The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


February 14, 2013

Jon Gerardi's boys basketball column: First HAC tournament should be fun to watch

I don't know about you, but I'm more than excited for today's HAC all-division tournament semifinals.

After a handful of years trying to make it happen, it came to fruition this year and it's about time. We'll finally get to see the best of the best in the Heartland Athletic Conferences go at it on the court in a nice tournament.

Yes, there's various tournaments throughout the season, most notably the holiday tournaments in late December, but none of them have the quality basketball that this does. It's like a mini-District 4 tournament prior to the actual District 4 tournament.

Four of the most talented teams in all of the HAC in a great tournament that are a combined 74-8 this season and all have been solid throughout the year: Lewisburg, Danville, Loyalsock, St. John Neumann.

The two semifinals that tip off tonight are Loyalsock vs. St. John Neumann at 6 followed by Danville and Lewisburg at 7:30 at the Mifflinburg Intermediate School.

When the tournament talk started surfacing a few days ago, I was going through all the various great matchups that were possible with the four teams in my head and the various players that could face off against each other.

I'm glad to see how the semifinals turned out, especially the Danville and Lewisburg showdown. That may not be the most exciting for every basketball fan, but for me, I think it's got the most potential to be an exciting showdown.

If you've seen the Ironmen play this year, you are more than familiar with how solid of a team that is all around, not just offensively, but defensively as well.

The Ironmen's offense is being led by Bret Berg and Zach Kozick, a duo that have combined for nearly 600 points this year, 336 of which came from Berg.

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