BY JEFF FALK
It’s been a good season for scholastic basketball in Lebanon County. And on Sunday night, five clubs were rewarded with District Three postseason berths.
And all five will be playing their initial games in the playoffs at home – something that has never happened before.
The Palmyra girls’ basketball team, champions of the Mid-Penn’s Keystone Division and owners of a 20-2 mark, earned the number one seed in Class AAA and will play at home on Wednesday, Feb. 22nd at 7 p.m. The Cougars will meet the winner of the Northern Lebanon-Susquehannock play-in tilt.
That game will be played on the Vikings’ home floor in Fredericksburg on Friday, Feb. 17th at 7 p.m. A Northern Lebanon triumph would set up a rare all-Lebanon County District Three match-up.
The Class AAA semifinals are slated for Wednesday, Feb. 29th at Hershey’s Giant Center, while the championship game will be played the following Saturday morning at the same venue.
In Class A, the Lebanon Catholic girls have earned the District’s second seed on the strength of their 16-6 campaign. On Saturday, Feb. 25th at 2 p.m. – in the classification’s quarterfinals – the Beavers will host the winner of the Veritas Academy-Lititz Christian play-in game, on Assumption Hill.
A win there would qualify Lebanon Catholic for the PIAA Class A postseason.
No other program in District Three has won more championships than the Beavers. And while Lebanon Catholic is seeking another strong run this year, there is the matter of talented and top-seeded Steelton-Highspire.
The girls’ Class A title will be contested on Thursday, March 1st at Giant Center.
The Annville-Cleona girls grabbed the fourth seed in Class AA and will open the playoffs in the quarterfinals, on Friday, Feb. 24 against fifth-seeded Camp Hill. The top three finishers in the District Three Class AA tournament will advance to the state playoffs.
The lone Lebanon County boys’ squad to qualify for the District Three playoffs is Palmyra. The Cougars, the 14th seed, will host rival Milton Hershey in a play-in game on Friday at 7 p.m.
The top six finishers in Class AAA make the PIAA tournament.