Tigers need to close with a flourish
Southern Columbia has three games left to do what both Mount Carmel and Line Mountain have already done. ... Get hot at the right time.
The Tigers sit at 8-11. Saturday's victory over Montoursville was their second straight after a three-game slide left them at 6-11 and in need of five straight victories to qualify for the District 4 postseason.
It's not going to be easy with Heartland I power Danville on tap tonight, then Lewisburg, one of Heartland II's strongest teams, coming up Wednesday. Both those games are at home. They'll end the regular season on the road Friday at South Williamsport.
Now, back to the Red Tornadoes and Eagles.
Mount Carmel (11-8) clinched a District 4 berth Saturday with a 53-37 victory over Central Columbia. It was the Tornadoes' fourth straight victory, their eighth in the last 10 games. They were 3-6 just before the midpoint of the season when they caught fire.
Line Mountain (11-7) was sitting at 5-7 just past the season's midpoint. Then an overtime victory over Halifax was the catalyst for a six-game winning streak, including a 54-38 victory over a pretty good East Juniata team that clinched its spot in the postseason.
It won't be easy for any of these teams once the playoffs begin. Wellsboro, Lewisburg and Loyalsock Township will likely be at the top of the Class AA seedings and all three are formidable.
In Class A, Lourdes (16-5) is solidly in the field and will likely be the No. 3 seed behind St. John Neumann and Sullivan County.
Beyond the arc
Shamokin Area (5-15) is the area's most prolific team when it comes to scoring via the 3-point shot. Through 20 games, the Indians have knocked down 84 treys. Freshman Ryan Sebasovich leads the way with 27.
Line Mountain, led by Bill Breinich's 23, is next with 79, followed by Southern Columbia with 61, Lourdes with 59 and Mount Carmel with 43.
Individual leaders by team are as follows:
Shamokin - Sebasovich 27, Austin Stine 13, Jake Weaver 12, Dan Delbaugh 11.
Line Mountain - Breinich 23, Cole Rickert 18, Coltin Hunsberger 13.
Southern Columbia - Mike Klebon 29, Matt Klock 15.
Lourdes - Matt Savitski 26, Anthony Pennypacker 14, Mike Menapace 11.
Mount Carmel - Zach Tocyloski 16, Ben Scicchitano 15.
To the point
Southern Columbia's Klock, at 15.7 points per game, is the area's leading scorer as the season winds down.
Just behind him at the Line Mountain duo of Breinich and Rickert at 14.8 and 14.2, respectively.
Top three scorers by team are as follows:
Shamokin - Stine 9.4 ppg, Sebasovich 7.2 and Josh Pappas 7.0.
Line Mountain - Breinich 14.8, Rickert 14.2 and Hunsberger 8.1
Southern Columbia - Klock 15.7, Klebon 12.8 and Bryce Parry 10.7.
Lourdes - Zack Oquendo 13.7, Pennypacker 12.8 and Savitski 11.0.
Mount Carmel - Scicchitano 9.8, Elijah Duran 7.7 and Tyler Kwiatkowski 7.4.
(Roth is sports editor of The News-Item)