By The Daily Item
Phil Lockcuff Gymnasium is named for Shikellamy's legendary wrestling coach, but the venue will play host to several Valley basketball teams' state playoff openers.
Boys teams from Lewisburg and Shamokin, as well as the Mifflinburg and Mount Carmel girls, begin pursuit of a PIAA championship this weekend at Shikellamy H.S., according to pairings released Sunday.
All but Lewisburg are fresh off winning district championships on that floor Saturday.
A total of nine Valley teams (five girls, three boys) qualified for their respective state tournaments, each of which consists of five rounds concluding with title games March 21-22 at Hershey's Giant Center.
Here are the first-round pairings, with sites and times:
n AAA girls, Saturday
Mifflinburg (20-5), which won its first district title, plays Holy Redeemer (21-5), the District 2 third-place team, 6 p.m. at Shikellamy.
Danville (21-4), a district finalist for the fourth straight season, plays District 2 champion Scranton Prep (24-1) at Marywood University in Scranton at 7:30.
n AA girls, Friday
Mount Carmel (23-4) won its fourth consecutive district crown, and plays Montrose (20-5), the District 2 third-place team, 6 p.m. at Shikellamy.
Warrior Run (21-6), which rallied to claim third place in the district, plays District 2 champion Dunmore (24-2) at Lackawanna College in Scranton at 6.
n A girls, Saturday
District 3 runner-up Halifax (19-6) plays District 12 runner-up Math, Civics & Science (14-4) at Central Dauphin East H.S. at 6 p.m.
Upper Dauphin (14-12), the District 3 third-place team, plays unbeaten District 4 champion Millville (24-0) at Danville H.S. at 6.
n AAA boys, Friday
District 4 champion Shamokin (22-3) plays Wilkes-Barre GAR (20-6), the District 2 third-place team, 7:30 p.m. at Shikellamy.
n AA boys, Saturday
Lewisburg (22-3), which won its first district crown since 2000, plays Mid-Valley (22-4), the District 2 third-place team, 7:30 p.m. at Shikellamy.
n A boys, Friday
Greenwood (18-7), the District 3 fourth-place team, plays District 4 champion St. John Neumann (27-0) at Williamsport H.S. at 7.