Class AAA Girls: Loyalsock (22-6) vs. Neumann-Goretti (18-7)
at Central Dauphin East High School, 6
Loyalsock playoff road: In District 4, beat Williamson, 54-26; lost to Mount Carmel, 47-30; beat Bloomsburg, 54-32; in states, beat Trinity, 53-51
Loyalsock leading scorers: Summer McNulty 13.4; Sam Stopper 9.6; Sarah Van Fleet 6.6
Loyalsock notes: The Lancers are competing in the second round of states for the first time since 2010 and are trying to reach the quarterfinals for the first time in the 2000s. Loyalsock stunned District 3 champion Trinity last Friday, erasing a halftime deficit and building a six-point lead late in the game. McNulty scored 28 points while Stopper added 13. Juliana Cruz brilliantly ran the offense and handled Trinity’s various pressing and trapping defenses. Van Fleet, Rhiallie Jessell and Charlotte Neylon provided excellent post and help defense as the Lancers shut down two 6-foot standouts who were averaging a combined 31 points per game. Loyalsock has won 13 of its last 15 games and captured the Heartland Conference championship when it beat 4A state qualifiers Shamokin and Lewisburg. Jessell is the team’s only senior and the 22 wins are the most by a Loyalsock team since 2008.
Neumann-Goretti playoff road: in District 12, beat Archbishop Carroll 48-47; lost to Cardinal O’Hara, 64-49 and to Imhotep, 62-59; in states, beat Pine Grove, 69-32
Neumann-Goretti notes: The Saints are chasing their fourth straight state championship and bounced back in impressive fashion from consecutive losses by hammering Pine Grove. Neumann-Goretti went 12-0 in Catholic League play before dropping the championship to 6A Cardinal O’Hara. Neumann-Goretti split to games with the Cardinals and opened its season by playing five out-of-state teams. Point guard Jabria Ingram powers the Saints and averages close to 20 points per game. Junior forward Tatiana Jones also is explosive and hit a last-second 3-pointer to defeat Archbishop Carroll. Three players scored in double figures against Pine Grove. Neumann-Goretti uses a stifling full-court press to try and create turnovers and spark its offense. This Saints team has not been as dominant as previous ones, but still is a serious state title contender. During the last 10 years, Neumann-Goretti has produced players who have competed at Texas, Rutgers, James Madison, Central Florida and Virginia.
Winner plays: District 1 champion St. Basil or District 2 runner-up Holy Redeemer
— By CHRIS MASSE