Mike Rettger tournament to feature top matchups in Tuesday’s 3 things to watch in high school sports

Monday, December 10, 2018 | 8:06 PM

The format is the same for most WPIAL boys and girls basketball teams. Open the season in a tip-off tournament, play a nonsection tune-up or two and then jump into section play for three or four games before the holidays.

However, for four boys hoops teams, it has become a tradition to start the season jumping from one season starting tournament right in to another.

The annual Mike Rettger tournament takes place the first Tuesday and Wednesday of the high school basketball season at Franklin Regional.

Tuesday’s first-round contests are Monessen taking on Norwin and host Franklin Regional matched up against Westinghouse.

Both the Knights and the Panthers are 2-0 while the Greyhounds (0-1) and Bulldogs (0-3) are still searching for their first wins of the season.

The consolation and championship games are Wednesday.

Early section opener

Only 18 miles, most of it on Route 48, separate McKeesport and Elizabeth Forward.

While the two schools often played each other in nonsection or tournament girls basketball games through the years, they were never in the same classification, yet alone the same section.

But with the Tigers dropping from 5A to 4A this season, the two are new section rivals and will tip off their first meeting Tuesday in an early Section 3 opener.

The Warriors were a playoff team a year ago, finishing 15-8 and reaching the quarterfinals where they lost to Blackhawk.

Last season, McKeesport finished 4-17, but in the previous season, they reached the quarterfinals in Class 5A before falling to Hampton.

Senior Bri Spirnak leads Elizabeth Forward after averaging more than 20 points last season. The Warriors are the Trib HSSN preseason No. 3 team in Class 4A.

Both teams split their first two games this past weekend.

District 7 vs. District 8

It might not carry the same excitement level as the Big 10-ACC challenge does, but there are seven boys and girls head-to-head matchups Tuesday between the WPIAL and City League.

On the boys’ side, there are four games including the above mentioned Westinghouse vs. Franklin Regional tournament game.

The other three games are all neighboring matchups as Allderdice (1-1) hosts Central Catholic (0-2), Carrick (2-0) at Keystone Oaks (0-1) and Perry (1-1) at North Hills (1-1).

On the girls’ side, Brashear (0-2) hosts Shady Side Academy (2-0), Obama Academy (1-1) visits Aliquippa (0-2) and Allderdice (1-1) travels to Plum (0-2).

Don Rebel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Don at drebel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TheDonRebel.

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