Expect wild ride in basketball playoffs
The basketball playoffs are finally upon us.
That usually means long trips, physical games, stunning performances and ultimately tears, either of joy or defeat.
In District IV the boys' bracket to watch will be Class AA and the question is: can anyone knock off Loyalsock?
Lewisburg has come close twice, losing both games by a total of four points and St. John Neumann defeated the Lancers to win the HAC title but they are in Class A.
Loyalsock has the second seed going into the playoffs and will face seventh seed Williamson at home Saturday with a 1 p.m. start.
Omar Little (15.3 ppg) is their top scorer while Ben Sosa (12.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and Mike Pastore (12.1 ppg) are also in double figures.
Kyle Datres (7.2 apg) can not only pass but is also one of the top defenders in the area.
Williamson features long distance scorer Troy Adriance (19 ppg, 62 threes).
East Juniata is the top seed and boasts two 20 point scorers.
Nick Lorenz (24.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and Bailey Coder (20.5 ppg, 14.9 rpg, 5.6 bpg) lead EJ while David Brantley (10.7 ppg) is also in double figures.
They will take on the winner of eighth seed Southern Columbia and ninth seed Mt. Carmel, two teams that split during the regular season.
Mt. Carmel's best win this season was 47-36 over Class AAA second seed Central Columbia while SCA has beaten sixth seed South Williamsport, 70-66.
Southern is led by Mike Klebon (19.0 ppg).
They will play on Wednesday in SCA with a 7 p.m. start.
Wellsboro and Lewisburg will have a rematch from earlier this season, a game the Green Dragons won 40-33.
The Green Hornets boast possibly the best starting five in the district with all five players averaging double figures.
Guard Joey Doganiero (13.5 ppg) leads them while shooter Micheal Pitropola (12.7 ppg) has 43 threes on the season. They are rounded out with Kieron Smethers (11.4 ppg), Dylan Prough (10.3 ppg) and Dawson Prough (10.2 ppg).
Lewisburg has the twin towers of Sam Allen (6-feet, 7-inches, 16.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and Will Sigl (6-feet, 8-inches, 10.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg) along with guard Matt Fedorajka (10.2 ppg).
The game will be on Saturday, 1 p.m. in Lewisburg.
Down at the bottom of the bracket is third seed Towanda hosting South Williamsport.
The Black Knights come in with one of the district's best guards in Noah Huff (18.2 ppg) and wing player Dave Rodenhizer (16.4 ppg).
The Mountaineers swept Sullivan County and Muncy in division play this season but lost to Wellsboro (47-44) and Southern Columbia.
In Class A the title is Neumann's to lose.
They are coming off a big win over Loyalsock, are undefeated and currently ranked fourth in the state.
They've also beaten Lewisburg (45-37) and Wellsboro (65-45).
They will play the winner of Muncy-Cowanesque Valley, who play today at 7 p.m.
Muncy split with Sullivan this season but have lost to Wellsboro (49-31), Sayre (69-61) and were swept by South Williamsport and Neumann.
CV boasts three players in double figures, led by Josh Nudd (12.6 ppg). They also have big man Tyler Melko (11.3 ppg) and guard Bryant Painter (10.1 ppg).
Also on that side of the bracket fifth seed North Penn travels to fourth seed Mansfield on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Panthers are riding a hot streak into the playoffs, having won their last nine games of the regular season, which included victories over Williamson, Mansfield and Sayre.
Dayton Wood (12.3 ppg) is their leading scorer but they also have Kaynen Arredondo (9.8 ppg, 9 rpg and 4 bpg) in the middle.
Mansfield is led by star player Bo Burleigh (19 ppg, 10 rpg), a double machine along with a team that can go eight deep.
On the other side of the bracket Galeton is the second seed.
The Tigers boast 1,000 point scorer Dakota Shadle (17.8 ppg, 4.7 spg) and Bob Williams (12 ppg, 11.3 rpg). They swept Smethport this season, split with Port Allegany and Cameron County and were swept by Coudersport.
They will play the winner of Millville-Sayre.
The Redskins host that game tonight, led by Nate Williams (25.5 ppg). Marshall Higley (10.2 ppg) and Seth Murrelle can also put the ball in the basket if need be.
The Quakers snuck into districts. They swept Bloomsburg this season but were swept by Sullivan County, South Williamsport and Muncy.
The third seed is Sullivan County, led by center Conner Wylie (16 ppg).
He is supported by Adam Szklanka (10.7 ppg), Sean Flannery (38 threes) and Bob Polcrack (32 threes).
They will host either Meadowbrook Christian or Lourdes.
Meadowbrook has played mostly a private school schedule. In their games against District IV teams they've lost to Millville, Benton and Montgomery while beating Warrior Run and Bucktail.
