Belle Vernon, KO girls battle for section lead as part of 3 things to watch Thursday in WPIAL athletics

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018 | 8:30 PM


One race that is turning into a three-team battle for section supremacy in WPIAL Class 4A girls basketball is Section 3. Another head-to-head matchup takes place Thursday night in one of the district's marque contests.

Keystone Oaks, Belle Vernon and Elizabeth Forward are a combined 25-9 overall, with both the Golden Eagles and Leopards sitting atop the section with 5-0 records and the Warriors at 4-1. Elizabeth Forward's lone section blemish came Monday when the Warriors were knocked out by Keystone Oaks, 68-47.

So sole possession of first place is up for grabs Thursday when Keystone Oaks travels to Belle Vernon in the second of six head-to-head games against the three teams.

Listen to the game on the TribLive High School Sports Network starting at 7:30 p.m.

Twin peaks

It's early, but only two games separate the top five teams in the always-competitive Section 3-6A in WPIAL girls basketball. Four of those five teams collide Thursday as this South Hills section continues to evolve.

Everybody is looking up at Peters Township in the section, but the Indians have a tough challenge when they travel to face perennial power Mt. Lebanon.

The Blue Devils are 2-1 and tied for second place with Bethel Park. The Black Hawks hit the road Thursday to face a Canon-McMillan team that is 1-2 in the section, but 8-3 overall.

North vs. South on the ice

One of the top rivalries in the PIHL over the last decade not driven by geography has been Peters Township against North Allegheny in Class 3A.

North Allegheny last won the Penguins Cup championship five years ago while Peters Township ousted the Tigers the next year to win the 2015 title. The Indians won it all again last spring.

In fact, in route to their second cup in four years, Peters Township beat North Allegheny, 7-0, in a semifinals contest. That was sweet revenge for the Indians after they were ousted in the 2016 semifinals by the Tigers, 4-3.

This is the second meeting of the year between first-place Peters Township and fourth-place North Allegheny. The Indians blanked the Tigers, 3-0, in early November.

Don Rebel is a TribLIVE High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at drebel@tribweb.com.

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