B-A girls will get big test at start

From Mirror reports

District 6 released its 2019 high school boys and girls playoff brackets for each classification on Monday, and the defending PIAA Class 2A girls state champions will be tested right away.

Bellwood-Antis, which finished third in District 6 last year before bouncing back in the PIAA playoffs and winning the first state basketball championship in school history, will host defending District 6 champion Bishop McCort in the No. 4-No. 5 game on Feb. 20. A win in that game would guarantee a return trip to the state playoffs, as four teams advance from the 2A bracket, but whoever loses will see its season end.

Juniata Valley will host Claysburg-Kimmel in the No. 3-No. 6 matchup; No. 7 seeded Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic will travel to No. 2 seeded Blairsville, and No. 8 seeded Moshannon Valley will have to beat No. 9 seeded Homer-Center to get a chance to take on top-seeded Penns Manor.

The 2A championship, which could pit Bellwood-Antis against Juniata Valley, will take place Feb. 28 at Mount Aloysius at 6 p.m.

The Bishop Carroll Catholic boys and girls teams each earned No. 1 seeds in their respective Class 1A brackets, and both will play the winner of Blacklick Valley and Saltsburg quarterfinal games. Juniata Valley will host Williamsburg on Feb. 19 in boys action to earn a trip to Boalsburg for a semifinal game with Saint Joseph’s Academy. The Williamsburg girls will travel to Purchase Line for the right to play the Saint Joseph’s girls in another semifinal. Three teams will advance from the Class 1A boys and girls bracket.

The Bishop Guilfoyle boys earned the top seed in the Class 2A bracket and will begin the defense of its District 6 title from last year with a game against either No. 8-seeded Northern Cambria or No. 9 seeded Claysburg-Kimmel.

No. 4 seeded Glendale will host No. 5-seeded Penns Manor in another Class 2A quarterfinal game.

The undefeated Huntingdon boys earned the top seed and will host Juniata on Feb. 20 in the Class 4A semifinals while second-seeded Central hosts third-seeded Tyrone in the other semifinal with the championship game just two days later at Penn State Altoona. Only one team from that bracket will move on into the state playoffs.

The Lady Bearcats will also host Juniata in the Class 4A playoffs, but that will be in the No. 2-No. 3 game while fourth-seeded Bedford will take on playoff nemesis and top-seeded Forest Hills, which has ended the Lady Bisons’ season three straight years. In the girls bracket, two teams will move into the state playoffs.

Defending champion Hollidaysburg is the top seed in the Class 5A girls bracket and will host the winner of the DuBois-Bellefonte quarterfinal game in the semifinals on Feb. 21. That same night, Portage will travel to Obama Academy in the other semifinal game. Both teams that make it to the championship game will advance to the state playoffs.

The Hollidaysburg boys will have a much tougher road to defend its title. First, the Golden Tigers must travel to Bellefonte in the Class 5A boys semifinals on Feb. 19, then they’ll need to beat top-seeded Johnstown, which received a bye into the district championship game.

The Class 3A girls bracket should be extremely competitive, and it will start with the first round when Central hosts Philipsburg-Osceola for the right to play top-seeded Penns Valley. Central and P-O split two regular season meetings. Central Cambria will host Cambria Heights in the No. 4-No. 5 game, No. 3 Penn Cambria will host No. 6 Marion Center, and second-seeded Tyrone will host the winner of United and Westmont Hilltop’s first round game.

The teams from the Mirror’s coverage area in Class 3A boys will all have to pull off an upset on the road to advance in the playoffs. Fifth-seeded Bellwood-Antis is at No. 4 West Shamokin and No. 7-seeded Cambria Heights will travel to Richland for quarterfinal games on Feb. 22. The Central Cambria boys could be at top-seeded Ligonier Valley that night if the Red Devils can get past a road game at Mount Union in the first round.

All of the quarterfinal winners in Class 3A will advance to the state playoffs.

Finally, the District 6 Class 6A field has been known for awhile as Altoona will play State College in a boys, girls doubleheader on Feb. 20 at Hollidaysburg for the District 6 championships. The loser of each of those games will have to get through the winner of a District 8-10 game in a subregional to make the state playoffs.

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