Top 5 teams go head-to-head in WPIAL boys basketball section action

Thursday, December 19, 2019 | 9:50 PM

For many district boys basketball teams, Friday will be the final section game played until 2020.

For Seton LaSalle and North Catholic, Friday is the first of two huge meetings that will eventually decide the Section 2 standings and help shape the top seeds in the Class 3A postseason.

A year ago, the Rebels and Trojans split during the regular season and ended up as co-champions of the section.

Both teams won big on their home floor with Seton LaSalle winning at home, 81-57, then North Catholic holding serve with a 66-49 triumph on the Trojans’ court.

Both teams went deep into the district playoffs with Seton LaSalle losing to eventual champion Lincoln Park in the semifinals while North Catholic lost to the Leopards in the WPIAL championship game.

You can listen to their first clash of the 2019-20 campaign here on Trib HSSN.

Top five battles

There are two other WPIAL boys basketball games on Friday pitting top five teams in their classification against each other.

In Section 1-5A, No. 2 Penn Hills visits No. 5 Laurel Highlands.

The Indians are 1-0 in section play and 4-1 overall as they come off wins against Highlands and Gateway in their section opener on Tuesday.

Laurel Highlands has raised some eyebrows this season with a 3-2 overall start, but they are 2-0 in the tough Section 1. The Mustangs have wins over a pair of teams that reached the playoffs last season in McKeesport and Woodland Hills.

In Section 2-4A, No. 4 Central Valley hosts No. 5 Quaker Valley.

The Quakers swept the Warriors a year ago, but Central Valley struggled and finished sixth in the seven team section while the Quakers tied Ambridge for second place, a game behind eventual champion New Castle.

The big difference for CV this season is the addition of 6-foot-5 senior guard Isiah Warfield, a transfer from Sewickley Academy.

Two in 1

There are only two WPIAL section games on the girls side of the court Friday and both are in Section 1-6A.

Former champion North Allegheny is the favorite in the section as they are off and running with a 4-0 record, 2-0 in the section.

On Friday, the Tigers host Fox Chapel, one of several teams in a logjam behind NA and Norwin. The Foxes are 1-1 in the section, 3-2 overall.

The other matchup pits Shaler (1-1, 3-2) visiting North Hills (0-2, 2-3).

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