Last updated: February 24. 2014 11:34PM - 2889 Views
By - jerzar@timesleader.com

Jon Fogarty (34) of Hazleton Area batles for the basketball with Luke Casey of Crestwood as Hazleton Area's Kyle Karmonick, left, and Sal Biasi look on during a WVC playoff game at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre on Feb. 16.
Jon Fogarty (34) of Hazleton Area batles for the basketball with Luke Casey of Crestwood as Hazleton Area's Kyle Karmonick, left, and Sal Biasi look on during a WVC playoff game at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre on Feb. 16.
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Here are some points to ponder concerning the four District 2 boys basketball playoff games involving Wyoming Valley Conference teams.


Hazleton Area (20-4) vs. Williamsport (12-11)

D2/4 Class 4A Championship

7 p.m. Wednesday, Berwick M.S.

• This will be the second meeting of the teams. Hazleton Area defeated visiting Williamsport 61-53 on Jan. 23. The Cougars led 32-26 at halftime and then put on a quick burst to start the third quarter.

• Sal Biasi paced Hazleton Area in that victory with 30 points followed by Jon Fogarty with 13. Biasi scored 24 and Brett Barron added 23 in the Cougars’ 75-31 semifinal win over Delaware Valley on Saturday.

• Isaiah Washington led Williamsport with 23 points and Tyler Gardner had 16 in the earlier meeting with the Cougars. Washington scored a team-high 21 in a 53-37 semifinal victory over Scranton. Gardner had 12.

• Washington and Biasi will attend Penn State via athletic scholarships. Washington will play basketball, while Biasi will play baseball.

• Williamsport is going for its third consecutive D2/4-4A championship. Hazleton Area last played in the title game in 2009-10, losing 43-36 to Scranton.

• If Hazleton Area loses, it will play Scranton on Saturday in a special game for the D2-4A championship. It will be the second consecutive season the district has conducted the game. Williamsport’s season ends with a loss.

GAR (19-5) vs. Pittston Area (17-7)

D2-3A Semifinal

7 p.m. Tuesday, Wilkes University

• This is the first meeting between the teams since the 2008-09 season when GAR defeated Pittston Area 60-47 in the first round of the McGrane Tournament at the CYC.

• Seventh-seeded Pittston Area is the lowest season to advance to the D2-3A semifinals since its 2008-09 team. The Patriots lost 67-51 to Holy Redeemer in those semifinals.

• GAR is aiming for a rematch of last season’s title game with Abington Heights. Abington Heights won that contest 56-37. The Grenadiers last won a district title when they defeated Northwest 72-64 for the D2-2A crown in 2002-03.

• After starting the season with three losses, Pittston Area has only lost to Hazleton Area (twice) and Crestwood (twice). The Patriots avenged the losses to Crestwood by defeating the Comets 48-38 in the quarterfinals.

• GAR’s only loss in 2014 was 46-42 to Meyers on Feb. 16. The Grenadiers have also been defeated by Parkland 67-61, Hazleton Area 74-71, Abington Heights 66-34 and Springfield-Delco 65-59.

• The winner will play play Friday against the winner of the Abington Heights-Honesdale game for the title. The loser plays the Abington Heights-Honesdale loser for third place and a place in the state playoffs.

Meyers (16-7) vs. Mid Valley (21-3)

D2-2A Semifinal

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Wilkes University

• The game is a matchup of divisional champions. Meyers won the WVC Division III crown, while Mid Valley won the Lackawanna Conference Division 3 title.

• Meyers defeated Mid Valley 43-40 in a semifinal game last season. The only current Meyers players to see time in that game are Matt DeMarco and Dominic Pittman. They combined for seven points. Alex Prislupsky had 14 points for Mid Valley.

• Prislupsky is Mid Valley’s top player. The 6-foot-2 senior averages 20.8 points per game and went over 1,000 for his career this season. He had 32 in the Spartans’ 58-54 quarterfinal victory over Montrose. Junior Jason Kenney averages 12.6.

• Meyers advanced with a 49-39 victory over Hanover Area in the quarterfinals. The Mohawks had scored 60 or more points in nine of their previous 12 games entering that contest. The defense, though, has held opponents to under 50 points all but twice in the last 13 games.

• When the teams played in the D2-2A playoffs in 2009-10, Meyers was the top seed and Mid Valley was seeded 16th. Meyers won 64-32. Mid Valley ended that season at 6-18.

• Both teams will be playing Saturday. The winner plays the Holy Cross-Riverside winner for the championship. The loser plays the Holy Cross-Riverside loser for third place and a spot in the state playoffs.

MMI Prep (13-10) vs. Old Forge (10-12)

District 2 Class A Championship

Friday, time and site TBA

• Old Forge is playing in its eighth consecutive D2-A championship game. The Blue Devils have won six of the previous seven titles, with the only loss coming to Susquehanna 53-45 in 2011-12.

• Former Old Forge standout Jared Yanniello is in his first season running the Blue Devils program. He took over for Al Semenza, who resigned after 25 seasons.

• MMI Prep is one of the shortest teams in the WVC, with sixth-man Jesse Plaksa the tallest at 6-foot-2. Old Forge has a big guy in 6-7 junior A.J. Cantarella. The Preppers have played against similar size in Lake-Lehman’s Pete Borum (6-6) and GAR’s Nigebo Francis (6-7).

• Old Forge has a nice trio of guards in seniors Jimmie Aversa and Jake Manetti and sophomore Joe Gutowski. Manetti was the quarterback of the football team that lost in the PIAA Class A championship game in December.

• MMI Prep’s only loss this month has been 58-55 to Holy Redeemer on Feb. 7. The Preppers have four starters back from last season’s team.

• The D2-A champion will play the District 11 runner-up in the first round of the state playoffs. The D2-A champion has been one-and-done at states the past two seasons.

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