What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Dec. 20, 230: Basketball teams hit road for holiday tournaments

Tuesday, December 19, 2023 | 11:35 PM

Several district basketball teams are singing “I’ll be home for Christmas,” as they hit the road for some holiday tournament action.

The Lincoln Park boys basketball team conclude its successful trip to the great northwest Wednesday as the Leopards play the last of their four games in the Capital City Classic in Salem, Ore.

The Canon-McMillan and Uniontown boys basketball teams along with the Greensburg Salem girls hoops team begin play in the KSA Pre-Holiday Tournament in Orlando, Florida.

Also on Wednesday, the Nazareth Prep boys basketball team is in the desert as it opens up play in the Holiday Jam in Las Vegas.

Local hoops

While most of the midweek boys and girls basketball schedule is made up of nonsection contests, there is a big battle between playoffs teams from a year ago that are off to great starts in Class 3A girls basketball.

It’s a Section 3-3A opener between two teams with a combined record of 10-1 overall as Burrell hosts Mt. Pleasant.

The Bucs and Vikings finished in third and fourth place in the section last season with a combined overall record of 24-20. Both lost in the first round of the 3A playoffs by double-digit points.

However, this season, Burrell is 5-0 with wins over Valley, Southmoreland, Ambridge, Yough and Obama Academy.

Mt. Pleasant lost its season opener to Blackhawk and has since won five straight with victories over Ringgold, Derry, Yough, South Allegheny and Southmoreland.

Defending section champion Shady Side Academy is still the team to beat this season. The Bulldogs are 5-1 after suffering their first loss to Lincoln Park last week.

Wednesday wrestling

WPIAL section matches begin in Class 3A on Wednesday.

One of the highlights is West Allegheny visiting defending Section 5-3A winner and WPIAL runner-up Waynesburg.

The Indians finished in second place last season when their lone section loss was to the Raiders, 32-24.

Class 2A section matches began earlier this month.

In Section 1-2A a year ago, Burgettstown finished first at 7-0 while McGuffey was in second place with a 6-1 record.

The Blue Devils went on to win their first WPIAL championship in 49 years when they beat Burrell in the finals after beating the Highlanders for a second time last year, 65-9, in the district semifinals.

Both teams are undefeated this season.

Burgettstown is 2-0 and tied for the top spot with Bentworth, a half-game ahead of McGuffey, which is 1-0 in section action and 6-0 overall. They meet at Burgettstown at 7 p.m.

More Basketball

Plum using summer basketball to build foundation
WPIAL releases 2024-25 basketball schedules, updates section alignment for girls teams
Apollo-Ridge girls basketball making strides as it transitions to new coach Raevaan Mottley
Experienced assistant ready to move into head coaching role with Ligonier Valley boys
Valley turns to prominent basketball alumni to help restore luster to boys, girls programs