What to watch for in WPIAL sports for Jan. 22, 2024: Key matchups set in Section 2-5A girls hoops

Sunday, January 21, 2024 | 9:34 PM

One of the tightest races in WPIAL girls basketball takes center stage as the top four teams go head-to-head Monday.

Only one game separates the top four teams in Section 2-5A.

North Hills (8-7) sits in first place, one game ahead of Armstrong (12-4), Hampton (9-6) and Mars (8-6).

The Indians are 5-1 in the section, the River Hawks and Talbots are 5-2 and the Fightin’ Planets are 4-2.

North Hills has won four of its last five games as it prepares to visit Armstrong, a team that has won seven in a row.

In the first meeting between the two Dec. 18, the Indians beat the River Hawks in overtime, 73-69.

Meanwhile, Hampton has won seven of its last eight games and hosts a Mars team that has been in win one, lose one mode since the start of 2024. The Planets lost Saturday to undefeated Lincoln Park.

In the first meeting in December at Mars, the Fightin’ Planets defeated the Talbots, 54-40.

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

Trying to tighten the chase

An interesting girls basketball matchup is set Monday in Section 4-2A when front-running Chartiers-Houston visits Beth-Center.

The Buccaneers are perfect in the section with a 7-0 record and an 11-4 overall mark.

The Bucs are focused on a section championship as they lead Washington by one game.

Meanwhile, Beth-Center is in a fight for a playoff spot, with a 4-3 record in the section and 7-8 mark overall.

The Bulldogs are tied for third place with California, two games ahead of bubble teams Frazier and Carmichaels.

A home victory though moves them to within one game of first place.

In the first meeting of the season between these two teams last month, Chartiers-Houston escaped with a narrow victory over Beth-Center, 46-41.

Middle of the pack

Fort Cherry (5-0) and Burgettstown (5-1) have distanced themselves from the rest of the teams in Section 4-2A boys basketball.

Four teams are jammed together in the fight for two playoff spots with only one-game difference between the four.

Three of them hit the court Monday.

Bentworth is 2-4 in the section and looking up at the other three teams fighting for third place.

The Bearcats visit Frazier. The Commodores are 3-3 and tied with Chartiers-Houston for third place.

The other big section game has Beth-Center traveling to Fort Cherry.

The Bulldogs are 2-3 in the section and look to stay even in the loss column with Bentworth and Chartiers-Houston.

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