The last two Wyoming Valley Conference girls basketball unbeatens go head-to-head Thursday night to decide the Division 1 lead.
Hazleton Area makes the trip to Wilkes-Barre Area to put its half-game lead on the line.
The Lady Cougars are 5-0 in the division and 9-3 overall while the Wolfpack is 4-0 and 10-1.
Both teams are on six-game winning streaks and listed among the top Big School girls teams in the My City Mortgage Super Six Basketball Power Rankings of District 2 teams.
Wilkes-Barre Area is fourth and Hazleton Area sixth in the rankings.
The Wolfpack swept last year’s three meetings even though it finished behind the Lady Cougars in the standings.
Wilkes-Barre Area won the WVC games, 62-58 and 53-51, making it partly responsible for Hazleton Area finishing two games out of first place. Then, when the teams met for the District 2-4 Class 6A Subregional title, Wilkes-Barre Area rolled, 47-33.
“They kind of had our number,” Hazleton Area coach Joe Gavio said at the WVC Media Day in December.
With a veteran lineup, Wilkes-Barre Area entered this season as an expected contender, while Hazleton Area was more of a question mark with only Lacie Kringe returning with significant experience.
Kringe has led the way, producing 14.3 points and 3.7 steals per game while also leading the team in assists and blocked shots.
Brianna Kennedy and Sophia Shults have add a combined 17 points per game while ranking second and third on the team in scoring along with first and second in rebounds.
Gloria Adjayi, one of District 2’s top post players, again leads the Wolfpack. She was the top scorer in both regular-season wins over Hazleton Area last season.
Danayjha Moore nearly matches Adjayi’s scoring output, joining her in double figures, while Shelby Ardo Boyko provides support in the post, making for a strong inside presence as a team.
At the opposite end of the division standings is a game between two teams that have winning overall records, but are searching for their first WVC wins. Dallas (0-3, 5-3) is at Crestwood (0-3, 5-4).
The boys schedule is highlighted by Scranton Prep (1-0, 4-4) at Division 2 leader Wallenpaupack (4-0, 9-2) in a Lackawanna League Division 1-2 crossover.
Holy Cross (2-2, 7-5) takes a three-game winning streak to Old Forge (0-2, 4-5) for a meeting of Lackawanna Division 3’s two smallest schools and District 2’s two most recent Class 2A champions.
Lackawanna Division 4 leader Blue Ridge (5-0, 9-3) is at Forest City (1-1, 2-5).
Ranked Small School boys teams meet in a non-league game that sends No. 3 Riverside (8-4) to No. 6 Elk Lake (7-4).
The full District 2 basketball schedule can be found at: https://nepabasketball.com/composite?d=2022-01-20.
There are two Lackawanna League boys and girls swimming meets – Holy Cross at Delaware Valley and West Scranton at Scranton.
There are also two wrestling matches: Valley View at Scranton in Lackawanna Division 1 and Wilkes-Barre Area at Dallas in a non-league match.