'Hara (22-4)

PIAA 6A Girls Second Round

6 p.m. Tuesday

Bethlehem Liberty H.S.

District 12 second seed Cardinal O'Hara routed District 1 eighth seed Upper Dublin 49-17 in its state opener. Carly Coleman led the way with 20 points.

Coleman is a 5-foot-10 senior and along with 5-11 junior Molly Rullo give O'Hara some size. Rullo has committed to play at Drexel. Joanie Quinn, a 5-8 guard, will play at LaSalle University.

O'Hara lost by a point in last year's 6A state semifinal game.

District 2 champion Hazleton Area used incredible shooting to jump on top of District 1 ninth seed Pennsbury by 15 at halftime on the way to a 63-48 victory. Freshman Kaitlyn Bindas scored a game-high 27 points, hitting five 3-pointers along the way. Sophia Shults added 17. Shooting is key for the Cougars, who can then get into their smothering press after making a basket.

The winner plays Friday against either District 1 champion Perkiomen Valley (26-1) or District 1 fifth seed Haverford (23-4).

Holy Redeemer (22-5) vs. York Catholic (19-7)

PIAA Class 3A Girls Second Round

6 p.m. Tuesday

Minersville H.S.

District 3 third seed York Catholic was bounced in the opening round of states the past two years. The Fighting Irish cleared that hurdle by defeating District 12 champion Imhotep Charter 37-34 in the first round this year.

York Catholic has a pair of sharpshooters in 3-point threats Mariah Shue and Paige O'Brien. Shue was a first-team York-Adams league selection; O'Brien made the second team. The Fighting Irish had a rough patch around Christmas when they lost four of five games.

York Catholic has a 58-45 win over Trinity, a team which defeated Holy Redeemer 55-30 this season.

District 2 champion Redeemer forced 33 turnovers in a 45-30 win over district 4 third seed Bloomsburg. The Royals looked like they would tear open the game by halftime, but shaky shooting and some turnovers kept Bloomsburg in it longer than expected. A layoff of nearly two weeks was perhaps the culprit.

Megan Albrecht and Angelina Corridoni each had 13 points.

The winner plays Friday against either District 2 third seed Lake-Lehman (18-10) or District 4 second seed Loyalsock (25-3).

Lake-Lehman (18-10) vs. Loyalsock (25-3)

PIAA Class 3A Girls Second Round

7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Berwick M.S.

District 4 second seed Loyalsock avenged a first-round state loss this year by defeating District 3 second seed Columbia 51-49. The Lancers reversed a four-point deficit at halftime by outscoring Columbia 15-4 in the third quarter. Alaina Dadzie had 19 points and Lacey Kriebel scored 16.

Loyalsock has played three WVC teams this season and defeated them all — Crestwood 65-49, Nanticoke Area 63-39 and Dallas 63-32. The Lancers had an 18-game winning streak snapped with a 38-34 loss to Hughesville in the District 4 championship game.

District 2 third seed Lake-Lehman has been anything but boring the past two games. The Black Knights needed a last-season shot just to qualify for states with a 36-34 win over Western Wayne. They then defeated District 11 champ Notre Dame Green Pond 50-43 in double overtime in the first round of states. Delcia Biscotto forced the second overtime with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

Ella Wilson, the WVC Division 2 scoring champion, led the win with 24 points. Brenna Hunt, who missed the Western Wayne game with an injury, added 11.

The winner plays Friday against either District 2 champion Holy Redeemer (22-5) or District 3 third seed York Catholic (19-7).

Dallas (21-7) vs. Archbishop Wood (22-5)

PIAA Class 5A Girls Second Round

7:30 p.m. Wednesday

Catasauqua H.S.

District 12 champion Archbishop Wood has played for a state championship in eight of the past 10 years. The only things stopping the Vikings was a quarterfinal loss in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic which shut down the state playoffs in 2020. They have won three consecutive state titles — one at 5A and a pair at 4A.

Wood opened with a 55-43 victory over District 1 sixth seed Radnor, using a 12-0 burst to start the fourth quarter to pull away. Senior Lauren Greer and junior Emily Knouse each had 15 points. Seniors Ava Reinninger, a 1,000-point scorer, and Alexa Windish are also part of the veteran lineup.

District 2 third seed Dallas edged District 1 second seed Villa Maria Academy by holding off a furious second-half comeback. The Mountaineers were outscored 28-20 after halftime.

Molly Walsh, the WVC Division 1 scoring champion, had 15 points and Elizabeth Viglone, the only senior in the starting lineup, added 13. Dallas had just one 3-pointer, but Walsh, Viglone and Mia DelGaudio are all capable shooters behind the arc.

The winner plays Saturday against either District 2 champion Scranton (24-2) or District 1 third seed West Chester Rusin (19-9).

Dallas (21-7) vs. Uniondale (24-2)

Class 5A Boys Second Round

7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Bethlehem Liberty H.S.

Unionville won a District 1 championship for the first time since 1981. The Longhorns, like Dallas, were in the Class 5A quarterfinals in 2020 when the PIAA canceled the remaining games because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The lineup is senior oriented with the top player 6-foot-7 Nick Diehl. Diehl had 18 points and 15 rebounds in a 56-31 victory over District 3 eighth seed Manheim Central. Unionville hasn't lost since the calendar flipped to 2024. The Longhorns' last loss was Dec. 30.

District 2 second seed Dallas posted a wild 71-61 victory over District 12 third seed West Philadelphia, using a 12-0 run as part of a 23-point fourth quarter. Zach Paczewski, a three-sport standout who will play Division I baseball at Radford, nailed eight 3-pointers as part of a season-high 28 points. Three-year starter Mikey Cumbo added 23.

The COVID-19 pandemic ended Dallas' 2020 season before it could play in the quarterfinals. The Mountaineers only trip to the quarterfinals was in 1967.

The winner plays Friday against either District 12 second seed Archbishop Ryan (18-9) or District 1 fifth seed Radnor (21-4).

MMI Prep (15-10) vs. High Point Baptist (17-7)

Class A Boys Second Round

7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Minersville H.S.

District 3 third seed High Point Baptist made its third state appearance last Friday, defeating District 1 champion Chester Charter Scholars 66-46. The Eagles were also in states in 2008 and 2017, departing after one game.

Mason Rogers (13.6 ppg), Nehemiah Seifert (11.5) and Austin May (10.2) lead the offense. Unlike MMI Prep's first-round opponent Galeton, High Point has some size to match up better. Rogers is 6-foot-4 while May is 6-3.

District 2 champ and District 2/11 second seed MMI Prep built a double-digit lead entering the fourth quarter in a 61-51 victory over District 4 second seed Galeton. Brandon Brobst led the Preppers with 21 points followed by Ryan Sones with 16 and Nick Pantages with 15. A five-game losing streak in December skewed their record. Aside from blowout loss to Holy Redeemer and Wyoming Area, MMI has played well since that slide.

The winner plays Friday against either District 3 champion Linville Hill (21-1) or District 11 third seed Bethlehem Christian (21-7).