New D-11 tourney gets under way Thursday
The much anticipated and reformatted District 11 wrestling tournament gets set to kick off Thursday evening at four different locations.
Blue Mountain, Stroudsburg, Liberty and Catasauqua are the four sites that will host 24 teams in the opening and quarterfinal rounds before the event shifts over to Freedom for Saturday's final day of wrestling.
Bethlehem Catholic (8-0) will be the top seed in 2A action and search for their fourth straight district title, while Stroudsburg (12-0) earned the top seed in 3A through the point system under the new seeding format.
Easton, which has won the last four 3A titles, looks to have that mark in jeopardy this season as the Rovers face an uphill climb in this year's bracket.
Thursday's action will feature 12-teams from each class dueling at four sites with the top four seeds in each class receiving first round byes, while the other eight teams square off head-to-head in elimination bouts at 6pm.
Winners of the first round move on to the quarterfinal round Thursday night at 7:30 pm, with losers of those bouts getting dumped into the consolation bracket for Saturday's action.
That starts the double-elimination phase of the newly formatted tournament, where the district champion qualifies for the state tournament, but the runner-up will have to square off with the winner of the consolation final in Saturday night's ultimate qualifier bout.
In 3A, the first round matchups start off with Nazareth (eighth seed) taking on Emmaus (ninth seed) with the winner facing top-seeded Stroudsburg on the Mounties home turf.
The other half of that bracket features Northampton (fifth seed) against Whitehall (twelfth seed) with the winner taking on Pocono Mountain East (fourth seed). Those matches are at Stroudsburg as well.
The bottom half of the bracket starts out with Bangor (sixth seed) facing imminent loss to Easton (eleventh seed), capped off by an LVC showdown between Dieruff (seventh seed) and Freedom (eleventh seed), all being held at Liberty's Memorial Gymnasium.
Easton will move on to wrestle third-seeded Parkland in the quarterfinals, while second-seeded Liberty awaits either the Huskies or Patriots.
The losers of the quarterfinal round wrestle at 9am Saturday at Freedom. Any team that falls in the consolation round is eliminated from tournament action.
In 2A, Bethlehem Catholic should walk through the tournament unscathed, but the battle for the ultimate qualifier bout should be interesting,.
Palisades (eighth seed) and Jim Thorpe (ninth seed) open the action with the winner moving on to take on the Hawks at Catty. Catasauqua (fifth seed) and Wilson (12th seed) tangle up for the right to meet fourth-seeded Northern Lehigh in the quarterfinals.
Pine Grove (sixth seed) and Palmerton (eleventh seed) meet in first round action with the winner advancing to wrestle Saucon Valley (third seed).
The winner of the Pen Argyl (seventh seed) and Lehighton (tenth seed) matchup then moves on to second-seeded North Schuylkill. Those matches are at Blue Mountain.
The times for 2A consolations are the same as for 3A and are at Freedom.
Semi-final wrestling will take place at 10:45 a.m. Saturday morning with the championship matches set for 5:30 p.m.
Consolation wrestling, as mentioned, starts at 9 a.m. Saturday. The consy semifinal round kicks off at 12:30 p.m. and the consolation final will coincide with the team titles at 5:30 p.m.
The ultimate qualifier bouts then take place at 7:30 p.m.