Thursday highlighted by girls basketball, clash of WPIAL champions on mat

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 | 10:33 PM

On Tuesday, the Knoch boys basketball team took over first place in Section 1-4A with a victory over Highlands.

Two days later, the Knights girls basketball team will try to win a battle for first place.

Knoch (5-0, 8-3) will visit Freeport (4-1, 6-4) with at least a share of the top spot in Section 1-4A on the line.

North Catholic is also in the hunt for first place. The defending champion Trojans are 4-0 in section play.

Knoch has won three straight, including a 26-point victory over Burrell on Monday when senior Lauren Cihonski led the way with 15 points.

Freeport snapped a two-game losing streak with a 33-point rout of Apollo-Ridge behind senior Sidney Shemanski’s 16 points.

Knoch will host North Catholic on Monday.

Dogs vs. cats

Two teams tied for second place in Section 1-3A will meet on Thursday when Beaver hosts Freedom.

Both the Bobcats and Bulldogs are 4-1 in the section and a combined 17-3 overall.

Freedom bounced back from its only loss of the season Monday with a 16-point win over Riverside thanks to freshman Julia Mohrbacher’s 21 points.

Beaver also bounced back from a loss with a 19-point nonsection win over Hopewell as junior Emma Pavelek led the Bobcats with 16 points.

Both teams’ lone section losses came against front-running Mohawk, which leads the section with a 5-0 mark.

Clash of the champions

It won’t have any effect on this year’s chase for district gold, but a pair of WPIAL champions will square off Thursday on the mat.

Burrell faces Kiski Area in a nonsection match between district wrestling powers.

Burrell has won 13 consecutive WPIAL Class AA team wrestling championships while Kiski Area has claimed three straight Class AAA crowns.

The match has become an annual event between the Cavs and Bucs, two programs that four times have won WPIAL titles in the same year. The same-year championship runs have occurred the last three years and in 1997.

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