Meyers (19-7) vs. Towanda (22-4)
Class 2A First-Round Game
6 p.m. Saturday, Wilkes University
What’s At Stake: The winner advances to the second round on Wednesday, playing the winner of the game between District 12 runner-up West Catholic (11-13) and District 12 fifth seed Academy of Palumbo (17-6). Those teams play at 5 p.m. Saturday at Philadelphia University.
Last Time In States: It’s been quite awhile since Towanda, the District 4 third seed, played a state game. The Black Knights’ last appearance came in the 1998-99 season as the D4 runner-up. They lost 66-62 to D2 runner-up Dunmore in the first round, finishing with an overall record of 25-3.
Meyers is making its third consecutive appearance in the 2A state playoffs after winning the D2-2A crown for a second consecutive season. The Mohawks didn’t get out of the first round last season, losing 57-47 to D3 runner-up Trinity.
About Meyers: Meyers won its second D2-2A title in three seasons by defeating fourth-seeded Holy Cross 58-49. Along the way, the second-seeded Mohawks topped No. 15 Northwest 55-33, seventh-seeded Hanover Area 49-39 and third-seeded Mid Valley 52-42 in overtime in the semifinals.
Meyers opened the season with a 5-5 record, but those five losses came against opponents who are a combined 110-19. Two of them — Abington Heights and Philadelphia power Constitution — won district championships. Since a 65-62 loss to Hanover Area on Feb. 7, the defense has been strong. Meyers has held its last six opponents to an average of 38.7 points.
Senior Tyriek Steward was selected as the WVC Division III MVP after averaging 17.1 points. Junior guard Shahee Aurelus (10.0) is the only other Mohawks in double figures. However, there are many guys who make things go. Senior Tyon Thomas provides energy off the bench. Senior Dominic Pittman has been a rebounding machine in the playoffs. Senior Matt DeMarco plays a smart game, while sophomore Ryan Wasley adds much-needed size at 6-foot-5. Lamont Twyman recently transferred in from GAR to run the point.
Scouting Towanda: The Black Knights return to the state playoffs for the first time in 15 years. They were the third seed in the D4-2A tournament and opened with a 79-56 victory over No. 6 South Williamsport. The path was derailed in the semifinals with an 85-73 loss to second-seeded Loyalsock, but Towanda battled back to top eighth-seeded Southern Columbia 57-50 in the third-place game.
The 22 victories are the most since the 1998-99 team finished 25-3. In between, the team hovered a few games on either side of .500 for the most part, bottoming out in 2003-04 with a 3-24 record. However, Towanda is guaranteed its third consecutive winning season, posting at least 16 victories each time.
Towanda has scored 70 or more points 10 times, but there is a caveat to its success. Twelve victories have come against sub-.500 opponents and the Black Knights are just 4-3 against teams with fewer than 10 losses. One loss this season was 72-71 in overtime to Nanticoke, a team Meyers defeated 54-31 and 66-35 this season.
Towanda is paced by senior David Rodenhizer and junior Noah Huff. Each had 18 points in the win over Southern Columbia, with Huff going over 1,000 points for his career.