District 2 Boys Basketball Championship Capsules
No. 1 Holy Cross (19-5 )vs. No. 2 Northwest (15-9)
2 p.m. Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena
How they got here: Holy Cross beat No. 8 Blue Ridge, 75-47, in the quarterfinals; and No. 5 Lackawanna Trail, 55-28, in the semifinals. Northwest beat No. 7 Old Forge, 54-38; and No. 3 Susquehanna, 47-29.
Up next: Each team advances to the PIAA tournament, which begins Saturday, March 9. The winner will play District 4’s No. 3 seed. The loser will play the District 4 champion.
Defending champ: Holy Cross
Players to watch: HC — Kieran Burrier, 13.9 ppg; Leahy O’Connor, 12.7; Tyler Mozeleski, 12.3. NW — Walker Yaple, 12.7 ppg; Sam Saxe, 10.7; Jaxson Yaple, 10.3; Bryce Koser, 9.7; Tyler Stevens, 6.6.
Breakdown: This is a rematch of last year’s title game, which Holy Cross won, 55-39. Holy Cross was the No. 1 seed last year and the No. 1 seed again this time. … Of Holy Cross’ five losses, three were to WVC teams: Nanticoke Area, Dallas and Holy Redeemer. Holy Cross’ other losses were against Scranton Prep and Mid Valley. … Holy Cross ended the regular season on an eight-game win streak. … Mozeleski, a senior, scored a game-high 19 points with five 3-pointers in last year’s district final. … Holy Cross made a deep run in last year’s state playoffs that ended in the semifinals, one win short of the state title game. … Northwest just played arguably its best game of the season, in which it led Lackawanna Trail, 28-10, at halftime. … Saxe and Jaxson Yaple have each scored more than 1,000 career points for Northwest. … The Rangers start four seniors and have a balanced offense. … Sean Miller is in his first year as Northwest head coach. The Rangers’ best regular season win was a 64-57 triumph against Class 6A Scranton.
No. 1 Wyoming Seminary (24-2) vs. No. 2 HolyRedeemer (20-3)
8 p.m. tonight at Mohegan Sun Arena
How they got here: Sem beat No. 8 Lake-Lehman, 72-32, in the quarterfinals; and No. 4 Lakeland, 67-46, in the semifinals. Redeemer beat No. 7 Riverside, 73-55; and No. 3 Mid Valley, 62-41.
Up next: Each team advances to the PIAA tournament, which begins Saturday, March 9. The winner will play District 12’s No. 4 seed. The loser will play the District 4 runner-up.
Defending champ: Wyoming Seminary
Players to watch: Sem - Dimitri Gnall, 17.6 points per game; Jeremy Callahan, 10.3; Nick Ganter, 9.1; Todd Phillips, 8.0; Jake Koretz, 8.0. HR - Nick Prociak, 16.4 ppg; Collin Cook, 15.1; Justice Shoats, 9.8; Jared Piontkowski, 5.6; Derek Answini 4.5.
Breakdown: This is the rubber match for teams that played twice this season. They split that series, each team winning at home. … Wyoming Seminary’s 45-43 win over Redeemer in January was particularly important, as Gnall blocked a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. If that 3 went in, the trajectory of this season for both teams and the entire conference could be totally different. … Sem has the most wins of any team in District 2. In addition to winning WVC Division 3, Sem won the WVC’s four-team conference championship tournament. … Sem’s only losses are against Redeemer and reigning Class 5A state champion Abington Heights. … Redeemer lost to Sem, as well as Pittston Area and Hanover Area. … Sem has been ranked in the state’s top-10 Class 3A teams all season. … This is a rematch of last year’s district final, which Sem won 56-39. Phillips scored a game-high 17 points in that game. Phillips is one of Sem’s four returning starters. Redeemer’s Cook and Prociak have started for several years, as well. … Sem head coach Pete Moses is in his first year leading the Blue Knights. Meanwhile, Paul Guido just surpassed the 100-win milestone as Redeemer’s head coach. … Sem is on an eight-game win streak. Redeemer is on a four-game win streak. … Sem averages 62.7 points per game, but scored only 97 (48.5 per game) in its two losses. ... PennLive ranks Sem No. 6 and Redeemer No. 7 among Class 3A teams in the state.
No. 1 Scranton Prep (21-3) vs. No. 2 Nanticoke Area (21-6)
4 p.m. Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena
How they got here: Scranton Prep defeated No. 8 Meyers, 61-39, in the quarterfinals; and No. 5 Western Wayne, 50-31, in the semifinals. Nanticoke Area defeated No. 7 Hanover Area, 65-45; and No. 6 Tunkhannock, 49-48.
Up next: Each team advances to the PIAA tournament, which begins Friday, March 8. The champion will play District 3’s No. 4 seed. The loser will play District 4’s No. 3 seed.
Defending champ: Scranton Prep
Players to watch: SP — Leo O’Boyle, 15.7 ppg; Rhys Merritt, 12.3; Brian Boland, 11.7; Mario Rotell, 9.9; Greyson Schermerhorn, 8.0. Nan — Nate Kreitzer, 18.7 ppg; Colby Butczynski, 10.6; Trahjan Krupinski, 10.0; Jake Krupinski, 9.4; Dylan Szychowski, 2.1.
