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H.S. Boys Basketball: WVC has handful of District 2 title hopefuls

Feb. 19—Holy Redeemer was the only Wyoming Valley Conference team to win a District 2 boys basketball championship last season. However, the Royals will go into the Class 3A tournament shorthanded.

Two starters, both transfers from Hanover Area, will be ineligible. (See 3A outlook below).

There are other WVC teams with opportunities for district crowns. Either Wilkes-Barre Area or Hazleton Area have good chances of making the Class 6A championship game. Likewise with Dallas and Crestwood in Class 5A. Wyoming Area and Nanticoke Area have a tougher path in 4A, but could get to the title game at Mohegan Sun Arena.

MMI Prep already sealed a spot in the D2-A championship game. The Preppers will play either Susquehanna or Forest City as District 2 crams a championship game inside a Class A subregional with District 11.

Tickets for all rounds through the semifinal rounds will be $6 for both adults and students. Plus — you guessed it — a processing fee since tickets are available only at piaad2.org through the Hometown Ticketing link.

Adults over 65 and children under 5 do not require a ticket for entry into a game. Adults over 65 need only show proof of age at the door for entry (drivers license, etc.) and children under 5 need to be accompanied by a parent (seems logical).

The District 2 Gold Passes are acceptable through the semifinal games.

Championship games will be held at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday, Monday and Thursday (Feb. 29).

CLASS 6A

(two to states)

Seedings: 1. Scranton (18-4); 2. Wilkes-Barre Area (19-5); 3. Hazleton Area (14-8); 4. Williamsport (7-14); 5. Delaware Valley (8-14); 6. Wyoming Valley West (5-17)

Defending Champion: Scranton

Outlook: Scranton and Wilkes-Barre Area have byes to the semifinals. The two teams, which oddly didn't play during the regular season, have a good chance to meet in the title game.

Hazleton Area could throw a wrench into things. The Cougars split their two games with WBA and have a nice balance of inside-outside offense. Their non-conference schedule was difficult, skewing their record a tad.

Hazleton Area opens at home against Wyoming Valley West, which has struggled offensively. Hazleton Area won the regular season games 73-48 and 69-33.

District 4 Williamsport is usually a dangerous team and still could be. The Millionaires have won four of their last five games.

CLASS 5A

(two to states)

Seedings: 1. Abington Heights (22-0); 2. Dallas (18-6); 3. Crestwood (14-8); 4. Wallenpaupack (14-8); 5. North Pocono (13-9); 6. Pittston Area (9-13); 7. West Scranton (6-16)

Defending Champion: Abington Heights

Outlook: Abington Heights is the only unbeaten team in District 2 in either boys or girls. The Comets have won 18 games by double digits, including two against D2/4-6A top seed Scranton.

Dallas is probably Abington Heights' biggest concern. The Mountaineers have been playing well down the stretch. They won the WVC tournament championship and have a nice combination of perimeter shooting, driving ability and enough inside scoring.

In the only all-WVC quarterfinal matchup, Pittston Area is at Crestwood. Pittston Area has put up solid numbers on defense, but an inconsistent offense has been an issue. Crestwood is very good on defense, giving up a WVC-low 42.5 points per game.

CLASS 4A

(two to states)

Seedings: 1. Valley View (17-5); 2. Scranton Prep (13-9); 3. Wyoming Area (16-8); 4. Nanticoke Area (10-12); 5. Honesdale (7-15); 6. Berwick (5-17); 7. Hanover Area (6-16); 8. Tunkhannock (3-19)

Defending Champion: Scranton Prep

Outlook: Wyoming Area, which won its only District 2 championship 53 years ago, opens with visiting Berwick. The Warriors can score, leading WVC Division 2 with 62.1 points per game. Berwick had the worst defense in WVC Division 1, surrendering 60.5 points per game.

If not for injuries, Nanticoke Area's record would have probably been better. The Trojans host Honesdale, which snapped a 10-game losing streak by defeating one-win Western Wayne.

Hanover Area lost close games to Holy Redeemer (twice), Nanticoke Area (twice) and Wyoming Area. The Hawkeyes, though, have had pockets of inconsistency. After losing by two points to Wyoming Area, they gave Lake-Lehman its only win of the season and then were blown out 73-52 by Wyoming Area.

It's unlikely Hanover Area could upset Scranton Prep. Same goes for Tunkhannock, which had a complete rebuild this season and faces Valley View.

CLASS 3A

(two to states)

Seedings: 1. Riverside (19-3); 2. Holy Redeemer (16-8); 3. Mid Valley (14-8); 4. Carbondale Area (14-8); 5. Old Forge (12-10); 6. Dunmore (8-14); 7. Lakeland (8-14); 8. Wyoming Seminary (4-18)

Defending Champion: Holy Redeemer

Outlook: Holy Redeemer and Wyoming Seminary are the only WVC teams in the tournament.

Redeemer will be minus two starters — Hanover Area transfers David Popson and Brayden Sock. Both were cleared to play in the regular season by the District 2 athletic committee but declared ineligible for districts.

Redeemer didn't appeal the decisions even though Wilkes-Barre Area and Hazleton Area did for players and won their appeals.

Seminary is a huge underdog in its quarterfinal game at Riverside. The Blue Knights defeated Lake-Lehman (1-21) twice and Lackawanna Trail (2-20) once for three of their four victories.

CLASS 2A

(one to states)

Seedings: 1. Holy Cross (19-3); 2. Blue Ridge (18-4); 3. Mountain View (10-12); 4. Elk Lake (11-11); 5. Montrose (4-18); 6. Lackawanna Trail (2-20)

Defending Champion: Holy Cross

Outlook: There are no WVC teams in the bracket. Holy Cross defeated Blue Ridge 58-57 on Dec. 21 and a rematch in the title game appears certain.

CLASS A

(three to states)

Seedings: 1. Notre Dame ES (15-6); 2. Bethlehem Christian (16-6); 3. MMI Prep (13-9); 4. Susquehanna (11-11); 5. Forest City (4-18); 6. Weatherly (2-20)

Defending Champion: Forest City

Outlook: MMI Prep is the only WVC team in the bracket. The Preppers have experience and enough size to get at least a spot in the state playoffs. They opener with Weatherly, who they defeated 56-30 on Feb. 8.

Susquehanna and Forest City are the other District 2 teams in the tournament with District 11.