Key WPIAL boys basketball games make for a busy Tuesday

Monday, January 20, 2020 | 9:52 PM

The first time they met this season, it was an instant classic.

Springdale jumped out to an 18-0 lead, Sto-Rox fought back to force overtime and a freshman hit a free throw in the waning seconds of OT as the Dynamos beat the Vikings, 86-85.

On Tuesday, the two teams meet again at Sto-Rox with first place in Section 1-2A at stake.

The freshman was Springdale’s Chris Mitchell, who broke a tie with a free throw after missing badly on his first attempt with 5 seconds left in overtime.

Sto-Rox never got a shot off and the Dynamos took over first place, where they remain a month later.

The big story of the game however was the play of Springdale junior Demitri Fritch, who had a triple-double with 42 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists.

The loss was the only one in section play for the Vikings, who at 7-1, remain one game behind the Dynamos.

A Sto-Rox win and the teams are tied for first place. A Springdale win, and the Dynamos are in control of the section in the final three weeks of the regular season.

You can watch the game here on Trib HSSN.

A Golden storm

The second half of section play in Class 6A boys basketball tips off Tuesday when Butler looks to take another big step toward an outright Section 1-6A title.

At the midway point, the Golden Tornado enjoys a two game lead over both Pine-Richland and North Allegheny.

On Tuesday, Butler hosts NA.

In the first game on Dec. 20, The Golden Tornado outscored the Tigers 23-6 in the second quarter of what would be a 61-51 road win for Butler.

With Ethan Morton back healthy, Butler has won six straight, including an impressive win over Penn Hills, 68-63 on Saturday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Showcase at Woodland Hills.

Titanic battle in 5A

Shaler has been one of the great stories in Class 5A boys basketball this season.

The Titans are 8-0 and have a two-game lead for first place in Section 3-5A. They had a six-game winning streak end in a nonsection loss to North Hills on Saturday.

Their grip on first place will be challenged Tuesday when they travel to the home of the two-time defending WPIAL champions, the Mars Fightin’ Planets.

Mars is a half-game behind Hampton as the only two teams within striking distance of Shaler in the section.

The host Titans beat the Planets, 73-62, in the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

Shaler senior Mekhi Reynolds led all scorers with 26 points.

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