It's playoff time again for the Eisenhower Knights.
After losing four starters from last year's team that advanced into the PIAA Class A state playoffs, Ike is back with a reloaded squad looking to make another run.
The first test for these Knights will be Rocky Grove out of Region 1. The Orioles finished with an even 4-4 league record, but went just 8-13 overall. Nate White is the high-scorer with 12.4 points per game.
The Knights huddle around head coach Dave Allenson during the regular season. Ike advances to play Rocky Grove at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Meadville High School in the District 10 Class A playoff quarterfinals.
"They have a couple very good ballplayers," said Eisenhower coach Dave Allenson. "They'll play some man, some zone. They seem to have fallen off recently, but we watched them play VisionQuest last year with basically the same kids. They hustled, made a lot of three's, and got right back in it with a good (VisionQuest) team."
Tre Frank is Ike's leading scorer with 10.6 points per game, Casey Vincent averages 10, and Jarrett Johnson nine. Guard Carter Farrell and forward Chris Sanders round out the Knights' usual starting lineup, while Alex Johnson, Ricky Zortman, John Potts, and Kyle Hunt see key minutes off the bench.
"We rely on too many guys to pick out just one," said Allenson. "We're going to need all of them, we plan to go eight or nine deep."
As a team, the Knights average 52.4 points per game compared to 59 for Rocky Grove. The big difference is in points allowed, where Eisenhower ranks fifth in District 10 at 46.8. Rocky Grove enters the playoffs allowing 62.5.
The two teams were scheduled to play on Jan. 25, but that game was canceled due to weather and was never made up. Rocky Grove is 3-1 and Eisenhower is 4-2 against common opponents Maplewood, Cochranton, and Youngsville.
Friday's game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start at Meadville High School with the second Class A game - Erie First Christian against Commodore Perry -to follow.
The winner of Eisenhower and Rocky Grove will move on to play Cochranton in the second round.