Monday, March 2, 2015

PIAA Western PA Boys A Basketball Playoff Preview

The Favorites - Monessen

The WPIAL Championship puts the target on their backs.  The Monessen Greyhounds are definitely the team to beat, and I do not think they will have much of a problem with that. Joe Salvino has been coaching for a long time, and he is one of the best in class A. He will have his team ready for whatever is thrown at them. Justice Rice and Lavelle Rush are two very good guards, and the Greyhounds like to get out and run and push the tempo. Not many teams will be able to keep up with this team.

The Challenger - Kennedy Catholic

The champions from District 10 should be a formidable foe to Monessen, and a potential game with Greyhounds would happen in the Western quarterfinals, not the finals.  The Golden Eagles have one of the most talent, and intriguing players in the entire state and they can ride him to a big run in the playoffs. Sagaba Konate ended up at Kennedy by way of the African nation of Mali, and the 6'8" junior has grown into a legitimate college prospect and was recently offered by Pitt.  Not many people will be able to check the big man at the class A level.

The Local Favorites - Bishop Carroll

Bishop Carroll is 75-6 the past three seasons, including a 52-2 mark the past two years.  The Huskies are 24-1 this season and they play an up-tempo style that is dependent upon full-court pressure for 32 minutes a game. Carroll made it the Western Final last season, and any atmosphere or opponent will not bother some of the more experienced Huskies.  Brandon Martinazzi will most certainly be named all-state once again this season and with him leading the attack - Carroll can beat anybody.

The Dark Horse - Cameron County

Cameron County has a 6'8" senior heading to play division one basketball at Bucknell next season in Nate Sestina. He averages 21 points and 13 rebounds a contest, and is one of the best players in the entire state. He is the type of player that can put the team on his back and go on a run. Cameron County makes the upper half of this bracket that much more dangerous joining the likes of Monessen and Kennedy Catholic. The Raiders can play, and despite the upset in the District 9 championship -  I still think they have as good of a chance as any to represent the West.

The New Guys - Eden Christian

Eden Christian is new to the concept of playing in the PIAA and WPIAL.  Eden played mostly a schedule consisting of other Christian schools until last season. This year the Warriors pulled off a few upsets to advance to the state tournament for the first time. ECA knocked off Clairton and undefeated Sewickley Academy en route to this PIAA tournament berth. The get a tough first round opponent with Kennedy Catholic, but perhaps this team is a little better than we all realized.

The Defense - Southern Fulton

Southern Fulton plays a smothering brand of basketball, and they really can grind out wins. 16 times the Indians have held their opponent to 40 points or less, with four of those games they held the opposition to under 30 points.  This is a tough-minded team that takes on the identity of their coach, Kent Hendershot.  They lost for just the second time all year in the District Five title game, but this team has some skill and they are poised to go up against a very contrasting style against their round one opponent, Vincentian.

The Offense - Vincentian Academy 

As I mentioned, contrasting styles when Vincentian and Southern Fulton will meet up Friday night at UPJ.  The Royals play an up and down, run and gun style that has seen them eclipse 80 points in 16 games this season.  In fact, Vincentian has toppled the 100 point mark three times also.  Think about that, 100 points in a 32 minutes game is no easy task.  They will put the pressure on a slower-paced Southern Fulton team in round one, and they have an offense capable of going on a run for a few games.

The Big Man - Venango Catholic

The story with Venango Catholic is simple; they have a 6'11" player. Devon Zagar is a big force inside for Venango Catholic, and may provide the biggest match-up nightmare of any player in the field. Obviously there are some good big guys in this bracket, but having a near 7-footer is an advantage. Monessen will have a tough time stopping the big man, and if Venango sets the pace and gets their guys in foul trouble, an upset could ensue.

The Youth - Saltsburg

Saltsburg's five leading scorers are sophomores, and the three seed from District Six may be up against it with their youth and inexperience. The Trojans are only 13-11, but they showed some resolve by winning some postseason games. With only two seniors on the roster, it looks like Saltsburg can be a threat for the next two seasons, but it is hard to expect them to take down a good Cameron County team in round one.

The Deeper Sleeper - Farrell

Farrell comes in as the second representative from District 10, but don't forget they spent the majority of the season ranked in the top five of the state. The Steelers are an athletic bunch and Farrell is one of the more storied basketball programs in Western PA. Farrell has played a loaded schedule, and their four losses have all come to quality teams.  The Steelers have also put up some impressive wins for a class A team, and they could easily be the team to come from out of the pack to win the lower half of the bracket.

The "unLuck" of the Draw - Jeannette

Jeannette made a big run to get to the WPIAL championship and gave Monessen a good game in the final at the Petersen Events Center. So with that, you would think a reward or an easier first round would be coming the Jayhawks' way, but that is not the case. Jeannette has to deal with Farrell in the first round, a team that was ranked second in the state rankings as recently as last week. (For perspective, Monessen was ranked sixth.) Jeannette has a tough game, but they are a talented and athletic team that can match what Farrell can bring.  Julian Batts is as good of a guard in the bracket, and could lead them to a first round win, and perhaps a run beyond.

The Experience - Clarion-Limestone

Clarion-Limestone has a senior laden attack, and it led them whole way to a District 9 championship. The Lions finished last season with three straight losses to some quality teams like Ridgway, Johnsonburg, and then Bishop Carroll in the PIAA playoffs.  Clarion-Limestrong finished stronger in the district this time, and they look like they are a more capable team to make a run in the state playoffs. CL knocked off Elk County Catholic and Cameron County, the two proverbial favorites to win District 9 initially.  If Clarion-Linestone can continue their improved play, they will be a tough out.

The Longshot - Portage

I like Portage's first round draw, and I think the Mustangs have a chance to pick up a state playoff win when they take on McConnellsburg on Friday.  Portage played some good basketball down the stretch, and despite the lopsided loss to Bishop Carroll in the district final, I would say Travis Kargo's team accomplished a lot this season. If they make it to the round of 16, Portage will have a difficult showdown with Monessen, but Michael Bryja (21 PPG 10 RPG) and company will give it the best they have.

The Road Warriors - Elk County Catholic

Elk County Catholic finished third in District Nine with a 25-2 record. They are a very good team, but they are walking into a hostile environment for a state playoff game. The Crusaders are going to play one loss district champion, Bishop Carroll of district six.  The game is going to be held at Central Cambria, which is literally right next door to Bishop Carroll.  Obviously ECC is a talented team, but having to deal with a good Bishop Carroll team and their home crowd will be a tough task.

The Consistency - North Catholic 

It may not be talked about much, or enough, but North Catholic is in the PIAA Tournament for the ninth straight season. Dave Long's program is a consistent force in the WPIAL and has been a factor in either class A or AA for some time now.  The Trojans are 16-10 this season, and they earned their way into the PIAA tournament by defeating Sewickley Academy and Cornell in play-back games and those two pretty solid teams.  NC could be team to be reckoned with in a playoff setting.

