By Tom Robinson, NEPABasketball.com
Five boys teams and four girls teams from District 2 are ranked among the top 10 in the state in their classifications going into the opening round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament Friday and Saturday.
Defending Class 5A state champion Abington Heights is the top-ranked District 2 team on the boys side while unbeaten Dunmore is the top-ranked District 2 girls team.
Rankings compiled by three media outlets from different parts of the state throughout the season help give an indication of some of the expectations going into state tournament play.
Pennlive.com from Harrisburg ranks top 10s in both boys and girls basketball. The Sunbury Daily Item also does top-10 boys rankings. The website tribhssn.triblive.com from the Pittsburgh suburbs does top-five rankings for girls teams.
Abington Heights, in Class 5A boys, and Dunmore, in Class 3A girls, are both rated second in the state by Pennlive.com and ranked third by the other source.
Scranton Prep, Holy Redeemer and Abington Heights each have both their boys and girls teams ranked. The Wyoming Seminary and Holy Cross boys are also ranked.
DISTRICT 2 TEAMS
The Scranton Prep girls join Dunmore as the only teams to appear in the tribhssn.triblive.com rankings of top-five teams.
Scranton Prep is ranked third by the western source and fifth by the Harrisburg-area website, making the Classics the most highly regarded District 2 team after the Abington Heights boys and Dunmore girls.
The Wyoming Seminary boys are ranked third in Class 3A by the Sunbury Daily Item and sixth by Penn Live.
Scranton Prep is ranked fifth by the newspaper and seventh by the website in Class 5A boys.
Holy Cross is ranked sixth by the newspaper and ninth by the website in Class 2A boys.
The Holy Redeemer boys are ranked eighth by the website and ninth by the newspaper in Class 3A.
Holy Redeemer’s girls are eighth in the Penn Live Class 3A rankings, but do not appear in the top-five listing.
Similarly, Abington Heights is 10th in Class 5A according to Penn Live and not listed by tribhssn.triblive.com. The Lady Comets are new to those rankings this week.
Susquehanna joined the somewhat exclusive Penn Live honorable mention list in Class A girls. Penn Live lists just five other teams – the 11th through 15th teams in each class without a specific ranking.
Abington Heights moved up from being an honorable mention girls team last week.
The Holy Cross girls are the only other ones to receive honorable mention from Penn Live.
The Sunbury Daily Item has an extensive Others To Watch list in the boys rankings, including between 15 and 22 teams in each class.
All of the other District 2 state qualifiers made the list, including Hazleton Area in 6A, Crestwood and Wallenpaupack in 5A, Nanticoke and Western Wayne in 4A and Northwest in 2A.
Both Holy Redeemer teams open with games that send top 10 teams against each other.
Holy Redeemer’s girls go up against Loyalsock Township, ranked fifth and 10th in the two sets of rankings, in a Class 3A Friday at 6:30 at Williamsport High School.
The Holy Redeemer boys face Wellsboro, ranked 10th by Penn Live and among Others To Watch by the Sunbury Daily Item. They meet Saturday at Troy at 6:30.
OTHER RANKED OPPONENTS
Holy Cross, listed among the top 15 Class 2A girls teams by Penn Live, plays Marian Catholic, which the website ranks ninth. They play Friday at Scranton at 6.
The Northwest boys play Millville, which Penn Live has ranked sixth, in a Class 2A boys game Saturday at Williamsport. The Sunbury Daily Item only lists Millville as one of its Others To Watch.
Dunmore is behind St. Basil Academy in both sets of Class 3A girls rankings.
Neumann-Goretti is ranked first, ahead of both of them, by Penn Live.
If all three teams avoid early upsets, they get right to what could be the most important games in the bracket.
St. Basil Academy, ranked first by tribhssn.triblive.com, and Dunmore have the only unbeaten records in the class, but would meet in Tuesday’s second round.
The winner would then be in line to face defending state champion Neumann-Goretti in the March 14 quarterfinals.
ON THE HORIZON
Dunmore is one of three District 2 teams – and two state-ranked District 2 champions – that could face top-ranked teams in the second round.
Wyoming Seminary is paired up with Neumann-Goretti, a defending state champion ranked first by the Sunbury Daily Item, in Class 3A boys Wednesday.
The Nanticoke boys have Bonner-Prendergast, ranked first by both outlets in Class 4A boys, looming on the horizon for Tuesday if both win Friday.