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Boys Basketball: 2017 PIAA Semifinal Preview

Written by Mike White on .

Mike White previews the PIAA boys semifinals.

"Pine-Richland coach Jeff Ackermann and his team took a summer trip to Philadelphia last year. Ackermann had on his mind a spring trip to Hershey this year.

Ackermann and Pine-Richland traveled to St. Joseph's University to play six games in a team camp last summer. The games didn't mean anything, but Ackermann wanted to face top teams in Eastern Pennsylvania because he had the 2017 PIAA tournament on his mind.

"I wasn't guaranteeing anything, but I really liked the team we had coming back," said Ackermann. "I wanted us to play good Catholic school teams or anyone we could. It was really to gauge things and see if we could hang. We went there purposely for this."

"This" is the PIAA playoffs — and Pine-Richland has made it to the Class 6A semifinals. The Rams, champions of the WPIAL, play Carlisle at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Altoona. The winner moves on to the championship game Saturday night in Hershey."