In the district quarterfinals, you can get either a classic or a clunker

History shows that the quarterfinals often feature memorable games, but also many blowouts.

Wednesday night's four District 11 Class 4A pigtail-round games produced four games that remained competitive into the fourth quarter, including one — Stroudsburg's win over Whitehall — decided in the final seconds.

The hope is that the drama will only build on Saturday when the 4A quarterfinals highlight the weekend card with doubleheaders at Allen and Pleasant Valley.

The quarters are even more critical than the semis in 4A and 3A because if you get to the semis, you're guaranteed of two games since three teams move on to the state tourney in those classifications.

Over the years, some of the most memorable district games have come in the quarters.

In 2002, an undefeated Parkland team fell to Emmaus 46-45 on an Adam Kaunitz 3-pointer at the buzzer in a classic game at Dieruff.

In 2005, Emmaus went to two overtimes to beat Pleasant Valley, 54-51, in another memorable "Elite Eight" game.

Going back to the 1990s, Easton outlasted Nazareth 92-87 in a 1992 double-overtime thriller at Rockne Hall, and Freedom took advantage of an injury to Whitehall star Pete Lisicky and stung the top-seeded and East Penn Conference champ Zephyrs, 37-36, in the 1993 quarterfinals.

Even last year, we had a dandy between Freedom and Parkland in the quarters, a pulsating 47-45 Trojans victory that paved the way for them to reach the finals and the state tournament.

Then again, history shows you're just as likely to get a clunker as a classic in the quarters.

Of the 20 district 4A quarterfinals in the past five years, just five have been decided by single digits.

What will this year's quarterfinals give us?

Here's are some things to look for:


If you're looking for consistency, look no further than Pocono Mountain West.

The Panthers have never missed districts in the school's 11-year history and are in the quarterfinals for the seventh straight winter.

In fact, no Pocono Mountain team coached by Brad Pensyl has missed districts in his 23 seasons on the sidelines.

The fact that West will play Stroudsburg in one quarter means that the Mountain Valley Conference will have at least one team in the semifinals for the 10th straight year.

Pensyl's West squad has already beaten the Mounties twice this season — 62-47 on Dec. 14 and 73-56 on Jan. 18. David Clowney, the hero in Stroudsburg's win over Whitehall, talked about the need for his team to battle hard on the boards to have a chance against West.

Still, it's hard to imagine West not winning and returning to the semis for the third year in a row and fifth time in seven years. The Panthers are the top seed and no No. 1 seed has lost in the quarterfinals since Whitehall upset Pleasant Valley in 2003.

In the all-LVC matchups at Allen, Liberty will be a clear-cut favorite over Emmaus thanks to the return of Deshawn Oyeniyi to the lineup. He scored 18 in the Hurricanes' 58-52 win at Emmaus on Jan. 22.

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