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The Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media PIAA state basketball preview for March 8 and 9

Plymouth-Whitemarsh's Abby Sharpe (20) pulls up for a jumper as Spring-Ford's Katie Tiffan defends during the District 1-6A championship game Saturday at Temple University. (Austin Hertzog - MediaNews Group)

The Plymouth Whitemarsh girls basketball team set goals to win four championships this season – the Suburban One League Liberty Division, the Suburban One League Tournament, the District 1-6A tournament and the PIAA-6A tournament.

Three down, one to go.

The undefeated Colonials and the rest of the Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media basketball teams still standing start the state playoffs this week.

Every team remaining is five wins away from raising a state championship trophy at the GIANT Center in Hershey. The championships will take place Thursday March 24-Saturday March 26.

Here are game-by-game looks at first-round matchups

Girls 6A

Plymouth Whitemarsh vs. Manheim Township >> (1-1) Plymouth Whitemarsh hosts (3-6) Manheim Township at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School.

The Colonials return to the state playoffs, where they haven’t lost since a heartbreaker against Cardinal O’Hara in 2019. They were still alive in states when the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID and missed out on states in 2021 when only the district winner advanced.

The experienced starting five of seniors Kaitlyn Flanagan, Jordyn Thomas and Lainey Allen and juniors Erin Daley and Abby Sharpe have played 24 playoff games over the last four years. They enter states after beating Spring-Ford in the District 1-6A championship.

Manheim Township went 16-9 this season. Last time out the Blue Streaks lost to Central York, 53-35, on March 2.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (11-2) Northampton and (1-8) Garnet Valley Friday.

Methacton at Wilkes-Barre Area >> (1-9) Methacton travels to (2-1) Wilkes-Barre Area at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Wilkes-Barre Area High School.

The Warriors are led by Nicole Timko, who became the program’s all-time leading scorer during a playback win over Neshaminy last week. Methacton won that game against Neshaminy and then beat Great Valley to earn ninth place in the district.

Methacton’s Nicole Timko, left, became the program’s all-time scoring leader, surpassing 2008 grad Renee Womack, right, in Wednesday’s District 1-6A playback against Neshaminy at Methacton. (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)

Wilkes-Barre walked its way through the District 2/4 Subregional bracket. After a first-round bye, Wilkes-Barre beat Williamsport, 46-21, in the semifinals and Hazleton Area, 45-24, in the championship game.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (12-2) Central and (1-6) Perk Valley Friday.

Archbishop Carroll vs. Neshaminy >> (12-1) Archbishop Carroll hosts (1-11) Neshaminy at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Archbishop Carroll High School.

After losing to Cardinal O’Hara in the Philadelphia Catholic League championship game, Grace O’Neill scored 20 points to lead the Patriots to a 47-14 win over Central for the District 12 title.

Neshaminy lost to Perk Valley in the second round of the District 1 playoffs. After that Neshaminy alternated wins and losses against CB South, Methacton and Upper Dublin to earn the No. 11 seed.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (3-3) Cedar Cliff and (1-7) Haverford Friday.

Abington vs. Northeast >> (1-5) Abington faces (12-3) Northeast at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at West Philadelphia High School.

The Ghosts went 21-5 this season. They reached the District 1 quarterfinals before losing to Pennsbury, 50-48. In playbacks, Abington beat Haverford and Perk Valley to earn the fifth seed in states.

Northeast snapped a two-game losing streak by defeating Lincoln, 39-24, on Feb. 28.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (3-1) Central Dauphin and (1-12) Upper Dublin Friday.

Upper Dublin at Central Dauphin >> (1-12) Upper Dublin travels to (3-1) Central Dauphin Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The Cardinals enter states losers of three of their last four games after losing leading scorer Amy Ngo during the stretch run of their District 1 second-round matchup against Pennsbury. UD lost that game, but beat CB West to clinch a state playoff berth. They followed that with losses to Great Valley and Neshaminy to be the 12th seed.

Central Dauphin enters states off four straight low-scoring games. The Rams haven’t scored more than 41 points since Feb. 11 and just won their district title over Cumberland Valley, 25-21.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (1-5) Abington and (12-3) Northeast Friday.

Souderton vs. Easton >> (1-4) Souderton hosts (11-3) Easton at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Souderton Area High School.

