---- — By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
And then there were two.
Saturday evening kicks off the District 4 Class A and AA championship games for both boys and girls and plenty of storylines are unfolding.
In Class A girls, East Juniata kept its playoff run alive after defeating an extremely talented Millville team led by the dangerous duo of Maci and Madison Bower in the semifinals. The Tigers took an early 1-0 deficit and turned it into a tough 4-3 win to move onto the championship game, but get no easy opponent as they face Loyalsock at 5 p.m. at Balls Mills.
The Lancers are the two-time defending district champions in Class A, having defeated Warrior Run both times the past two season. Even without Cassaundra Soars, the Lancers still have offensive weapons that will give East Juniata a test.
For many of the East Juniata seniors on the squad, Wednesday's semifinal win was a huge victory because it means that win or lose Saturday, the Tigers are going to the state playoffs, a huge accomplishment after a few seasons of losing in the first round.
In Class A, the top two finishers advance into the PIAA tournament while only the winner advances in Class AA.
The Danville girls are riding a lot of momentum after defeating No. 3 Warrior Run and No. 2 Athens in back-to-back games and now take on Selinsgrove in a winner takes all game for a state playoff berth at Loyalsock (5 p.m.) in a game featuring two solid goalies in the Ironmen's Hanna Harris and the Seal's Jess Lawton, who's given up just one postseason goal. The Seals swept two games from the Ironmen this year.
Lewisburg got redemption in the Class AA boys field, defeating Danville 1-0 in the semifinals after tying and losing to the Ironmen in the regular season. It's the second straight season Lewisburg's blanked Danville in the postseasn and Lewisburg's looking for a third straight District 4 title -- and sixth in seven years -- as it faces a good Selinsgrove squad led by David Aurand on Saturday at Loyalsock at 7 p.m. "Seems like it means so much more to win when it counts because now our season goes on," Nick Janesch said after defeating Danville.
Aurand tied Casey Mayer's school record of 33 goals on Wednesday while coach Chris Lupolt won his 100th career game.
In the Class A field, the East Juniata boys are already guaranteed a PIAA berth like the EJ girls, but the Tigers want to bring home a fourth consecutive District 4 title as they face Benton at Balls Mills at 7. The Tigers are an extremely fast team that has a talented offense, outscoring opponents thus far 17-1 these playoffs.