Coach Rob Wludyga’s Pymatuning Valley Lakers earned the fourth sectional championship in school history by knocking out archrival and No. 4 seed Grand Valley last week at LaBrae.
That win catapulted the ninth-seeded Lakers (15-9) into a district semifinal tonight against state-ranked and top-seeded Gilmour Academy today at 5:30 p.m.
The Lancers have won this district all five years it has been held at LaBrae, not to mention the last two years it was held at its former home, Berkshire, giving Gilmour seven consecutive district championships.
PV’s other sectional crowns came in 1992 under coach Shari McCaslin, in 1998 under coach Dana Berry and in 2008 under Wludyga’s guidance.
In the lower half of the bracket, second-seeded Cardinal will take on third-seeded Kirtland in tonight’s second semifinal, set for 7.
The district championship match will be played Wednesday at 7 p.m., with the winner moving on to the Sweet 16 at Barberton.
Coach Brandy Thomas’ Riverside Beavers, who were in contention for the PAC championship up until the final week of the regular season when a loss at Geneva greased the skids for them.
However, fourth-seeded Riverside (18-6), runner-up to PAC rival in this district a year ago, will take on top-seeded Mentor in a district semifinal Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Euclid High School.
The Beavers earned their sixth consecutive sectional championship — and their 13th in the last 14 seasons — with a three-game sweep of PAC rival North on Wednesday.
The winner will move on to tangle with the winner of Tuesday’s nightcap semifinal between third-seeded Chardon (15-9), coached by Ashtabula County native Bobby McQuoid, and fifth-seeded Mayfield.
Riverside has won this district twice — in 2009 and 2010 — and finished as district runner-up on three other occasions — the aforementioned loss to South last fall and defeats at the hands of Mentor in 2002 and 2001.
The district championship match will be played Thursday at 6 p.m., with the district titleist moving on to regional play at Hudson.