Four District 9 teams – two girls and two boys – will be in action in the second round of the PIAA playoffs Tuesday, March 10.
(Photo of Keystone’s Emily Lauer (left) and Cameron County’s Dino Brown (right). Lauer and Brown will try to help their teams into the PIAA quarterfinals)
The boys’ games are both in Class 1A with District 9 champion Elk County Catholic battling WPIAL runner-up Cornell at 7:30 p.m. at Clarion University’s Tippin Gym, and District 9 runner-up Cameron County taking on WPIAL fourth-place finisher Bishop Canevin at 7:30 p.m. at Brookville High School.
The girls’ contests feature a pair of Class 2A District 9 teams with District 9 champion Redbank Valley getting the tall task of taking on District 6 third-place finisher Bellwood-Antis, the two-time defending PIAA champion, at 7 p.m. at DuBois High School and District 9 runner-up Keystone facing District 6 fourth-place finisher Bishop McCort, the last team to represent the “west” in the PIAA title game prior to the back-to-back titles by Bellwood-Antis, at 6 p.m. at Armstrong High School in Kittanning.
Elk County Catholic vs. Cornell
ECC (27-1) is trying to advance to the PIAA quarterfinals for the first time since 2017 and for the just the second time since 2010. The Crusaders have gone just 1-6 in second-round games since 2010.
Cornell (19-7) is looking to make it back-to-back quarterfinal appearances for the first time since 1986 and 1987 after reaching the quarterfinals a year ago with a win over Clarion-Limestone in the second round before losing to Vincentian Academy in the quarters.
ECC reached Tuesday night with a 56-34 win over Imani Christian in the first round Friday night behind 25 points from Regis Wortman.
Wortman leads ECC in scoring averaging 14.6 points per game, while Mark Kraus adds 10.5 ppg.
Cornell won its first-round game over Saltsburg in easy fashion, 74-29, as Zaire Harrison scored 23 points and Kaden DiVito 22.
DiVito averages 20 points per game and has handed out 5.6 assists per contest, while Isaiah Langston chips in 18.3 ppg with Harrison averaging 16.8 ppg.
The game is a contrast in styles, as the Rams average 69.9 points per game, while ECC allows 34.8 per contest.
These teams have met two previous times in PIAA play with Cornell winning both times (53-39 in the 1990 1A second round and 57-53 in the 1987 1A second round).
The winner will play the winner of the game between District 5 runner-up Shade and District 6 champion Bishop Carroll in the quarterfinals Friday, March 13, at a time and place to be announced. The Shade/Bishop Carroll game is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Pitt-Johnstown.
Elk County Catholic postseason information is brought to you by: Fran Morelli Sales & Service
Cameron County vs. Bishop Canevin
Cameron County (21-5) is in the second round of the PIAA playoff for the first time since 2015 when it lost to Kennedy Catholic. The Red Raiders have only won two PIAA playoff games once in school history, in 1972 when they advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to Richland.
Bishop Canevin (19-6) reached the semifinals in 2017, the last time the Crusaders were in the tournament prior to this year.
Cameron County advanced to the second round with a 61-38 win over Williamsburg Friday thanks to 25 points and 15 rebounds from Caden Beldin.
Dino Brown leads the Red Raiders in scoring at 17.1 points per game with Beldin adding 15.7 and Hayden Brown 9.3.
Bishop Canevin got the luck of the draw playing a three-win District 10 champion, Commodore Perry, in the opening round and won in blowout fashion, 87-35, behind 28 points from KeVaughn Price and 11 each from Nevan Crossey and Dom Elliott.
Price and Elliott are both around 18 points per game.
The winner will play the winner of the game between WPIAL champion Vincentian Academy and District 5 champion Berlin Brothersvalley in the quarterfinals Friday, March 13, at a site and time to be announced.
The Vincentian/Berlin Brothersvalley game will be played at 7:30 p.m. at Hempfield High School in Greensburg.
Cameron County postseason information is brought you by: Team Minard • Potter County Family Campground • Close’s Lumber Company • Rhonda Ramsey Hair Salon in Emporium • E& G Auto Plus, Inc. in Coudersport
Redbank Valley vs. Bellwood-Antis
Redbank Valley (20-7) is in the second round of the PIAA playoff for the first time since 1998 when it lost to Ford City. The Lady Bulldogs are looking for their first trip to the quarterfinals since 1993 when they lost to Marion Center in the quarterfinals.
