Hazleton Area and Dallas each handled the other in a decisive home-court victory.
Each also won all but one of its other Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 boys games.
Now, they will meet on a neutral court to determine the division championship in the first divisional playoff game held around District 2 as the transition from regular season to postseason basketball begins.
The Cougars and Mountaineers play Tuesday night at 7:30 at Pittston Area, the home court of the team that finished one game behind them in a tight Division 1 race.
Hazleton Area led the division for much of the season. Dallas comes in as the hotter team and the new No. 1 Big School boys team in the most recent My City Mortgage Super Six Basketball Power Rankings of District 2 teams.
Fourth-ranked Hazleton Area is 18-4 overall and has won three straight since letting its division lead get away.
Dallas is 18-3 and on a 12-game winning streak.
Both went 12-2 in the division.
Hazleton Area handed Dallas its first league loss, 66-52, Jan. 13.
The Cougars took a 24-10 lead in the first quarter.
Khalid Morrieson led four double-figures scorers with 16 points.
Josian Guerra had 8 points in the big first quarter, finished with 15 points and also had a strong defensive game that included 3 steals and 3 blocked shots.
Eliud Lopez contributed 10 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists.
Luke Gennaro added 10 points.
Austin Finarelli (18), Nick Nocito (16) and Michael Cumbo (15) all scored in double figures for Dallas.
Dallas then lost its next game against Wilkes-Barre Area.
Hazleton Area had the same experience, following up its first league loss Feb. 1 at Dallas, 72-56, by also losing the next game, against Pittston Area.
Similar to the game at Hazleton Area, host Dallas took control early in the rematch, taking a 24-13 lead after one quarter.
Nocito scored 10 of his 12 points in the quarter.
Cumbo led the win with 23 points, hitting five 3-pointers.
Finarelli added 20.
Guerra (18), Gennaro (11) and Joe Marshall (10) scored in double figures for Hazleton Area.
There are also some significant late regular-season girls basketball games on the schedule.
Wilkes-Barre Area (11-2, 17-3) will look to bounce back from having its WVC Division 1 lead get away in a Monday overtime loss at Pittston Area. The Wolfpack needs a win at home against Crestwood (3-9, 8-11) to tie Pittston Area for first place and force a playoff for that title.
Defending champion Montrose (9-0, 12-5) can clinch at least a tie for the Lackawanna Division 4 title with a win at Susquehanna (4-6, 8-11).
Scranton Prep, already the Division 1 champion, can complete its fifth straight perfect Lackawanna League season. The Classics (12-0, 17-3) are home in a Division 1-2 crossover against Honesdale (6-6, 9-11).
The full District 2 basketball schedule can be found at: https://nepabasketball.com/composite?d=2022-02-15.
The District 2 sports schedule also includes wrestling and boys and girls swimming.
Back Mountain rivals meet in a non-league wrestling match when Dallas goes to Lake-Lehman.
Abington Heights is at Elk Lake in Lackawanna League swimming. In both cases, a winning team faces a .500 team.
In the boys meet, Abington Heights is 5-2 and Elk Lake 3-3. The Elk Lak girls are 4-3 and Abington Heights is 4-4.