Stage set for 1-2 matchups
It’s the marquee week of the high school basketball season in the Lackawanna League.
Both Abington Heights and Dunmore remained as the No. 1 teams in the boys and girls Times-tribune Basketball Polls, and will face challenges in the days ahead.
Abington Heights has been the top-ranked boys team for nine straight polls dating back to last season.
Its closest contender has been Scranton Prep, which spent three weeks at No. 1 last season. The Cavaliers are at No. 2, again, this week.
On Tuesday, Scranton Prep (11-1) plays at Abington Heights (10-2).
Two nights later, top-ranked Dunmore and No. 2 Riverside will put their undefeated marks on the line in a girls 1 vs. 2 game when Riverside hosts the 7:15 contest at Patrick Revello Gymnasium.
In the last three years, Abington Heights and Scranton Prep have been at No. 1 for 14 polls each.
Mid Valley (9-2) is up to No. 3. The Spartans, too, will have their rivalry renewed this week when they play at Holy Cross on Friday in a Lackawanna Division III matchup.
Holy Cross (8-4) is also up two spots this week and lands at No. 5.
Scranton, coming off an impressive win over Valley View, stayed put at No. 4 despite its 6-6 record.
Lakeland lost both its Division III games last week and fell from No. 3 to No. 6.
Valley View (8-4) and Honesdale (8-4), which defeated Wayne County rival Wallenpaupack last week and debuts in the poll, tied for the No. 7 spot.
Wallenpaupack (8-4) is at No. 9 and Dunmore (6-6) held on at No. 10.
Susquehanna (8-4), which leads the Lackawanna Division IV, is the only other team to receive consideration.
It was a year ago that Holy Cross handed Dunmore its only loss of the regular season, and in the process took over the No. 1 ranking, the first time a team other than Dunmore occupied the spot since the last regular-season poll of the 2014-15 season.
Riverside will try to accomplish the same thing this year when the Lady Vikes host Dunmore, with both teams in juggernaut mode in Division III play.
But to get to that game, Riverside faces another challenge Monday from an improving Holy Cross team.
While Holy Cross didn’t move in the poll — none of the top seven teams did after each won twice last week — the Crusaders did pick up ground on Old Forge after their win over the Lady Devils 10 days ago.
Scranton Prep, despite a pair of dominating wins over Scranton and West Scranton, couldn’t overtake Riverside and stayed at third, with Abington Heights remaining fourth.
Those two teams will meet tonight at Scranton Prep in a big Division I showdown, with Abington Heights riding a nine-game winning streak, with six of its last seven decided by a total of 25 points.
Valley View remained fifth and Old Forge sixth, while Wallenpaupack moved up two spots with its two wins.
Western Wayne remained ninth after losses to Abington Heights and Wallenpaupack, while West Scranton slipped from eighth to 10th after two losses.