The second week of February often produces the most intense competition within the Lackawanna League. And this year should be no exception.
Just ask Honesdale.
The Hornets saw their season slipping away as only eight of 12 teams reach the District 2 Class 4A playoffs. So, when it played Valley View last week, Honesdale took it on as a postseason game and came away with a hard-fought win. The Hornets climbed back into the picture in at No. 7. Now, the season concludes with a tough assignment Tuesday at Scranton Prep, but at least now they have a fighting chance.
Here is what is ahead as the season enters its last week:
Earning District 2 playoff berths is a priority, teams in the Lackawanna League are trying to stay focused on earning division championships.
Division I will finish its regular season Tuesday and the championship race is not over just yet.
For Abington Heights (11-1)
- If the Comets defeat Scranton, they will win the Division I championship.
- If Scranton wins and Scranton Prep wins, there will be a playoff needed to determine the Division I champion.
NOTE: Congratulations to Abington Heights senior Jackson Danzig, who scored the 1,000th point of his career last week. Danzig is the 10th player to reach the milestone for coach Ken Bianchi. He is also the ninth at Abington Heights since Bianchi took over as coach.
He joins the following:
For Scranton Prep (10-2)
- If the Cavaliers defeat Honesdale, they need Scranton to beat Abington Heights to defend its division title.
Division I champions since 2012-13 season (First with four divisions)
2013 — Abington Heights
2014 — Abington Heights
2015 — Scranton Prep
2016 — Scranton Prep
2017 — Scranton Prep
The Lackawanna League Division II has crowned its champion. Delaware Valley earned the title last week and is now focused in on the District 2 Class 6A playoffs where right now, it holds the No. 4 seed and a meeting with Hazleton Area, which is one of the top 10 ranked Class 6A teams in the state according to City of Basketball Love.
Division II champions since 2012-13 season (First with four divisions)
2013 — Delaware Valley
2014 — Honesdale
2015 — Honesdale
2016 — Delaware Valley
2017 — Delaware Valley
2018 — Delaware Valley
Some tough news for Western Wayne, which was trying to reach the postseason. The Wildcats’ leading scorer, Zachary Rovinsky, who is also the leading scorer in the division, will miss the rest of the season with an injury. Nothing is impossible with a home game against Wayne County rival Wallenpaupack on Tuesday, but the team’s chances took a serious hit.
DISTRICT PLAYOFF BIG SCHOOLS
Projections (4 qualify)
- Saturday, February 24: 4-Delaware Valley vs. 1-Hazleton Area; 3-Williamsport vs. 2-Scranton
- NOTE: Delaware Valley plays at North Pocono on Tuesday. Williamsport still has a couple of games to play as well, and everything will come down to results and the District 2 Rating Formula.
Projections (8 qualify)
- Quarterfinals, Tuesday, February 20: 8-North Pocono vs. 1-Abington Heights; 7-Pittston Area vs. 2-Dallas, 6-Wyoming Valley West vs. 3-Crestwood, 5-West Scranton vs. 4-Wallenpaupack
- NOTE: Wyoming Valley West and Pittston Area are separated by only a few ratings points. WVW will host Crestwood and Pittston Area will be at Hazleton Area on Tuesday, then WVW will be at Pittston Area in the regular-season finale on Thursday, so that could shake things up for the opponents for Dallas and Crestwood. Wallenpaupack and West Scranton are going to likely be the 4-5 in one combination or the other. Wallenpaupack will have the upper hand because West Scranton has that game against Williamsport, which will be quite a challenge.
Projections (8 qualify)
- Quarterfinals Wednesday, February 21: 8-Meyers vs. 1-Scranton Prep; 7-Honesdale vs. 2-Nanticoke; 6-Tunkhannock vs. 3-Wyoming Area, 5-Hanover Area vs. 4-Valley View.
- NOTE: OK, the three-way tie record-wise between Meyers (9-11), Berwick (9-11) and GAR (9-11) will play itself out. On Tuesday, Berwick plays at Meyers, GAR will play home against Wyoming Area and on Thursday, GAR and Meyers will square off at Coughlin High School. Berwick will be at Tunkhannock. Honesdale needs a win to give itself the best shot at the postseason, but if it loses to Scranton Pep, must then hope the teams behind it don’t finish strong.
Holy Cross is in control of the division. The Crusaders won the first-half title and is sitting at 5-0 in the second half with a game against Blue Ridge on Tuesday and a matchup against Carbondale Area on Thursday. Now that game could mean a great deal in the chase for the second-half title. Of course, if Holy Cross, winners of 12 straight, beats Carbondale Area, it will clinch the division title. But there are a couple of tricky scenarios still in play.