Big Red went 23-3 this year, but enters states coming off two losses. The Indians fell to Spring-Ford, 36-24, in the district semifinals and loss to Pennsbury, 41-31, in the third-place game.

Souderton’s Teya McConnaha (22) is double-teamed by Spring-Ford defenders Katie Tiffan (23) and Mackenzie Pettinelli (31) near the baseline during a District 1-6A semifinal Wednesday at Souderton. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

Easton has alternated wins and losses over its last four games – losing to Bethlehem Catholic and Parkland and beating Liberty and Nazareth. The Rovers scored between 40 and 47 points in those four games.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (3-2) Cumberland Valley and (7-4) North Allegheny Friday.

Girls 4A

Archbishop Wood vs. Bishop McDevitt >> (12-1) Archbishop Wood hosts (3-5) Bishop McDevitt at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Archbishop Wood High School.

The defending state champion Vikings have won eight of their last nine games. The lone loss was against Cardinal O’Hara in the Philadelphia Catholic League semifinals, 55-48, on Feb. 22. They responded with a 72-33 win over Mastery Charter North in the District 12 title game.

McDevitt lost to Delone Catholic in the District 3 quarterfinals before beating Schuykill Valley and Eastern York for fifth-place.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (2-2) Scranton Prep and (11-3) North Schuykill Saturday.

Gwynedd Mercy vs Audenried >> (1-1) Gwynedd Mercy Academy faces (12-4) Audenried at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Wissahickon High School.

The Monarchs enter states at 24-0. They won the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies title for the first time since 2016 before claiming their fifth straight District 1 championship.

Audenried lost to Imhotep Charter in the Public League semifinals, 75-44, on Feb. 22.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (4-1) Central Columbia and (3-4) Bermudian Spring Saturday.

Lansdale Catholic vs. Lancaster Catholic >> (12-3) Lansdale Catholic faces (3-3) Lancaster Catholic at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Bonner-Prendergast High School.

Lansdale Catholic enters states off a long layoff. The Crusaders last game was a 66-52 Philadelphia Catholic League playoff loss to Neumann-Goretti on Feb. 17.

After losing to Delone Catholic on March 1, Lancaster Catholic entered the state playoffs by beating Bermudian Springs on March 4.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (4-2) Milton Area and (11-2) Allentown Central Catholic Saturday.

Girls A

Jenkintown at Susquehanna >> (1-3) Jenkintown travels to (2-1) Susquehanna at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Susquehanna High School.

The Drakes clinched their spot in states with a 44-33 win over The Christian Academy in the District 1 semifinals before losing to Faith Christian Academy, 35-18, in the championship game.

Susquehanna is 10-12 this season and enters states after beating Forest City back-to-back times – 48-27 on Feb. 17 and 39-25 on March 3.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (4-1) Northumberland Christian and (3-3) Greenwood Saturday.

Faith Christian vs. New Covenant Christian >> (1-1) Faith Christian Academy faces (3-4) New Covenant Christian at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Wissahickon High School.

The Lions are coming off two dominant District 1 wins. They beat Phil-Mont Christian, 51-18, in the semifinals before handling Jenkintown, 35-18, in the championship.

NCC has lost two of its last three games going back to Feb. 12. Their last game was a 29-24 loss to Christian School of York on Feb. 25.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (4-2) Lourdes Regional and (11-2) Nativity BVM Saturday.

Boys 6A

Abington at Pocono Mountain West >> (1-8) Abington travels to (11-2) Pocono Mountain West at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Pocono Mountain West High School.

The Ghosts won their first two District 1-6A playoff games as the No. 23 seed to clinch a state berth. They lost to eventual champion Lower Merion in the quarterfinals before losing to Plymouth Whitemarsh and Bensalem in seeding games.

Pocono Mount West had two tight wins – 55-54 over Liberty and 59-55 in double overtime over Northampton – before losing to Parkland, 58-33, in the District 11 title game.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (1-1) Lower Merion and (3-6) Chambersburg Saturday.

Cheltenham vs. Cedar Cliff >> (1-3) Cheltenham hosts (3-4) Cedar Cliff at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Cheltenham High School.

The Panthers finished third in District 1 after losing to Lower Merion in the semifinals and beating Methacton in the third-place game. The Suburban One League Freedom Division champs only have one loss this season.

Cedar Cliff lost to Reading in the District 3 semifinals and lost to Central Dauphin in the third-place game.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (11-1) Parkland and (1-10) Pennwood Saturday.

