What to watch for in WPIAL sports for Jan. 14, 2021: Class 3A showdown in boys basketball

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Wednesday, January 13, 2021 | 10:28 PM


While Thursday is a busy night of girls basketball around the WPIAL, there are only two district boys basketball games scheduled.

However, one of them is a nonsection showdown of ranked teams in Class 3A as Washington visits South Allegheny in a game you can hear on Trib HSSN at 7 p.m.

No. 4 Washington is off to a 2-0 start with both victories coming in Section 4, beating Charleroi by 23 points and Waynesburg Central by 50 on Tuesday.

This is the season opener for top-ranked South Allegheny.

The Gladiators enjoyed a breakout 2019-2020 season in which they reached the WPIAL semifinals and the second round of the PIAA postseason.

SA finished 24-3 overall a year ago and with many key players back, including brothers Antonio and Bryce Epps, they are the team to beat in Section 3 and one of the top teams in the classification.

A big hill to climb

Nobody is surprised that the Trinity girls basketball team is off to a 3-0 start.

The Hillers are ranked No. 2 in Class 5A behind two-time defending champion Chartiers Valley after reaching the WPIAL finals last year and losing to the Colts.

Senior Courtney Dahlquist scored 29 points on Monday as the Hillers rolled past 6A No. 5 Bethel Park, 56-41.

However, an eyebrow may be raised at the early success of their opponent Thursday, Albert Gallatin.

After finishing 9-13 last season and missing out on the playoffs, the Colonials are 2-0 with lopsided wins over Laurel Highlands and Frazier.

The early season fight for first in Section 3-5A is at Trinity at 7:30 p.m.

4A fray

Another big girls basketball contest on Thursday has Mt. Pleasant hosting top-ranked Southmoreland with first place at stake in Section 3-4A.

The Scotties are 2-0 after a pair of double-digit point victories over Charleroi and Elizabeth Forward.

Southmoreland has won 24 straight regular season games since losing to South Park in February of 2019.

Mt. Pleasant is 3-0 with wins over Frazier, Highlands and Yough. Those three victories match the season total for the Vikings from a year ago when they finished 3-17.

Both teams are 1-0 in the section. Southmoreland beat Mt. Pleasant twice last season by 44 and 33 points.

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