Two-time defending district boys’ champion Huntingdon will lead seven of eight area teams into the 2019-20 District Six Basketball Tournament begining Monday.
The Bearcats (20-2) are top-seeded in the four-team Class 4A field. They will be joined in the postseason by boys’ teams from Mount Union and Southern Huntingdon as well as girls’ teams from Huntingdon, Mount Union, Juniata Valley and Southern Huntingdon. Only Juniata Valley, the Class A boys’ champion a year ago, has missed the playoffs this year.
A year ago, the Bearcats finished the regular season with a 22-0 record. They swept past two opponents, beating Central 40-27 in the championship game, to claim their second straight district title. They edged Highlands 69-65 in the PIAA first round, then lost to Hickory 80-65 in the second.
Huntingdon will open defense of its title with a home game against fourth-seeded Penn Cambria Wednesday at 7 p.m. The other semifinal game that evening will have Central traveling to second-seeded Tyrone. The title game will be Saturday at Mount Aloysius College. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Only the champion will move into the PIAA tourney
Juniata Valley’s girls (18-3) are looking for their third trip to Hershey in the last four years and their first PIAA title. The Hornets are seeded third in a nine-team Class 2A field that includes two-time PIAA Class 2A champion Bellwood as the top seed. The Hornets lost 52-49 to the Blue Devile in the district championship game a year ago. They survived a battle with Laurel in the PIAA first round, then lost 50-46 to West Middlesex in the second round.
The Hornets begin their quest Wednesday with a quarterfinal contest against sixth-seeded Bishop McCort at Hollidaysburg High School. That game will begin at 6 p.m. The top four teams will advance to the PIAA tournament.
Huntingdon’s girls (12-10) are seeded third in the four-team Class 4A field. The Bearcats reached the championship game a year ago, losing 64-44 to top-seeded Forest Hills. They lost again in the first round of the PIAA tournament, dropping a 66-42 decision to Central Valley.
The Bearcats will be on the road Tuesday for a 7 p.m. semifinal matchup with second-seeded Juniata at Mifflintown. Forest Hills is again the top-seed and will host Bedford at the same time. The title game is set for 4 p.m. Saturday at Mount Aloysius. Both finalists will be in the PIAA tourney.
The remaining four teams did not make the playoffs a year ago.
Mount Union’s boys (13-9) have won four straight to earn a sixth seed in the nine-team Class 3A field. The Trojans will travel to face third-seeded Richland Friday with a 7 p.m. tip-off. The Class 3A semifinal games will be Tuesday, Feb. 25. Ligonier Valley is the top seed, while Westmont-Hilltop is second and West Shamokin fourth.
Southern Huntingdon’s boys (14-8), riding a four-game winning streak, are the fifth-ranked squad in the 10-team Class 2A field. The Rockets will travel to fourth-seeded Homer-Center Thursday for a 7 p.m. quarterfinal matchup. Bishop Guilfoyle is top-seeded, while West Branch is second and Portage third.
The top four teams in Class 2A and 3A move on to the PIAA tournament.
Mount Union’s girls (10-11) were on a six-game winning streak until a 61-36 loss at Huntingdon to close its regular-season schedule. The Trojans are the ninth seed in a 10-team Class 3A bracket. They will be on the road to eighth-seeded Penns Valley Monday for a 7 p.m. matchup. That winner will travel top-seeded Tyrone for a quarterfinal contest Thursday at 7 p.m. Four teams advance to the PIAA tourney.
Southern Huntingdon’s girls are seeded ninth in the nine-team Class 2A field. The Rockets (11-9) will open with a road trip to Glendale Monday. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. The winner will then travel to Bellwood for a 7 p.m quarterfinal matchup Wednesday.