Wood and Neumann-Goretti favored in boys’ basketball state playoffs

By Rick O’Brien

March Madness starts in earnest this weekend.

From our area, 43 boys’ basketball teams are aiming to make it to Hershey’s Giant Center and capture PIAA championship medals.

This is the inaugural year for six classifications on the hardwood. From 1984 to 2016, there were four classifications.

Here is a look at the Class 5A, 3A, and A tournaments, which will tip off Friday, and a predicted winner in each group.

We’ll go through the Class 6A, 4A, and 2A playoffs, which will begin Saturday, in Friday’s paper.

Class 5A

First-time Catholic League titlist Archbishop Wood, which has won 17 straight games, is the favorite to come out of the Eastern bracket and vie for top honors.

The white-hot Vikings are paced by Villanova recruit Collin Gillespie (22.3 ppg., 62 three-pointers) and fellow guards Tyree Pickron (12.6, 54), and Matt Cerruti (12, 47).

John Mosco’s squad also has long-range threats in guards Andrew Funk and Keith Otto. Inside, 6-foot-11 Seth Pinkney and 6-7 Karrington Wallace are forces.

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