NEPA Sports Nation

Today in NEPA Sports Nation, 1/15

Before the top four teams in Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 boys basketball square off in two 7:15 night games, Saturday’s schedule is highlighted by District 2 athletic teams hitting the road to test themselves.

Wrestling teams scatter to tournament action at six locations outside District 2.

And, three defending champion girls basketball teams take their impressive resumes on the road to race unbeaten opponents for early games in which the six involved teams have combined to win 58 of 60 games so far this season.

Lake-Lehman (7-1) goes into District 11 territory to face Jim Thorpe (10-0).

Jim Thorpe’s senior class features three 1,000-point scorers, Skyler Searfoss, Leila Hurley and Olivia Smelas.

Hurley and Smelas spent the offseason playing for the Hoop Group Showcase League champion NEPA Elite Clark 17U team. Lake-Lehman, the defending champion and current leader of Wyoming Valley Conference Division 2, has three starters – Claire Dougherty, Chase Purdy and Ella Wilson – who were also part of the NEPA Elite program out of Riverfront Sports in Scranton.

Jim Thorpe has won its games by an average of 25.8 points, including a 66-44 December victory at Riverside, the defending champion and current seedings race leader of District 2 Class 3A.

Scranton Prep (6-1) goes to the Philadelphia suburbs to face Plymouth-Whitemarsh (10-0) at 1:15 p.m.

The Classics are the four-time defending Lackawanna League Division 1 and District 2 Class 4A champions.

Plymouth-Whitemarsh, the District 1 Class 6A playoff seedings race leader, has held the last three opponents to fewer than 20 points and is allowing just 25 points per game on the season.

Eight-time defending Lackawanna League Division 3 champion Dunmore (7-0) travels to Holmdel, N.J. to put its unbeaten record on the line against one of the nation’s top teams, St. John Vianney.

St. John Vianney is 8-0 and winning its games by an average of 37.8 points. The two-time defending New Jersey state champions are No. 5 in the country in’s Sports Center Next rankings of high school girls teams.

ESPN also recognizes Dunmore, ranking Ciera Toomey as the third-best player nationally among the Class of 2023. It has St. John Vianney’s Madison St. Rose, a 5-foot-10 senior point guard who is committed to Princeton, ranked 46th in the class of 2022.

The game will put future National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I guards head-to-head. Dunmore’s Moriah Murray is headed to Drexel University.

St. John Vianney’s last four wins have been by 80-32, 80-10, 82-18 and 93-31.

Dunmore has outscored its last four opponents, 143-41, in the first half, including opening a 47-5 lead on Holy Cross with three minutes left in the half in its most recent outing.

At night, there are plenty of significant events within the district.

Pittston Area (2-1 in the division, 7-2 overall) is at Hazleton Area (3-0, 7-2) and Dallas (4-1, 6-2) is at Wilkes-Barre Area (3-1, 6-5) in WVC Division 1 boys basketball games. Dallas, Hazleton Area and Pittston Area are ranked second, third and fourth, in that order, in the My City Mortgage Super Six Power Rankings of District 2 teams.

Co-leaders go head-to-head in a WVC Division 1 wrestling match, hosted by Hazleton Area at Maple Manor. Pittston Area (2-0, 6-3) faces the Cougars, who are 2-0, 3-1 and ranked fifth in the Riverfront Sports Elite Eight Power Rankings of District 2 teams.

Elite Eight teams meet in a match between two of the top three teams in Lackawanna League Division 2 when No. 7 Honesdale (4-0, 12-3) makes the short trip to face neighboring rival No. 8 Western Wayne (3-1, 9-4).

The full basketball schedule for District 2 teams can be found at:

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