The mats are back as WPIAL team wrestling section matches begin Wednesday

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 | 11:58 PM

Section play begins big time on Wednesday on mats around the WPIAL.

The district team wrestling regular season kicks into full gear with section matches up and down both Class AAA and AA.

Four matches involving playoff teams from a year ago include:

• West Mifflin at Connellsville in Section 2A-AAA

• South Park at Burgettstown in Section 1A-AA

• Keystone Oaks at Hopewell in Section 2B-AA

• Southmoreland at Elizabeth Forward in Section 3B-AA

Girls hoops section opener

While many WPIAL girls basketball teams will begin section play Thursday, the first section play of the 2019-20 girls basketball season is Wednesday.

It is a Section 1-6A opener as Bethel Park hosts Hempfield.

The Black Hawks won both of their games in the North Allegheny tip-off tournament while the Spartans split their two games in the Slippery Rock tournament.

Last year, Bethel Park cruised past Hempfield in both of their meetings, winning 66-39 and 64-32.

The Hawks are the Trib HSSN preseason No. 1 team.

Boys hoops section opener

Like the girls, there is one game Wednesday that will open the door to section play in the 2019-20 boys basketball campaign.

Defending champion and top-ranked Lincoln Park hits the road to visit Riverside in a Section 1-3A lid lifter.

The Leopards beat Blackhawk and Hickory in their own Lincoln Park tip-off tournament to begin defense of their back-to-back WPIAL crowns.

The Panthers also won two games in the Laurel tournament, but lost to Springdale in a non-section game on Monday, 55-40.

Lincoln Park won a pair of meetings last year against Riverside by 29 and 30 points.

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