What to watch for in WPIAL sports for Feb. 6, 2023: Girls basketball playoff spots up for grabs

Sunday, February 5, 2023 | 7:16 PM

As the final week of the WPIAL girls basketball regular season begins, there are key games to determine section titles and playoff berths up and down the six classifications.

The section where the spotlight shines the brightest Monday is Section 2-4A.

There, not only is first place up for grabs, so is fourth place in a pair of key contests.

Top-ranked Blackhawk (16-2) hosts Quaker Valley (14-6) for first place.

The Cougars are 7-0 in the section and can clinch the title with a win. The Quakers are 7-1, with their only loss coming against Blackhawk on Jan. 12, 48-37.

The other key section battle Monday has Hopewell (7-12) visiting Central Valley (6-12).

The Vikings and Warriors are deadlocked with 2-6 section records. The winner clinches a playoff berth.

Since Hopewell won the first meeting, a Vikings victory would eliminate Central Valley.

Section crowns at stake

Besides the Quaker Valley at Blackhawk game, there are three other girls basketball matchups Monday that will either forge a tie for first place or give the winning team the section title outright.

• In Section 4-5A, Trinity (13-5) visits South Fayette (17-2). The first-place Lions are a perfect 8-0 in the section while the Hillers are a game back with a 7-1 record. South Fayette won the first meeting, 47-25.

• In Section 3-4A, Elizabeth Forward (15-4) hosts Belle Vernon (14-6). The front-running Warriors are 10-0, a half-game in front of the Leopards, who check in at 10-1. EF won the first clash between the two last month, 65-43.

• In Section 2-2A, Burgettstown (14-5) travels to Brentwood (11-8). The Blue Devils are in first place with an 8-0 record, one game ahead of the Spartans at 7-1.

Looking to clinch

Call it the storm before the storm, or the old “win and you’re in” games.

Along with the Hopewell at Central Valley game, there are two other contests in which the winner will clinch a WPIAL playoff berth.

• In Section 1-3A, Ellwood City (8-12) is at Beaver Falls (7-10). The Wolverines and Tigers are deadlocked at 2-6 with the winner moving into fourth place and securing a playoff berth.

• In Section 3-A, Hillel Academy welcomes Jeannette. The two teams overall are a combined 1-29. That lone win was a Jayhawks victory over the Eagles, 68-13.

• In Section 2-6A, Baldwin (9-11) is at Bethel Park (6-12). The Highlanders are 5-6 in the section and have already clinched a playoff berth. The Black Hawks are 3-7 in section play and would have to win Monday and against first- place Upper St. Clair on Thursday to clinch a playoff berth.

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