Bracket breakdown: D-10 boys basketball

Kennedy Catholic senior Mohamed Konate (4) dribbles on a fast break during last year’s District 10 Class 1A playoff game against VisionQuest at Sharon High School.

Kennedy Catholic senior Mohamed Konate (4) dribbles on a fast break during last year’s District 10 Class 1A playoff game against VisionQuest at Sharon High School.

With playoff basketball beginning this weekend, it’s time to take a look at the class-by-class breakdown of this year’s District 10 tournament brackets. Below is a brief look at five of the six classes — as the only District 10 school competing at the PIAA’s largest classification, McDowell will once again begin its postseason in state sub-regional action.

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1A: Barring an upset of monumental proportions, Kennedy Catholic can focus on making another state tournament run without worrying too much about the District 10 playoffs. VisionQuest opted out after finishing the season with one win, leaving only Jamestown and Commodore Perry left to take a run at the defending state champs. Those two will play February 28 with the winner moving on to play the Golden Eagles on March 3.

In Region 1 play this season, Kennedy Catholic beat Jamestown 106-48 and 81-28 with wins over Commodore Perry coming by scores of 104-39 and 104-32. The Golden Eagles have held the No. 1 spot in Class 1A since the initial PIAA rankings were released on December 18.

2A: Cambridge Springs and Rocky Grove look to be the favorites, but Class 2A should be an interesting tournament to watch with several other contenders in the mix. The Blue Devils and Orioles have plenty of size and went relatively unchallenged in region play with the exception of Rocky Grove’s loss to Greenville, which plays in 3A. Both Cambridge Springs and Rocky Grove are listed as “Others to Watch” in Michael Bullock’s cityofbasketballlove.com state rankings.

The Class 2A darkhorse contenders include Eisenhower and Wilmington, both of which secured the second seed from their respective regions and a bye through the first round. Friday’s 2A slate includes four first round games — Mercer at Iroquois, Union City at West Middlesex, Maplewood at Reynolds and Lakeview at Cochranton.

3A: All signs point to 3A being Fairview’s to lose, but the Tigers have a tough opening match-up against rival Girard in the round of eight. Girard likes to slow things down and did that twice this year against Fairview, losing by scores of 35-33 and 31-22 in Region 4 action.

If the Tigers can beat Girard for the third time, they still have Greenville to worry about on the other side of the bracket. Led by 1,000-point scorer Joe Batt, the Trojans finished second in Region 2 and were the No. 9 team in Class 3A before falling to Rocky Grove earlier this week. Mercyhurst Prep, Erie First Christian and Sharpsville should also be tough outs.

4A: Strong Vincent and Grove City earned the top seeds, but the Colonels still have to play a first round game due to District 10 not reworking the brackets after opt outs. Strong Vincent opens against Slippery Rock while Grove City has to wait to play the winner of Farrell and Warren in the quarterfinals. Sharon and Harbor Creek were the two other teams that received byes through the first round.

In the regular season, Harbor Creek took Strong Vincent to overtime in a two-point loss and General McLane also fell to the Colonels by single digits. Grove City’s games have been much more competitive with Sharon, Farrell, George Junior and Oil City all playing the Eagles close in Region 5.

5A: Meadville finished the season undefeated in a region that includes all of D-10’s 5A teams as well as 6A McDowell, and the Bulldogs head into the playoffs ranked No. 5 in the state by CoBL. A loss to Strong Vincent without leading scorer Armoni Foster on January 20 is the only blemish on an otherwise spotless record, but East and Cathedral Prep both played competitive games against the Bulldogs while Central Tech is no stranger to tournament upsets.

The District 10 Class 5A semifinals are scheduled for February 24 with top-seeded Meadville receiving a bye thanks to a late East opt out. The Bulldogs will play the winner of two-seed Cathedral Prep and three-seed Central Tech.

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District 10 teams in the final CoBL rankings: Kennedy Catholic (No. 1 in 1A), Cambridge Springs (Others to Watch in 2A), Rocky Grove (Others to Watch in 2A), Wilmington (Others to Watch in 2A), Greenville (No. 9 in 3A), Fairview (Others to Watch in 3A), Girard (Others to Watch in 3A), Strong Vincent (No. 6 in 4A), Grove City (Others to Watch in 4A), Harbor Creek (Others to Watch in 4A), Meadville (No. 5 in 5A), McDowell (Others to Watch in 6A).

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