The PIAA first postponed most of the basketball semifinals from Tuesday until Thursday because of the inclement weather, Then, after it decided to move the three-day championship schedule to next week, the semifinals were switched to Saturday.
As a result, Roman Catholic and Abraham Lincoln (Class 6A), Neumann-Goretti (3A), and Constitution (2A) had their bids to make it to Hershey’s Giant Center delayed four days.
Here is a look at the semifinals involving those squads:
Roman, which is vying for its third crown in four seasons, will return to action against District 7’s Pine-Richland at 1 p.m. at Chambersburg.
The extended layoff may have aided the Cahillites, since it gave catalyst Seth Lundy more time to rest his left ankle. The 6-foot-6 junior wing suffered the injury in Saturday’s 75-56 quarterfinal defeat of Central Bucks West.
Lundy, a first-team all-Catholic League performer and Division I recruit, is averaging a team-high 16.2 points.
Pine-Richland is one win away from playing in Hershey for the second straight year. It lost to District 3’s Reading, 64-60, in last year’s final.
The Rams (23-6) are sparked by guard Dan Petcash (17.6 points per game), 6-foot-5 wing Phil Jurkovec (16 ppg, 9.1 rebounds per game), and 6-6, 255-pound forward Andrew Kristofic (10.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg).
Jurkovec is four-star quarterback and Notre Dame signee. He ran for four scores and threw for another, as the Rams stormed past St. Joseph’s Prep, 41-21, in December’s 6A final.
In addition to Lundy, the Cahillites have scoring threats in savvy point guard Lynn Greer III and high-leaping wings Hakim Hart and Allen Betrand. The 6-5 Hart is averaging 21.3 points and has hit 10 three-pointers in the state playoffs.
Pick: Roman, 73-62.
Lincoln (23-6) will continue its historic run against District 2’s Hazleton at 1 p.m. at Bethlehem Freedom.
The Railsplitters are headed by guards Khalif Meares, Emeul Charleston, and Sanhei Day, and forwards Tyree Corbett and Jahi Randall. The 6-5 Corbett scored 29 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in a 77-70 quarterfinal win over Neshaminy.
Hazleton (26-1) is led by forward Jeffrey Planutis, Da’Mir Faison, Josh Samec, and Joey Grula. The 6-8 Samec netted 33 points and the 6-4 Faison had 20 as the Cougars ousted Abington, 94-86, in the quarterfinals.
Pick: Hazleton, 84-71.
Neumann-Goretti’s quest for its fifth straight title and eighth in nine seasons will continue against District 3’s Trinity at 3 p.m. at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School.
The Saints (21-6) are paced by guards Dymir Montague, Chris Ings, and Noah Warren; 6-8 center Marcus Littles, and 6-3 wing Ja’Cor Smith.
The headliner for Trinity (23-5) is 6-10 senior and Lafayette signee Sean Good. He has totaled more than 1,000 points,1,000 rebounds, and 500 blocks in his career.
The balanced Shamrocks also have key contributors in 6-6 forward Kalen Veres, 6-5 forward Jack Bucher, 5-11 guard Matt Long, and 6-3 wing Patrick Walker.
Pick: Neumann-Goretti, 61-57.
Constitution, which is seeking its fourth crown in the last eight seasons, will battle District 2’s Holy Cross at 2:30 p.m. at Bethlehem Freedom.
The Generals are fueled by swift guards Damon Wall (17.7 ppg), Jahmir Marable-Williams (14.1 ppg), and Keshaun Hammonds (14.1).
The Crusaders (23-6) rely heavily on guards Patrick Galvin (12.6 ppg), Kieran Burrier (11), and Tyler Mozeleski (10.5), and 6-foot forward Tom Montefour (8.4).
Pick: Constitution, 69-62.