It’s a big night for Pottsville basketball fans.
On Friday, the two boys teams representing the public and Catholic school will start a road to the state championship.
For the Crimson Tide at Pottsville, there are high hopes pinned on this run to Hershey.
They come in ranked #7 in the MaxPreps rankings for Class 5A in Pennsylvania.
A recent run without their leading scorer and built-in size advantage will likely be a pivotal confidence booster going into the first round of PIAAs.
And on Lawton’s Hill, the Nativity Hilltoppers also begin a somewhat unlikely quest for state gold.
Even with a humble 13-11 record, the Wave certainly can get a good start with a quasi-home game Friday night at Martz Hall.
Here’s a preview of the games Friday night:
Pottsville Area Crimson Tide vs. Lampeter Strasburg Pioneers
- PIAA Boys 5A First Round
- 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 8 at Blue Mountain High School, Orwigsburg
- Records: Pottsville 23-3, Lampeter-Strasburg 23-4
- MaxPreps Rank (PA): Pottsville 31, Lampeter-Strasburg 102
One of the area’s best hopes for state gold in Hershey this year is the Pottsville Area boys team. They’re playing in the 5A bracket. As the District 11 champion, they have a favorable route through the tournament.
On Friday, the Crimson Tide face the 5-seed out of District 3, Lampeter-Strasburg. The game starts at 7 p.m. at Blue Mountain High School in Orwigsburg.
Pottsville comes in with a record of 23-3 on the season. Lampeter-Strasburg is at 23-4.
The Crimson Tide are the Schuylkill League champions.
The winner of this game faces the winner of Crestwood (District 2) vs. Frankford (District 12).
Nativity BVM Hilltoppers vs. Galeton Tigers
- PIAA Boys 1A First Round
- 6 p.m. Friday, March 8 at Martz Hall, Pottsville
- Records: Nativity 13-11, Galeton 17-8
- MaxPreps Rank (PA-1A): Nativity 36, Galeton 44
Pottsville schools stand a good chance of getting both teams through the first round of the state playoffs in 2019. Nativity is the higher ranked of these two teams. They’ll certainly benefit from some home cooking playing what’s essentially a home game at Martz Hall.
Class 1A Boys Playoffs
Lourdes Regional takes on Mount Calvary in another first round matchup Friday night. The Red Raiders come in as District 4 champions. That game will at 7:30 p.m. at Shamokin High School.
The Halifax Wildcats also qualified for states. They’ll take on Berlin at CD-East High School in Harrisburg at 8 p.m. on Friday.
Other Coal Region Teams in Action
Class 4A Boys Playoffs
In 4A action, watch out for highly ranked Bethlehem Catholic, the District 11 champion. They’re ranked 3rd in the state at this class by MaxPreps.
Locally, two District 4 teams face challenging roads in the state playoffs. District 4 runner-up Shamokin faces Wilson, the 3 seed out of District 11 in the first round. That game is set for 6 p.m. at Shikellamy HS in Sunbury.
The Indians are ranked #29 in 4A. Wilson Area comes in ranked #35.
Later that night in Sunbury, District 4 champs Danville will face Western Wayne in the first round.
Class 3A Boys Playoffs
Mount Carmel is the coal region’s lone hope for hardward in the 3A bracket. The 3-seed out of District 4 opens the tournament with a game against District 6 champs Richland.
The Red Tornadoes will have to travel to Johnstown, PA, and hope for an upset to move on.