Three TIMES NEWS area basketball teams will be in District 11 semifinal action today and tomorrow. The Marian boys and girls and the Tamaqua girls will all be looking to advance into Friday's championship round.
A victory in the semifinal round secures a berth in the state tournament for any or all of the three teams. A loss in this round will end the season for the area teams since both the Class A boys and girls fields and the girls AA field advance just two teams into the state tournament.
DISTRICT 11 CLASS A BOYS
No. 3 Marian (18-5 overall) vs.
No. 2 Mahanoy Area (19-5 overall)
TIPOFF: Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Martz Hall
COACHES: Marian - John Patton. Mahanoy Area - Mickey Holland.
LEADING SCORERS: Marian - Ryan Karnish (Sr., G, 13.7 ppg), Alden Whah (Sr., C, 10 ppg), Anthony Agosti (Jr., G, 8.3 ppg), Nick Kweder (Sr., G, 6 ppg); Mahanoy Area - Tyler Cavenas (Jr., C, 12.9 ppg), Larry McNeil (Jr., G, 12 ppg), Dylan Mahmod (Jr., G, 10 ppg), Kyle McGee (Sr., G, 6.9 ppg), Andy Kuzma (Jr., F, 5.7 ppg).
GAME NOTES: This will be the fourth meeting of the season between these two teams … Marian won two of those games at the Panther Valley Tip-Off Tournament on the first weekend of the season and at home earlier this month. Both were two-point victories. Mahanoy's only win came at home on Jan. 2, 45-35 … Patton admitted his team did not execute well that night due to Mahanoy's defensive effort … The Golden Bears lost to Pottsville in the Schuylkill League finals before knocking off Moravian (64-35) in the district quarterfinals last week. Mahanoy had four players score in double-figures against the Lions. Mahmod led the way with 17 points, while Cavenas nearly posted a triple-double (14 pts, 12 rebs, 6 asts). McNeil and Brian Miller added 14 and 10 points respectively … Cavenas and Miller are both listed at 6-4 … Patton said Cavenas is the best post man his team has seen all season … McNeil went off for 30 points against Shenandoah earlier this year and did not play in the last meeting at Marian … The Colts' goal is to defend Cavenas while not giving the Bears' shooters any room … Mahanoy lost to Pius X in the last's district final and hasn't won a championship since 2001 … Marian won back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011 … Each year the Colts beat the Bears on their way to the top, including the 2011 championship game, 53-43 … Whah is averaging a double-double for Marian at 10 points-per-game and 12.8 rebounds-per-game … He has pulled down an amazing 125 offensive rebounds in 21 games this year … Damian Richards (Sr., G/F) and Eric Swankoski (Sr., F) help by averaging five points-per-game … Marian defeated Shenandoah Valley in the quarterfinals, 42-32 to get to the semifinals.
QUOTABLE: "We have started calling these games 32-minute seasons. That is what we are focused on right now. It is going to be a possession-by possession game. Both teams have good defenses so it is going to come down to whoever can execute the best on offense." Marian head coach John Patton.
DISTRICT 11 CLASS AA GIRLS
No. 3 Tamaqua (17-6) vs.
No. 2 Notre Dame Green Pond (18-5)
TIPOFF: Tuesday, Feb. 25th at 6 p.m. at Blue Mountain High School
COACHES: Tamaqua - Joe Berezwick. Notre Dame Green Pond - Josh Kopp
LEADING SCORERS: Tamaqua - Christine Streisel (16.09 ppg) Maria Streisel (13.47 ppg), Amanda Solt (9.3 ppg); Notre Dame Green Pond - Shannon Moran (11.8 ppg), Lexi McGivern (9.82 ppg), Gabriella Altmire (8.26 ppg).
