A capsule look at today’s PIAA area basketball games
Girls Class A
Sullivan County (19-7) vs. Jenkintown (27-1) at
Sullivan Road to 2nd round: In District 4, beat Galeton, 72-30 and Millville, 61-42; lost to Lourdes, 35-29; in states, beat Covenant Christian, 65-30
Sullivan leading scorers: Mykenzie Malacusky, Sr., G, 15.5; Jessica King, Jr., F, 12.2; Bethany Beinlich, So., G, 9.5
Sullivan notes: The Griffins are appearing in the second round for a second consecutive season. They won their first-ever state tournament game last season and played one of their best games in Saturday’s romp against Covenant. Three players scored in double figures and Sullivan had 22 assists on 30 field goals. Sophomore Sophia Springman set the tone with seven early points and also had seven rebounds and five assists. Jessica King recorded her area-high 15 double-double against Covenant, scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Defensive stopper Bethany Beinlich added 12 points, 7 assists and 4 steals. Senior point guard Mykenzie Malacusky scored her 1,000th career point earlier this season and had 12 points, 6 assists and 5 steals in that game while fellow senior Alexis Randall added 6 points and 4 rebounds. Freshman Kassidy Beinlich was strong off the bench, scoring 8 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. The Griffins captured their third straight Mid-Penn championship this season and reached the second district final in program history. They have won 63 games over the past three seasons, reaching states each time after having never played in the state tournament before that.
Jenkintown road to 2nd round: In District 1, beat Faith Christian, 62-31 and The Christian Academy, 51-16; in states, defeated Harrisburg Christian, 68-15
Jenkintown leading scorers: Mia Kolb, Sr., G, 12.8; Carly Mulvaney, So., G/F, 11.4; Natalie Kolb, 10.5, Sr., G/F; Molly Walsh, So., G, 6.9
Jenkintown notes: The defending state champions have been ranked No. 1 in the state since the preseason and are undefeated against PIAA opponents. Jenkintown has a solid core of players back from last year’s team and plays outstanding defense. The Drakes are beating opponents by a 54-27 average and romped to league and district championships. Jenkintown has reached five straight state tournaments and reached the 2017 Final 4. Over the last two seasons, they are 58-2 and have won at least 25 games in each of the past three seasons. Mia Kolb helps ignite Jenkintown and is a 1,000-point scorer. Five players are averaging more than five points per game.
Winner plays: District 3 runner-up Greenwood or District 2 champion Susquehanna Community
Boys Class AAA
Loyalsock (27-1) vs.
Bishop McDevitt (19-6)
at Milton Hershey, 7:30
Loyalsock Road to 2nd round: In District 4, beat Troy, 97-38; Central Columbia, 59-57 and Wellsboro, 70-36; in states, beat Palmerton, 80-48
Loyalsock leading scorers: Gerald Ross, Sr., G, 18.8; Aiden Gair, Jr., G, 15.0; Anthony Pastore, Sr., PG, 11.4; Connor Watkins, Sr., F, 10.7
Loyalsock notes: The Lancers are trying to reach the state quarterfinals for a second straight year and have won 20 straight games. Loyalsock survived a scare against Central Columbia in the district semifinals but has come back strong, routing Wellsboro and Palmerton, building big first-quarter leads each time. The Lancers captured both the Heartland Conference and district championships this season, winning their first district title since 2015. Loyalsock’s 27 wins are the most by a Lancer team in the 2000s and five players earned HAC all-star honors earlier this week. Ross was named HAC-II MVP for a second straight season and scored 21 points in three quarters against Palmerton. Four players have put together games in which they have scored 24 or more points this season and Bam Brima has been one of the districts top defenders. Rees Watkins has been outstanding off the bench throughout the postseason and both Dane Armson and Idris Ali played well against Palmerton. Loyalsock was an underdog against Valley Forge Military Academy in last year’s second rounder at Milton Hershey, rallying for a thrilling 54-50 win. Ross, Watkins, Pastore and Brima are part of a senior class that has won 81 games the past four seasons.
McDevitt road to 2nd round: In District 12, beat Archbishop Wood, 52-49; lost to La Salle, 49-41 and Neumann Goretti, 60-57; in states, beat Camp Hill, 69-54
McDevitt notes: Like Loyalsock, the Royal Lancers are trying to reach the state quarterfinals for a second straight year. They and Loyalsock both have spent time ranked as No. 1 Class AAA team in various rankings this year. McDevitt held that ranking after defeating defending state champion Neumann-Goretti, 56-48 in January, but lost the top spot when N-G won the rematch, 60-57. The Lancers have undergone a dramatic transformation in two years under coach Will Chavis. In the three years prior to Chavis’s arrival, McDevitt went 12-54. Now the Lancers have emerged as state title contenders again, starting the season 10-0. Chavis was a captain at Texas Tech in the early 2000s, playing for coach Bobby Knight. Guard Amir Johnson and forward Cameron Gardner help ignite a defense allowing 51 points per game. Harris and fellow guard Robert Smith also have had some big games offensively. Junior forward Jamil Manigo leads the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game and was a first team All-Catholic League selection.
Winner plays: District 12 champion Neumann-Goretti or Wyoming Seminary
–by CHRIS MASSE