Norristown vs. Hempfield >> (1-2) Norristown hosts (3-5) Hempfield at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Norristown Area High School.

The Eagles reached the District 1 championship game after entering the tournament as the No. 12 seed. They went on the road and beat No. 5 Haverford, No. 4 Bensalem and No. 1 Methacton before losing to No. 2 Lower Merion in the final at Temple University.

Norristown’s DJ Johnson gestures after his 3-pointer that got the Eagles within a point of Lower Merion during the District 1-6A championship game on March 5 at Temple University. (Austin Hertzog – MediaNews Group)

After losing to Cedar Cliff, Hempfield enters states with wins against Wilson and Chambersburg.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (7-2) North Hills and (6-1) State College Saturday.

Plymouth Whitemarsh vs. Archbishop Wood >> (1-5) Plymouth Whitemarsh faces (12-3) Archbishop Wood at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Cardinal O’Hara High School.

The Colonials made a Cinderella run to the District 1 quarterfinals as the No. 22 seed. The Suburban One League Liberty Division champs lost to Cheltenham before beating Abington and Garnet Valley for the fifth seed.

The Vikings were stunned by Archbishop Ryan, 74-73, at home in the Philadelphia Catholic League quarterfinals. They got things back on track with a 63-21 win over Boys Latin in the District 12 third-place game.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (3-1) Reading and (1-12) Downingtown West Saturday.

Methacton vs. Northampton >> (1-4) Methacton hosts (11-3) Northampton at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Methacton High School.

The Warriors are on a two-game losing streak for the first time all season. The Pioneer Athletic Conference champs lost to Norristown in the District 1 semifinals and Cheltenham in the third-place game.

Methacton’s Cole Hargrove (13) shoots over the Garnet Valley defense during Friday’s District-1 6A quarterfinal at Methacton. (Owen McCue – MediaNews Group)

Northampton lost to Pocono Mountain West in the District 11 semifinals before beating Nazareth Area, 74-70, in the third-place game.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (3-2) Warwick and (7-4) Mt. Lebanon Saturday.

Boys 5A

Upper Moreland at Shippensburg >> (1-4) Upper Moreland travels to (3-2) Shippensburg at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at Shippensburg High School.

The Golden Bears are coming off a fourth place finish in the District 1-5A tournament. They lost to Radnor in the semifinals before falling to Bishop Shanahan in a 43-41 heartbreaker in the third-place game.

Shippensburg lost the District 3 title game, 66-57, against Lampeter-Strasburg last Thursday.

The winner advances to the second round Friday and will face the winner of (2-1) Pittston and (3-6) Lower Dauphin.

Boys 4A

Archbishop Carroll at Berks Catholic >> (12-5) Archbishop Carroll travels to (3-1) Berks Catholic at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at Berks Catholic High School in Reading.

The Patriots got a surprising chance to play in the state tournament after Martin Luther King dropped out of postseason play. Carroll will have 20 days off between games since they lost to Devon Prep in the Philadelphia Catholic League playoffs.

Berks Catholic coming off its District 3 championship game win, 60-37, over Middletown.

The winner advances to the second round Friday and will face the winner of (2-2) Mid Valley and (4-2) Athens Area.

Boys 3A

Dock Mennonite vs. Devon Prep >> (1-1) Dock Mennonite Academy hosts (12-3) Devon Prep at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The Pioneers are coming off a 68-59 loss to Executive Education in the District 1/11 Regional championship game. Nathan Lapp scored 29 points in the loss after scoring 21 in a 78-75 win over Notre Dame Green Pond in a semifinal win.

Devon Prep lost to West Catholic, 68-56, last time out on Feb. 18.

The winner advances to the second round Saturday and will face the winner of (3-1) Columbia and (12-5) Freire Charter.

Boys A

Faith Christian vs. Roberto Clemente >> (1-1) Faith Christian Academy faces (11-3) Roberto Clemente at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Bensalem High School.

The Lions are coming off an unlikely run to the District 1 championship. Entering the tournament as the No. 4 seed, FCA knocked off No. 1 Phil-Mont Christian in the semifinals and No. 3 Plumstead Christian for the title.

Roberto Clemente is 13-12 this year and coming off a 75-44 win over Lehigh Christian Saturday.

The winner advances to the second round and will face the winner of (4-1) St. John Neumann and (3-4) High Point Baptist Friday.

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