Winter weather could play factor as part of 3 things to watch Friday in WPIAL athletics
By: Don Rebel
Thursday, January 11, 2018 | 10:36 PM
Friday's 3 things to watch could be summed up in one word — weather.
A winter storm that has hit the midwest hard is expected to roll through Western Pennsylvania with dropping temperatures and a mix of rain and ice before turning to all snow either later Friday afternoon or early evening.
This has already prompted some games to be postponed and moved to another date, or tip times have been moved up with the possibility that the system won't hit until later Friday evening.
Stay tuned Friday afternoon and visit the TribLive High School Sports Network for updates on game changes.
One to watch
If the weather allows, one of the top boys basketball games comes in an Eastern Allegheny County showdown of two rivals who are used to playing big games on the football field, but it has been a while since they have been ranked on the hardwood.
Both are ranked in the Tribune-Review top five this week with Penn Hills at No. 2 and Woodland Hills at No. 3 in Class 6A. In fact, both teams are also ranked in the Boys Trib Ten, as well.
Woodland Hills is off to a 5-0 start in Section 3 and is 10-1 overall and is second in the classification in scoring average with just over 72 points per game. The Wolverines are led by the one-two punch of Amante Britt (22.6 ppg) and Keandre Bowles (19.5 ppg).
Penn Hills though is WPIAL Class 6A's only remaining undefeated team at 5-0 in the section and 13-0 overall. The Indians have the fourth-best defensive average in 6A, allowing only a shade under 52 points per game. But they can also score, led by Daivon Stephens (19.1 ppg) and Cam Wiley (15.1 ppg).
On Tuesday, Britt and Stephens had huge games in leading their respective teams to their latest victories. Britt scored 36 points in the Wolverines 85-46 drubbing of Norwin while Stephens pumped in 31 points as the Indians survived a scare by beating Hempfield, 63-57.
The game at Penn Hills has been moved up to a 6:30 p.m. tip and can be seen in one of two TribLive High School Sports Network video stream basketball games.
A perfect first half?
While most WPIAL boys basketball teams will not wrap up the first half of section play until next week, Central Catholic is slated to wrap up its first go-around in the ultra-tough Section 1-6A on Friday.
So far, so good.
The Vikings, who missed out on the postseason with a sub-.500 record a year ago, are a perfect 5-0 in Section 1 with wins over Seneca Valley, North Hills, Shaler, Pine-Richland and North Allegheny.
Now the only thing standing in their way of a perfect first half is a trip to Butler on Friday to take on the 2017 runner-up Golden Tornado.
It won't be easy for Chuck Crummie's squad as they battle an 11-1 Butler team that is led by one of the district's leading scorers in sophomore Ethan Morton.
Don Rebel is a TribLIVE High School Sports Network broadcaster and staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.