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D9Sports Tournament of Champions Boys’ Elite Eight (East and West Regions)

The D9Sports Tournament of Champions is into the Elite 8 now starting with the boys’ side in the East and West Regions.

(Photo: the 2002 Karns City team won the District 9 Class 2A title. Photo courtesy of Patrick Craig)

Advancing to the Elite Eight in the East were top-seeded 2006 Elk County Catholic and No. 3 2002 Karns City. From the West were third-seeded 2004 ECC and fourth-seeded 2015 Redbank Valley.

Here is how this works. You have until 11:59 p.m. Friday to vote for which team you think is the best in each matchup. At that point, the winners will advance into the Final Four.

The D9Sports.com Tournament of Champions is being brought to you in part by The Sportsmen Portal. The Sportsmen Portal is proud to provide businesses and organizations of all sizes in Western PA solutions to their web development needs. From sophisticated eCommerce to simple websites we have you covered. Contact us today at 717-304-2770 or visit us online at https://sportsmenportal.com/

(3-E) 2002 Karns City vs. (1-E) 2006 Elk County Catholic

2002 Karns City advanced to the Elite Eight with wins over No. 14 2008 Cranberry, 78 percent to 22 percent, No. 6 2016 ECC, 65 percent to 35 percent, and No. 7 2018 Coudersport, 54 percent to 46 percent.

2006 ECC, the lone PIAA champion during this era, beat No. 17 2016 Kane, 76 percent to 24 percent, No. 8 2002 Keystone, 55 percent to 45 percent, and No. 13 2018 Johnsonburg, 52 percent to 48 percent, to reach the Elite Eight.

Karns City went 27-2 in 2002 and didn’t lose until February when it dropped a regular-season decision to Wilkinsburg. The Gremlins went on to beat Moniteau, 69-48, in the D9 2A title game after rolling past Ridgway, 86-38, in the semifinals before beating Maplewood and North Star in the first two rounds of the PIAA playoffs. The North Star game was a 47-46 overtime decision when future Redbank Valley head coach Patrick Craig hit a shot with eight seconds to play in overtime. Craig had also tied the game with three free throws with 18.8 seconds left in regulation after being fouled taking a 3-pointer. Karns City, coached by Jeff Loughry, fell in the PIAA quarterfinals to eventual PIAA runner-up Sto-Rox. The Gremlins were led by Craig (21.3 ppg, 11.5 rpg), a 1,000-point career scorer, and Brian Hilderbrand (10.2 ppg, 8.7 apg), who were both named first-team All-District players.

The 2006 ECC team finished a perfect 33-0 and beat Coudersport, 66-26, in the District 9 championship game before rolling through the PIAA playoffs with wins by 32 points, 24 points, 33 points, 15 points and finally by 10 points, 71-61, in the PIAA title game over Bishop Hannon at the Giant Center in Hershey. The Crusaders were led by D9Sports.com District 9 Player of the Year Jesse Bosnik, a junior that season who went on to be the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,083 career points. Bosnik was joined on the All-District team by third-team selections Kevin Genevro and Tony Lecker, both seniors, while fellow junior Josh Salter also played a key role in the title. Head coach Aaron Straub was named the D9Sports.com District 9 Coach of the Year.

(3-E) 2002 Karns City vs. (1-E) 2006 Elk County Catholic

  • 2002 Karns City (70%, 392 Votes)
  • 2006 Elk County Catholic (30%, 169 Votes)

Total Voters: 561

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(4-W) 2015 Redbank Valley vs. (3-W) 2004 Elk County Catholic

2015 Redbank Valley advanced to the Elite Eight with wins over No. 13 2013 Karns City, 73 percent to 27 percent, No. 5 2004 Johnsonburg, 51 percent to 49 percent, and top-seeded 2012 Ridgway, 54 percent to 46 percent.

2004 ECC beat No. 14 2011 St. Marys, 72 percent to 28 percent, No. 6 2019 ECC, 74 percent to 26 percent, and No. 2 2009 ECC, 50.2 percent to 49.8 percent in a matchup decided by two votes (231 to 229).

Redbank Valley went 22-7 in 2015 and won the school’s first District 9 title since 1980 when it beat Cranberry, 40-36, in the 2A title game. The Bulldogs, under the direction of Greg Bean, then dispatched Bellwood-Antis, 60-53, and West Branch, 62-46, to reach the PIAA quarterfinals for the first time in school history before losing to eventual PIAA runner-up Aliquippa, 70-36. Bean was named the D9Sports.com District 9 Coach of the Year, while Jake Dougherty (16.1 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.1 spg) was a first-team All-D9 selection and Devin Shumaker (11.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.3 apg, 2.6 spg) and Zach Westover (9.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.8 bpg) were third-team All-District 9 choices.

Elk County Catholic went 27-3 in 2004 and beat PIAA semifinalist Johnsonburg, 69-52, to win the D9 1A title then topped Homer-Center, 65-40, and St. Joseph’s, 66-53, to reach the PIAA quarterfinals were it lost to eventual PIAA runner-up Sewickley Academy, 52-49, in a game ECC trailed by 10 with 1:36 to play. Freshman Jesse Bosnik led the Crusaders and was named a second-team All-District 9 selection after averaging 13.7 ppg. He would have bee the D9Sports.com Rookie of the Year, but the award didn’t exist until 2005. Bosnik went on to become the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,083 career points. Senior Doug Straub (11.7 ppg) was a third-team All-D9 selection.

(4-W) 2015 Redbank Valley vs. (3-W) 2004 Elk County Catholic

  • 2015 Redbank Valley (62%, 304 Votes)
  • 2004 Elk County Catholic (38%, 185 Votes)

Total Voters: 489

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