The District 2 boys and girls basketball championships are not going anywhere.
At its meeting Thursday night at the Woodlands Inn & Resort, the District 2 athletic committee voted unanimously to keep the games at Mohegan Sun Arena.
It marks the sixth consecutive year the championships will be played at the venue. Eleven title games will be played over a three-day period, one week later than originally planned:
- Thursday, March 11: Class 1A girls, 3 p.m.; Class 3A boys, 5:30 p.m.; and Class 4A girls, 8 p.m.
- Friday, March 12: Class 2A girls, 3 p.m.; Class 5A boys, 5:30 p.m.; and Class 6A girls, 8 p.m.
- Saturday, March 13: Class 2A boys, 10 a.m.; Class 3A girls, 12:30 p.m.; Class 4A boys, 3 p.m.; Class 5A girls, 5:30 p.m.; and Class 6A boys, 8 p.m.
Based on current indoor seating capacity limitations, each team would be permitted 250 spectators. Any changes to capacity limits need to come from the governor’s office.
The District 2 basketball tournament begins March 2 with Class 4A girls and Class 5A boys play-in games, if necessary. On March 3, the Class 4A boys will have a play-in game, if necessary. There was no change to the format to qualify for the district playoffs.
Athletic directors from the Wyoming Valley Conference and Lackawanna League met Thursday prior to the District 2 athletic committee meeting.
“It was a unanimous recommendation to this committee in regard to the criteria for basketball on qualifying for the playoffs,” District 2 chairman and PIAA president Frank Majikes said. “It was unanimous to the committee that we stay status quo, which means we will continue with the district tournament as we have in the past with the addition of any schools that finish .500 or better. In that particular case we will have a play-in game.”
Majikes praised arena general manager Will Beekman for working with District 2 to ensure the games stay at the arena.
Another topic during Thursday’s meeting was the wearing of masks during competitions. On Monday, superintendents of schools in the Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association said they will mandate mask wearing by all schools in competition with the exception of swimming.
As of Thursday afternoon, only Holy Redeemer, Wyoming Seminary and Wyoming Area are mandating masks be worn during competition in the Wyoming Valley Conference. Student-athletes from other WVC schools that choose not to wear masks while competing must receive an exception based on the guidelines set forth by the governor’s office and Department of Health based on health and safety protocols. Athletes who are not participating in competition and are seated on the sidelines and coaches must wear masks and remain socially distant.
Diving championships will be held Feb. 27, followed by swimming championships March 5-6. Majikes said he hopes to have them at the Wyoming Valley CYC.
State swimming championships are unsettled. Majikes said he is not certain Bucknell University will host, as it usually does. So, the PIAA is looking into alternate venues.
Wrestling, sites and times are still to be determined. The sectional qualifying for individual tournaments will be Feb. 13 at four locations (two for Class 2A, two for Class 3A). The individual District 2 tournament will be Feb. 20 at different sites for Class 2A and Class 3A.
Northeast Regionals will be Feb. 27, with Class 2A at Williamsport High School and Class 3A at Bethlehem Liberty.
On March 6, a Super Regional will take place at a site to be determined.
The state wrestling championships are again at the Giant Center in Hersey. The Class 2A championships are March 12. The Class 3A championships are March 13.
Dates for the team wrestling championships are yet to be determined.
Competitive cheer on the district level will be held virtually Feb. 19. The championships are scheduled for April 9 at Giant Center in Hershey.
Steve Bennett is a sports writer at The Citizens’ Voice. He began his career as a full-time writer in 1997. He has received a first-place award for three consecutive years from the Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of high school football. Bennett is a graduate of Bishop O’Reilly High School and received his college degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Contact him at email@example.com, 570 821-2062 and @CVSteveBennett on Twitter.