What to watch for in WPIAL sports for Jan. 21, 2021: Battle of unbeatens in Class 5A

Thursday, January 21, 2021 | 12:19 AM

Two WPIAL Class 5A girls basketball teams that finished a combined 22-21 a year ago are off to perfect starts this season.

It’s a small sample size, but Armstrong and Connellsville are now a combined 5-0 and tied for first place in their respective sections.

Both will be tested on Thursday.

Connellsville missed the postseason last year with a 10-12 overall record and a fifth-place finish in Section 2-6A. The Falcons dropped to 5A this season and are 2-0 with a pair of Section 3 wins.

They will visit perennial power Thomas Jefferson (2-0, 4-2) on Thursday in a battle for first place.

Armstrong did make the playoff a year ago, finishing in fourth place in Section 2-5A with a 12-9 overall record. The River Hawks lost by 27 points to Thomas Jefferson in the first round of the district postseason last year.

Now Armstrong is 3-0 overall, 2-0 and tied for the top spot in Section 2. They host Mars (2-2, 3-4) on Thursday.

North vs South

Two girls basketball teams from opposite ends of the district meet Thursday in a standout nonsection game.

Representing Lawrence County is Laurel. The Spartans have won four of their first five games and are only trailing the top two teams in Class 3A, Mohawk and North Catholic, in Section 1-3A.

Representing Washington County is Burgettstown. The Blue Devils are off to their best start in years at 5-0. They are alone in first place in Section 3-2A and were the Trib HSSN girls basketball team of the week last week.

The game tips off at 7:30 p.m. at Burgettstown.

Boys hoops

Two old rivals now in different classifications square off on a light night of boys basketball around the WPIAL on Thursday.

Central Catholic hosts Penn Hills in a matchup of teams ranked in the Top 5 in the preseason. One still is, and the other is looking to climb back in.

After losing its season opener, Penn Hills has won four straight. Meanwhile, Central Catholic is coming off a home loss to Fox Chapel that dropped its record to 3-3 on the season.

More Basketball

Mt. Lebanon edges Bethel Park in Class 6A battle
Hampton boys look to grow from tough season
Junior Jake DeMotte arrives for Fox Chapel, plays key role in playoff victory
Plum basketball teams enjoy playoff success before bowing out
What to watch for in WPIAL sports on March 6, 2021: Trinity looks for another upset

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