What to watch for in high school sports for March 20, 2023: Trips to Hershey up for grabs

Sunday, March 19, 2023 | 10:40 PM

After not even playing in the district championship games this winter, three WPIAL girls basketball teams can punch their ticket to the state finals with a win Monday.

In Class 6A, three District 7 teams reached the PIAA quarterfinals, however WPIAL champion North Allegheny was ousted in its fourth meeting of the year against Norwin.

The Tigers and Knights split the two regular-season games with NA winning in the district semifinals and Norwin taking home a victory in the state quarters.

Now Norwin (24-4) faces a District 3 champion with an undefeated record.

Cedar Cliff (29-0) picked up win No. 29 in the quarterfinals against WPIAL runner-up Upper St. Clair.

The game will be played at Altoona at 7 p.m. Monday.

In Class 3A, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart didn’t even make the WPIAL semifinals. The Chargers lost to eventual district champion Avonworth in the quarterfinals.

Now after beating Avonworth in the PIAA second round and Westmont-Hilltop in the quarterfinals, OLSH (22-7) will battle District 6 champion River Valley (28-2) at Kiski Area at 7 p.m.

Finally, fresh off a win over WPIAL 2A champion Shenango in the state quarterfinals, Greensburg Central Catholic (24-5) hopes to win and head to Hershey when it faces District 10 champion Kennedy Catholic.

The Centurions and Golden Eagles will tip off at North Allegheny at 6 p.m. Monday.

All WPIAL Final Four

There is guaranteed to be two WPIAL boys teams in Hershey playing for state gold this year.

That’s because it’s an all-WPIAL semifinals bracket in both boys 4A and Class A.

In 4A, WPIAL champion Lincoln Park (28-1) knocked out Laurel Highlands in a quarterfinals classic and has its eyes set on the other 4A twin power from Fayette County this season, Uniontown (23-5).

Uniontown was also involved in a quarterfinal thriller when Bakari Wallace hit a buzzer beating 3-pointer to win, 55-54.

The Leopards and Red Raiders square off at Charleroi at 7 p.m.

The much anticipated rematch is set in Class A between WPIAL champion Imani Christian (21-6) and district runner-up Union (25-3).

After the district title game loss, 64-41, Union coach Mark Stanley said some things about the private vs. public school dynamic that did not sit well with Imani and its supporters.

The second meeting between the Saints and Scotties takes place at North Allegheny at 7:30 p.m.

3A Pens Cup title game

Peters Township is the only defending high school hockey champion left standing following the PIHL semifinals.

The Indians will try to make it back-to-back PIHL Penguins Cup 3A championships Monday when they face rival Upper St. Clair at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry at 6:15 p.m.

Peters Township (18-3-1) is trying to lift the cup for the eighth time, winning four times between 2002-05 and also claiming gold in 2014, 2017 and 2022.

Upper St. Clair (13-8-1) is in search of a sixth PIHL Penguins Cup crown, having also won in 1980, 1986, 1987, 1990 and 2011.

The last PIHL team to repeat as champions in consecutive years was Franklin Regional in Class A in 2016 and 2017.

The last time a PIHL team went back-to-back with titles in consecutive years in Class 3A was when Bethel Park won three in a row in 2001, 2001 and 2002.

First time in A

A first-time champion will be crowned Monday in Class A as Fox Chapel (20-2) takes on Kiski Area (18-5) at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry at 8:45 p.m.

The Foxes won both regular season games against the Cavaliers, winning in the season opener 5-2 on Oct. 3 and 10-2 on Feb. 13.

Fox Chapel defeated Quaker Valley and defending champion Norwin the the Class A quarterfinals and semifinals by a combined score of 12-6.

Kiski Area needed three wins to reach the finals, ousting Avonworth by one goal, upsetting North Hills by one goal and defeating Greensburg Salem by two goals in the semifinals.

Both the 3A and A PIHL Penguins Cup championship games can be watched on Trib HSSN.

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