What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Dec. 19, 2023: Resurgent South Park to face tough test from Seton LaSalle

Monday, December 18, 2023 | 11:38 PM

With less than a week to go before the big guy hits town jingling and jangling, it’s a rather light slate of district boys basketball section games this week.

One of the more interesting matchups Tuesday has Seton LaSalle heading down Route 88 into South Park for a Section 2-3A contest.

A year ago, the Eagles were flying low, missing the playoffs and finishing with only three section victories and a 7-13 overall record.

However, this season, South Park is off and running heading into the section opener with a 4-1 overall record.

The Eagles lead the section with an average of 58 points per game. They own wins over Propel Montour, East Allegheny, Brownsville and Clairton with a loss to Yough squeezed in between the four victories.

Seton LaSalle is also off to a 4-1 start with wins over Jeannette, Norwin, Carrick and Steel Valley to go with a loss to Serra Catholic.

The Rebels opened up section play last week with a nine-point triumph over last year’s Section 2-3A champion, Steel Valley.

You can watch the matchup on Trib HSSN starting at 7:15 p.m.

Plenty of points

The two top boys basketball teams in Section 3-2A last season collide in an early season contest.

A year ago, Greensburg Central Catholic won the section crown by two games over Serra Catholic.

The No. 4-seeded Centurions won two district playoffs games before losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Aliquippa.

The No. 7-seeded Eagles won one postseason contest before they lost to Bishop Canevin in the WPIAL quarterfinals.

GCC swept Serra last season, winning by two points at home and by 10 points on the Eagles home court.

On Tuesday, Serra Catholic hosts Greensburg Central Catholic.

Greensburg Central Catholic is the highest-scoring team in Class 2A, averaging over 66 points per game.

The Centurions lost to Franklin Regional in their second game of the season but have since won six straight games to improve to 7-1 overall, including a 33-point victory over Riverview in their section opener.

The Eagles have struggled defending, giving up over 60 points per game. They are one of only four teams in 2A to allow that many points per contest.

Serra is 3-3 this season and has lost two games in a row, including a three-point loss to Jeannette in their first section game last week.

You can check out all the action on Trib HSSN starting at 7 p.m.

Tough times for top teams

In 2018, the Gateway girls basketball team turned up the defense and stunned many by upsetting Oakland Catholic in the Class 5A finals to win its first district championship.

The following season, Penn Hills reached the WPIAL 5A semifinals, only to fall to undefeated WPIAL and PIAA champion Chartiers Valley.

Both the Gators and Indians programs are struggling this season and are looking for a section win to boost their confidence heading into the holidays.

Gateway visits neighboring Penn Hills on Tuesday.

The Gators lost their section opener to Plum last week and are 1-5 overall this season.

The Indians are in search of their first win of the season after losing their section opener last week, falling to Indiana to drop their record to 0-4.

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