Breaking down changes to the 2022-23, 2023-24 WPIAL boys basketball alignment
Tuesday, July 19, 2022 | 10:48 AM
The WPIAL released new section alignments for the next two-year cycle in all sports, and changes will be implemented starting this fall.
This summer, the Tribune-Review will break down changes for each of the WPIAL sports.
Here’s a look at the upcoming WPIAL boys basketball season:
2021-22 WPIAL championships
Class 6A: Fox Chapel
Class 5A: Laurel Highlands
Class 4A: Quaker Valley
Class 3A: Shady Side Academy
Class 2A: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart
Class A: Bishop Canevin
• Four of the six returning WPIAL champion boys basketball teams will be in new classes in the new two-year cycle.
Fox Chapel (6A champ) dropped down to 5A, Laurel Highlands (5A champ) dropped down to 4A, OLSH (2A champ) moved up to 3A, and Bishop Canevin (A champ) moved up to 2A. Quaker Valley stayed in 4A and Shady Side Academy remained in 3A.
• Class 4A had a notable increase of teams, jumping from three sections and 22 teams to four sections with 25 teams. Most notably, Lincoln Park and North Catholic, who have played in the WPIAL finals in four of the past six seasons, will share Section 2. Montour and Quaker Valley, who met in the WPIAL finals last year, moved from Section 2 to 4 with Avonworth, East Allegheny and South Allegheny, who all moved up from 3A, and West Mifflin, which dropped down from 5A.
Also in 4A, Section 1 will have a new look, as Greensburg Salem dropped down two classes from 6A, and Hampton, Highlands and Indiana all came down from 5A to join holdovers Freeport and Knoch.
In addition, Albert Gallatin and WPIAL 5A champion Laurel Highlands dropped down a class to join Section 3.
• Class 6A shrunk from three sections and 17 teams to two sections with six teams each. New Castle, a WPIAL 5A finalist last year, moved up to join Section 1. Hempfield and Norwin moved into Section 2 from the defunct Section 3.
• Class 5A gained five teams that dropped down from 6A — Bethel Park and Peters Township in Section 1, WPIAL champion Fox Chapel in Section 2, Penn-Trafford in Section 3, and 6A runner-up North Hills in Section 4.
Section 2-5A will be all new as Armstrong, Plum and Shaler came over from Section 4, and Penn Hills and Woodland Hills moved from Section 3.
Chartiers Valley, Moon, South Fayette and West Allegheny moved from Section 2 to Section 4-5A with North Hills and holdover Mars.
• New to Class 3A this winter will be Keystone Oaks and South Park in Section 2; Burrell, Deer Lakes and Derry in Section 3; and Mt. Pleasant and Yough in Section 4. All dropped down from 4A.
Section 2 will be all new as WPIAL 2A champion OLSH and Sto-Rox moved up from 2A, Steel Valley joined from Section 3, and Brentwood slid over from Section 4. Holdover Seton LaSalle also welcomed nearby Keystone Oaks and South Park.
• Class 2A changes are highlighted by Aliquippa and Laurel dropping down to join Section 1, and Beth-Center dropping into Section 4.
Section 2 will have four teams that moved up from Class A in WPIAL champion Bishop Canevin, Eden Christian, Propel Montour and Nazareth Prep.
Leechburg moved up to Section 3 and will be joined by nearby rivals Riverview and Springdale, who moved over from Section 1.
Burgettstown, Chartiers-Houston and Fort Cherry all transferred from Section 2 to 4.
• Five teams dropped down to Class A — Carlynton, California, Jefferson-Morgan, Monessen and Summit Academy (from 3A). Also, Avella moved over from Section 2 to 1.
• WPIAL board members considered splitting public and private school basketball teams into separate sections, but ultimately decided to revisit that idea for the next two-year cycle.
In and out
• Propel Andrew Street will not have a WPIAL schedule this season. They will be replaced in Section 3-A by Hillel Academy.
• New Castle holds the designation as the WPIAL’s leader in WPIAL championships with 14. The Red Hurricanes have won four titles in the past six years.
Farrell (13), Aliquippa (12), Duquesne (12) and Beaver Falls (10) round out the top five for WPIAL championships.
Nov. 18: First practice date
Nov. 25: First scrimmage date
Dec. 2: First play date
Dec. 15-16: First section dates
Feb. 13: WPIAL pairings meeting
March 2-4: WPIAL championships
March 23-25: PIAA championships
2022-23, 2023-24 alignment
Class 6A (12 teams)
Section 1: Butler, Central Catholic, New Castle, North Allegheny, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley
Section 2: Baldwin, Canon-McMillan, Hempfield, Mt. Lebanon, Norwin, Upper St. Clair
Class 5A (24 teams)
Section 1: Bethel Park, Connellsville, Peters Township, Ringgold, Thomas Jefferson, Trinity
Section 2: Armstrong, Fox Chapel, Penn Hills, Plum, Shaler, Woodland Hills
Section 3: Franklin Regional, Gateway, Kiski Area, Latrobe, McKeesport, Penn-Trafford
Section 4: Chartiers Valley, Mars, Moon, North Hills, South Fayette, West Allegheny
Class 4A (25 teams)
Section 1: Freeport, Greensburg Salem, Hampton, Highlands, Indiana, Knoch
Section 2: Ambridge, Beaver, Blackhawk, Central Valley, Hopewell, Lincoln Park, North Catholic
Section 3: Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Elizabeth Forward, Laurel Highlands, Southmoreland, Uniontown
Section 4: Avonworth, East Allegheny, Montour, Quaker Valley, South Allegheny, West Mifflin
Class 3A (28 teams)
Section 1: Beaver Falls, Ellwood City, Freedom, Mohawk, Neshannock, New Brighton, Riverside
Section 2: Brentwood, Keystone Oaks, Seton LaSalle, South Park, Steel Valley, Sto-Rox, OLSH
Section 3: Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Derry, Ligonier Valley, Shady Side Academy, Valley
Section 4: Brownsville, Charleroi, McGuffey, Mt. Pleasant, Washington, Waynesburg, Yough
Class 2A (26 teams)
Section 1: Aliquippa, Laurel, Northgate, Sewickley Academy, Shenango, South Side
Section 2: Bishop Canevin, Eden Christian, Nazareth Prep, Propel Braddock Hills, Propel Montour, Winchester Thurston
Section 3: Clairton, Greensburg C.C., Jeannette, Leechburg, Riverview, Serra Catholic, Springdale
Section 4: Bentworth, Beth-Center, Burgettstown, Carmichaels, Chartiers-Houston, Fort Cherry, Frazier
Class A (18 teams)
Section 1: Avella, Carlynton, Cornell, Rochester, Union, Western Beaver
Section 2: California, Geibel, Jefferson-Morgan, Mapletown, Monessen, West Greene
Section 3: Aquinas Academy, Hillel Academy, Imani Christian, Neighborhood Academy, St. Joseph, Summit Academy
Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at email@example.com or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.
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