The D9Sports Tournament of Champions is in full swing, and it’s time for the Girls’ Midwest Region first round.
The top four seeds include No. 1 2012 Cranberry, No. 2 2005 Union, No. 3 2009 Elk County Catholic, and No. 4 2014 Karns City,
Here is how this works. You have until 11:59 p.m. Tuesday to vote for which team you think is the best in each matchup. At that point, the winners will advance into the Round of 32.
(17) 2020 Brookville vs. (1) 2012 Cranberry
2020 Brookville advanced to the Round of 64 with a 54 percent to 46 percent win over 2001 Moniteau in the play-in round. The Lady Raiders finished 12-12 in 2020 and beat Moniteau 64-58 in overtime to win the D9 Class 3A title before losing in the first round of the PIAA playoffs. Mark Powell’s Lady Raiders were a senior-laden team paced by Marcy Schindler (14.2 ppg, 11 rpg, 2.5 bpg, 1.8 spg, 46.1 percent shooting), who finished just shy of 1,000 career points, and Lauren Hergert (9.3 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 42.1 percent shooting).
Cranberry went 25-2 in 2012 and beat Moniteau, 52-33, in the D9 2A title game then topped Beaver Falls, 45-42, and Girard, 43-33, in the PIAA playoffs to reach the quarterfinals where it lost to eventual PIAA champion Seton-LaSalle. Chrissy Shumaker’s Berries were led by a trio of first-team All-D9 players in Lauren Hogue (11.7 ppg, 9.0 rpg), Kylie Mason (13.6 ppg, 3.7 apg, 3.3 spg, 44 3-pointers), and Emily Merryman (16.4 ppg, 3.8 spg, 3.1 rpg, 3.0 spg), a sophomore who went on to score 1,914 career points. Sune Swart (10.1 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 2.0 bpg) was a second-team All-D9 selection, who ended up at NCAA Division I Bucknell, and Shumaker was the D9Sports.com Coach of the Year.
(9) 2017 Coudersport vs. (8) 2011 St. Marys
Coudersport, under Brian Green, went 23-2 and beat Kane, 47-38, in the D9 2A title game before losing to Leechburg, 55-51, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs. The Lady Falcons were led by junior Haley Keck (18.0 ppg, 2.0 spg, 1.5 apg), a first-team All-D9 selection who ended up scoring 1,493 career points.
St. Marys, coached by Bob Swanson, went 22-2 in 2011 and beat Bradford, 53-37, in the D9 3A title game before losing to New Castle, 69-23, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs in a game that saw star guard Kayla Ho’ohuli lost to an injury six minutes into the contest. Ho’ohuli won the D9Sports.com District 9 Player of the Year award for the third straight year after averaging 28.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 7.5 steals, 4.3 assists, and 3.8 blocks per game. She finished her career with 2,604 points and went on to a standout career at NCAA Division 1 Canisius. Also for the Lady Dutch, Adair Gennocro scored 8.8 points per game.
(12) 2020 Redbank Valley vs. (5) 2011 Coudersport
Redbank Valley went 20-8 in 2020 and won its first D9 title since 1998 when it beat Keystone, 48-37, in the D9 2A title game before topping Cochranton, 53-49, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs and losing to two-time defending PIAA champion Bellwood-Antis, 83-54, in the second round. The Chris Edmonds-coached Lady Bulldogs were led by senior Tara Hinderliter (D9-leading 21.1 ppg), who finished her career second in school history with 1,401 points, freshman Alivia Huffman (8.4 ppg) and Lauren Smith (7.8 ppg)
Coudersport went 25-2 in 2011 and won the D9 1A title over Union when Hannah Fink hit the game-winning shot with less than two seasons to play. Brian Green’s Lady Falcons then beat Aliquippa, 75-60, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs before losing to Fort Cherry, 61-42, in the second round. DJ Cowburn (14.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.3 spg, 3.9 apg), and Jenna Matzinger (15.9 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 3.9 spg, 3.0 apg) were both named first-team All-District. Matzinger, a senior in 2011, finished her career with 1,081 points, while Cowburn, a junior in 2011, ended her career with 1,103. Fink (13.2 ppg) was a second-team All-D9 choice.
(13) 2004 Punxsutawney vs. (4) 2014 Karns City
Punxsutawney went 20-6 in 2004 under Randy Reitz, now the school’s athletic director and the D9 basketball chairman, and beat Clearfield, 60-40, to win the D9 3A crown before losing to Corry, 53-41, in the first round of the PIAA Playoffs. The Lady Chucks were led by co-D9Sports.com District 9 Player of the Year Staci Heberling (16.8 ppg), who went on to play at IUP. Heberling finished her career as Punxsutawney’s all-time leading scorer with 1,575 career points.
Karns City put together a 25-2 mark for head coach Dave Kerschbaumer in 2014 and beat Clarion-Limestone, 47-22, to win the D9 2A title before topping Girard, 42-28, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs and losing to Bishop Canevin, 64-40, in the second round. The Lady Gremlins were led by first-team All-D9 selection LeeAnn Gibson (16.5 ppg), a sophomore who went on to score 1,456 career points and play four years at NCAA D2 Slippery Rock. Shanel Preston (11.4 ppg) was a second-team All-D9 choice, and Emily LoPresti (11.3 ppg) was a third-team selection. Kerschbaumer was named the D9Sports.com District 9 Coach of the Year.