GAME NOTES: The Lady Raiders are coming into their game with Notre Dame GP playing very well. They have won six straight games and nine out of their last 10 ... Tamaqua is also looking to get to its sixth District 11 final since the 1999-00 season. The Raiders reached the finals in 1999-2000, 2003-04, 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11, winning three out of the five ... Seniors Christine Streisel and Maria Streisel have been tearing up the hardwood as of late and in a sisterly fashion. The two have both scored over 20 points in the last two games and have combined for 89 out of Tamaqua's total of 116 points in those two contests ... Christine Streisel has been riding a hot streak on the offensive end over the last four ball games. She has been averaging 20.8 points per game over the last four, which is almost five points better than her season average ... Notre Dame Green Pond's strengths stem from their guard play. They're an uptempo team that likes to shoot the three. That means the Crusaders and Raiders match-up well with the Raiders sharing much of the same qualities ... Defensively, the Crusaders like to run mostly a man-to-man defensive scheme with a little 1-3-1 and 2-3 mixed in ... The key for the Raiders will be to match the effort of the Crusaders and keep them from going on runs.
QUOTEABLE: "It's important for us to get off to a good start and match their intensity the whole way. They're not the kind of team that is going to beat themselves, so we have to make sure we take care of the basketball. We also need to score consistently throughout the game. We can't have any low points or lulls because they are the type of team that can go on a run when given the opportunity." - Tamaqua Coach Joe Berezwick
DISTRICT 11 CLASS A GIRLS
No. 3 Marian (16-8 overall)
vs. No. 2 Notre Dame
of East Stroudsburg (17-6 overall)
TIPOFF: Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. at Martz Hall
COACHES: Marian - Paul Brutto; Notre Dame of East Stroudsburg - Frank Bertola.
LEADING SCORERS: Marian - Gabby Green (13.0 ppg), Sam Faust (8.3), Savanna Krusinsky (7.3); Notre Dame of East Stroudsburg - Angelica Bertola (19.0 ppg), Rebecca Bailey (8.6), Lacey LaRezza (6.0), Amanda Smith (7.2)
GAME NOTES: Marian advanced to Wednesday's semifinal game with a 40-30 win over Schuylkill League Division 3 rival Nativity in the quarterfinals while Notre Dame of East Stroudsburg rolled to a commanding 61-14 victory over Lehigh Valley Christian ... This marks the second straight year that the two programs have met in the District 11 semifinals. A year ago, the Fillies earned a second consecutive trip to the Class A championship when they scored an exciting 47-42 overtime victory over the Spartans at Stroudsburg Area High School ... Brutto pointed out the fact that the Spartans return every single player from year's overtime battle while senior Sam Faust is the lone returning starter who will play for the Fillies...Gabby Green would have been another returning starter, but the Fillies junior will most likely miss the game after sustaining a knee injury in Saturday's quarterfinal win against Nativity. Green was undergoing an MRI to determine the extent of the injury, but was extremely doutful according to Brutto ... Brutto is concerned about Spartan junior guard Angelica Bertola, who scored her 1,000 career point back in early February. Bertola has 415 points and 43 three-pointers on the season...Brutto said the Fillies have to do a good job of knowing where Bertola is at all time because she can hit from anywhere on the court ... The Spartans aren't a one-person team, however. They feature a super quick guard in Rebecca Bailey, who caused problems for Marian last season; a strong inside presence in Lacey LaRezza; and a complementary perimeter shooter in Amanda Smith ... Despite Notre Dame's edge in experience, Brutto believes it's an opportunity for the younger kids to step up in a big game and make a name for themselves ... A Fillies' victory will earn them their third straight PIAA State tournament berth and their 17th state tourney appearance in the last 19 years. ...
QUOTABLE: "Sometime in playoff basketball, different kids have to step up. Sometime it's due to injuries like with Gabby and other times it's just the way the game goes. We had some kids step up last game, especially in the fourth quarter under adverse conditions. Now, at least we have a couple of days to prepare for not having Gabby, so that helps a little bit. We talked to the girls about how winning this game gets us to the state tournament and gives us an opportunity to repeat what we did last year (the Fillies won three games in the state tourney, advancing all the way to the state semifinals). So, we're looking forward to that chance." Marian head coach Paul Brutto.