Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
PIAA CLASS AAA BOYS
Second Round Donegal (27-2) vs. Allentown Central Catholic (24-3)
WHEN AND WHERE: Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. at Reading High School's Geigle Complex
LIVE COVERAGE: Join LancasterOnline's Keith Schweigert for a live blog of the game, starting at 6:15.
AT STAKE: Tuesday's victor advances to the PIAA quarterfinals, where they will face either District 12 champion Neumann-Goretti (22-5) or District 2 third-place finisher Scranton Prep (19-8) Friday night at a site and time to be determined.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Donegal captured the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 3 championship with an unblemished 23-0 record in the regular season. The Indians suffered their first loss of the year in the L-L League semifinals, dropping a memorable 72-65 decision to eventual league champ McCaskey in front of a capacity crowd at Conestoga Valley High School. Donegal reached the District 3 semifinals before falling again, this time to eventual champion Berks Catholic, 41-38. It was a frustrating loss for the Indians, who went 0-for-11 from the field and scored just two points in the second quarter, missed its last 16 attempts from 3-point range and went 7-of-13 from the free throw line. Donegal rebounded to defeat Susquehanna Township 66-55 in the consolation round to claim third place in the district, then opened the PIAA playoffs with a 64-44 rout of Wilkes-Barre GAR last Friday. The Indians enter the game ranked No. 10 in the latest Harrisburg Patriot-News statewide Class AAA poll.
Allentown Central Catholic captured its third straight District 11 Class AAA championship with an 87-61 blowout of Bethlehem Catholic, then gave first-year coach Dennis Csensits his first state-playoff victory with a 65-51 triumph over District 3 sixth-place finisher Northeastern in last Friday's first round. With the win, the Vikings advanced to the state quarterfinals for the third straight season. Allentown Central Catholic is ranked third in the state in Class AAA by the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
ABOUT DONEGAL: The Indians average 62.2 points per game, while opponents are scoring 44.1 points per game. Donegal's starting lineup features four double-figure scorers, paced by 6-3 twin brothers Jason and Martin Dietrich. Jason Dietrich averages a team-high 15.8 points per game, while Martin Dietrich scores 15.1 per game. Matt Foltz, a 6-6 senior forward, scores 11.6 points per game, while 6-0 senior guard Dylan Houseal scores 10.5. The starting five is rounded out by senior forward Michael Banwell (5.0 ppg). Thomas Hatt (3.0 ppg) and Chris Robinson are the primary reserves.
ABOUT ALLENTOWN CENTRAL CATHOLIC: The Vikings average 65.7 points per game, while opponents score 51.3. ACC has won 16 District 11 titles since 1985. The Vikes have won 20 of their last 21 games. Their only losses were to Allentown Allen (66-55) and Emmaus (66-46) in back-to-back games on Dec. 18 and 21, and a 53-45 setback to Liberty in the Lehigh Valley Conference semifinals on Feb. 13. ACC's top scorer is 6-5 junior swingman Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman (21.4 ppg). He's joined inside by 6-5 junior forward Jean Lee Baez (14.5 ppg), while guards Mike Kammerer (6-3 Sr., 12.3 ppg), Jimmy Vaughn (5-10 Jr., 3.4 ppg) and Brian McCarthy (5-11 Jr., 3.6 ppg) round out the starting five.