The Unknown - McConnellsburg 

The Spartans have a solid 16-7 record and have beaten some good teams throughout the year, I just have a hard time gauging what they are capable of doing in the state tournament. They open up with Portage at Hollidaysburg, and that should be a very competitive and winnable game. After that, it probably gets tricky with a potential date with Monessen.  The Spartans are not a big offensive team, and may struggle keeping up with a faster paced team.

The Picks

Monessen over Venango Catholic
Portage over McConnellsburg 
Cameron County over Saltsburg
Kennedy Catholic over Eden Christian
Bishop Carroll over Elk County Catholic
Farrell over Jeannnette
Vincentian over Souther Fulton
Clarion-Limestone over North Catholic

Monessen over Portage
Cameron County over Kennedy Catholic
Farrell over Bishop Carroll
Vincentian over Clarion Limestone

Monessen over Cameron County
Farrell over Vincentian

Farrell over Monessen

Sunday, March 1, 2015

PIAA Western PA Boys AA Basketball Playoff Preview

The Favorites - Aliquippa

The Quips enter the state playoffs with an unblemished 25-0 record. It marked only the second time Aliquippa made it through the WPIAL with an undefeated record. It was their first District Championship since 2007.  The Quips have a star-studded team with quick guards and athletic forwards, and they have the makeup of a team capable of winning a state championship. Stephon McGinnis and Jassir Jett are two very good guards, and they separate the Quips from the pack. Toss in one of the best football players in the state like Kazeon Pugh, and you have a team that is tough to defend from a physical standpoint.  The pressure is on, but Aliquippa is definitely the team to beat.

The Local Favorites - Blairsville

The Blairsville Bobcats defeated West Branch for the District Six crown on Saturday to set their record at 22-4. Blairsville has an athletic team and could surprise some of the WPIAL teams out there with their size and athleticism.  Blairsville is paced by 6'4" forward, Troy Williams. He is the team's leading scorer and can explode for some big games in a playoff setting. Rahdezz Henderson is a grown man in the post, as he will be going to Slippery Rock to play Defensive End next season, but he also happens to be a very talented high school basketball player.  The big three for Blairsville is rounded out by senior guard, Cameron Livingston, who is second in the team in scoring. Blairsivlle has the ability to make a run in the playoffs, more so than any of the other local teams.

The Challengers - Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park sustained an upset in the quarterfinals of WPIAL, and forced the Leopards to win a pair of play-back games to earn their berth in the state playoffs. Maybe the loss to Quaker Valley could have been a wake-up call for the defending class A state champions, and it showed them that the move to AA should be a little more challenging. Lincoln Park is paced by a pair of dynamic guards in sophomore Renell Cummings and senior Antonio Kellem. Lincoln Park gets a tough draw with West Middlesex in round one, but I can assure you that Lincoln Park isn't an ordinary 5th seed from the WPIAL - they are a state championship contender.

The Longshot - Central Cambria 

Central Cambria gets a rough draw in round one having to go to Pittsburgh to take on the undefeated Aliquippa. OK this draw may be a little more than rough, if Central Cambria wins this game it may require a movie script -  they are that big of underdogs.  Central Cambria enters the state playoffs with back to back double digit losses to close out the district six playoffs.  The Red Devils' hope could be resting with a talented and big freshman, 6'5" Matt Holsinger.  If the next brother in the long line of Holsinger's can control the paint and the Red Devils play a slow-it-down style of game, that would be Central Cambria's best chance right there.

The Darkhorse - Greensburg Central Catholic 

GCC has a favorable draw in the playoffs, and could realistically find themselves Western semifinals if they take care of business like they should. The Centurions have an impressive 23-3 record to date, and they come battle tested.  GCC always plays a tough schedule and they still have some pieces from last season's run to the Western Final, most notably Romano Sebastiani.  If Sebastiani can post some big games here in the playoffs, he could lead Greensburg Central on a run.

The Sleeper - Quaker Valley 

Quaker Valley already proved they can beat elite teams by knocking off Lincoln Park in the WPIAL quarterfinals. The Quakers have a senior-laden team led by 6'5" senior Chris Conlan. The senior big man can be a double-double machine as he averages 15 and 8 on the year.  Quaker Valley is led by one of the best coaches on this end of the state in Mike Mastroianni and he usually can pull the best out of his teams. Look for the Quakers to give it a good run here in the state playoffs.

The Snub - West Middlesex

Often the case when you win a district championship, you at least get one easy draw before it starts to pick up in the second round. Unfortunately for the Big Reds, it did not work out that way as they get Lincoln Park in the first round.  Of the three District Ten teams that made it to the state playoffs, West Middlesex likely got the toughest draw despite winning the championship. Now I do not want to make it look like West Middlesex has no chance, because this is a very good basketball team and they certainly can beat Lincoln Park.  West Middlesex has a beast in the middle in Trey Stuanch, and he could certainly overpower Lincoln Park in the paint. Of all the first round games, this is likely the best match-up. Good for basketball fans, tough on the teams.

The Defending Champs - Seton LaSalle

Hey let's not forget about Seton LaSalle, the defending Western PA AA Champions from last season. The Rebels went 30-2 last season, they won the WPIAL and represented the West in the state championship and lost to a very good Constitution team from Philadelphia by two points in Hershey. The two stars from that team moved onto UPJ to continue their careers, so how do they follow that up? Well, Seton LaSalle is 23-3 and gave Aliquippa a game in the WPIAL championship. Seton LaSalle has the ability to make another run, as the cupboard certainly isn't bare. Watch out for the Rebels.

The Youth - Bellwood-Antis

Bellwood-Antis does not have a senior at the top of their regular rotation, and it is possible Bellwood is "a year away" from a deeper run in the playoffs.  The Blue Devils are paced by all-everything junior forward. Nathan Davis. Davis leads the team in scoring (25 PPG), rebounds (9 RPG), and assists (5.7 APG). Bellwood went 5-17 last year, and they have made quite the improvement to 20-6 this season. Bellwood has a favorable draw and nothing to lose, watch out for Brent Gerwart's team.

 The Deeper Sleeper - Neshannock

Neshannock enters the state playoffs on a bit of a skid, but they still are a dangerous team. The Lancers played a difficult schedule. Three of their eight losses have come to one Lincoln Park this season, so take away that and they have fared well against everyone else.  Neshannock has talent, and they are battle tested. Despite them being a six seed from the WPIAL, they absolutely can give District Six champ Blairsville some trouble in the first round.

The Local Sleeper - West Branch

West Branch gets a 14-11 Mercyhurst team in the first round, and that could be one of the better draws of any local team in the playoffs.  West Branch should benefit from Mercyhurst making a long trip to come play them Saturday.  Truth be told, I'm already surprised by West Branch and they are a much better team than I realized. I'll readily admit I was wrong about the Warriors.  The Warriors can stroke the three, and if they outside shots are falling - West Branch could be moving onto the Sweet 16.

The Hot Streak - Chestnut Ridge

Chestnut Ridge enters the playoffs having won six straight, and they appear to be playing their best basketball of the season. They avenged an early season loss to Berlin by defeating them in the District 5 championship game by taking down them down by 12 points on Saturday.  Ridge has a very good player in Tyler Wiley, and they will need him to be on his A-game when they take on Greensburg Central Catholic on Saturday.  Ridge is hot right now, and this is the best time of the year to be hot.

The Bad Note - Fairview

Fairview had an excellent 20-2 regular season, they won their first round playoff game over Reynolds. Things were looking good with a state playoff berth clinched, but a 32 point loss to West Middlesex in the District 10 championship game certainly gives them a different outlook heading into the PIAA playoffs.  It sends this team into the state playoffs on a bad note.  It is one thing to lose a championship game, it's another to lose by that much and you have to question which way this Fairview team is trending going into a first round game against Quaker Valley.

The Grinders - Cranberry

Cranberry is not a flashy team, and will have games played at their pace in the postseason. The Berries (best nickname in the field) have played some lower scoring games this season, and Patrick Irwin's team will typically dictate the tempo. Look for Cranberry to try to slow down against a much more athletic Seton LaSalle team in the first round.

The Record - Mercyhurst Prep

The Lakers from Mercyhurst Prep have a 14-11 record, and that certainly has to raise some eyebrows.  Look a little deeper, and you will see Mercyhurst started the year 2-5, and they definitely changed their fortunes once the calender flipped to January. They are a dangerous team with Chris Vallimont in the middle. The 6'5" senior could certainly give West Branch some troubles in the first round.

The  Long Ball - Redbank Valley

Redbank Valley takes a lot of three pointers with Jake Dougherty and Devin Shumaker leading the way. The two senior guards have both attempted well over 100 three point shots this year, and they are the two leading scorers for this team.  If Redbank Valley has a run in them, it may be with the three-point shot.

The Picks 

Aliquippa over Central Cambria
Quaker Valley over Fairview
Mercyhurst Prep over West Branch
Bellwood-Antis over Redbank Valley
Lincoln Park over West Middlesex
Seton LaSalle over Cranberry
Greensburg CC over Chestnut Ridge
Blairsville over Neshannock

Aliquippa over Quaker Valley
Mercyhurst Prep over Bellwood-Antis
Lincoln Park over Seton LaSalle
Greensburg CC over Blairsville

Aliquippa over Mercyhurst Prep
Lincoln Park over Greensburg CC

Aliquippa over Lincoln Park

Friday, February 20, 2015

D6SN 2015 Boys AAA Basketball Playoff Preview

The Favorite - Hollidaysburg

Hollidaysburg enters the AAA playoffs as the two seed,  but they are still the presumable favorites to win the district six championship.  They played a more challenging schedule than anyone else, and the Golden Tigers responded with a 15-7 record. Brad Lear is a first year head coach, but immediately turned things around from a 6-15 mark last year.  Hollidaysburg is pegged with Johnstown in the first round, a team they handled by 39 points earlier in the year.

The Challenger  - Somerset

Somerset is out to defend their title, and there is an excellent chance of that happening. The Golden Eagles have a first round bye and enter the playoffs as hot as anyone with a ten game winning streak and a 19-3 overall record. Scott Close's team ended up being named the co-champions of the Laurel Highlands and it was rightfully deserved.  The guard oriented attack from Somerset will be tough to defend as Jake Heiple and Dyan Barnes are as good as they come in district six.

The Dark Horse - Huntingdon

The Huntingdon Bearcats made it to the AAA title game last season, and played Somerset very tough, but ultimately lost by seven points.  If they can duplicate that same kind of game plan, they may be able to give the top seed some trouble again.  Huntingdon has some good athletes size with guys like Kobren Frederick and Nate Gearhart.  This is an experienced team and may catch fire at the right time.

The Unknown - Johnstown

It's hard to know which Johnstown team will show up for these playoffs. It could be the team that looked dominant at times this season, or the one that got dominated by Hollidaysburg and Westmont.  Johnstown has some talent, but will be without their leading scorer going into the postseason. The Trojans will need to rely on their athleticism and senior leadership for the rematch against Hollidaysburg. This team has ability, but entering the postseason with some adversity and two straight losses is concerning.

The Long shot - Bellefonte

The Bellefonte Red Raiders enter the playoffs as the fifth and bottom seed in the AAA playoffs, and there is no doubt they are a step below the other four teams. An 8-14 record may not seem like much, but that's more wins than this program had the past two seasons combined. It was a nice turnaround for Bellefonte, and the playoff experience should be good for their younger guys in their program. They played Huntingdon tough once this regular season, so they can go into this first round game with nothing to lose.

The Picks 

(4) Huntingdon over (5) Bellefonte

(1) Somerset over (4) Huntingdon
(2) Hollidaysburg over (3) Johnstown

(1) Somerset over (2) Hollidaysburg

Monday, February 16, 2015

D6SN 2015 Boys District Six Class A Playoff Preview

The Favorites - Bishop Carroll

I mean could it really be anyone else?  The Huskies enter the postseason with a 21-1 record and have been ranked in the top ten of the state all year long. BC knocked off AAA favorites, Hollidaysburg to close out the year emphatically last week. They are paced by all-state guard Brandon Martinazzi, who is the best player in the bracket.  Cosie Aliquo's team is very guard-oriented and they Huskies will give their opponents relentless pressure and score plenty of points off their full-court press.  Not many teams will be able to match Carroll's combination of effort and skill in a playoff setting.

The Challenger - Homer-Center

The Homer-Center Wildcats enter the playoffs champions of the Heritage Conference and they own a gaudy 20-2 record. Homer was able to hand a very good Blairsville team two losses, and not many people expected that. Homer has been as consistent as anyone in class A for some time now, and they are ready to make another run to a district final.  Homer has the best chance of anyone to de-throne the mighty Bishop Carroll Huskies

The Dark Horse - Bishop Guilfoyle 

Other than Homer-Center, Bishop Guilfoyle may be the only team with a chance to take down Bishop Carroll.  You have to look deeper than their 8-13 record and their 9 seed, but just a few weeks ago they took Carroll to the wire.  The Marauders have typically played Bishop Carroll tough over the past three seasons and they have the recipe to take down the Huskies others seem to can't figure out. We know this group has athletes, given that they are the state football champs. We will find out right away, as this is projected to be BC's first opponent, provided Guilfoyle can beat Williamsburg in the opening round.

The Buzz -  Ferndale

There is a buzz around the Ferndale basketball program, and they have been one of the hottest teams the past month.  We know about Ray Hinton and how good of a player he is, but we are starting to see some capable players emerge beyond him. Ferndale is believing right now, and coach Ryan Durham is doing a heck of a job there. They open with a tough Saltsburg team in the 4/5 game, but Ferndale is more than capable of moving onto the semifinals.

The Forgotten - Portage

Not a lot of people are talking about the third seeded Mustangs, and that may be just how the boys from Portage like it. Portage is coming into the playoffs with a very good 17-5 record and they are working on one of their better seasons in recent history. Michael Bryja is a dynamic player and the senior is averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per game.  Not many teams in this playoff field have an answer for an athletic 6'5" forward like him.

The Deeper Sleeper - Moshannon Valley

Moshannon Valley is a dangerous 11-11 six seed, and could definitely give Portage some trouble in the opening round. The Knights have played a good schedule and played some quality teams very tough and have given them some problems.  So even despite the record, this team will be battle tested and ready to play in a postseason setting.

The New Guys - Saint Joseph's

Saint Joe's is back in the postseason for the second time in a row. The school is only in it's second year of operation, but they are growing.  The Wolves went out and played a daring schedule. St Joe's played a lot of playoff quality teams, and may be able to steal a game over Glendale in the first round.

The Longshot - Williamsburg

Williamsburg has a daunting task to make any noise this postseason. They are scheduled with Bishop Guilfoyle in the 8/9 game, and if they make it out of that one, well it's the top dog, Bishop Carroll.  The Pirates will not be intimidated by Bishop Guilfoyle in that opener, and they will play with a chip on their shoulder.  Look for it to be a competitive game.

The Slide - Saltsburg

At one time, Saltsburg looked like a challenger for a top spot.  After a 9-5 start. the Trojans crawl into a playoffs with just an 11-10 mark.  They are going in the opposite direction of their first round opponent, Ferndale, who has been very hot lately. Still, it is the playoffs and you never now how things will play out.

The Big Man - Glendale

It seems Glendale got hot at the right time and have won five of their last six games. They have a dominating force that could cause some problems in this postseason. Big Shea O'Donnell is a beast of a player checking in at 6'5" 235. He has posted 17 double-doubles this season and is the main reason why this team has done anything this year.  If one player can carry a lower seed to some upset victories, it would be this kid.

The Picks

(9) Bishop Guilfoyle over (8) Williamsburg
(7) Glendale over (10) Saint Joseph's Academy

(1) Bishop Carroll over (9) Bishop Guilfoyle
(4) Ferndale over (5) Saltsburg
(2) Homer-Center over (7) Glendale
(3) Portage over (6) Moshannon Valley

(1) Bishop Carroll over (4) Ferndale
(2) Homer-Center over (3) Portage

(4) Ferndale over (3) Portage in consolation

(1) Bishop Carroll over (2) Homer-Center

Sunday, February 15, 2015

D6SN 2015 Boys AA Basketball Playoff Preview

The Favorites - Tyrone

Tyrone enters the 2015 playoffs as the team to beat, and that somewhat comes out of default. The field 1 through 16 are all capable of beating one another, but I think when it comes down to it, Tyrone mat stand out the most. The Golden Eagles won the Mountain League conference championship en route to a 17-3 regular season mark. Despite some big personnel losses from last season, the program of Tyrone stepped up and new play-makers emerged. Tyrone has played a challenging schedule that should prepare them for a big run, as the Golden Eagles hold a 13-3 record against teams that have qualified for postseason play. I like the battle-tested nature Tyrone has, and they will be ready for anything thrown at them in the district six playoffs.

The Challenger - Blairsville 

Blairsville enters the postseason with an imposing 18-4 record. Their only losses came to Hollidaysburg, Somerset, and Homer-Center twice. All three of those teams are legitimate championship contenders for their respective classes, and Blairsville lost all four games by a total of 10 points. The Bobcats are long and athletic and they are paced by perhaps the best player in the tournament, Troy Williams.  They also boast 6'0" senior guard, Cameron Livingston and 6'4" senior center and Slippery Rock football recruit, Rhadezz Henderson as second and third options. All three Bobcats average double figures, and could be the hero on any given night.

The Dark Horse - Bellwood-Antis

Bellwood is sitting as the sixth seed, but they are a very dangerous team on the bottom half of the bracket.  The Blue Devils have really stepped up down the stretch and will enter the playoffs riding a pretty good stretch of play. Bellwood had won 11 straight before falling in the ICC championship, but their month-long momentum should not be forgotten.  Junior forward Nathan Davis is having a monster of a season and has really put the team on his back all year long. He leads the team in scoring with an eye-popping 25 points per game, but he also has good rebounding, assist, and steal numbers.  The Devils are clicking on all cylinders right now, but they face a good Penn Cambria team in round one, a squad they lost to by 15 earlier in the year.

The Question Mark - West Branch

The 18 wins are hard to ignore, but the strength of schedule is what has a lot of people concerned.  You look at sixth seeded Bellwood, and they handled West Branch not too long ago.  They do not have many games (or wins) against quality opponents, and that's what is in question.  What is not in question is their ability to score the basketball and win games.  Sometimes it does not matter who you are playing if your teams know how to win - and this Warriors team has that mentality.  They play a pretty good Bald Eagle team right off the bat, and West Branch will be tested by the 15th seeded Bald Eagles.

The Defense - Penns Valley

Penns Valley has long been a program that runs on controlling tempo and suffocating opponents on defense.  The 2015 edition of the Rams are no different. Penns Valley has held their opposition to under 50 points on 12 occasions this season, but amazingly enough neither the Rams or their opponent hit 70 points in a game once this season. Terry Glunt's squads always impose their will, and they are coming off a recent 53-41 win over top-seeded Tyrone, thus proving they are ready to hang with anyone.

The Spoiler - Cambria Heights

Cambria Heights enters the tournament as the 16th seed, but they aren't just any old 16 seed.  The Highlanders hold some rather impressive wins this year over 2nd seeded A team Homer-Center, and top seeded AAA team Somerset.  It just goes to show you this Cambria Heights team can beat really good teams, and a lot of it has to do with their style of play.  Heights rolls with a small lineup that is shooter friendly, and if the outside shots fall, the opposing team is in trouble.  Cambria Heights also recently knocked off Central Cambria and Penn Cambria, so to put it as straightforward as possible, Cambria Heights could beat anyone in this field.

The Deeper Sleeper - Ligonier

If you look deeper into the bracket, you will see a good 10th seeded Ligonier team.  Looking at how the bottom half of the bracket may shake out, the Rams could be a candidate to make a bit of a run. They are paced by athletic forward Jordan Jones and he could put the team on his back and lead them to some wins. Ligonier played some quality non-conference games this year, and that could pay off for them in the playoffs.

The Unknown - Juniata

The Juniata Indians are a bit of an unknown as they play in a league outside the district.  They enter the playoffs with an impressive 16-6 record and they are seeded 7th.  If we examine things a little further, we know Juniata is 1-4 this year against District Six competition. Juniata played well and they most certainly improved in the second half of the year, but it's hard to ignore that they did not stack up well with some of the local teams in the regular season. I label them as an unknown, because it is hard to judge what they were doing playing a schedule mostly made up of District 4 teams.

The Return - Westmont

After a two year hiatus from postseason play, Dave Roman's Westmont squad is back and they are hungry.  The Hilltoppers battled back from a 1-5 start, and finished with a respectable 11-10 record. Westmont actually hit a bit of a dry spell late in the year, but closed out with a 10 point upset win over Johnstown and enter the postseason on a positive note. Westmont has a go-to-scorer in Connor Mendelson and he is surrounded by a mostly balanced attack, they do hold a win over top-seeded Tyrone this season, and it would make for a very intriguing second round rematch.

The Wrong Way - Central Cambria

After a memorable 55-39 win over Penn Cambria to improve to 12-7, the Red Devils dropped three straight games and enter the playoffs trending the wrong way.  Central Cambria is still a dangerous team, but going into the playoffs losing three straight games is not always ideal.  Unlike past CC teams, they do not have a great go-to-threat to scorer to get them instant points, but they are a balanced attack on offense with all five starters averaging at least 7 points, and not one that averages more than 11.

The Post - Bishop McCort

If Bishop McCort is going anywhere this postseason, it will be on the strength of their two post players. 6'3" senior Karch Helsel and 6'4" junior Alex Conohan really provide this team with consistency and they can control the paint if they are involved in the game early.  Bishop McCort has really struggled this season and their 9-12 regular season record is one of their worst marks in recent memory, but they are dangerous and many of their losses came down to the wire.  If the two McCort post players can control the paint, they may be able to steal one over 3rd seeded Penns Valley.

The Athletes -  Mt. Union

Mt. Union is a very athletic team, and many of the players from their 12-1 football team are back on the court.  Mt. Union can use their superior athletic ability to pressure teams into bad decisions and they may be able to use that for a run in the district playoffs.

The Repeat - Penn Cambria

Penn Cambria is not going for a repeat championship, but they are going for a repeat performance against Bellwood-Antis in the first round. They beat the Blue Devils by 15 points on a neutral floor, and that is a telling sign in this 6-11 first round battle.  If Penn Cambria can duplicate that same game plan over Bellwood, the Panthers may be moving onto the second round.  Penn Cambria is looking for their second district championship in three years, and they are a team that may have a run in them.

The Underachievers - Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle is better than their 8-14 record indicates, and they are a dangerous first round opponent for West Branch. The Bald Eagles have three players averaging over 14 points per game and anyone of those guys are liable to go off for a big game in a playoff setting. Brandon Getting, Trey Butterworth, and Jason Jones are all capable play-makers, and watch out for them in the first round game against West Branch.

The Forgotten - Central

Don't sleep on Central, as they did make the district final last year.  There are still plenty of great athletes in this school and they have been on quite a run in just about every sport the past three years, and not to mention - they have a great coach in Reggie Nevins.  They can make some noise for sure.

The Rockets - Southern Huntingdon

Last but not least, Southern Huntingdon comes into the playoffs with a 9-12 record.  They have lost 4 out of their last 5 games, and many of their losses have come at the hands of quality teams, but they do face a daunting task with Blairsville in the first round.

The Picks

(1) Tyrone over (16) Cambria Heights
(8) Westmont over (9) Central Cambria
(5) Mt. Union over (12) Central
(4) Blairsville over (13) Southern Huntingdon
(3) Penns Valley over (14) Bishop McCort
(6) Bellwood-Antis over (11) Penn Cambria
(10) Ligonier over (7) Juniata
(15) Bald Eagle over (2) West Branch

(1) Tyrone over (8) Westmont
(4) Blairsville over (5) Mt. Union
(6) Bellwood-Antis over (3) Penns Valley
(10) Ligonier over (15) Bald Eagle Area

(4) Blairsville over (1) Tyrone
(6) Bellwood-Antis over (10) Ligonier

(1) Tyrone over (10) Ligonier in consolation

(4) Blairsville over (6) Bellwood-Antis

Sunday, February 8, 2015

D6SN Boys Basketball Rankings: Final Regular Season Edition

With the last week of the regular season on the horizon, this will be the final weekly power rankings of the season. Next weekend, we will get you set for championship Saturday, and start the playoff previews by examining the brackets, and picking out contenders from the pretenders for a district championship.  It's almost the best time of the year, best of luck to everyone this week.


1. Hollidaysburg 12-6

The Golden Tigers handled Bald Eagle and Huntingdon this week, but did suffer a setback to AAAA State College by 7 points.  No matter, this team still appears to be the front-runner heading into the AAA playoffs. They play three LHAC teams this week as a tuneup for the playoffs, starting with Bishop McCort and Central Cambria at home before a road game at the area's top class A team, Bishop Carroll. 

2. Somerset 16-3

Somerset scored a three win week in rather convincing fashion by knocking off a trio of AA playoff teams in Penn Cambria, Westmont, and Bishop McCort all by 17 points or more. They have road games with Westmont and Bedford that they have to have to set up a winner take all section II championship against Johnstown on Thursday. Should Somerset take all three games, they will get a crack at avenging a close loss to Bishop Carroll Saturday night for the LHAC title. 

3. Johnstown 16-3

Johnstown keeps cruising right along, as they are riding an eight game winning streak. The Trojans rolled over Richland and Bedford this week, and will close out the season with three tough road games. Assuming Johnstown can beat Bedford and Westmont, it will set up a section II title on Thursday in Somerset for the right to play Bishop Carroll on Saturday. 


1. Tyrone 17-2

Tyrone scored a close win over Bald Eagle to secure a Mountain league championship for this season, and they head into the last week of the year with a slate full of Rams.   The Golden Eagles will take on Richland twice this week, and they host Penns Valley as well. All three games should provide a good tuneup for the postseason. 

2. Blairsville 16-3

Blairsville won three games last week without much trouble, and it sets up for a challenging final week of the year.  They will host Homer-Center and travel to an improved Ligonier team in what will be two very difficult games for the Bobcats. 

3. Bellwood-Antis 15-5

The Blue Devils are as hot as anyone right now in district six. Bellwood has won nine straight games, and they have really asserted themselves as a threat heading into the district playoffs. They have a road game at Moshannon Valley and host Tussey Mountain, neither game will be easy. 

4. Penns Valley 13-4

The Rams scored a rather impressive win over Clearfield last week to hand the Bison their third loss of the season.  Penns Valley will not be an easy out in the playoffs, as they are one of the best defensive-minded teams in the entire area. 

5. West Branch 17-2

West Branch responded to the Bellwood loss with two easy wins.  Obviously the big question heading into the playoffs with this team, will the strength of the schedule come back to haunt them?  The Warriors will have a chance to gain a quality win over Mt. Union this week to help their cause. 


1. Berlin-Brothersvalley 15-4

The Mountaineers dropped one to a very good Shanksville team on Saturday in a WestPac South showdown, but they did manage to pick up wins earlier in the week.  Heading into the last week, they head to Turkeyfoot Valley and welcome a surging Ferndale team to prepare for the playoffs. 

2. Tussey Mountain 13-6

Tussey Mountain continues to build momentum heading into the postseason.  The Titans have won nine straight games, and Dave Bailey has this team rolling right now. The winning streak will certainly be put on the line this week with a game against Chesnut Ridge and the regular season finale at Bellwood-Antis.

3. Chestnut Ridge 12-6

The Lions split a pair games last week by beating Northern Bedford, and losing to a very good Southern Fulton team. They have Southern Huntingdon and Central coming to New Paris this week, but they also have to travle to Tussey for a big one on Wednesday.

D6 A

1. Bishop Carroll 19-1

The Huskies survived a close game to long-time nemesis, Bishop Guilfoyle, by a score of 43-41.  It was a close game that should hep better themselves for a playoff run. They host Forest Hills and Hollidaysburg this week, and it will be interesting to see how they approach those games.  Carroll will be going for a second consecutive LHAC title on Saturday night, but will have a grueling game against Hollidaysburg on Friday.

2. Homer Center 18-2

A three win week essentially secured a two seed in the playoffs, and sets the bracket for a Bishop Carroll-Bishop Carroll final. They will look to sweep preseason favorites, Blairsville, on the seasons series and will close out the year in Clymer against a 6 win Penns Manor team.

3. Portage 15-4

The Mustangs won four games in four nights to improve to 15-4.  Mixed in there was a big win over Conemaugh Township, who has been a thorn in the side of this Portage program for the past few years.  Portage should be set for a WestPac North championship as they take on three teams with sub .500 records this week before a big rematch with Shanksville on Saturday night.

4. Ferndale 11-7

The Yellow Jackets have won eight of their 10 games since the New Year, and they have finally found a grove after some early season struggles. They take on North Star at home and will head to Berlin to close out the year.

5. Bishop Guilfoyle 7-12

I know about the record, I know about the amount of games they have lost recently, but I also know they only lost by two points on Bishop Carroll's home floor. I'm not so sure any other team could go into Ebensburg and play the Huskies that close.  If the projected standings are correct, Bishop Carroll and Bishop Guilfoyle will have a rematch in the first round of the district playoffs.

D5 A

1. Southern Fulton 20-1

Southern Fulton has held their past three opponents under 30 points. I don't think much more needs to be said about this team -  they are really, really good.  A quick tuneup over Everett should send them 21-1 heading into the postseason, with their lone blemish coming to a good AA Blairsville team by 6 points on a neutral floor. 

2. Shanksville-Stonycreek 18-1

I rank Shanksville #2, but they are essentially also the number one team in District Five - it's that close. They have Rockwood, a pesky Conemaugh Township team, and the WestPac championship likely against Portage this week, a team the Vikings already beat by 35.  Barring an upset, the District Five championship at UPJ with Southern Fulton and Shanksville in a few short weeks is must-see basketball. Start standing in line for tickets...NOW.

3. Conemaugh Township 14-6

If any team will ruin that dream matchup in the district five final, it would be Township. At 14-6, they continue to churn good team after good team. They should beat Blacklick, and give it a go at Shanksville and see where they stand against one of the favorites heading into the playoffs. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

D6SN Boys Basketball Rankings: Week Ten

Obviously the weather has made everything a mess, let me know if I missed a final or a record is incorrect. Sometimes Maxpreps isn't always updated with make up games. Thanks. 


1. Hollidaysburg 10-5

Hollidaysburg scored an impressive win over a very good Latrobe team on Saturday. The Golden Tigers won by a 14 point margin over a AAAA team with a 14-4 record.  Hollidaysburg will have road games at State College and Huntingdon this weekend, but will host Bald Eagle on Wednesday. 

2. Somerset 13-3

Somerset sat last week with a lot of snowed-out games, and will look to get back to it this week. Somerset will welcome upstart Westmont to town, and will head to Johnstown to take on struggling Bishop McCort. 

3. Johnstown 14-3

Johnstown came back to beat their rivals, Bishop McCort, by a score of 66-60 last week in their lone game. They will take on Richland and Bedford this week. 


1. Tyrone 15-2

Tyrone had an impressive week to climb back into the top spot for now. They handed a good Clearfield team its second loss of the season in a close 47-43 game. They play Bellefonte at home tomorrow, before hitting the road against Central Mountain and Bald Eagle. 

2. Blairsville 13-3

The Bobcats sat vacant last week, they'll play Purchase Line and Marion Center this week. 

3. Penn Valley 12-3

Penns Valley improved to 12-3 with an easy win over Philipsburg-Osceola last week. They travel to Huntingdon and host Clearfield in a very challenging week for the Rams. 

4. Bellwood-Antis 13-5

Bellwood-Antis is riding a seven game winning streak, and they are coming off an 18 point beatdown of previously #1 ranked West Branch. They welcome Mt. Union and Williamsburg to town this week. 

5. West Branch 15-2 

West Branch remains ranked with their gaudy record, but they certainly take a step back after the humbling defeat to Bellwood-Antis.  


1. Berlin-Brothersvalley 13-3

Berlin was able to handle a good Conemaugh Township team to move to 13-3 last week. They have a tough test with Shade and Shanksville on the docket. 

2. Tussey Mountain 10-6

The Titans have seemed to have found their stride having won six games in a row. They have a home game with McConnellsburg before traveling to Williamsburg and Everett to close out the week. 

3. Chestnut Ridge 11-5

Chestnut Ridge won a pair of games by four points total to move to 11-5 and right in the thick of the D5 AA race. They have a BIG test with a road game at Southern Fulton coming up tomorrow. 

D6 A

1. Bishop Carroll 17-1

The Bishop Carroll train just keeps rolling.  The Huskies have four games left before they make another run through the class A playoffs. This week they host Guilgoyle and travel to pesky Cambria Heights. 

2. Homer-Center 15-2

The Wildcats recovered from a loss to Purchase Line by handling United and taking down Ligonier on the road to get back on track and up to 15-2. They head to United and bring in Saltsburg this week. 

3. Portage 11-4 

The Mustangs head to Harmony and Blacklick Valley and welcome HOPE for Hyndman with an excellent chance to pick up three wins. 

4. Saltsburg 10-7

The Trojans have lost two straight, and it doesn't get any easier with road games against Central and Homer-Center this week. 

5. Ferndale 9-7

Don't look now, but Ferndale has picked up their play lately, and the Yellow Jackets are back over .500, and they could be a team to be reckoned with down the stretch with Ray Hinton leading the charge.  They welcome Meyersdale and Windber to "The Hive" this week. 

D5 A

1. Southern Fulton 17-1

This team just continues to cruise this season, as they picked up a pair of convincing double digit wins last week. 

2. Shanksville 14-1

The Vikings took down Windber in a snow shortened week. They have three road games with Meyersdale, Blacklick Valley, and Berlin coming up this week. 

3. Conemaugh Township 11-5

The Indians dropped with to Berlin, but I still keep them hanging around this week. They need to pick up a few easy wins this week with Turkeyfoot Valley and North Star on the schedule. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

D6SN Boys Basketball Rankings: Week Nine


1. Hollidaysburg  9-5

Hollidaysburg handled Richland in their lone game this week to improve to 9-5. They take on Hungtindon on the road tonight in a AAA showdown, and they host a very good AAAA Latrobe team on Saturday at home. The Wildcats are 13-3 and one of the better AAAA teams in the WPIAL this season.

2. Somerset 13-3

The Golden Eagles busy stretch continued this past week as they won three of their four games on the schedule.  Somerset was upset by Cambria Heights early in the week as the Highlanders knocked down 13 3 pointers, from there the Golden Eagles reeled off three straight to set their record at 13-3. The backcourt tandem of Dylan Barnes (16.4 PPG) and Jake Heiple (14.6 PPG) has been as good as any in the area this season. Somerset has home games with Penn Cambria, Richland, and a big one with Johnstown this week.

3. Johnstown 13-3

Johnstown scored a three win week to improve their winning streak to five games.  Johnstown took down AAAA Altoona for the second time this season, and humbled Bishop Guilfoyle.  Johnstown ehads to Bedford before hosting an important rivalry game against McCort.   The big one, though, is the game with Somerset on Friday night as the Trojans will look to avenge a four point loss earlier in the year.


1. West Branch 15-1

West Branch is riding a ten game winning streak and they now find themselves atop the AA rankings.  West Branch has been very good this season, and have been scoring points at a high level.  The Warriors will be put to the test this week with a road game at Mt. Union and a home game with Bellwood, the only team to conquer West Branch this season. 

2. Tyrone 13-2

Tyrone lost a heart-breaker to Westmont early on in the week by one point, but managed to easily dispatch conference foes Philipsburg-Osceola and Central to bounce back nicely.  The Golden Eagles have been steady all year long, but they will definitely be put to the test this week. Tyrone heads to Huntingdon to take on the 9-4 Bearcats, and welcome 15-1 Clearfield to town also. 

3. Blairsville 13-3

Blairsville has strung together four wins in a row since the loss to Homer-Center, including a statement 22 point win over a pretty good Saltsburg team. The Bobcats have home games with United and Purchase Line before heading to Penns Manor on Thursday. The slate presents a good chance for Blairsville to win three games easily.

4. Penns Valley 11-3

The Rams bounced back from a tough two point loss to Tyrone with wins over Mifflin County and Bald Eagle last week.  Penns Valley takes on Cambria Heights and Philipsburg-Osceola on the road, before a home game with Central to close out the week.

5. Westmont 9-6

Westmont started the year with a brutal 1-4 start, and since, the Hilltoppers have won 8 of 10, including four straight. Westmont heads to Bedford this week and hosts rival Bishop McCort.


1. Berlin-Brothersvalley 12-3

The Mountaineers have firmly established themselves as the team to beat in District 5 AA with a statement eight point win on the road at Chestnut Ridge.  Berlin has won six straight games, and they will look to keep things rolling with a big home game against Conemaugh Township.

2. Tussey Mountain 8-6

Tussey Mountain scored two wins last week over Forbes Road and Northern Bedford, and they finally have gotten over the .500 mark for the season.  The Titans have a big week highlighted by a road game to Bellwood-Antis.

3. Chestnut Ridge 9-5

Chestnut Ridge has lost to the two teams ranked ahead of them this season, but they can certainly still give both teams a run for their money in a rematch. Ridge heads to McConnellsburg and hosts Forbes Road this week

D6 A

1. Bishop Carroll 15-1

Bishop Carroll just continues to cruise along this season with a pair of double-digit wins over Bedford and Bishop McCort last week.  They welcome Penn Cambria to Husky Hill before making the short walk to Central Cambria on Friday night. 

2. Homer-Center 13-2

Homer took down AAA Punxsutawney early last week, but managed to get upset by Purchase Line on Thursday. I still rank Homer at number two, because I think they can give Carroll the best game among all the teams in class A. 

3. Saltsburg 10-6

The Trojans have been a nice surprise this season, and they are close to matching their 11 win total from last season.  Saltsburg hosts Penns Manor and heads to Marion Center this week in two winnable games for the Trojans. 

4. Portage 11-3

Portage suffered a humbling loss to Shanksville this week, but otherwise they have had a nice season to date.  The Mustangs will head to Shade before welcoming Windber to town. 

5. Bishop Guilfoyle 6-7 

Bishop Guilfoyle has really dropped off lately, and they haven't hit the stride I expected them to hit by now, BUT I am not ready to write them off by any measure. Still, BG needs to get off their current four game skid, and will hit the road to take on Cambria Heights and Penn Cambria this week. 

D5 A

1. Southern Fulton 15-1 

Southern Fulton won three games last week by 20 or more points and they have been a force all year long. The Indians are riding a 13 game winning streak, and will look to keep it going against Fannett-Metal and McConnellsburg this week. 

2. Shanksville 13-1

Shanksville responded to their first loss of the season by winning three straight last week. The lone game on the slate is Turkeyfoot Valley. 

3. Conemaugh Township 11-4

Township has won nine in a row and finds themselves back in the weekly rankings.  The Indians have a huge game with Berlin on the road this week, and they also have to head to Johnstown to take on Conemaugh Valley. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

D6SN Boys Basketball Rankings: Week Eight


1. Hollidaysburg 8-5

The Golden Tigers had a nice week with a 2-1 mark. Their two wins came over AAAA schools Altoona and Gettysburg, and their lone loss was to AAAA Gettysburg.  They have asserted themselves as the clear favorites in AAA and a lot of it has to do with some of the tougher games on their schedule. They have just one game this week, as they head to Johnstown to take on Richland High School. 

2. Somerset 9-2

Somerset is right on the heels of Hollidaysburg, and they are really starting to hit their stride recently. The Golden Eagles had a convincing 4-0 week, and they will be busy again this week.  Somerset will travel to Cambria Heights and Forest Hills and they also host Central Cambria.  The three games can give Somerset an opportunity to move to 8-1 in the Laurel Highlands. 

3. Johnstown 10-3

Johnstown narrowly escaped with a 66-63 win over Westmont to improve to 10-3 overall. Johnstown will host Altoona and Bishop Guilfoyle this week, while mixing a game at Cambria Heights in between.  The Trojans have only played three games since December 27, but the schedule should start to pick it up here soon. 


1. Tyrone 11-1

With a Blairsville loss and a two win week, Tyrone climbs to our new number one team this week. They have a trio of home games ahead this week with Westmont, Philipsburg-Osceola, and Central coming to town.  If Tyrone handles business, they should be 14-1 after this week. 

2. West Branch 12-1

The Warriors also leapfrog Blairsville with a two win week. West Branch really showed some fire power by combing for 189 points in their two games last week.  They will look to keep the offense rolling with home games against Curwensville, Moshannon Valley, and Williamsburg this week. 

3. Blairsville 11-3

Blairsville lost to Homer Center by 5 on the road, and realistically I think they still may be the team to beat this season. The Bobcats have three losses by 9 points total to three teams that may win their respective district championships. They have a road game at United and host a pretty good saltsburg team, but the Bobcats should move to 13-3. 

