The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 28, 2011

CORY ISENBERG | Underdogs shine in District 6 basketball playoffs

Cory Isenberg

JOHNSTOWN — It was tough to be a top seed in the District 6 basketball playoffs last week while in the District 5 playoffs, the teams fell right into line with their seedings.

This week, the district basketball action rolls into a week of semifinals, championships and consolations starting Tuesday for area squads.

Defending District 6 Class A boys champ Conemaugh Valley, the eighth seed, was one of the upstart squads, knocking off top-seeded Glendale last week.

The Blue Jays will take on No. 4 Northern Cambria on Tuesday in a 7:30 game at Central Cambria. The other Class A semifinal features another upset specialist, seventh-seeded Bishop Carroll, which will take on No. 3 Juniata Valley at 7 p.m. at Hollidaysburg Senior High.

The boys A championship is 8:30 p.m. Friday at St. Francis.

In Class A girls action, top-seeded and two-time defending state champion Bishop Guilfoyle never even blinked. The Marauders will play No. 4 Conemaugh Valley in the 6 p.m. opener at Central Cambria on Tuesday.

The other Class A girls semifinal has Heritage Conference teams Penns Manor and Homer-Center squaring off.

The title game is 7 p.m. Friday at St. Francis.

In the Class AA girls bracket, top-seeded Bald Eagle Area met the same fate as Glendale, with the Eagles falling to No. 8 Ligonier Valley.

The Rams will play No. 5 Westmont Hilltop at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Central Cambria.

In the other semifinal, No. 2 Marion Center, the defending Class AA champ, will play No. 6 Forest Hills, which is the defending Class AAA champ, in the 7:30 game at Central Cambria.

The championship is at 7 p.m. Saturday at St. Francis.

Boys Class AA defending champ Penns Valley, the top seed, sailed through its first test last week and will face No. 4 Bishop McCort at 6 p.m. at Hollidaysburg Senior High on Wednesday.

In the other semifinal, the nightcap at Hollidaysburg Senior High on Wednesday, No. 6 Richland plays No. 2 Bellwood-Antis.

Laurel Highlands foes Forest Hills, the fourth seed, and Greater Johnstown, the second seed, have already played twice this season, with each squad winning once.

The Rangers and Trojans will clash again, this time for the biggest prize, a Class AAA title. The championship will be played at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at St. Francis.

In District 5, semifinals for Class A boys and Class AA girls begin on Tuesday while the championships are set for Friday at the Pitt-Johnstown Sports Center starting at 6 p.m.

The top-seeded Shade boys will play No. 4 Shanksville-Stonycreek at Windber at 7 on Tuesday while second-seeded and defending champ Southern Fulton takes on No. 3 Berlin Brothersvalley at 7 at Bedford.

The second-seeded Windber girls will play No. 3 Chestnut Ridge at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Shade while top-seeded Tussey Mountain hosts No. 4 Northern Bedford.

The District 5 semifinals for Class A girls and Class AA boys are set for Wednesday with the title games on Saturday at UPJ starting at 6 p.m.

Top-seeded Southern Fulton faces No. 4 Shade at 7 at Bedford while No. 2 Berlin and No. 3 Meyersdale will square off at 7 at Somerset High School.

The top-seeded Tussey Mountain boys host Chestnut Ridge at 7 in a Class AA semifinal while No. 2 North Star hosts third-seeded Conemaugh Township in the other semifinal, also at 7.

Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat.