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PIAA State Finals Blog

By Tom Robinson

(Blog presented by Peggy’s Marinade and Dipping Sauce)


(Final Post, Sunday, 12:19 p.m.)

The final result was three losses in Hershey, but by any measurement the 2024 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association basketball tournament was one of the most successful collectively in District 2 history.

District 2 sent three teams to the championship game for the first time since 1994 and just the second time ever.

The district had four semifinalists and won just a shade under 60 percent of its games while playing against the best teams from other districts around the state.

District 2 went 20-13 in girls games and 14-10 in boys games for a combined record of 34-23 (.596 winning percentage).

The district has had some small school success in the past, including Dunmore’s Class 3A girls championship a year ago.

This season was marked by all six District 2 big school girls teams winning at least once and all four District 2 boys teams in Class 5A and 4A doing the same.

The Holy Cross boys, Scranton Prep girls and Mountain View girls all made the finals. The Scranton Prep boys reached the semifinals.

The Abington Heights boys were unbeaten into the quarterfinals. The MMI Prep boys and the girls teams from Scranton, Abington Heights and Holy Redeemer also reached the quarterfinals.

Other teams to win at least once were: the Dallas, Valley View and Riverside boys as well as the Hazleton Area, Dallas, Valley View, Lake-Lehman, Holy Cross and Montrose girls.

Thank you readers for following along and thank you to Peggy’s Marinade & Dipping Sauce for sponsoring this new addition to coverage on NEPA’s ESPN radio and its website.


(Posted Sunday, 5:28 a.m.)

HERSHEY – There were some familiar faces among the state champions determined Thursday through Saturday at The Giant Center in Hershey.

The Imhotep Charter and Devon Prep boys, along with the Cardinal O’Hara and Archbishop Wood girls, captured state championships after having beaten District 2 opponents on their way to Hershey.

Counting the three games where District 2 teams lost in the final, seven of the 12 champions had to get past a District 2 opponent in the tournament to end up as titlists.

Imhotep Charter defeated Franklin Regional, 59-48, for the Class 5A boys title behind 20 points by Ahmad Nowell. It had ended Abington Heights’ perfect season in the quarterfinals.

Devon Prep won in Class 2A boys, 60-56, over Franklin Area after being Riverside in the second round.

Zane Conlon had 20 points and eight rebounds while leading four double figures scorers from Devon Prep.

Cardinal O’Hara had its closest game of the Class 6A girls tournament in the second round when it defeated Hazleton Area, 55-46. It had less trouble in the final with a 42-26 victory over Spring-Ford.

Joanie Quinn had 16 points, four steals and three assists in the win.

Archbishop Wood took the Class 5A girls title, 37-27, over Erie Cathedral Prep. It had defeated Scranton in the quarterfinals on the way to its fourth straight state championship.

Emily Knouse had 12 points, Lauren Greer 10 points and eight rebounds and Ava Renninger eight points and four assists.

Two other teams lost in the final after having beaten District 2 opponents in the tournament.

Archbishop Carroll, which knocked Scranton Prep out in the Class 4A boys semifinal, lost 80-50 to Lincoln Park.

Lincoln Park’s Brandin Cummings went 14-for-18 from the floor, including 7-for-8 on 3-pointers, while scoring 37 points. His all-state backcourt mate, Maleek Thomas had 16 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Layke Fields went 14-for-21 on the way to 29 points, 17 rebounds and four blocked shots as Kennedy Christian defeated Marion Center, 42-40, in Class 2A girls. Marion Center had defeated Montrose in the second round.


(Posted Saturday, 10:47 p.m.)

HERSHEY – The Scranton Prep players gave their coach, Bob Beviglia, reason to believe during Saturday’s Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 4A girls basketball state championship game.

“Sometimes you get behind like that and you feel like you’re out of it,” Beviglia said after Blackhawk defeated Scranton Prep, 56-44, at the Giant Center. “I never felt like that today.

“We were going to make enough plays to get back over the hump.”

The Cougars scored the game’s first eight points on the way to an 11-2 lead in the first quarter. They built the advantage to 15 in the third quarter, but the Classics fought back to within six in the fourth quarter, then forced a turnover.

“We had it to six there in the fourth quarter with two looks from the 3-point line that didn’t go in,” Beviglia said.

Scranton Prep got back within eight points three more times, but Blackhawk shot 11-for-12 from the line down the stretch and, after having trouble with pressure during the Classics’ comeback, handled the ball well down the stretch.

“They did a good job of letting the air out of the ball at the end,” Beviglia said.

The Classics started five juniors in the state championship game and Jayna McIntyre, the first substitute, was the only senior on the roster.

“I said it when we won on Tuesday night that it’s beyond my wildest dreams that we’re here,” Beviglia said. “And, with the exception of one kid, they’re all back next year, so we’ll take another run at it.”

That work will begin soon.

“We’ll get going over the summer and try to put the pieces back together again and see what it looks like,” Beviglia said. “These kids, they don’t put basketballs down ever. They’ll be playing AAU next week.

“I’m thrilled for them that they had the opportunity to play in this game and I’m thrilled with everything they did for our school.”


(Posted Saturday, 3:58 p.m.)

HERSHEY – Devon Prep, coached by former University of Scranton guard Jason Fisher, has won its second state Class 3A boys basketball title in three years by beating Franklin Area, 60-56, Saturday afternoon.

Two years ago, Devon Prep battled past Holy Redeemer in an overtime game in the semifinals on the way to the title.

There is still more to report from Hershey. Check back on the blog later.

(More to come)


(Posted Saturday, 3:02 p.m.)

HERSHEY – Statistical leaders and notes from the Class 4A girls final:

Aubree Hupp, a 5-foot-10 sophomore forward, and Alena Fusetti, a 5-10 senior guard, led Blackhawk to the victory.

Hupp made both her 3-point attempts, went 11-for-12 from the line and finished with 21 points and nine rebounds.

Fusetti was 3-for-6 from 3-point range and 6-for-12 overall from the floor. She also made all three of her free throws on the way to 18 points, 10 defensive rebounds and four assists.

Blackhawk finished 19-for-23 from the line, compared to 7-for-10 by Scranton Prep.

Jenna Hillebrand led the Classics with 16 points. She was 5-for-12 from the floor, 2-for-4 on 3-pointers and 4-for-4 from the line. Hillebrand also made two steals.

Hillebrand, Maya Jenkins and Jayna McIntyre each made two 3-pointers.

Jenkins had nine points and three assists.

Bella Dennebaum had nine points on 4-for-6 shooting. She also had five rebounds and two steals.

Claire McGrath had a game-high four assists.

Blackhawk outrebounded Scranton Prep, 28-22, but the teams were even after Blackhawk’s 7-1 start in that category.

The Cougars outscored the Classics 20-16 in the paint, 17-2 on fastbreaks and 10-7 on points off turnovers.

(More to come)


(Posted Saturday, 1:50 p.m.)

HERSHEY – Blackhawk went 11-for-12 from the foul line in the last 2:11 to hold off a series of Scranton Prep comeback attempts and improve to 5-1 in state championship games with a 56-44 victory in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 4A girls basketball final at the Giant Center Saturday afternoon.

Scranton Prep cut a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit to 43-37 when Jenna Hillebrand scored seven of her team-high 16 points in a span of 1:20 midway through the fourth. The Classics got back within eight three more times.

(More to come)


(Posted Saturday, 1:25 p.m.)

HERSHEY – Jayna McIntyre started a Scranton Prep rally with a 3-pointer and Maya Jenkins ended the third quarter with another for a 10-4 run that cut Blackhawk’s 15-point lead to 36-27 going to the fourth.

Jenna Hillebrand hits a 3-pointer with 4:39 left in the game, giving her the last five Scranton Prep points and 14 total to cut the Blackhawk lead to 43-35 with 4:39 left.

(More to come)


(Posted Saturday, 1:04 p.m.)

HERSHEY – Blackhawk scored the first seven points of the second half and is now on a 15-3 run to build a new biggest lead over Scranton Prep.

The Cougars were up, 32-17, and the Classics had used their third timeout with 5:28 left in the third quarter.

At the third-quarter media timeout, the lead is 34-20 with 3:34 left.

(Much more)



(Posted Saturday, 12:58 p.m.)

HERSHEY – Blackhawk ran off eight straight points late in the second quarter to build its lead over Scranton Prep to 25-17 at halftime of the Class 4A state championship game.

Scranton Prep cut a nine-point, first-quarter deficit to two and was within three before the Cougars used their streak to build their largest lead of the half at 25-14.

Bella Dennebaum ended the first-half scoring with a 3-pointer for Scranton Prep.

(More to come)


(Posted Saturday, 12:30 p.m.)

HERSHEY – Scranton Prep is trying to work its way back from giving up the game’s first eight points and falling behind, 11-2.

After one quarter, the Classics have pulled to within 14-7 of Blackhawk on a late 3-pointer by back-up forward Jayna McIntyre.

McIntyre is coming off a semifinal in which she hit two key 3-pointers during the game-breaking, second-quarter run by the Classics.

Scranton Prep was called for the game’s first three fouls, including two 10 seconds part to send Ashlyn Moore to the bench. That’s when McIntyre came in.

Blackhawk grabbed seven of the game’s first eight turnovers.

Claire McGrath has both Scranton Prep assists and both rebounds (the third was a team, dead-ball rebound).

(More to come)


(Posted Saturday, noon)

HERSHEY – Back courtside at The Giant Center where the Scranton Prep and Blackhawk girls are warming up for a few more minutes before introductions and anthem for the Class 4A state championship.

Starting is listed as noon, but think between 12:10 and 12:15 for tipoff.

Follow along on the blog for updates throughout.

Blackhawk is the Cougars. Replace the blue trim with green on Valley View home uniforms and the team would look very familiar.

Classics in their purple and are the visiting team on the scoreboard.

(More to come)


(Posted Saturday, 7:12 a.m.)

The Mountain View girls, Holy Cross boys and Scranton Prep girls each made it to Hershey this season in pursuit of the first state basketball championships in the history of their schools.

That is not the case for the opponents.

The Bishop Guilfoyle girls and Aliquippa boys, who ended the dreams for Mountain View and Holy Cross Friday, and the Blackhawk girls, who will try to stop Scranton Prep Saturday at noon, have combined for 18 state championships.

Bishop Guilfoyle ruined Mountain View’s state final debut in Class A with a 35-17 victory Friday, claiming the eighth state title in the 14th championship game appearance by the Lady Marauders since winning in their first final in 1984.

The Altoona school went 2-2 in Class 2A finals, including falling to unbeaten Riverside, 46-44, in the 1987 championship game.

Bishop Guilfoyle is now 6-4 in finals as a Class A team.

Aliquippa first won a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state boys title back in 1949 and used Friday’s 74-52 Class 2A victory over Holy Cross to improve to 6-7 in championship games.

The Quips are 3-0 when facing District 2 teams with the state title on the line.

Aliquippa ended what was then a PIAA-record 59 game boys basketball winning streak by Carbondale when it denied the Chargers a second straight unbeaten, state championship season with a 60-57 victory in 1994. The Quips also defeated Meyers, now part of Wilkes-Barre Area, 57-50, in 1997.

Holy Cross fell to 0-2 in state finals.

Scranton Prep, like Mountain View, is making its first appearance in a state final.

The Classics go against a Blackhawk team playing in back-to-back finals for the third time.

Blackhawk won consecutive championships in 1999 and 2000 and again in 2013 and 2014, all in Class 3A of the old four-classification season.

Last season, Blackhawk fell to Lansdale Catholic, 53-45, in the Class 4A final. Lansdale Catholic had eliminated Scranton Prep, 60-28, in the semifinals in its previous outing.

(Check back later, more to come).


(Posted Friday, 3:50 p.m.)

HERSHEY – Josh Pratt went 14-for-19 from the floor, scored 36 points and made five steals Friday afternoon as Aliquippa added a state basketball title to the football championship it won in the fall, beating Holy Cross, 74-52, in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 2A boys basketball final at the Giant Center in Hershey.

The Quips, from suburban Pittsburgh, ran away from the Crusaders with the help of a 26-4 burst in the first half.

The Crusaders, however, fought back repeatedly to avoid the Mercy Rule and reduce the margin.

After falling behind, 39-13, in the second quarter, Holy Cross outscored Aliquippa, 39-35, over nearly 18 minutes to end the game. Holy Cross went from trailing by 26 in the second quarter to down 17 in the third, then from being behind by 29 in the third to getting within 16 in the fourth.

The Lackawanna League Division 3 and District 2 Class 2A champion Crusaders placed four scorers in double figures.

Michael Hughes scored 13 points, Mario Matrone had 11 and C.J. Thompson and Adam Badyrka had 10 each. Matt Lyons added eight points while grabbing a team-high eight rebounds.

The Lackawanna League’s third state finalists, the Scranton Prep girls, play Saturday at noon against Blackhawk.

(More to come).


(Posted Friday, 3:30 p.m.)

HERSHEY – Holy Cross is not quitting.

The Crusaders cut a 26-point, second-quarter deficit to 17 three times in the third quarter.

Then, after falling behind by 29, one short of the running clock of the Mercy Rule, later in the third, the Crusaders are within 66-49 and on an 11-0 run with 3:57 remaining.

(More to come).


(Posted Friday, 2:55 p.m.)

HERSHEY – Holy Cross needed an 8-2 run, all produced by reserve guard Adam Badyrka in the last 1:14, just to get back within 41-21 of Aliquippa at halftime of the Class 2A boys basketball championship game.

The Quips, trying to add a basketball title to the state football championship they won earlier in this school year, went on a 28-4 run to open a 39-13 lead late in the half.

Joshua Pratt made eight of his last nine shots. The 6-foot-1 sophomore guard is 9-for-13 with a pair of 3-pointers at 20 total points at the break.

The Quips shot better than 63 percent from the floor and held a 17-7 rebounding lead.

C.J. Thompson has six points and two assists for the Lackawanna League Division 3 and District 2 Class 2A champion Crusaders.

(More to come).


(Posted Friday, 2:07 p.m.)

HERSHEY – In the aftermath of a loss in the state Class A girls basketball championship game, Mountain View coach Bill Simons praised his team for taking the school community through an incredible experience.

The Lady Eagles went all the way to the state semifinals in 2023 before becoming the first Susquehanna County girls basketball team to reach a state final this season.

They fell, 35-17, to Bishop Guilfoyle from Altoona in the championship game at the Giant Center Friday afternoon.

“The last two years have been incredible,” Simons said. “You could see it in the support they have at our elementary school – they had a parade there the other day – and in the infectious nature the team has created in our community.”

Holy Cross boys are being introduced for their Class 2A final against Aliquippa.

(More to come.)


(Posted Friday, 1:42 p.m.)

HERSHEY – Bishop Guilfoyle forced 23 turnovers while holding Mountain View without a 3-pointer and to no more than five points in any quarter on the way to a 35-17 victory in the Class A final that was the lowest-scoring Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association girls basketball championship game ever.

The District 6 champion Marauders from Altoona took a 16-4 lead after one quarter and remained in front from there.

Addison Kilmer led Lackawanna League Division 4 and District 2 champion Mountain View with eight points, nine defensive rebounds and four blocked shots despite missing parts of the third and fourth quarters after hitting her head on the floor.

The Holy Cross boys are up next, facing Aliquippa a little after 2 p.m. in Class 2A.

(More to come)


(Posted Friday, 12:58 p.m.)

HERSHEY – Bishop Guifoyle built a 23-9 lead over Mountain View at halftime of the state Class A girls basketball championship game.

The Lady Marauders shot just 31.3 percent to 30.8 percent by the Lady Eagles, but built their lead by using rebounds and steals to get off 29 shots to 13 by Mountain View.

Riley Turner led Mountain View with four points and the team’s only steal.

Addison Kilmer grabbed five rebounds and blocked three shots, but was limited to two points.

Morgan Ruggery led Bishop Guilfoyle with eight points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals.

(More to come)


(Posted Friday, 12:15 p.m.)

HERSHEY – After a national anthem by Apalonia Passetti from Wyoming Valley West, the PIAA Class A girls final got underway.

Addison Kilmer, Mountain View’s all-state center, pulled down the first rebound and assisted Riley Turner on the game’s first basket.

Bishop Guilfoyle’s full-court pressure then made an immediate impact, forcing three turnovers, which were converted into eight points for an 8-2 lead.

Mountain View, still looking for its second shot, calls timeout with 4:40 left in the first quarter.

(More updates to come.)



(Posted Friday, 12:03 p.m.)

HERSHEY — We’re on the floor at The Giant Center in Hershey, ready to provide updates from the afternoon championship doubleheader.

Still several minutes away from tip. We’re in introductions for Mountain View vs. Bishop Guilfoyle from Altoona in Class A girls.

(Much more to come)


(Posted, Friday, 6:40 a.m.)

The Scranton Prep girls, Mountain View girls and Holy Cross boys faced varying degrees of difficulty along the way, but each ultimately posted victories by double-figures margins during Tuesday’s Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state basketball semifinals to earn their title shots at the Giant Center in Hershey.

All three teams had also played in the semifinals a year ago before being eliminated.

This time, they were not stopped short of Hershey.

Scranton Prep ran over Universal Audenried from Philadelphia, 83-50, to begin a doubleheader at Bethlehem Liberty and earn a spot in Saturday’s noon Class 4A final.

Mountain View pulled away from Greenwood, 46-23, in a single game at Berwick to put itself in Friday’s noon Class A title game.

Holy Cross turned back frequent state-tournament nemesis Constitution, beating the Philadelphia school, 78-66, for its spot in Friday’s 2 p.m. Class 2A game.

Scranton Prep scored six of the last seven points in the first quarter then outscored Audenried, 25-6, in the second quarter to open a 46-21 halftime lead.

Jenna Hillebrand made six 3-pointers while scoring a career-high 30 points to lead the Classics, but it was Bella Dennebaum and Jayna McIntyre, who led the second-quarter surge.

Hillebrand and Jenkins hit 3-pointers in the last 34 seconds of the first quarter, with Jenkins draining a 27-footer, then Claire McGrath assisted a McIntyre 3-pointer and Jenkins layup to open the second for an 11-1 run to turn a 15-14 game into 26-15.

The Classics did not stop there.

They ran off 15 straight points, with Dennebaum scoring six while McIntyre and Hillebrand each adding 3-pointers, for a 41-17 lead with 1:28 left in the half. A Dennebaum 3-pointer and Jenkins fastbreak basket extended the runs to 20-2 during the second quarter and 31-5 dating back to the first.

Dennebaum had 10 of her 19 points in the second quarter while Jenkins had six of her 17 and McIntyre had all seven of her points.

The Classics made 15 shots from beyond the arc.

Mountain View was in a tie game midway through the second quarter before holding Greenwood scoreless for 9:03 and without a field goal for 9:47 to take control.

Addison Kilmer finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, seven blocked shots, three steals and two assists, but she had plenty of support during a slow start offensively.

Kilmer did not score as Mountain View ran off 14 straight points to end the first half and start the second. Aubrey Sanders scored the last five points of the second quarter, then Riley Turner and Claire Getz provided four points each as the Lady Eagles scored the first nine of the third. Kilmer then hit a 3-pointer to complete the 17-1 run to a 32-16 lead.

Mountain View gave up just eight points over the final 19:40.

Lily Sedlak added nine points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Ryleigh Kilmer had seven points and six rebounds while Turner had six points, five rebounds and three assists.

