Two teams from the Altoona Mirror area garnered top seeds in the upcoming District 6 Class AA and A playoffs on Tuesday morning, and, for the first time in a long time, one of them was not the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School girls.
Coached by Lance Hudak, Portage, which lost to the Lady Marauders in last year's Class A championship, earned the No. 1 spot in this year's field via the formula District 6 uses. The formula assigns points based on wins and classification of defeated teams by Feb. 6, adds power points if a defeated opponent had a .700 winning percentage and then divides by the number of games.
Guilfoyle is the second seed in the tournament, which tips off on Monday. A total of 44 area teams entered in Class AA and A, including 21 from the area - the Class AAAA and AAA teams won't be announced until Feb. 20, while District 5 will finalize its brackets on Sunday.
Sites and times for Monday and Tuesday's first-round games are slated to be announced today.
This is the first time in eight years the Guilfoyle girls haven't been the top seed in the 6-A field; in 2006 the Lady Marauders were Class AA, where they went in as the second seed. BG has lived up to the lofty ranking ever year, winning an unprecedented seven straight titles in the classification.
The top three seeds in 6-A girls actually are from the Mirror coverage area: Claysburg-Kimmel holds the third slot. Bishop Carroll is seeded fifth.
For the second year in a row, Bishop Carroll is the top seed in District 6 Class A boys. The Huskies are unbeaten and are seeking a fourth straight trip to the title game after finishing runner-up the last two years.
Defending champion Bishop Guilfoyle is seeded second in 6-A, while Juniata Valley is fourth, Portage fifth and Claysburg-Kimmel sixth.
Despite great regular seasons and lofty records, the Tyrone boys and Bellwood-Antis girls were denied No. 1 seeds in Class AA. Tyrone was edged out by three-hundredths of a point by Richland for the top spot in 6-AA boys, but the Golden Eagles still get one of three first-round byes in the bracket.
The B-A girls, though, will have to win four games if they are to bring home the program's first district championship since 1999 and third in team history. The Lady Devils wound up fifth in a loaded field in which six teams had better than 5.00 ratings and seven had winning percentages of at least .765. In fact, even the Penn Cambria girls, who just defeated Guilfoyle last week, are only seeded ninth.
Bellwood beat Tyrone for its seed on a head-to-head tiebreaker. The Lady Devils will open against Mount Union for the right to play fourth-seeded Bishop McCort, which has a bye into the quarterfinals.
If Bellwood gets past that test, it likely will face Blairsville in a rematch of last year's district championship game won by the Lady Bobcats. Westmont Hilltop got the second seed in the field, while Juniata was third.
West Branch (9) vs. Marion Center (8)
Cambria Heights (13) vs. Penns Valley (4)
Juniata (12) vs. Blairsville (5)
Mount Union (10) vs. Central (7)
Central Cambria (11) vs. Bishop McCort (6)
West Branch/Marion Center winner vs. Richland (1)
Juniata/Blairsville winner vs. Cambria Heights/Penns Valley winner
Mount Union/Central winner vs. Tyrone (2)
Central Cambria/Bishop McCort winner vs. Bald Eagle Area (3)
Juniata/Blairsville/Cambria Heights/Penns Valley winner vs. West Branch/Marion Center/Richland winner
Central Cambria/Bishop McCort/Bald Eagle Area winner vs. Mount Union/Central/Tyrone winner
St. Joseph's (9) vs. Saltsburg (8)
St. Joseph's/Saltsburg winner vs. Bishop Carroll (1)
Portage (5) vs. Juniata Valley (4)
Williamsburg (7) vs. Bishop Guilfoyle (2)
Claysburg-Kimmel (6) vs. Homer-Center (3)
Portage/Juniata Valley winner vs. St. Joseph's/Saltsburg/Bishop Carroll winner
Claysburg-Kimmel/Homer-Center winner vs. Williamsburg/Bishop Guilfoyle winner
Penn Cambria (9) vs. Penns Valley (8)
Mount Union (12) vs. Bellwood-Antis (5)
Central (10) vs. Marion Center (7)
Central Cambria (11) vs. Tyrone (6)
Penn Cambria/Penns Valley winner vs. Blairsville (1)
Mount Union/Bellwood-Antis winner vs. Bishop McCort (4)
Central/Marion Center winner vs. Westmont Hilltop (2)
Central Cambria/Tyrone winner vs. Juniata (3)
Mount Union/Bellwood-Antis/Bishop McCort winner vs. Penn Cambria/Penns Valley/Blairsville winner
Central Cambria/Tyrone/ Juniata winner vs. Central/Marion Center/Westmont Hilltop winner
Homer-Center (9) vs. Juniata Valley (8)
Saltsburg (10) vs. Williamsburg (7)
Homer-Center/Juniata Valley winner vs. Portage (1)
Bishop Carroll (5) vs. United (4)
Saltsburg/Williamsburg winner vs. Bishop Guilfoyle (2)
Conemaugh Valley (6) vs. Claysburg-Kimmel (3)
Bishop Carroll/United winner vs. Homer-Center/Juniata Valley/Portage winner
Conemaugh Valley/Claysburg-Kimmel winner vs. Saltsburg/Williamsburg/Bishop Guilfoyle winner