When Dunmore and Mid Valley squared off last night (Tuesday) in the PIAA Class AA Eastern Final for the right to advance to the girls’ state championship game on Friday afternoon at 1 pm at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center, a rare event had taken place.


When Dunmore and Mid Valley squared off last night (Tuesday) in the PIAA Class AA Eastern Final for the right to advance to the girls’ state championship game on Friday afternoon at 1 pm at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center, a rare event had taken place.
Two teams from the same division (Division II) within the same league (Lackawanna League) were battling in a state semi-final. That’s a rare state-wide occurrence.
Lackawanna League Division II has been considered one of the state’s best divisional battlegrounds to get ready for the state tournament with a number of its squads advancing deep into the state tournament over the years on the boys and girls’ court.  Division II programs have a rich history of state tourney success.
Since the Carbondale Area Chargers advanced to the Final Four in 1991 as a member of the Lackawanna North, programs that now compete in Division II have produced an impressive state tourney run over the last 20 seasons.
Girls
Dunmore was a state finalist in 1994 while Mid Valley battled in a state championship game in 1981. The Lady Bucks have been Sweet 16 or Elite Eight participants numerous times in the last 10 seasons. Carbondale Area has also made a Sweet 16 appearance in the last half dozen years while Old Forge made a deep run last season.
Checking the D-II pedigree further, CA owns a state title, Riverside has a state crown and another state title appearance and Valley View has a state title game on its resume. That’s five of the current eight teams in D-II that boasts state title game appearances and countless deep runs.
 Boys
CA made it to the Final Four (1991) and produced a state crown (1993) and another state title appearances (1994).
Bishop Hannan won the state crown (2002) and had three other state title game appearances (1999, 2000, 2006) while Bishop O’Hara battled in the state title game (1996). Those two programs are now Holy Cross which has experienced its share of Elite Eight or Sweet 16 runs in its handful of years of existence. Riverside also owns Elite Eight and Sweet 16 runs over the last dozen seasons. Valley View was a state finalist (1996) and had a few Sweet 16 or Elite Eight efforts while Dunmore and Old Forge has a Final Four, Elite Eight and Sweet 16’s on its resumes.
That’s six of eight teams making noise deep into the state tourney in that time span.
Division II proudly points to the Dunmore Lady Bucks and Mid Valley Lady Spartans as the latest example of the quality of play in the Lackawanna League measuring up to the state level of play.
Extra Dribbles
Since 1920, there have been 12 districts competing for state crowns.
The following stat lines do not include the 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons. Those seasons were not available.
District 7, a wide-spread district encompassing the Pittsburgh area has won 96 state titles and 71 runner-up trophies in the eight classifications while District 1 has garnered 50 state crowns and 48 runner-up trophies. The city of Philadelphia has only had its programs in the PIAA the last four seasons.
District 3 has 59 state crowns and 52 silver medalists while District 11 has 41 titles and 33 silver balls. District 10 follows with 34 crowns and 32 runner-up trophies. District 6 owns 21 gold balls and 38 silvers while District 2 has claimed 14 state titles and 24 silver balls. District 4 has claimed nine titles and 6 runners-up while Districts 5, 8 and 9 have combined for 15 golds and 32 silver efforts.