What to watch for in WPIAL sports for Feb. 5, 2024: Basketball playoff positioning up for grabs

Sunday, February 4, 2024 | 4:07 PM

The final week of the high school basketball regular season begins with a big night of WPIAL girls basketball action.

The only section that has a game with first place at stake Monday is Section 4-3A.

Waynesburg Central leads the section with a perfect 8-0 record.

The Raiders are 18-1 this season and have won 10 straight games since suffering their only loss in late December to Big Walnut out of Ohio.

South Park is in second place with a 7-1 section mark.

The Eagles have won three straight games and have been victorious in nine of their last 12 contests.

If Waynesburg wins at home, it will be the outright section champion and will likely earn a top-four seed.

However, a South park triumph means the two teams will likely finish as Section 4 co-champions.

The Raiders finish section play at Brownsville (4-4, 11-8) while the Eagles host Yough (1-7, 8-11). Both games are on Thursday.

On the first meeting between the two Jan. 11, Waynesburg Central trailed by eight points at halftime before outscoring host South Park, 35-15, in the second half to win 48-36.

Senior Addison Blair led the Raiders with 13 points while juniors Brooke Paylo and Addison Kerr each scored 10 points for the Eagles.

Fighting for fourth

The Thomas Jefferson girls basketball team is on the outside looking into the WPIAL playoff bubble.

That could change Monday.

TJ is currently in fifth place in Section 3-5A with a 4-6 section record.

The Jaguars are 7-12 overall and have lost three straight games.

Recent struggles will soon be forgotten though if they can win at home against Latrobe.

The Wildcats are 5-5 in the section and sit alone in fourth place. They have won three straight games and can clinch a playoff berth with a road win at Thomas Jefferson.

Latrobe won the first game at home, beating TJ, 65-56.

Ellis Snyder led the Wildcats with 24 points.

Even with a loss, Latrobe controls its own destiny heading into the section finale Thursday. The ‘Cats would need to beat Penn-Trafford or hope Thomas Jefferson falls to Connellsville to clinch if they don’t win Monday.

Watch the game on Trib HSSN at 7:30 p.m.

State grappling

On the heels of the district postseason concluding, the PIAA will begin the 2024 team wrestling state playoffs Monday with four preliminary round matches in both Class 3A and 2A.

In Class 3A, WPIAL consolation winner Franklin Regional will battle City League champion Obama Academy in a match at Carrick at 7 p.m.

The winner advances to face the top seed, District 1 champion Council Rock South.

In 2A, two District 7 teams are in action Monday.

Consolation winner Quaker Valley will visit District 6 runner-up Bald Eagle at 6 p.m. with the winner advancing to face District 11 champion Notre Dame-Green Pond.

The team QV beat in the WPIAL consolation match, Mt. Pleasant, will hit the road to face District 10 runner-up Fort LeBoeuf. The winner of that match advances to the first round to battle District 4 champion Warrior Run.

The first round is slated for Thursday at the Giant Center in Hershey.

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