Bellwood-Antis (25-2) was the top seed in the District 6 playoffs before being upset in the semifinals by Bishop Guilfoyle, 67-54, and then winning the D6 consolation game over Bishop McCort, 62-59, to earn the No. 3 seed out of D6. The Blue Devils have not only won the last two PIAA Class 2A titles but also advanced to the semifinals in 2017.
Redbank Valley advanced to the second round with a 53-49 win over Cochranton in the opening round Friday night, as Tara Hinderliter scored 27 points.
Hinderliter, the second-leading scorer in school history with 1,387 career points, is the leading scorer in District 9 this season averaging 21.3 ppg. Freshman Aliva Huffman adds 8.4 ppg with Lauren Smith chipping in 7.2 ppg. Another freshman, Caylen Rearick, has risen her play in the postseason scoring 32 points in her last three games.
Bellwood-Antis beat Laurel, coached by Otto-Eldred graduate and former Moniteau head coach Matt Stebbins, 55-51, in the first round Friday with Alli Campbell scoring 31 points and Sakeria Haralson adding 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Campbell, a Notre Dame recruit, is averaging 28.4 points, 8.2 rebounds. 4.1 steals, 4.4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game. According to MaxPreps.com, she is 16 points shy of 3,000 career points having scored 2,984, including 767 this season. Haralson is adding 13.8 ppg and 12.6 rpg, while Emilie Leidig is chipping in 12.8 ppg.
The winner will play the winner of the game between District 10 champion West Middlesex and District 6 runner-up Penns Manor in the quarterfinals Friday, March 13, at a site and time to be announced. The West Middlesex/Penns Manor game is taking place at 7:30 p.m. at Armstrong High School in Kittanning.
Redbank Valley postseason information is brought to you by: Delta Contracting & Design/Ace Concrete & Excavating • Burford & Henry Real Estate Services • Tin Town Metal Works • State Representative Donna Oberlander (Paid for by Friends of Donna Oberlander) • District Judge Jeff Miller • Hunter Station Golf Club and Restaurant • Joe’s Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant in New Bethlehem • Pat Merwin Realty • Bill’s Service/Elite Exterior Cleaners
Keystone vs. Bishop McCort
Keystone (17-9) is in the second round of the PIAA Tournament for the first time since 2016 when the Lady Panthers advanced to the second round in Class 1A before losing to North Catholic. Keystone has never advanced past the second round.
Bishop McCort (15-11) is back in the PIAA Tournament after missing out last season. The Crushers lost in the second round in 2018 after advancing to the title game in 2017 and the semifinals in 2016.
Keystone advanced to the second round with a convincing 69-44 win over Cambridge Springs behind a career-high 35 points from Emily Lauer. Freshman Natalie Bowser chipped in 13 points with Jozee Weaver scoring 10.
Lauer leads the Lady Panthers scoring 15.4 ppg, while Weaver adds 8.2 ppg and Bowser 7.2
Bishop McCort, which is 7-2 since Jan. 27 with its only losses coming to Penns Manor by two points and Bellwood-Antis by three points – both of those teams are still playing, beat upset WPIAL champion Bishop Canevin, 55-44, in the first round behind 20 points from sophomore Lexi Martin and 12 from freshman Bria Bair.
The Crushers are led by senior Isabella Hunt, whose return to the lineup Jan. 27 from injury coincided with the better player. Hunt was averaging 15.0 points and 10.6 rebounds per game going into the PIAA playoffs in eight games. Hunt is committed to playing at Division 1 Mount Saint Mary’s and is coming off a six-point, 16-rebound effort in the first round.
Also for McCort, Mikayla Martin is adding 14.8 ppg, Lexi Martin is scoring 12.9 ppg and Bailey Shriver 11.2 ppg.
The winner will play the winner of the game between District 5 champion Everett and the third-place team out of the WPIAL, The Ellis School, in the quarterfinals Friday, March 13, at a time and place to be announced. The Everett/Ellis School game is being played at 6 p.m. at Pitt-Johnstown.
Keystone postseason information is brought to you by: Delta Contracting & Design/Ace Concrete & Excavating • Burford & Henry Real Estate Services • Tin Town Metal Works • Wired Outdoors • State Representative Donna Oberlander (Paid for by Friends of Donna Oberlander) • Hunter Station Golf Club and Restaurant • Bill’s Service/Elite Exterior Cleaners
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