Holy Cross (5-0)
- Tuesday: vs. Blue Ridge (Game does not count in D-III standings)
- Thursday: vs. Carbondale Area (First meeting — Holy Cross, 67-55)
NOTE: Has already clinched a tie for the second-half title. If it beats Carbondale Area it will win the Division III championship.
Carbondale Area (3-1)
- Tuesday: vs. Riverside (First meeting — Riverside, 63-45)
- Thursday: at Holy Cross (Last win vs. the Crusaders — January 13, 2016, 53-46)
NOTE: Carbondale Area is 1-19 against Holy Cross since the 2008-09 season).
Mid Valley (3-1)
- Tuesday: vs. Dunmore (First meeting — Mid Valley, 45-40)
- Thursday: at Old Forge (First meeting — Mid Valley 43-31)
NOTE: The Spartans can only control what they can control and that is their final record. A loss to the Crusaders in the second-half schedule has them a game back in the standings. But they are not out of it, if Carbondale Area pulls off an upset. Then, the division could face a three-way tie and additional playoff games.
Division III champions since 2012-13 season (First with four divisions)
2013 — Holy Cross
2014 — Mid Valley
2015 — Holy Cross
2016 — Dunmore
2017 — Mid Valley
Susquehanna, like Holy Cross, is in a good spot. The Sabers won the first-half title and hold a lead in the second half. Montrose and Mountain View are in pursuit, but will need Susquehanna to stumble in at least one of its final two games. And Mountain View could do it, getting a head-to-head matchup Tuesday.
- Tuesday: vs. Mountain View (First-half result — Susquehanna, 52-37)
- Thusday: at Forest City (First meeting — Susquehanna, 71-33)
- Tuesday: at Lackawanna Trail (First meeting — 67-52)
- Thusday: vs. Riverside (Does not count in division standings)
Mountain View (3-1)
- Tuesday: at Susquehanna (First-half result — Susquehanna, 52-37)
- Thursday: vs. Blue Ridge (Blue Ridge, 45-44)
NOTE: Susquehanna has never won a division championship in the Lackawanna League
Division IV champions since 2012-13 season (First with four divisions)
2013 — Elk Lake
2014 — Elk Lake
2015 — Montrose
2016 — Elk Lake
2017 — Elk Lake
DISTRICT PLAYOFF SMALL SCHOOLS
Projections (8 qualify)
- Quarterfinals, Tuesday, February 20: 8-Lakeland vs. 1-Wyoming Seminary, 7-Montrose vs. 2-Holy Redeemer, 6-Riverside vs. 3-Mid Valley, 5-Carbondale Area vs. 4-Dunmore.
- NOTE: It’s almost a lock that the 6-3 and the 5-4 will be all-Lackawanna League matchups. Wyoming Seminary and Holy Redeemer have succeeded and played tough schedules. It woould take a strong finish by Mid Valley and a loss by Holy Redeemer in the final two play dates to move the Spartans up to the No. 2 seed. Holy Redeemer plays Northwest Area (7-13) and Lake-Lehman (2-18) in its last two games.
Projections (8 qualify)
- Quarterfinals, Wednesday, February 21: 8-Blue Ridge vs. 1-Holy Cross, 7-Forest City vs. 2-Elk Lake, 6-Lackawanna Trail vs. 3-Northwest Area, 5-Mountain View vs. 4-Old Forge
- NOTE: Old Forge has a chance to claw its way up to the No. 3 seed, which would be the goal in the big picture. The Blue Devils would like to avoid Holy Cross in a potential semifinal game. Holy Cross is the overwhelming No. 1 seed. Now, Elk Lake will play at Forest City and at home against Lackawanna Trail. Both could be tough games. Northwest Area has two games left, including one against Holy Redeemer and at MMI Prep. Old Forge finishes with a game at Lakeland and at home against Mid Valley.
Projections (6 qualify)
- Quarterfinals Thursday, February 22: 1-Susquehanna and 2-Notre Dame with BYES; 5-Lincooln Leadership vs. 4-Tri-Valley; 6-Salem Christian vs. 3-Nativity BVM.
- NOTE: Only 1 District 2 team qualifies for the bracket and that is clinched by Susquehanna. Lourdes Regional is listed because it plays the schools from District 11 and its power rating is necessary to determine their rating.
That’s a lot to digest, it’s true. … But there are two dates left and a lot will become much more clear when the games finish Tuesday.