A-K Valley girls basketball notebook: Plum, Fox Chapel part of exciting section race

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Wednesday, February 17, 2021 | 8:13 PM


With just a week left in the truncated WPIAL girls basketball regular season, Section 2-5A is in position to have every team complete its section slate.

It would be one of the few sections, boys or girls, to be able to accomplish the feat. Every remaining game has a scheduled date to go with it.

Fox Chapel has just one game left, at home Thursday with Indiana. The Foxes have won six of their last seven in section and are 7-4 in the competitive section race.

“I expected nothing less from this section,” said Plum coach Steve Elsier, who played two close games with Fox Chapel before the Foxes prevailed in both. “Any given night, the teams can knock each other off. Sometimes it comes down to a turnover or a missed shot. It’s been very competitive.”

Hampton defeated Armstrong, 39-28, Wednesday night. The Talbots are atop the section at 7-2. The River Hawks fell to 5-3.

Armstrong has four section games left, while Hampton has three.

Indiana and Mars, both 4-5 in the section, also have three section games remaining, while Plum and Kiski Area have two apiece.

The Mustangs, who topped Armstrong on Saturday to move to 6-4 in the section, host Hampton on Saturday and visit Indiana on Feb. 25.

“Those are going to be two incredibly important games against two really good teams,” Elsier said. “They will definitely help us get ready for the playoffs.”

Kiski Area, 0-10 in the section, hopes to play spoiler at Hampton on Thursday and at Armstrong on Monday.

Busy schedule

St. Joseph will enter the WPIAL Class A playoffs in a little over a week, but the Spartans are not resting before the postseason starts.

The Spartans are scheduled to play seven games, starting Thursday at home with Lincoln Park, through Feb. 26 against Clairton.

Other games include Propel Andrew Street on Friday, Riverview on Saturday, Apollo-Ridge on Monday, Union next Wednesday and Leechburg on Thursday.

The WPIAL brackets are scheduled to be revealed Tuesday with opening-round games to start as early as Feb. 27. Spartans coach Dennis Jones said the plan right now is to play all of the games, but he is not ruling out the possibility of changes depending on the date of the first playoff contest.

St. Joseph, led by the play of freshman Julie Spinelli, senior Ally Swierczewski and junior Trinity Lockwood-Morris, is 4-8 overall and 3-2 in Section 3-A. The Spartans last played Feb. 12 in a loss to Class 2A No. 2 Winchester Thurston.

Lancers on hold

Deer Lakes is working through a covid pause, and the team hopes to be back on the court next week in advance of the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs.

The Lancers, 6-4 overall and 4-1 in Section 1, last played Feb. 9 against Class 6A North Hills. They were not able to play recent section games against Highlands and Freeport.

They are scheduled to return to practice on Monday, and, Deer Lakes athletic director Chuck Bellisario said, the hope is to play a game or two, possibly within the section, before their first playoff contest.

Deer Lakes will extend the Alle-Kiski Valley’s longest playoff streak as it will participate for the seventh year in a row.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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