Breakdown: Scranton Prep is the reigning district champion after beating three opponents last season by a combined 55 points. … Scranton Prep had another dominant season this year with two losses against Abington Heights, and one other loss to District 1’s Pennridge. … Scranton Prep is the sixth-ranked Class 4A team in the state. Nanticoke Area is an honorable mention outside the top-10. … O’Boyle, a 6-foot-7 senior in the post, will play college basketball at Lafayette. He was the leading scorer in each of Prep’s first two district playoff games, including a 31-point night against Meyers. … O’Boyle, Boland and Schermerhorn have each hit between 20 and 28 3-pointers. … While Prep has become used to playing in title games at the arena, this is the first such trip for Nanticoke Area seniors Kreitzer, Szychowski and Trahjan Krupinski. … Kreitzer is among the WVC’s all-time best 3-point shooters. He’s made a league-leading 88 this season and is the career leader in the category at Nanticoke Area. … Nanticoke Area’s starting-five is the same as last season, when the Trojans qualified for the state tournament by way of the third-place game. … Nanticoke Area has decent size, but nobody as tall as O’Boyle. … If the Trojans’ shots are falling, they’re a tough matchup for anyone.
No. 1 Abington Heights (22-2) vs. No. 2 Crestwood (20-6)
8 p.m. Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena
How they got here: Abington Heights defeated No. 8 North Pocono, 71-25, in the quarterfinals; and No. 4 Dallas, 59-51, in the semifinals. Crestwood eliminated No. 7 West Scranton, 45-32; and No. 3 Wallenpaupack, 44-33.
Up next: Each team advances to the PIAA tournament, which begins Friday, March 8. The winner will play District 1’s No. 4 seed. The loser will play District 12’s No. 3 seed.
Defending champ: Abington Heights
Players to watch: AH — George Tinsley, 19.4 ppg; Trey Koehler, 13.5; Corey Perkins, 8.1; Jack Nealon, 7.7. Cre — Ryan Petrosky, 13.6 ppg; Camden Boris, 12.5; Mike Palmiero, 10.0; Sean Murphy, 9.8; Jake Zaleski, 5.0; Brad Papura, 3.8.
Breakdown: Abington Heights is the reigning district and state champion. ... Tinsley, a 6-foot-6 forward, is going to play at Binghamton. He’s coming off a 25-point night against Dallas. Koehler poured in 17 points, as the dynamic duo scored 42 of Abington Heights’ 59 points. ... The Sunbury Daily Item lists Abington Heights as the third-ranked Class 5A team in the state. ... Abington Heights’ two losses were in December against Pottsville and Emmaus. ... Abington Heights is a district dynasty, having won 25 straight in the tournament, including seven titles in a row. ... Crestwood entered this season with modest expectations after going 16-8 last season. Crestwood started 2-2, then went on a 12-game win streak highlighted by victories against Nanticoke Area, GAR, Tunkhannock, Dallas and Hazleton Area. ... Crestwood has shown an ability to run the floor and score a lot of points, as it is 12-0 when scoring at least 65 points. However, Crestwood’s gotten back to its old, defense-based formula in recent games that have been low-scoring. ... Anyone can have the hot hand on a given night for Crestwood. Petrosky was the leading scorer against Wallenpaupack; Boris against West Scranton; Palmiero in a WVC playoff game against Wyoming Seminary. ... Crestwood won this year’s Robert McGrane Basketball Tournament. Murphy was tournament MVP.
No. 1 Hazleton Area (17-7 )vs. No. 3 Scranton (10-13)
8 p.m. Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena
How they got here: Hazleton Area beat No. 4 Delaware Valley, 61-40, in the semifinals. Scranton beat No. 2 Williamsport, 61-60 in overtime.
Up next: The champion advances to the PIAA tournament, which begins Saturday, March 9. It will play District 1’s No. 7 seed. Loser is eliminated.
Defending champ: Hazleton Area
Players to watch: Haz — Da’mir Faison, 19.7 ppg; Scotty Campbell, 8.3; Andrew Vayda, 7.6; Kyle Franek, 7.2; Warren Seigendall, 5.4; Sparky Wolk, 5.0. Scr — Marcus Bauman, 15.0 ppg; Tahg Jones, 9.8; Derome White, 9.6.
Breakdown: This is a rematch of last year’s district final, which Hazleton Area won, 61-51. … Hazleton Area graduated three key starters from that team, but Faison is back as one of the top players in the district. A 6-foot-5 swingman, Faison is committed to play at NCAA Division I New Jersey Institute of Technology. … Hazleton Area’s seven losses are mostly a reflection of its difficult non-conference schedule. The Cougars lost their first three games of the season and later lost to Crestwood, Abington Heights, Dallas and Nanticoke Area, as well. … Scranton is another team that played a difficult schedule. Two of Scranton’s losses were against Abington Heights and three were against Scranton Prep, including a 58-56 loss in their most recent meeting. … Scranton has done OK against WVC opponents, beating GAR and Valley West, but losing to Crestwood and Northwest. … Bauman, a 6-4 center, is a tough player to stop when he gets going. He scored 25 points with nine rebounds when Scranton beat GAR, and he tallied 28 points and 12 boards in Scranton’s semifinal win against Williamsport.