The first week of the district basketball playoffs was filled with excitement and its share of surprises in District 6.
All of the first and second seeds survived the first week’s challenges, but No. 3 seeds were not as fortunate as several sixth-seeded teams advanced to the semifinals in Class A and AA boys and girls.
The Class A semifinals are today at Hollidaysburg Senior High and at Central Cambria.
Second-seeded Portage, which survived its first-round encounter with West Branch, will play upset-minded Juniata Valley, the sixth seed, in the opener at 6 p.m. at Hollidaysburg. The second game pits top-seeded Bishop Carroll against No. 5 Juniata Valley.
The other games at Central Cambria feature the Bishop Guilfoyle girls and boys playing Heritage Conference squads Penns Manor and Homer-Center, respectively.
The championships in Class A are Friday at St. Francis with the girls at 6 p.m. and the boys at 7:30.
On Tuesday, the Class AA semifinals will be played at Richland and Hollidaysburg Senior High.
Second-seeded Bellwood-Antis will face No. 3 Westmont Hilltop in the opener at Richland followed by the Laurel Highlands battle between No. 2 Penn Cambria and sixth-seeded Bishop McCort.
At Hollidaysburg, the top-seeded Bald Eagle girls and boys will face Blairsville and Northern Cambria, respectively.
Also on Tuesday, there will be a pair of District 6-8 Class AAA girls’ first-round contests at Central Cambria with Carrick facing Huntingdon in the first game and Westinghouse taking on Greater Johnstown in the nightcap.
The Class AAA boys semifinal pits Somerset and Bedford at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Richland.
On Thursday at a site and time to be determined, Forest Hills, the Class AAA girls top seed, will play the Carrick/Huntingdon winner while Ligonier Valley will play the Westinghouse/Johnstown victor.
Class AA and AAA boys and girls title games will be Saturday at St. Francis with times to be determined.
In District 5, all of the seeds have fallen in line in both the Class AA and Class A boys and girls brackets.
The D-5 semifinals are set for Tuesday for the Class A boys. No. 4 Berlin will take on top-seeded Shade at Shanksville-Stonycreek while in the other bracket, second-seeded Shanksville plays No. 3 Hope for Hyndman at Chestnut Ridge. Both games are set for 7 p.m.
On Wednesday in District 5, Class AA boys’ semifinals will be played at top-seeded Conemaugh Township, which faces No. 4 Tussey Mountain, and at second-seeded Northern Bedford, which hosts No. 3 Chestnut Ridge.
The Class A girls also play on Wednesday . Southern Fulton, the top seed, will play fourth-seeded Northern Bedford at Everett starting at 5:30 p.m.. On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 Berlin and No. 3 Conemaugh Township square off at North Star, also at 5:30 p.m.
Championships in District 5 are on Friday for the Class AA girls and Class A boys at 6 and 8 p.m., respectively. On Saturday, the Class A girls and Class AA boys will battle it out, also at 6 p.m. and 8, preceeded by a Class A girls’ consolation at 4 p.m.
Moving on: According to the PIAA brackets, there are three Class A girls teams in District 5 and four in District 6 that will advance to the state tournament. In Class AA, just the District 5 champ advances along with three teams in District 6. In Class AAA, both the champion and runner-up move on.
For the boys, two District 5 and three District 6 Class A teams will move into the PIAA Tournament. Either the District 5 or 8 champ advance in Class AA while four District 6 teams move on. And in Class AAA boys, only the District 6 champ will advance.