Most area basketball teams open close to home

The Altoona boys will play their interdistrict basketball tournament first round game in Hollidaysburg, while both Bishop Guilfoyle teams will open at the Altoona Fieldhouse, the PIAA announced on Sunday afternoon.

The Mountain Lions will face North Allegheny in a Class AAAA game that will wrap up a doubleheader at Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Altoona is making its first trip to states since losing at Butler in a 2011 play-in game. This is the first time the Lions have taken the floor as 6-AAAA champ since 2008.

The Huntingdon girls, in the PIAA playoffs for the first time since 1988, will play in the first game of the twinbill at Hollidaysburg. The Lady Bearcats tip off against Mount Pleasant in a Class AAA tilt at 4 p.m.

The Guilfoyle teams will play on consecutive days. The District 6 Class A runner-up Marauders play in the nightcap of three games at AAHS on Friday night at 8 p.m. against District 5 runner-up Forbes Road. That will be preceded by the District 6 Class AA champion Bellwood-Antis girls facing McGuffey of District 7 at 5 p.m. and the State College girls meeting Mount Lebanon at 6:30 in Class AAAA.

The Lady Marauders will take the floor at 4 p.m. on Saturday for their Class A lidlifter with District 9’s Venango Catholic – the Guilfoyle girls are coming off their eighth straight District 6 championship game win. Immediately after, District 6 Class AA boys runner-up Central will face perennial WPIAL power Beaver Falls in the second game at 5:30.

A total of 11 teams from the Altoona Mirror coverage area advanced to the PIAA tournament in their respective classifications. In Friday’s other games involving area teams, the District 6 Class A champion Bishop Carroll boys will try to run their record to 25-0 when they tackle Clarion-Limestone at Richland High School at 7:30 p.m., and the District 5 Class AA champion Tussey Mountain girls will face Our Lady of Sacred Heart at 6 p.m. at the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown.

On Saturday, the Portage girls will try to rebound from their last-second loss to BG in the 6-A finals against WestPAC rival Berlin Brothersvalley at Central Cambria High School at 4 p.m. Also in Class A girls that day, Claysburg-Kimmel travels to Clarion University to take on Keystone at 4 p.m., the same start time as Bishop Carroll’s opening round game with Shade at the UPJ Sports Center.

In other games involving District 6 or 5 teams on Friday, Somerset will meet Lancaster Mennonite at Richland at 6 p.m. in Class AAA boys, Berlin plays Pittsburgh North Catholic at UPJ at 7:30 and Homer-Center faces Elk County Catholic at Clarion University at 6 in Class A boys, and Juniata girls travel all the way to Moon High School to face Bishop Canevin at 6.

Four other Class AA boys contests highlight Saturday’s regional action: Richland will be at Central Cambria to take on Quaker Valley at 5:30 p.m., Conemaugh Township meets Summit Academy at UPJ at 7, Penns Valley battles Seton-LaSalle at Penn Hills High School at 5:30 and Bald Eagle Area takes on Greensburg Central Catholic at Hempfield High School in Greensburg at 5:30. Also that day, the Johnstown girls play at Slippery Rock University at 5:30 against Hickory in Class AAA, and Southern Fulton returns to Pitt-Johnstown for a 5:30 clash with Quigley Catholic in Class A girls.

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