February 18, 2019

CLASS 6A ■ DATES: Friday, semifinals; March 1, final, 6 p.m., at Mohegan Sun Arena. ■ ADVANCE TO STATES: 1. ■ DEFENDING CHAMPION: Hazleton Area. ■ TOP SEEDS: 1-Hazleton Area; 2-Williamsport (District 4); 3-Scranton; 4-Delaware Valley. ■ PLAYERS TO WATCH: Colette Mulderig (SCR), 16.0; Marissa Trivelpiece (HAZ), 12.0 ppg; Brooke Acoveno (DV), 8.8; Faith Grula (HAZ), 8.5; Sophia Glogowski (SCR), 8.5; Ky’Ahni Harbin (SCR), 5.8 Mackenzie Olsommer (DV), 6.5. ■ DIFFERENCE MAKER: Mulderig has the ability to dominate the game on both ends of the floor. ■ FAVORITE: Hazleton Area. After a 3-4 start, Hazleton won 11 in a row and went on to the Division I title in the Wyoming Valley Conference. ■ SLEEPER TEAM: Scranton. Yes, the Knights are a seven-win team, but they have the best individual talent in the field, and semifinal foe Williamsport’s loss Friday at West Scranton should tell Scranton it’s in the hunt. ■ BOTTOM LINE: Hazleton had Holy Redeemer on the ropes before being outgunned, 26-4, in the WVC tourney final. Means the Cougars play well, but also they have some vulnerabilities, too. CLASS 5A ■ DATES: Wednesday, quarterfinals; Saturday, semifinals; March 2, 6 p.m., final at Mohegan Sun Arena. ■ ADVANCE TO STATES: 2. ■ DEFENDING CHAMPION: Abington Heights. ■ TOP SEEDS: 1-Abington Heights, 2-Wallenpaupack, 3-Wyoming Valley West, 4-West Scranton. ■ PLAYERS TO WATCH: Megan Guerrieri (WAL), 16.1 ppg; Nya Johnson (WS), 16.0; Toni Amato (WVW), 14.7; Tatum Repshis (WS), 13.6; Helena Jardine (CRE), 13.9; Hannah Smith (WAL), 13.0; Clair Marion (AH), 10.4; Rachel McDonald (AH), 10.0; Maria Tully (AH), 9.8; Rachael Tirjan (WAL), 9.8; Jenna Montana (NP), 7.9. ■ DIFFERENCE MAKER: Marion’s all-around game — she rebounds, plays defense and gets to the basket — could determine how successful Abington Heights can be. ■ FAVORITE: Abington Heights. Winning becomes habit forming, and the Lady Comets have won three straight district championships. Experience at Mohegan Sun Arena also counts for something. ■ SLEEPER TEAM: West Scranton. Johnson and Repshis have shown the ability to carry the team with their one-two punch, and they’ve lost two barnburners with Abington Heights, a potential semifinal opponent. ■ BOTTOM LINE: Abington Heights has allowed just three opponents in 13 league games to hit 40 points, and at the tight-rimmed Arena, defense does win championships. CLASS 4A ■ DATES: Tuesday, quarterfinals; Friday, semifinals; Feb. 28, 6 p.m., final at Mohegan Sun Arena. ■ ADVANCE TO STATES: 3. ■ DEFENDING CHAMPION: Scranton Prep. ■ TOP SEEDS: 1-Scranton Prep; 2-Berwick; 3-Lake-Lehman; 4-Nanticoke. ■ PLAYERS TO WATCH: Rachael Rose (SP), 16.9; Renny Murphy (BER), 13.1; Madison Borum (L-L), 13.1; Skylar Bianchi (VV), 13.0; Cecelia Collins (SP), 11.1; Jade Swartout (VV), 10.4; Savannah Purdy (BER), 10.5. ■ DIFFERENCE MAKER: Everyone knows how dangerous Rose is, but her first cousin Collins can go get it off the glass and lead the team in transition. ■ FAVORITE: Scranton Prep. Easy baskets are going to be key for the Classics, who haven’t been overly efficient when forced to play a half-court game. ■ SLEEPER TEAM: Lake-Lehman. The Black Knights gave Holy Redeemer all it could handle in a one-point loss in the regular-season finale, and they have a nice inside-outside game with Madison Borum and Savannah Purdy, and three other solid offensive contributors. ■ BOTTOM LINE: Scranton Prep’s offense hasn’t blown people away, but its defense has helped fashion a 16-game win streak and limited league opponents to just 32.5 points. CLASS 3A ■ DATES: Wednesday, quarterfinals; Saturday, semifinals; March 2, noon, final at Mohegan Sun Arena. ■ ADVANCE TO STATES: 2. ■ DEFENDING CHAMPION: Dunmore. ■ TOP