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District 6 playoff brackets released

| Friday, Feb. 18, 2011

The Homer-Center boys' and girls' basketball teams have earned byes in the first round of the District 6 playoffs.

In all, five local teams will compete in the D6 playoffs, which begin Monday, and the Homer-Center boys received the highest seed at No. 2 in Single-A.

Still, the Wildcats (16-4) didn't receive the friendliest of draws as they will take on the winner of a first round match-up of two Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference teams -- No. 7 Bishop Carroll and No. 10 Bishop Guilfoyle.

Bishop Carroll, Bishop Guilfoyle and Homer-Center have won three of the last four District 6-A championships. The Wildcats beat Bishop Carroll in the 2009 championship game.

The Huskies played one Heritage team this year, losing to United, 39-35, on a neutral floor.

The other top four seeds are Glendale, first; Juniata Valley, third; and Northern Cambria, fourth. Defending champion Conemaugh Valley, which beat Homer-Center last year, is seeded eighth.

The Homer-Center girls (16-5) will look to make a deeper run this year as they earned the third seed and a bye in Single-A, but are already set to face Blacklick Valley in the quarterfinals. Surprisingly, the Vikings were easily handled by United earlier this year, 47-24.

The Wildcats are looking to make their first semifinals appearance under third-year coach Tom Lasher after losing in the quarterfinals the past two seasons.

Bishop Guilfoyle, the winner of the last four district titles, is the top seed in the bracket with Williamsburg, second, and Conemaugh Valley, fourth, rounding out the top four seeds.

This year, in both Single-A brackets, only three teams will advance to the state playoffs, down one from previous seasons. A consolation game between semifinal losers will determine the third participant.

In Double-A, the top three teams will continue to qualify for the PIAA playoffs, but this year, the third-place team will not have to participate in a play-in game for states.

In the girls' bracket, Ligonier Valley (14-7) and Blairsville (15-6) will face off in the first round as the eighth and ninth seeds, respectively, 6 p.m. Tuesday at Richland High School.

The Rams and Bobcats split the season series with each team winning on the road. Ligonier Valley won the first matchup, 51-46, while Blairsville won on Feb. 8, 41-32.

The winner of the rubber match will take on top seed Bald Eagle in the quarterfinals. Defending champion Marion Center is seeded second.

On the boys' side, United (11-9) received the 11th seed and will take on No. 6 Richland in the first round, 7:30 Monday night at Bishop Carroll High School.

If the Lions win, they will face Heritage Conference foe Purchase Line, the third seed, in the quarterfinals. The Red Dragons swept the Lions this year, but both games were close with Purchase Line winning by three and six points.

Penns Valley, last year's champion, is the top seed in the bracket.

Quarterfinal match-ups in both classes should take place next Thursday and Friday.

In the WPIAL playoffs, the Indiana girls received the top seed in Triple-A after finishing the regular season with a 21-1 record. The Indians will play the winner of West Allegheny and Hampton Wednesday.

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