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Basketball playoffs on horizon

By Michael Boytim

mboytim@altoonamirror.com

District 6 recently announced that its basketball championship round will begin on Feb. 24 at Mount Aloysius and that all games prior to the championship and semifinals will be played at the home of the higher seeded team.

The season has reached its midway point, so it’s worth looking at some of the top-seeded area squads.

On the boys side, Williamsburg is on top in Class 1A and will likely stay there, but that doesn’t mean the Blue Pirates are in the clear of Bishop Carroll Catholic. The Huskies have been a lower seed the last two seasons and still have topped Williamsburg in the final. It’s tough for Bishop Carroll to gain a lot of points due to playing such a tough schedule in the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference, but the experience pays off in the postseason.

Portage leads the way in Class 2A where it is trying to defend its first District 6 championship in school history.

In Class 3A, Bishop Guilfoyle’s win over Richland last week not only helped it in the Laurel Highlands playoff picture but in districts as well. The Rams are at No. 2 behind the Marauders.

Penn Cambria, Tyrone and Central make up the top three in Class 4A. Interestingly, a slow start to the season has defending champion Johnstown out of the playoffs if they started today, even though the Trojans own a victory over BG. Bellefonte (5A) and State College (6A) round out the current top seeds.

On the girls side, the top five schools in Class 1A are from the Mirror’s coverage area led by Portage, though the Lady Mustangs have been dealing with a lot of injuries to significant players this year.

Bishop McCort, which recently defeated Forest Hills, is the top seed in 2A, and Penn Cambria is in the mix with the Lady Rangers and River Valley (a combination of Blairsville and Saltsburg) in 3A.

Tyrone and Bedford seemed destined for a District 5-6 4A championship game rematch, and Hollidaysburg is the clear front-runner in 5A.

Altoona and Mifflin County, which played to overtime in the 6A final last year, are too close to call at the midway point.

Campbell redshirting

Alli Campbell, who scored 3,019 career points at Bellwood-Antis and played sparingly at Notre Dame before transferring to Penn State prior to this season, will not play for the Lady Lions during the 2021-2022 campaign.

Campbell suffered an offseason injury, and while there was no setback, sources close to the Campbell family have confirmed to the Mirror that by the time she’s fully cleared — likely in early February, there would not be enough games left to justify losing a season of eligibility.

The redshirt will allow Campbell to have four full years with the program starting next season.

BG-AAHS change

The BG boys basketball game versus AAHS, originally scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 8, at Pleasant Valley, has moved to Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Remembering Miller

Tom Miller died last week at 78.

I’ll remember a lot about Miller from his time as Tyrone’s football coach in the early 90s when I first started watching football in elementary school to his smile and pat on my shoulder in my early days working at the Mirror when he was an assistant coach under Murray Fetzer at Moshannon Valley.

In between, Miller was my gym teacher. I’ll never forget his office with a picture of him playing quarterback at Colorado State and his Baltimore Colts helmet he had on his desk from when he was in their camp with Johnny Unitas.

He once told me he’d give me an A+ for the marking period if I wore Colorado State sweatpants to gym class every day. I went to Value City and bought a pair later that day and did my part. He smiled every time I wore them, and he lived up to his part of the deal.

Scholarships planned

District 6 announced it will continue its scholarship program to award $20,000 divided among 100 students from member schools in honor of the late Dean Rossi, a longtime Hollidaysburg Area and Huntingdon Area High School athletic director and District 6 official.

District 6 will utilize revenue from online ticket sales to district football and basketball tournament games to help boost the scholarship fund.

“The committee believes it is important to recognize and award students who represent the shared values of sportsmanship and serve as role models as student-athletes in our member schools,” said District 6 chairman Bill Marshall, who said Rossi emphasized good sportsmanship throughout his time as an athlete, athletic director and district administrator.

Michael Boytim can be reached at mboytim@altoonamirror.com or 946-7521

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