NEPA Sports Nation

Today in NEPA Sports Nation, 12/17

The Conference Challenge makes its return with the first of two boys basketball doubleheaders at the Lackawanna College Student Union to highlight the Friday schedule in District 2 sports.

The Conference Challenge, pitting Lackawanna League teams against Wyoming Valley Conference opponents made its debut in 2018 and returned in 2019 with tripleheaders each time. The event was not held last season when COVID wiped out tournament and showcase schedules and many other non-league games.

WVC teams have a 4-2 edge in the series with the help of a sweep in 2018.

In its return, the Conference Challenge expands to four games with doubleheaders Friday and Saturday.

MMI Prep makes its debut in the event in the 6 p.m. opener, facing Susquehanna, which lost to Northwest, 42-26, in the 2019 opener. MMI Prep, returning from sitting out all of last season because of COVID, is 0-3. Susquehanna is 1-3.

Two more new teams to the Conference Challenge will meet at 7:30 when North Pocono takes on Pittston Area. Defending Lackawanna League Division 2 champion North Pocono is 2-0. Pittston Area is 1-1.

In Saturday’s doubleheader, beginning at 1, Elk Lake will play Nanticoke, followed by Mid Valley against Tunkhannock.

The other special event on Friday’s schedule had to be altered because of Lake-Lehman’s shutdown of sports for the rest of the month.

The Black Knights dropped out of the Cal King Tournament at Lackawanna Trail, which proceeds with three teams.

Lakeland and Western Wayne will play at 6:30 with the winner taking on the host Lions for the title Saturday at 1.

There are also four non-league boys and four non-league girls games on the basketball schedule.

Crestwood hosts Williamsport and Wilkes-Barre Area hosts Trinity in boys games.

The girls schedule is highlighted by Holy Cross at Holy Redeemer and Scranton Prep at Villa Maria Academy.

Swimmers have the day off and the only wrestling action is Tunkhannock beginning the Panther Holiday Classic at Mount Aloysius College.

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