4. Penns Valley 9-3

Penns Valley dropped a close one to Tyrone in their only game last week by a score of 52-50. They sit at an impressive 9-3 this season, and will welcome Mifflin County and Bald Eagle to town this week.

5. Penn Cambria 9-5

Penn Cambria climbs into the rankings after they have won four games in a row. The Panthers have a tough home game with Westmont and must travel to Bedford this week, and they will both to remain in the rankings.


1.  Berlin-Brothersvalley  8-3

Berlin hops back into the top spot with a pair of wins this past week.  The Mountaineers survived a late comeback from McCort on Saturday to hang on to a one point win. Berlin will head to CHestnut Ridge in a big game Saturday night. 

2. Tussey Mountain 6-6

The Titans had a nice week which was capped off by a narrow victory over Chestnut Ridge decided in the final seconds of the game.  They also handled Southern Huntingdon and took a good Southern Fulton to to the final seconds. Tussey Mountain has road games at Forbes Road and Williamsburg before a home game against rivals, Nothern Bedford. 

3. Chestnut Ridge 8-3

Chestnut Ridge lost a heartbreaker to Tussey Mountain, but the Lions are still in good shape and they have an opportunity for a statement week. They have a showdown with top ranked Berlin on Saturday night in a game with major implications for playoff seeding. 

D6 A

1. Bishop Carroll 13-1

Bishop Carroll had two wins over Cambria Heights and Forest Hills, and should have two more wins on the horizon this week with a home game against Bedford and a trip to struggling Bishop McCort. 

2. Homer Center 12-1

Homer Center lost their opening game by two points, since then, they have reeled off 12 straight victories.  The Wildcats had a big win this week over rivals, Blairsville by five points to assume sole possession of first place in the Heritage. 

3. Portage 9-2 

Portage has run off three straight wins to improve to 9-2 on the year.  They will have a chance to be 11-1 heading into a big game with Shanksville on Saturday night. 

4. Bishop Guilfoyle 6-5

The Marauders had a rough week dropping two road games by double digits. They have road games with Central and Johnstown coming up, and a home game with McCort. 

5. Saltsburg 9-5 

The Trojans came up with two convincing wins this week to extend their record to 9-5. They have a home game with Purchase Line before a big game at Blairsville on Thursday. 

D5 A

1. Southern Fulton 12-1

The Indians scored a close win over Tussey Mountain before handling McConnellsburg. By virtue of those two wins and a Shanksville loss, I have Southern Fulton ranked first this week. They play Northern Bedford and travel to Forbes Road this week. 

2. Shanksville-Stonycreek 10-1

The Vikings played AAA Somerset tough, but ultimately lost their first game of the season. Still, Shanksville definitely validated themselves as a really good team, and one that can make noise this season. They have one game this week, and that's a trip to 9-2 Portage. 

3. McConnellsburg  9-1

The Spartans took care of Northern Bedford, but had a humbling defeat to Southern Fulton. They have two road games this week at Everett and Fannett-Metal and will look to get back on track. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

D6SN Boys Basketball Rankings: Week Seven


1. Hollidaysburg 6-4

The Golden Tigers cruised to a very easy win over single-A St. Joseph's Academy 76-22 in their lone game last week. Hollidaysburg will be put to the test this week as they host Williamsport and Gettysburg, while fitting a road game at Altoona in between the two.  All three opponents are AAAA teams and should be a good challenge for the Golden Tigers

2. Somerset 5-2

Somerset leapfrogs Johnstown in the rankings by virtue of beating the Trojans on their home floor. They have a busy week on the horizon with four games in six days. Luckily for the Golden Eagles, all four games will be played on their home floor. The games with Bishop Guilfoyle and Shanksville should be the most challenging. 

3. Johnstown 9-3

The Trojans drop in the rankings after that loss to Somerset, but they are still off to a good start this season.  They make the long trip down to Bedford and host Westmont this week. 


1. Blairsville 9-2

The Bobcats are off to an excellent start this season and handled Marion Center with no problems last week. This week could be a totally different story as it will be much more difficult with three road games including a showdown with Homer-Center tonight at the Homer Dome. 

2. Tyrone 9-1

Tyrone is currently riding a modest four game winning streak. The Golden Eagles have two monster games this week at Penns Valley and home against Mt. Union. 

3. West Branch 10-1 

The Warriors are on a solid five game winning streak and should be able to keep it rolling with games against Glendale and Juniata Valley this week. 

4. Mt. Union 9-1

Mt. Union moved to 9-1 this week after two wins, including a one point nailbiter over Bellwood-Antis. They have road games at Moshannon Valley, Williamsburg, and Tyrone. 

5. Penns Valley 8-2

Penns Valley drops a bit with a loss to Huntingdon, but the Rams are still a very good basketball team. The only game on the slate this week is when they host #2 Tyrone on Wednesday. 


1. Chestnut Ridge 6-3

Chesnut Ridge has lost three of four, but nobody is really emerging in the D5AA race. They have home games with Everett and Tussey Mountain, and take a short trip to take on Bedford mid-week. The Lions could really assert themselves as the team to beat with a big week here. 

2. Berlin-Brothersvalley 6-3

Berlin dropped two games last week to fall to 6-3. They take on Turkeyfoot Valley at home and travel to Bishop McCort on Saturday. 

3. Tussey Mountain 4-5

The Titans handled their archrivals, Northern Bedford last week to improve to 4-5. They have some tough games this week highlighted by Southern Fulton and at Chestnut Ridge. 

D6 A

1. Bishop Carroll 11-1

The Huskies played two rivalry games last week, and won them both handily.  They have a home game with Cambria Heights and a road game at Forest Hills this week, both games Carroll will be heavy favorites. 

2. Homer-Center 9-1

The Wildcats beat Saltsburg in their lone game last week, but it was enough to slide them into the second spot.  Homer has three home games this week with the big one coming tonight against Blairsville.

3. Bishop Guilfoyle 5-3

Guilfoyle started the week out strong with wins over Penn Cambria and Bellwood, but dropped with the loss to Carroll. I still thing this team is not a finished product, and they will get better. They head to Forest Hills, Somerset, and Central Cambria this week.  

4. Portage 7-2

Portage has been a bit of a surprise this season, but they have played steady basketball all year long.  They have road games at Harmony and Ferndale and they also host Conemaugh Valley. 

5. Saltsburg 7-4

Quietly, Saltsburg is having a nice season. They head to Ligonier this week before hosting Northern Cambria and United. 

D5 A

1. Shaksville-Stonycreek 8-0

Shanksville is off to a great start and they have a huge showdown with Somerset on Saturday. It's hard to think they can take down a good AAA team like that, but don't count them out in that game. 

2. Southern Fulton 10-1

The Indians picked up two wins last week and they sit with an impressive 10-1 record at the midway point of the season. They go to Tussey Mountain and welcome McConnellsburg this week.

3. McConnellsburg 8-0

The Spartans picked up two easy wins last week to improve to 8-0. The travel to Southern Fulton on Wednesday for a big game.