NEPA Sports Nation

Girls basketball playoff analysis: District 2 Class 4A

By Tom Robinson,

FORMAT: There are three rounds, with the top two seeds in the six-team field receiving quarterfinal byes. Higher-seeded teams host the first two rounds before the championship game is played at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. The two finalists advance to the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state tournament.

2022 RECAP: Dunmore edged Scranton Prep, 43-42, for the title. Lake-Lehman defeated Nanticoke, 55-33, for the district’s third state berth. Fifth-seeded Nanticoke got two shots at landing a state berth by knocking off fourth-seeded Holy Redeemer, 60-56, in the quarterfinals.

HIGHEST SEEDS: 1. Scranton Prep; 2, Wyoming Area; 3, Valley View.

REGULAR-SEASON CHAMPIONS: Scranton Prep won its sixth straight Lackawanna League Division 1 title, all with 13-0 league records.

RANKED TEAM: Scranton Prep has been the No. 1 Big School girls team in the Riverfront Sports Super Six Power Rankings of District 2 teams every week of the season.

WINNING RECORDS: Scranton Prep 19-2, Wyoming Area 13-9.

BEST OPENER: Tunkhannock, as the lower seed, has to go to Nanticoke for the Tuesday quarterfinal. The Lady Tigers, however, already have an early-season win there, beating the Trojanettes, 41-34. The teams appear to be trending in opposite directions in the second half of the season, but Nanticoke’s improvement and Tunkhannock’s slide could, at least in part, be explained by the difference between competing in Division 2 and Division 1 of the Wyoming Valley Conference.

KEY GAME: Scranton Prep may be the most untouchable team in any of the district tournaments. If that’s the case, the likely Valley View-at-Wyoming Area semifinal is for more than the right to challenge the Classics in the final. It is also to guarantee a berth in the state playoffs, which would be a big step for either program.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Rita Collins, Gianna Cafarella, Maya Jenkins and Jenna Hillebrand from Scranton Prep; Morgan Janeski and Anna Wisnewski from Wyoming Area; Giada Costa and Molly Murphy from Valley View; Claire Aufiero and Caitlyn Majiros from Nanticoke; Anna Williams and Sable Stephens from Tunkhannock; RaeAnna Andreas from Berwick.

NOTEWORTHY: With the move of contenders Dunmore, Holy Redeemer and Lake-Lehman all back from Class 4A to 3A for this two-year cycle, District 2 has fewer Class 4A teams and, therefore, one less spot in the state bracket. … Hanover Area, the seventh Class 4A team in the district, chose not to participate in the open tournament after winning just two games, both against winless Class A school MMI Prep. … Tunkhannock has lost eight straight and has gone 2-13 since starting 5-2. … Scranton Prep’s only loss in Pennsylvania is to Villa Maria Academy, a 19-3 Class 5A team from District 1. … Janeski is a 1,000-point career scorer.

QUOTABLE: First-year Wyoming Area coach Mark Casper on Janeski after her scoring milestone: “There’s really not a weak spot in her game. … What she does defensively is she saves me timeouts by directing people on the floor. She’s very heady, very knowledgeable, high basketball IQ.”

Scranton Prep coach Bob Beviglia comparing the emphasis on league and district title pursuits: “I always tell kids the district seeding will take care of itself if we win games in the league and that’s what we’ve been able to do.”

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