What to watch for in WPIAL sports for Jan. 31, 2022: Basketball section titles on the line

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Sunday, January 30, 2022 | 8:32 PM


Welcome to the final day of the first month of the year and the start of the stretch run of the 2022 WPIAL basketball regular season.

While most teams are caught up on section games and will finish with three to four section contests over the next two weeks, a few teams in Class 2A and A have fallen behind and will be very busy playing catch-up these first two weeks of February.

One of those programs is the Winchester Thurston girls.

The Bears have played only 10 games this season and are 5-5 overall. WT is 2-1 in Section 4-2A going into Monday’s showdown at first place Greensburg Central Catholic.

Winchester Thurston is at GCC, then home to Springdale on Thursday and Ellis School on Saturday. The Bears also are scheduled to play a non-section game against Sto-Rox on Tuesday.

Section titles

There are plenty of WPIAL girls basketball teams that can clinch a playoff berth Monday, but two teams can clinch their section championship with a win.

Trinity can earn at least a share of the Section 3-5A title with a win at Ringgold. The Hillers can win the section outright Monday if they win and Albert Gallatin loses to Connellsville.

Meanwhile, Avonworth already has earned at least a share of the Section 3-3A crown. The Antelopes can win it outright with a victory at home over Brentwood on Monday.

Teams such as Mt. Lebanon, Chartiers Valley, North Catholic and Union can earn a share of their section championship with a win and some help Monday

Lonely on a Monday

While it is a very busy night of WPIAL girls basketball, there is only one section game and two games total on the district boys basketball slate. One, however is a key Section 3-5A game.

Second-place Gateway (5-2, 9-4) will host fourth-place Kiski Area (4-4, 12-5). A win for the Gators will move them into a tie with Penn Hills for first place.

A victory for the Cavaliers moves them into a tie for third place with Woodland Hills.

The two teams just played Friday. James Pearson scored a game-high 20 points as Kiski Area won at home 64-56.

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