Last year, the Cavaliers bounced Freedom from the district tournament and locked into the state tournament.


One year later in the same Sewards Gymnasium, the Patriots got their revenge.


Christian Sapp scored a game-high 16 points, but No. 5 East Stroudsburg South fell 59-43 to No. 4 Freedom in the District 11 Class 6A boys basketball quarterfinal round at William Allen High School on Saturday afternoon.


Later Saturday evening at Easton Middle School, Matthew Campbell netted 13 points and Lawson Bray added 10, but No. 9 Pocono Mountain West lost 80-48 to top-seeded William Allen in their Class 6A quarterfinal game.


The Cavaliers’ and Panthers’ seasons are over. Freedom advances to Wednesday’s semifinal round and will face No. 1 William Allen, and both teams qualify for the PIAA Class 6A tournament.


East Stroudsburg South (16-8) trailed by 15 points in the third quarter, but a strong 12-3 run in the frame’s final two minutes had them right back in striking distance. The Cavaliers trimmed the lead to 46-41 with 6:19 to play on a layup from Jasir Parker, but South didn’t sink another shot for an excruciating 5 minutes and 58 seconds, allowing Freedom to pull away.


"I thought defensively, we weren’t bad, but the problem is when you can’t score, they get rebounds and run-outs, and that was it," South coach Shawn Munford said. "We couldn’t make a shot. We couldn’t buy a basket. And I think that was the difference."


The Cavaliers trailed 28-24 coming out of halftime, but Freedom (16-8) stomped on the gas pedal for a 13-2 run over the first six minutes of the third quarter.


South manifested some momentum of its own but couldn’t find a way to get the ball through the net until the game was well decided.


The loss came in part because of the absence of Jaiden Cesanek, a 6-foot-4 junior center who suffered a season-ending non-contact knee injury during practice on Feb. 10. Starting in his place was sophomore Nathaniel McIntyre, though Parker saw the bulk of the minutes in that role.


Without Cesanek’s size in the paint on either side of the court, Munford knew he and his players would miss him on the court.


"Our rotations are a little bit different," Munford said. "You’re counting on guys to do different things."


Munford saw that as no excuse though as the Cavaliers lost their opportunity to qualify for the PIAA state playoffs for a third consecutive year.


"At the end of the day, we were down four at halftime," he said. "And legitimately, it didn’t matter if it was wide open or not – we couldn’t make a free throw, we couldn’t make a layup and we couldn’t make jump shots. ... You score 40-something (points) for the game, you’re not winning in the playoffs."


Although the Cavaliers will lose Jermaine Greene and Juwan Morrison to graduation, Munford is encouraged knowing everyone else returns next season.


"I want to say thank you to my two seniors, but we’ve got a lot of people in that room that will be back next year," Munford said. "And they need to come back hungry. They need to come back understanding what it takes to win at this level. I think if they do so, we’ll have a chance to be back."


Pocono Mountain West (11-13) entered Saturday’s contest on a five-game winning streak, in a playoff mode of their own after needing to win its final four games of the regular season just to make the tournament.


A comeback 54-49 victory over No. 8 Whitehall in the first round of districts on Wednesday night propelled the Panthers into the district quarterfinals. Unfortunately, on the other end was the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference champion team of William Allen.


"Hats off to Allen. They’re a machine," West coach Rich Williams said. "For real, I’ll be absolutely shocked if they don’t win the district championship. They’re a really, really, really talented and well-coached basketball team."


Early turnovers mixed with Allen’s speed and shooting capabilities were the demise of Pocono West.


"That was the key," Williams said. "We talked about for the last couple days that their (Allen’s) pressure would make the difference for them and we had to handle. And we didn’t handle it."


Another backbreaker was the Panthers’ shot selection, which led to quick fast-break points for Allen.


"They hit us with a bunch of easy buckets early and that’s tough to come back from when a team’s just shooting uncontested layups on you for half a basketball game," Williams said.


Though there was little solace in the loss, Williams said this season was a success and credited the leadership of his seniors, particularly starters Lawson Bray and Maurice Whittle.


"No one us gave us a chance to even be in the tournament, I don’t think," Williams said. "The way we got in at the end, being 4-8 in the league and having to win the last four to get in, that was pretty special.


"And then obviously coming back and beating Whitehall in the pigtail round the way we did, it’s definitely a success."


District 11 Class 6A Boys Basketball Quarterfinal


No. 4 Freedom 59, No. 5 ES South 43


ES South 13 11 14 5 - 43


Freedom 15 13 16 15 - 59


ES South 43


Patterson 1 0-0 2, Morrison 0 0-2 0, Santos 2 0-0 5, Rivers 0 0-0 0, Mileto 1 0-0 3, Greene 1 2-4 5, Parker 1 4-7 6, Moore 1 0-0 2, Sapp 6 4-9 16, McIntyre 2 0-0 4. Totals: 15 10-22 43.


Freedom 59


C. Mims 5 2-2 14, Montgomery 0 0-0 0, M. Mims 4 6-9 14, Coyne 0 0-0 0, Falco 1 0-0 3, Fletcher 0 0-0 0, Harrington 1 0-0 3, Stannard 0 0-0 0, Connor 0 0-0 0, Barnes 4 0-0 8, Ellis 6 1-2 13, Stewart 0 0-2 0, Georges 2 0-0 4. Totals: 23 9-15 59.


3-pointers: ESS 3 (Santos, Mileto, Greene); F 4 (C. Mims 2, Falco, Harrington).


No. 1 William Allen 80, No. 9 PM West 48


PM West 12 13 15 8 - 48


Allen 24 22 17 17 - 80


PM West 48


Mickens 0 1-2 1, Bray 4 0-0 10, Campbell 4 5-7 13, Smith 2 1-3 6, Kea 2 1-4 5, Pagan 1 0-0 2, Fermin 3 0-0 6, Jones 0 0-0 0, Terry 0 0-0 0, Whittle 2 1-1 5. Totals: 18 9-17 43.


Allen 80


Ellis 7 0-0 17, Copeland 7 0-2 16, Ozuna 5 2-3 14, Carrion 0 0-0 0, E. Vigo 3 0-0 7, Stewart 2 0-0 4, Adderly 3 2-3 9, Rondon 5 0-0 13, I. Vigo 0 0-0 0, Modesto 0 0-0 0, Monroe 0 0-0 0. Totals: 32 4-8 80.


3-pointers: PMW 3 (Bray 2, Smith); WA 12 (Ellis 3, Rondon 3, Copeland 2, Ozuna 2, E. Vigo, Adderly).