SEEDS: 1-Dunmore, 2-Holy Redeemer; 3-Riverside; 4-Wyoming Seminary. ■ PLAYERS TO WATCH: Moriah Murray (DUN), 16.2; Samantha Yencha (HR) 16.2; Julia Andrejko (HR), 16.1; Julia Antoniacci (RIV), 14.0; Emily Morano (MIDV), 13.5;Victoria Toomey (DUN), 13.1; Colby White (LAK) 11.5; Kayla Rose (RIV), 11.3; Alex Wesneski (SEM), 11.0. ■ DIFFERENCE MAKER: Lisa Tallo is the glue that holds Dunmore together. When teams have tried to take away Toomey and Murray, she’s the one who hits the big shot or makes the key pass to get them going. ■ FAVORITE: Dunmore. The Lady Bucks have wrecked almost everyone, including an early-season romp over Holy Redeemer and two 20-point wins against Riverside. ■ SLEEPER TEAM: Riverside. Despite the loss of freshman point guard Kylie Lavelle, the Lady Vikes have plenty of offensive firepower, but what they may need to reach the final is defensive stops. ■ BOTTOM LINE: For once, Dunmore is the clear favorite. But losing a spot in the state tournament means a pretty good team is going to be sitting at home. CLASS 2A ■ DATES: Tuesday, quarterfinals; Friday, semifinals; March 1, 4 p.m., final at Mohegan Sun Arena. ■ ADVANCE TO STATES: 2. ■ DEFENDING CHAMPION: Old Forge. ■ TOP SEEDS: 1-Old Forge; 2-Holy Cross; 3-Northwest Area; 4-Mountain View. ■ PLAYERS TO WATCH: Brenna Babcock (NW), 17.3; Lindsey Welsh (OF), 16.3; Olivia Ciullo (OF), 15.2; Kaci Kranson (HC), 11.9; Abby Sempa (HC), 11.4; Sydney Newhart (MTV), 11.4; Regan Harrison (NW), 10.0; Abbey Lentowski (HC), 9.4. ■ DIFFERENCE MAKER: Ciullo. For all the attention that Welsh, a 1,000-point scorer as a junior, receives, Ciullo’s smooth inside game and ability to hit mid-range jumpers can be problematic for opponents. ■ FAVORITE: Old Forge. Familiarity with the surroundings at the Arena is a definite edge and the Lady Devils have won the past two championships there. ■ SLEEPER TEAM: Holy Cross, if the second seed can be considered a sleeper. The Lady Crusaders dropped down from Class 3A and have split meetings with Old Forge, each winning at home. ■ BOTTOM LINE: Despite its loss to Dunmore in the final week, Holy Cross is playing at a much higher level than it was when last the Division III rivals met. That should make for a whale of a final, if both hold up its end of the bargain. CLASS 1A ■ DATES: District 2-11 subregional semifinals Feb. 26; D 2-11 final, March 1. District 2 final vs. Forest City on Feb. 28, 4 p.m., at Mohegan Sun Arena. ■ ADVANCE TO STATES: 2 from Dist. 2-11 subregional. ■ DEFENDING CHAMPION: Weatherly. ■ TOP SEEDS: 1-Susquehanna; 2-Weatherly; 3-Nativity BVM; 4-Salem Leadership. ■ PLAYERS TO WATCH: Emily Zoscin (WEA), 18.0; Taylor Huyck (SUS), 15.2; Mackenzie Steele (SUS), 12.4; Megan Peifer (WEA), 10.9; Mackenzie Heath (SUS), 7.5; Bethany Maby (SUS), 7.4. ■ DIFFERENCE MAKER: Huyck has quickness that presents a difficult matchup for opposing backcourts, and her scoring touch often forces defenses to leave other shooters, and 6-foot-1 center Steele, with more room to operate. ■ FAVORITE: Weatherly. Of the Lady Wreckers’ seven losses, two came to Mahanoy Area (21-2), two to Marian (19-3), one to undefeated Jim Thorpe (24-0), and one each to traditional powers District 4 powers Lourdes Regional and Mount Carmel. ■ SLEEPER TEAM: Nativity BVM. The Golden Girls surprised Susquehanna last year and their rugged schedule prepares them for the postseason. ■ BOTTOM LINE: Susquehanna has stepped up its schedule, and while the results haven’t always resulted in Ws, the team is battle tested. It missed out on an opportunity to make states and perhaps win a couple of playoff games a year ago with a shocking loss to Nativity in the semifinals. The top seed earns it an opponent that plays a softer schedule. — MARTY MYERS