What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Dec. 22, 2023: Boys basketball section play wraps up for calendar year

Thursday, December 21, 2023 | 10:30 PM

The final section contest in 2023 takes place Friday as two boys basketball teams find if they have been naughty or nice on the section standings list.

Last year, Mohawk finished tied with Neshannock for the Section 1-3A title. The Warriors lost to eventual Class 3A champion Deer Lakes in the district quarterfinals.

Mohawk is 2-4 this season and coming off a two-point loss to Quaker Valley on Tuesday. This is the Warriors’ section opener.

Meanwhile, it has been tough times for Freedom, losers of 23 straight games including an 0-8 start to this season.

Freedom lost its section opener last week by 43 points to Neshannock.

The Bulldogs visit the Warriors on Friday.

The streakers

Two teams that have taken similar paths to a hot start meet Friday as they each try to keep their winning ways going into the holidays when Neshannock visits Armstrong.

The Lancers lost their season opener to District 10 power Mercyhurst Prep before winning their next six games with victories over Shenango, Brashear, Brookville and Slippery Rock and Section 1-3A wins over Freedom and Ellwood City.

The River Hawks have followed the same script, losing their opener to Deer Lakes before wins over Westmont-Hilltop, Kiski School, Obama Academy, Perry and Freeport.

Also on Friday, two teams streaking in opposite direction meet when Serra Catholic hosts Keystone Oaks.

The Eagles lost their season opener, and then won three straight games. However, Serra has since dropped three straight, including a 15-point loss in its Section 3-2A opener Tuesday to Greensburg Central Catholic.

The Golden Eagles started slow, losing their first four games this season. However, KO has won two in a row, both Section 2-3A victories over Sto-Rox and Steel Valley.

High on the ‘Hawks

The Jeannette girls basketball team can do something Friday it hasn’t done in over a decade: win four games in a row.

After two winless seasons in a row in 2021 and 2022, the Jayhawks finished 2-20 last season.

However, Jeannette is flying high with three straight victories following two losses to open the season.

The ‘Hawks defeated Springdale, Carlynton and Northgate to pass their victory total over the last three winters.

Jeannette will try to make it four straight wins when it hosts a McGuffey team that is undefeated at 5-0.

The last time a Jeannette girls hoops team won four consecutive games was in the 2012-2013 season.

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