(11) 2016 Keystone vs. (6) 2008 Coudersport
Keystone, under the direction of Barry Foust, went 19-8 in 2016 and beat Elk County Catholic, 53-35, to win the D9 1A title before knocking off Winchester Thurston, 61-54, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs and losing to eventual PIAA champion North Catholic, 61-36, in the second round. Foust was named the D9Sports.com District 9 Coach of the Year, with Amber Hess (13.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.6 spg, 2.4 apg, 41 3-points) and Taylor Geer (13.3 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 2.6 bpg, 2.3 spg, 1.1 apg), just a sophomore chosen as second-team All-D9 selections and Josselin Geer (12.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.8 spg, 1.6 apg), also a sophomore, was a third-team All-D9 selection. Taylor Geer finished her career with 1,401 career points.
Coudersport in 2008 went 27-3 and beat West Forest, 65-38, to win the D9 1A title before knocking off Blairsville, 59-52, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs and losing to Avonworth, 53-51 in overtime, in the second round. Brian Green’s Lady Falcons were led by the D9Sports.com District 9 Player of the Year, Kristy Kamper, who averaged 19.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.6 steals and 3.0 assists per game while shooting 48 percent from the field and finishing her career with 1,345 points. Jessica Wilson (1,162 career points) gave Coudersport a pair of 1,000-point seniors and was a third-team All-District 9 selection after averaging 11.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.9 steals, 2.4 assists and 1.4 blocks per game.
(14) 2019 North Clarion vs. (3) 2009 Elk County Catholic
North Clarion under Terry Dreihaup went 19-7 in 2019 and beat Johnsonburg, 43-41, to win its third straight D9 title in Class 1A before losing to Sewickley Academy, 44-35, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs. The She-Wolves were led by first-team All-District 9 selection junior Abby Gatesman (14.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.8 spg, 1.2 bpg, Shot 47.7 percent from the field), who was also named a Class 1A All-State performer and went over 1,000 points in her career.
ECC went 27-2 in 2009 and beat Coudersport, 65-53, to win the D9 1A title before topping Rochester, 47-36, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs and losing to eventual PIAA champion Bishop Guilfoyle in the second round, 45-32. The Ken Pistner-coached Lady Crusaders were paced by second-team All-D9 selection Bre Grimone (12.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and third-team All-D9 choice Kaitlyn Geci (9.2 ppg, 3.0 spg, 3.0 apg).
(10) 2017 Punxsutawney vs. (7) 2018 Coudersport
Mike Carlson’s 2017 Punxsutawney squad went 19-4 and beat Clearfield, 37-30, to win the D9 title in Class 4A before topping Central Valley, 46-40, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs and losing to North Catholic, 59-29, in the second round. The Lady Chucks were led by junior Leah Miller (16.3 ppg, 15.0 rpg, 17 double-doubles), a first-team All-District 9 selection who went on to score over 1,000 career points and is currently playing at NCAA D2 Chesnut Hill.
Coudersport in 2018 under Brian Green finished 22-4 and beat Kane, 63-45, to win the D9 Class 2A title then topped California, 50-23, in the first round of the PIAA playoffs before losing to Reynolds, 38-35, in the second round. The Lady Falcons were led by third-team All-District 9 selection Shaelyn Black (14.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.0 spg) as well as the D9Sports.com District 9 Rookie of the Year Sarah Chambers (8.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.0 spg).
(15) 2020 Punxsutawney vs. (2) 2005 Union
In 2020, Mike Carlon’s Punxsutawney squad went 19-5 and beat St. Marys, 54-38, in the D9 4A title game before losing to Central Valley, 59-56, in overtime in the first round of the PIAA playoffs. The Lady Chucks were led by three underclassmen in juniors Riley Presloid (13.5 ppg, 1.8 apg, 2.9 rpg, 2.0 spg) and Sarah Weaver (14.5 ppg, 30 3-pointers, 3.0 apg, 3.5 rpg, 1.9 spg) and freshman Chloe Presloid (8.6 ppg, 41 made 3-pointers).
Union went 27-3 in 2005 and beat Elk County Catholic, 59-49, to win the District 9 Class 1A title and then topped Duquesne, 74-53, and Conemaugh Valley, 56-53, to advance to the PIAA quarterfinals where it lost to Kennedy Catholic, 60-59, when Alexis George hit a 3-pointer with 15 seconds to play. Golden Damsels head coach Josh Meeker was named the D9Sports.com District 9 Coach of the Year, junior Andrea Mortimer (16 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.0 spg, 2.3 apg) was a first-team All-D9 selection, and Bethan Koch (13.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2.6 spg, 2.3 apg) was a third-team All-D9 choice as a junior. Both Mortimer (1,550 points) and Koch (1,332 points) went over 1,000 points in their careers with Koch playing at NCAA D2 Clarion University.