NEPA Sports Nation

Comets, Crusaders lead boys; Classics, Lady Bucks start on top

Traditional Lackawanna League powers sit at the top of each of the four sets of rankings in the preseason Riverfront Sports Super Six Basketball Power Rankings of District 2 teams.

Wyoming Valley Conference teams coming off of championships in 2021-22 hold down the second spot in each.

The rankings were released Thursday afternoon, one day before the start of the 2022-23 season.

Abington Heights, in Big Schools, and Holy Cross, in Small Schools, are the No. 1 boys teams.

Scranton Prep and Dunmore are the Big and Small School No. 1 girls teams.

Dallas and Holy Redeemer, each state semifinalists last season, are the No. 2 boys teams. Pittston Area and Lake-Lehman are the No. 2 girls teams.

A look at each set of rankings going into the season:


Abington Heights opens as the top team despite going the last three seasons without making the state tournament.

The Comets had a streak of 13 straight Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament appearances, including the 2018 Class 5A state title, before being knocked out two of the last three seasons by Pittston Area and the other by an unfortunately timed COVID shutdown.

Abington Heights tied for second in Lackawanna Division 1 last season and returns its top two scorers, Matt Show and Ryan Nealon, plus much more, giving the Comets a deep and versatile lineup.

The Comets are followed by Dallas, Hazleton Area and Tunkhannock, the three teams expected to battle for the WVC Division 1 title,

Valley View and Scranton Prep, the top competition for Abington Heights in Lackawanna Division 1, round out the rankings.

Dallas lost its top two players in four-year guards Austin Finarelli and Nick Nocito, but the Mountaineers return Mikey Cumbo and much of the rest of the cast from a team that collected titles last season.

The Mountaineers, the No. 1 team last season, defeated Hazleton Area in a playoff for the WVC Division 1 title, then won the conference’s four-team overall postseason tournament. Dallas went on to win District 2 Class 4A and go all the way to the state semifinal.

Tunkhannock and Valley View have two of the district’s most experienced lineups.

Scranton Prep tied Abington Heights for second in the division and went on to win a first-round state Class 4A game.

Scranton and Pittston Area went a combined 44-8 and won district titles in the two largest enrollment classifications to finish last season second and third among Big Schools. After key graduation losses, neither is ranked to begin this season.


Four state tournament teams from last season – Holy Cross, Holy Redeemer, Mid Valley and Old Forge – lead the rankings.

Holy Cross won the District 2 title and reached the state quarterfinals in Class 2A.

The Crusaders bring back all but one starter to open the season as the top team.

Holy Redeemer finished as last season’s No. 1 Small School by reaching the state semifinals in Class 3A where it lost by one point in overtime to eventual state champion Devon Prep. The Royals are defending WVC Division 2 and District 2 Class 3A champions.

Although Holy Redeemer graduated 1,500-point scorer Justice Shoats and 1,000-point scorer Matt Prociak, it otherwise returns a speedy and experienced team.

Mid Valley returns to the Small Schools, dropping from Class 4A to 3A for this two-year PIAA enrollment cycle after making it to the district final. The defending Lackawanna Division 3 champion Spartans lost division Player of the Year Gabe Tanner to an offseason transfer, but still return Danny Nemitz, Ricky Vinansky and others.

Old Forge went to its second straight state Class 2A semifinal and has Joey Macciocco, District 2’s only returning all-state boys player.

Dunmore and Blue Ridge hold down the fifth and sixth spots.

Blue Ridge was in and out of the rankings last season when it emerged as the second-place team in Lackawanna Division 4.

Riverside and Lackawanna Division 4 champion Elk Lake finished fourth and sixth last season, but are not ranked to begin this season.


Scranton Prep begins pursuit of a sixth straight Lackawanna Division 1 title as the No. 1 Big School.

The only team the Classics were behind last season when finishing No. 2 was Dunmore, which is no longer a Big School.

Scranton Prep lost to Dunmore in the District 2 Class 4A final, then won a first-round state tournament game.

Pittston Area is second, followed by Wyoming Valley West, Hazleton Area, Abington Heights and Scranton.

The Lady Patriots bring back the all-star backcourt of Kallie Booth, the division Player of the Year, and Daniella Ranieli from a team that went from last place to winning WVC Division 1 in one year.

Wyoming Valley West and Hazleton Area, which was in and out throughout the season, were not ranked at the end of 2021-22.

Abington Heights won the District 2 Class 5A title and first-round state game. Its only Lackawanna League losses were to Division 1 and 2 champions Scranton Prep and Western Wayne.

Two-time District 2-4 Class 6A Subregional champion Wilkes-Barre Area, which lost a playoff to Pittston Area for the division title, was ranked at the end of last season, but is unranked to start this season.


The top three teams feature similarities.

Dunmore, Lake-Lehman and Holy Redeemer all spent the last two seasons in Class 4A and all open this season without key players because of injuries.

Even while shorthanded, they are expected to be the best of the Small Schools.

Nine-time defending Lackawanna Division 3 champion Dunmore is expected to play most of, if not the entire, season without University of North Carolina commit Ciera Toomey while she rehabilitates from reconstructive knee surgery.

The Lady Bucks were the top Big School team in the district last season when they won District 2 and advanced to the state quarterfinals in Class 4A.

Lake-Lehman won WVC Division 2 and Tournament titles, but the Lady Knights graduated the division’s top two players, Claire Dougherty and Chase Purdy, and could open without Brenna Hunt because of a shoulder injury.

Holy Redeemer is likely to go much of the season without Brooke Kroptavich (knee) and could be without last season’s leading scorer, Jillian DelBalso (wrist) early.

Western Wayne, Montrose and Holy Cross each won championships last season. They hold fourth, fifth and sixth.

Western Wayne and Montrose have won the last two Lackawanna Division 2 and 4 titles.

Holy Cross won the last two District 2 Class 2A titles.

Riverside, the No. 1 team last season when it won District 2 Class 3A, along with Lakeland and Elk Lake, are not ranked at the start of this season after being there  the end of 2021-22.

The full rankings, with last season’s records and final rankings.



RankTeamLast SeasonLast Rank
  1Abington Heights15-8  5
  2Dallas27-4  1
  3Hazleton Area19-7 NR
  4Tunkhannock11-12 NR
  5Valley View  9-14 NR
  6Scranton Prep16-10  6


RankTeamLast SeasonLast Rank
  1Holy Cross21-7  2
  2Holy Redeemer24-5  1
  3Mid Valley21-64, Big
  4Old Forge18-10  3
  5Dunmore13-11  5
  6Blue Ridge15-9 NR


RankTeamLast SeasonLast Rank
  1Scranton Prep21-5  2
  2Pittston Area24-5  5
  3Wyoming Valley West11-12 NR
  4Hazleton Area14-9 NR
  5Abington Heights20-7  3
  6Scranton14-8 NR


RankTeamLast SeasonLast Rank
  1Dunmore25-21, Big
  2Lake-Lehman21-54, Big
  3Holy Redeemer13-10 NR
  4Western Wayne20-6  2
  5Montrose16-6  4
  6Holy Cross15-9  3

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