Four boys' teams return from a week layoff in PIAA basketball semifinals

Junior guard Chris Ings and Neumann-Goretti are trying to successfully defend their PIAA Class 3A state championship.

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:

Saturday    

Class 6A

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.

Class 3A

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.

Class 2A

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.