Basketball tournaments set to open Tuesday, Wednesday

By Tom Robinson - For Sunday Dispatch
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Three of the four Greater Pittston high school basketball teams earned seeds in the top halves of their fields for the District 2 tournaments, which begin play this week.

The Wyoming Area girls landed the third seed in Class 4A; the Pittston Area girls (5A) and Wyoming Area boys (4A) are seeded fourth and the Pittston Area boys (5A) are sixth.

All four teams are part of eight-team fields. The Pittston Area girls were guaranteed of a berth because there are just eight Class 5A teams in District 2. The other three teams had to qualify based on the district power ratings formula which considers their records and the records of opponents.

For the third straight year, all the District 2 finals will be held at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Only the Pittston Area girls, who lost in the District 2-4 Class 4A Subregional final in 2016, have advanced to play at the arena.

Tournament play begins Tuesday in Class 5A boys and 4A girls, then Wednesday in Class 5A girls and 4A boys. It proceeds toward the finals, which will be held March 1-3.

Pittston Area’s teams will need to reach district finals in order to make the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournaments.

Wyoming Area’s teams can earn two shots at state play if they win in the quarterfinals. The top three teams in Class 4A go to the PIAA tournament, meaning semifinal losers can advance through a third-place game.

Sites and times for quarterfinal games may be announced by District 2 Sunday, prior to a Monday planning meeting with participating schools.

Though pairings and playoff ratings are not considered official and final until Sunday, the unofficial final standings on the district website make it possible to project likely opening matchups.

It appears that the Pittston Area boys will play Crestwood and the Wyoming Area girls will play Dallas Tuesday. The likely Wednesday matchups are Pittston Area-West Scranton in girls and Wyoming Area-Hanover Area in boys.

Championship games are set with starting times two hours apart, with the final game each night beginning at 8 p.m.

There will be two or three games on March 1, three or four games on March 2 and a five-game schedule on March 3. If the schedule is full, March 1 will start at 4, March 2 at 2 and March at noon.

The only games in question are whether there will be a Class A girls game to open the schedule and a Class A boys game to begin Friday’s action. Those games are somewhat dependent on how District 2 teams fit into the District 2-11 Subregional in Class A.

If the Lady Warriors reach the final, they will play March 1 at 6 p.m. Class 3A boys completes the schedule the first day.

The Patriots are trying to make March 2’s 8 p.m. game. Following the tentative Class A boys game, Class 2A girls and Class 6A girls are played.

The Warriors and Lady Patriots are trying to reach the March 3 final. The schedule that day starts at noon with Class 3A girls, followed by Class 2A boys, Class 4A boys at 4, Class 5A girls at 6 and Class 6A boys.

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By Tom Robinson

For Sunday Dispatch

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at sd@psdispatch.com.