They host Lourdes today at 7 p.m.
Lourdes has lost to Class AAA top seed Shamokin while having beaten Line Mountain. In their league they were swept by Minersville while going 1-2 against Tri Valley.
In Class AAA boys action Athens will travel to Danville Friday for a 7 p.m. start.
The Wildcats boast the inside-outside threat of Dan Moyer (13.4 ppg) and Brandon Fauver (14.1 ppg).
The Ironmen are always tough, having beaten second seed Central Columbia this season while losing to Williamsport. They were swept by top seed Shamokin.
The winner will take on Central Columbia or Shikellamy.
Up in New York in Class B Waverly will travel to Oneonta today for a 7 p.m. start.
The second seeded Yellow Jackets are led by Jordan Gutierrez (23.1 ppg) and have only lost to top seed Norwich this season. Oneonta is currently ranked 25th in the state while Norwich is fourth.
The young Waverly squad is led by Dylan Perry (11.5 ppg).
In Class C for Section IV Notre Dame is the top seed.
They have a bye to Friday and will host either Unatego or Marathon.
Marathon was swept by second seed Moravia this season and have also lost to Lansing (58-49) a team Notre Dame has beaten twice.
Unatego is currently an honorable mention at the state level and beat the Crusaders in the football semi-finals this past fall.
Section IV boasts a tough tournament as Moravia is ranked third in the state, Notre Dame fourth and third seed Newfield 14th.
On the girls' side in District IV local teams grabbed three of the top four seeds in Class A.
The top seed went to Millville, though.
The Quakers are undefeated, sweeping Muncy, South Williamsport, Bucktail and St. John Neumann during the season.
They will host Lourdes this Saturday at 1 p.m.
The defending district champions, Lourdes has lost to Muncy (49-43) while getting swept by Marian Catholic. They did beat Tri Valley (42-41) this year.
On the same side of the bracket is St. John Neumann at Sayre.
Neumann boasts wins over Bucktail, North Penn (65-44) and South Williamsport (45-38) while being swept by Millville and Muncy. They have also lost to Bloomsburg (54-39) and South Williamsport (52-49).
Sayre is led by guards Elyse Skerpon (10.2 ppg) and Kelly Villanti (11.6 ppg).
On the other side of the bracket Mansfield will host East Juniata this Thursday.
In their league EJ split with .500 Greenwood while being swept by Juniata.
The Tigers boast three double-digit scorers in Ali Hillson (15.2 ppg), Alyssa Davey-Bostic (10.6 ppg) and Kaitlyn Garverick (12.4 ppg).
And Bucktail will travel to Northeast Bradford Saturday.
The Bucks feature Maria Morgan, one of the districts top guards. Morgan had 45 points in a win over Williamson earlier this year.
Northeast Bradford is the opposite with a balanced team. Angelia Laudermilch (10.5 ppg) and Lydia Werner (10.2 ppg) are averaging double-figures but Calla Martin and Maddy Johnson (21 threes) can also score.
In Class AA for girls fourth seed Wyalusing will host Montoursville Friday.
The Rams come in with leading scorer Kasey DeVoir (13.9 ppg).
Montoursville were a funny team this season. They lost to a non-playoff team in Loyalsock while being swept by Warrior Run, Central Columbia and Lewisburg.
But they swept top seed Mt. Carmel, the only District IV team to beat the Red Tornadoes this season. They also swept Southern Columbia, the seventh seed.
The winner will likely get top seed Mt. Carmel, who face South Williamsport in the quarterfinals.
Outside of their losses to Montoursville, the defending District IV champions have lost to Marian Catholic and North Schuylkill.
In Class AAA Athens will have a bye to the semi-finals, where they will face either Mifflinburg or Jersey Shore.
Mifflinburg was swept by Danville, split with Shikellamy, Shamokin and Warrior Run while sweeping Jersey Shore this season.
Jersey Shore's best win this season was over South Williamsport. Their top scorer is do-it-all Paige Packer (7.3 ppg, 3.7 apg, 5.6 rpg, 4.9 spg).
In New York Waverly is the third seed in Class B for Section IV.
They will take on Chenango Valley in the first round with the winner to face either Norwich or Dryden.
The top seed is once again Oneonta, the top ranked team in the state. Waverly is the 25th ranked team in the state.
In Class C Notre Dame will host Union Springs Wednesday.
The winner will get either Unadilla Valley or Greene.
The Crusaders are on the same side of the bracket as top seed Lansing, a team Notre Dame beat earlier this season.
The third seed Harpursville is currently the top ranked team in the state while Notre Dame is 11th and Lansing is 12th.