What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Dec. 16, 2023: Showcase to honor late coaching great

Friday, December 15, 2023 | 10:30 PM

District basketball lost a true great earlier this year with the passing of coach Harry Jenkins in May at the age of 75.

Jenkins was a successful head coach for 25 years at Fox Chapel. After stepping down in 2005, he was an assistant coach at CMU for three years and spend the last 13 winters helping coach the La Roche men’s basketball team.

La Roche College will host a one-day tournament in his honor Saturday with four games as part of the first Harry Jenkins Classic.

The opener at noon features two of the top Class 5A boys basketball teams as Shaler faces North Hills at 12:30 p.m.

The Titans are a perfect 5-0 this season while the Indians are 2-1 and coming off an overtime victory over 6A preseason favorite Butler.

The second game has Upper St. Clair facing Woodland Hills at 2 p.m.

Both teams were playoff squads a year ago but they are coming off losses. The Panthers are 2-1 this season while the Wolverines are 2-2.

South Allegheny (4-0) was perfect heading into its game Friday against McKeesport. The Gladiators will challenge District 10 Grove City (1-3) at 3:30 p.m. while the final game pits Avonworth (3-1) against City League power Allderdice (2-1) at 5 p.m.

Missing host

As the North Allegheny boys basketball team concludes its three-day venture to the Sunshine State in the KSA Invitational in Orlando, the gym at NA will be busy with three boys games and two girls contests as part of the Showdown at North Allegheny.

The event begins with the first game at 1:30 p.m. with a clash of two undefeated girls teams when Shady Side Academy (4-0) faces Lincoln Park (3-0).

That is followed by a matchup of 2022-2023 district girls champions when Union (3-2) goes up against Avonworth (3-0) at 3 p.m.

The first boys game tips off at 4:30 p.m. when Carlynton (1-3) battles Fort Cherry (1-1).

Two finalists from a year ago that settled for district silver collide in the second game when New Castle (4-1) takes on Northgate (2-1) at 6 p.m.

The showdown concludes with a battle of unbeaten teams when Aliquippa (2-0) takes on Mt. Lebanon (3-0) at 7:30 p.m.

Road pins

Several district wrestling teams are taking part in wrestling tournaments Saturday outside the district and in two cases, outside of the state.

In the Beast of the East Tournament at the University of Delaware, Norwin, Thomas Jefferson and Beaver County Christian are participating.

At the NursePro Plus tournament at University High School in West Virginia, Chartiers-Houston and Southmoreland are part of the field.

It’s Day 2 of two other tournaments east of the WPIAL.

Five area teams are taking part in the King of the Mountain Tournament at Central Mountain, including Bethel Park, Canon-McMillan, Latrobe, Shaler and West Allegheny.

The Panthers Holiday Classic concludes at Mount Aloysius College with eight WPIAL schools, including Armstrong, Connellsville, Indiana, McGuffey, Mt. Pleasant, Quaker Valley, Seneca Valley and Trinity.

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