The D9Sports Tournament of Champions heads into the second round on the girls’ side and starts with the East Region.
(Photo of the 2006 Union girls’ basketball team which advanced to the PIAA Class 1A semifinals. Submitted photo)
Advancing to the second round in the East were topped-seeded 2006 Union, second-seeded 2013 Clarion, third-seeded 2002 Coudersport, fourth-seeded 2006 Punxsutawney, fifth-seeded 2001 Coudersport, sixth-seeded 2019 A-C Valley, seventh-seeded 2006 Coudersport, and eighth-seeded 2003 Punxsutawney.
Here is how this works. You have until 11:59 p.m. Saturday to vote for which team you think is the best in each matchup. At that point, the winners will advance into the Round of 16.
(8) 2003 Punxsutawney vs. (1) 2006 Union
2003 Punxsutawney got past 2009 St. Marys, 53 percent to 47 percent, to advance to the second round, while 2006 Union cruised to an 81 percent-19 percent win over 2008 Karns City.
Punxsutawney finished 2003 23-2 overall and beat Brookville, 56-37, to win the D9 3A title before falling to Corry, 52-50, in the PIAA playoffs. Under the direction of current Punxsutawney Athletic Director and District 9 Basketball Chairman Randy Reitz, the Lady Chucks were led by first-team All-District 9 choice Staci Heberling (14.0 ppg), a sophomore in 2003 who end up finishing her career with 1,575 points, the most in school history and went on to a solid career at IUP, as well as second-team All-D9 selection Brittany Nelson (14.5 ppg), and third-team All-D9 choice Renea Shaffer (9.8 ppg).
Union went 29-2 in 2006 with the only regular-season loss coming to Hylton, Va. in the Stafford, Va., Tournament. The Golden Damsels beat Coudersport, 75-58, in the D9 Class 1A title game and then dispatched Monaca, 62-34, Penns Manor, 62-49, and Penns Manor, 65-58, to reach the PIAA semifinals where it lost, 46-44, to Conemaugh Valley when Samantha Pollino was fouled 85 feet from the basket going for a loose-ball rebound with 5.9 seconds left and hit both free throws. Union head coach Josh Meeker was named the D9Sports.com District 9 Coach of the Year, while seniors Bethany Koch (17.3 ppg, 10.2 rpg) and Andrea Mortimer (16.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg) were named the co-D9Sports.com District 9 Players of the Year. Tiffany Corle, a junior this season, joined Koch and Mortimer on the All-District teams being named a third-team selection after averaging 10.3 ppg and 5.1 rpg. All three players were 1,000-career point scorers with Mortimer topping 1,500 career points, Koch, who went on to a solid career at Clarion University, going over 1,300 career tallies and Corle finishing with over 1,100 career points.
(5) 2001 Coudersport vs. (4) 2006 Punxsutawney
2001 Coudersport knocked off 2017 Karns City, 75 percent to 25 percent, to reach the second round, while 2006 Punxsutawney beat 2019 Brookville, 71 percent to 29 percent, in its first-round matchup.
Punxsutawney went 23-4 in 2006 and beat Bradford, 51-36, to win the D9 Class 3A title. The Lady Chucks, under the direction of current Punxsutawney Athletic Director and District 9 Basketball Chairman Randy Reitz, then beat West Mifflin, 46-22, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs before losing to Hopewell, 56-26, in the second round. Punxsutawney was led by first-team All-D9 selection Lauren Martino (13.9 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 4.0 spg), a junior, who went on to score 1,000 career points, and third-team All-D9 selection Samantha Reitz (10.9 ppg).
Coudersport went 27-2 and beat DuBois Central Christian (now Catholic) 55-53 in the 1A title game when Ashley Reed banked home a shot in the lane with six seconds to play. The Lady Falcons then beat Monaca, 62-43, in the first round of the PIAA Tournament before losing to Bishop Carroll, 66-30, in the second round. Coudy’s only other loss was a 50-35 loss to Warren in early December. Head coach Tom Harpst was named the D9Sports.com District 9 Coach of the Year, while Stefanie Erway (12 ppg, 5.9 apg, 4.7 spg) was named a first-team All-District 9 selection.
(6) 2019 A-C Valley vs. (3) 2002 Coudersport
2019 A-C Valley rolled past 2007 Karns City, 67 percent to 33 percent, in the first round, while 2002 Coudersport had little trouble getting past 2009 Cranberry, 75 percent to 25 percent.
A-C Valley finished 2019 22-5 and lost in the D9 2A title game to Kane, 61-52 in overtime, before having great success in the PIAA Tournament beating Cambridge Springs, 47-43, in the first round, then knocking off WPIAL champion OLSH, 35-33, in overtime in the second round when Olivia Boocks hit the back end of a two-shot foul to force overtime tied at 29 with 1.5 seconds left in regulation. The Dave Sherman-led Lady Falcons were paced by Boocks, who is now at Clarion University playing, a first-team All-District 9 selection after averaging 12.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.5 apg, and 4.3 spg. Kylee Eaton (11.7 ppg, 11.2 rpg) was a second-team All-D9 selection, and Cami McNany (12.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.6 apg) was a third-team choice.
Coudersport went 26-2 in 2002 beating Cameron County, 60-50, to win the D9 1A title but lost in the first round of the District 9 tournament to Monessen. The Matt Splain-coached Lady Falcons were led by second-team All-D9 selection Ashley Reed.
(7) 2006 Coudersport vs. (2) 2013 Clarion
2006 Coudersport beat 2002 Punxsutawney, 62 percent to 38 percent, in the first round, while 2013 Clarion topped 2007 Bradford, 77 percent to 23 percent in the first round.
Coudersport went 25-3 in 2006 losing to eventual PIAA semifinalist Union, 75-58, in the D9 1A title game before beating Saegertown, 63-51, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs and losing to Monessen, 50-36, in the second round. The Falcons, under the direction of Brian Green, lost just once in the regular season, 49-46, in the season opener to Wyalusing, and won 24 in a row before falling to Union in the D9 title game. Senior Danielle Furman (17.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3.0 spg; 1,164 career points) was a first-team All-District 9 selection while Hope Morris (11.6 ppg) and Jessica Wilson (11.7 ppg, 9.0 rpg), just a sophomore, were third-team selections.
Going 25-4 in 2013, Clarion beat Port Allegany, 56-41, in the 1A title game to win its first D9 crown since 1992 and then knocked off Winchester Thurston, 52-30, in the first round of the PIAA tournament before topping Conemaugh Township, 61-59, before losing to Bishop Guilfoyle, 45-35, in the quarterfinals. Head coach Roger Walter was named the D9Sports.com District 9 Coach of the Year, while Ashley Hummel (11.4 ppg), Kyla Miles (11.3 ppg), and Maci Thornton (12.6 ppg) were all named second-team All-D9 selections. Miles, a junior, in 2013, went on to score 1,247 career points, while Thornton, a sophomore in 2013, finished her career as the second-leading scorer in school history with 1,579 career points and went on to score over 1,000 points at NCAA D3 Messiah College.