Michael Hughes scored 22 points to lead five Holy Cross scorers in double figures.

Hot shooting helped carry the Crusaders. They started the game by making 10 of their 11 shots through the early stages of the second quarter and finished it 14-for-14 from the foul line.

Matt Lyons scored 21 points, including a dunk to end the scoring for the second straight outing.

Mario Matrone added 15 points while Adam Badyrka and C.J. Thompson had 10 each.

The win came against a Constitution team that had gone 4-3 in state finals and 5-1 in state tournament games against Holy Cross since 2012.

(More to come from Hershey.)


(Posted, Thursday, 10:31 p.m.)

The Scranton Prep and Mountain View girls will each be making their first state championship game appearance after reaching the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association semifinals last year.

Scranton Prep has had an unbeaten season, but not a state final appearance. The Classics were unbeaten and in the state Class 4A quarterfinals in 2020 when the tournament was halted because of COVID.

Mountain View had not won a state tournament game prior to last season, but the Lady Eagles are 7-1 in the state tournament in the past two seasons with the only loss coming by one point in the 2023 semifinal.

In addition, the appearance by Mountain View is the first ever by a Susquehanna County girls basketball team.

Montrose made it to the semifinals twice and Elk Lake once, along with Mountain View’s trip last season. Susquehanna was in the quarterfinals with a reasonable chance of advancing in Class A in 2020.

The last time a Susquehanna County basketball team made it to the final was the Elk Lake boys team in 1982.

The Holy Cross boys are back in the Class 2A state final where they lost in 2013 to Beaver Falls, 69-63, in 2013.

Also, Bishop O’Hara, the Dunmore school where Holy Cross is now located, lost to Juniata Valley, 60-43, in the 1996 Class A final.

Al Callejas Jr., the first-year Holy Cross coach, was an all-star guard on the 1995-96 Bruins playing for the team coached his father, Al Callejas Sr.

Bishop Hannan, which merged with Bishop O’Hara to create Holy Cross, won a state title in 2002 and also reached the final in 1999, 2000 and 2006.

Tracing the Holy Cross roots back further, Bishop Klonowski of Scranton won the 1976 Class A title before merging into Bishop Hannan.

(More coverage to come.)


(Posted, Thursday 3:28 p.m.)

The Lackawanna League will have three teams playing for Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state basketball championships in the same season for the first time ever, Friday and Saturday at The Giant Center in Hershey.

WEJL, NEPA’s ESPN radio, has plenty of coverage planned. This blog will be updated throughout and each game will be broadcast live. There will also be social media posts keeping fans informed of what is happening in Hershey.

The blog is being presented by Peggy’s Marinade & Dipping Sauce from Scranton. We’re grateful for the advertising support to help produce this addition to our coverage.

The only time all of District 2 ever had three entries in the state finals was in 1994 when the Carbondale boys, Bishop Hoban girls and Dunmore girls each lost.

There were two finalists from District 2 in 1982, 1986, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1999 and 2000.

The Mountain View girls and Holy Cross boys play in the Friday doubleheader. The Scranton Prep girls open Saturday’s schedule.

Mountain View (24-4) faces District 6 champion Bishop Guilfoyle (28-3) in Class to open Friday’s schedule at noon.

Holy Cross (24-3) will play District 7 champion Aliquippa (25-5) in the Class 2A game Friday at 2 p.m.

Scranton Prep (23-5) goes against District 7 runner-up Blackhawk (26-3) in Class 4A Saturday at noon.

(Much more coverage to come. Save this link and come back often.)


NEPA’s ESPN Radio has arranged with Tom Robinson to provide written web coverage from the PIAA State Basketball Championships in Hershey. In addition to live broadcasts on WEJL 630-AM or online at: NEPA’s ESPN – ESPN Radio (, there will be many updates to this blog and on social media.

For an example of what to expect or a review of the District 2 Championships at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, check out that blog at: PIAA D2 Basketball Championship Blog – Tom Robinson and NEPA’s ESPN Radio (