The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 3, 2013

State bound

Seven area teams prepare for state tournament

Daily Item

---- — By The Daily Item

After Saturday's District 4 championship and consolation round, a total seven area schools are set to play in the PIAA state tournament for basketball.

On the boys side, Lewisburg earned the final berth for the District 4 Class AA field thanks to a lopsided win over East Juniata on Saturday, 71-35. Milton and Shikellamy earned berths as well in the Class AAA field, as Milton defeated Shikellamy, 58-45.

No area schools made it out of the District 4 Class A field, as Lourdes lost the consolation game on Friday night to Muncy, 51-46. However, Greenwood advanced in District 3 Class A after losing the championship.

The Wildcats (19-4) face District 4 runner-up Sullivan County (21-3) at Milton Hershey High School on Friday at 5 p.m.

The Green Dragons (23-4) have been led by four different players in their starting five who average double-digit scoring, including senior Travis Conrad who is averaging 14.5 ppg. That talented offense will look to knock off District 2 champion Holy Cross (23-5) at Carbondale High School on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Lewisburg is in the same upper bracket as District 4 champion Loyalsock, who the Green Dragons' four losses all came to.

Milton (16-9) won its first District 4 Class AAA title since 2007 and is looking to keep the success going in the PIAA tournament on Friday. The Black Panthers face District 2 third-place finisher Scranton Prep at the Shamokin "Purple Palace" at 7:30 p.m.

Despite not earning its first District 4 title since 1979 on Saturday, the Shikellamy Braves (14-11) are still state-bound for a second consecutive year.

The Braves, led by brothers Ernie and C.J. Tyler, will face District 2 champion Abington Heights (25-2) at Lackawanna College on Friday night at 7:30.

Between Shikellamy, Milton and Lewisburg, only the Braves saw time in the state tournament last year, as Shikellamy lost in the first round to Allentown Central Catholic, 50-47.

On the girls side, Lourdes defeated Sayre, 37-27, on Saturday to claim its fifth consecutive District 4 Class A title and advance to the state tournament. The Red Raiders (20-5) play Upper Dauphin (11-15) at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Williamsport. Upper Dauphin was the fourth-place team in District 3.

In Class AA, Mount Carmel won its third consecutive District 4 title by defeating Southern Columbia on Saturday. The Danville girls lost to Athens in Class AAA, but still earned a berth.

Christina Perles and Mount Carmel (22-4) look to continue their postseason success against Wilkes-Barre GAR (14-11) on Friday at 6 p.m. at Shamokin's "Purple Palace."

Wilkes-Barre GAR was the District 3 third-place winners.

The Red Tornadoes managed to advance to the PIAA quarterfinals last season before losing to York Catholic by just three points.

Southern Columbia (19-6) faces District 11 champion Notre Dame GP (20-5) at Catasauqua High School in Northampton at 6 on Friday as well.

Both the Red Tornadoes and Tigers are in the same upper side of the bracket, meaning they could potentially meet again in the PIAA semifinals if both advance far enough.

The Lady Ironmen (22-5) will attempt to shake off their tough loss to Athens as they face District 2 champion Honesdale (23-3) at Marywood University on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Danville has been led this season by freshman standout Amber Renz, who is averaging double-digit points per game this season, and senior Siobhan Bross.

Danville lost in the first round of the state tournament last season.

The PIAA state championships are held at the GIANT Center in Hershey this year. In years past, the championships were held at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College.